SAN FRANCISCO — A trial court correctly decided to set aside a default judgment and correctly found that an insurer acted properly in attempting to find a policy that would cover an asbestos claim filed against the insured, the insurer maintains in a July 6 respondent's brief filed in the First District California Court of Appeals (Donna O'Balle v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. A158052, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2, 2020 CA APP. CT. BRIEFS LEXIS 3767).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 20 denied the University of Southern California’s motion to compel arbitration of its excess health care professional liability insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying sexual misconduct claims against one of the university’s doctors, finding that the excess policy’s follow-form clause does not incorporate the primary policy’s arbitration provision (Arch Specialty Insurance Company v. University Of Southern California, No. 19-cv-6964, C.D. Calif.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A general contractor failed to allege breach of contract and bad faith counterclaims against its insurer in their coverage dispute over a condominium unit remodel project, a California federal magistrate judge held July 20 (Colony Insurance Company v. Glenn E. Newcomer Construction, No. 20-480, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127448).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 affirmed a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling in favor of insurers in an assignee of the insureds' lawsuit alleging bad faith and seeking reimbursement of underlying settlement costs (Marvin W. Durment, et al. v. The Burlington Insurance Company, No. 19-55353, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22862).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 20 granted an insured's motion to remand its bad faith and California unfair competition law (UCL) lawsuit seeking coverage for its rental income loss arising from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's tenant relief orders prompted by the novel coronavirus, finding that the insurer has failed to satisfy its burden to demonstrate "the requisite amount in controversy by a preponderance of the evidence" (Geragos & Geragos Fine Arts Building, LLC v. Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al., No. 20-04427, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127427).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 20 affirmed a federal court’s ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying trademark dispute (Premier Pools Management Corp. v. Colony Insurance Corp., No. 18-16551, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The First District California Court of Appeal on July 13 reversed and remanded a trial court’s ruling in an asbestos coverage dispute that has been pending for more than 10 years after determining that vertical exhaustion, rather than horizontal exhaustion, must be applied to excess policies at issue (SantaFe Braun Inc. v. Insurance Company of North America, et al., No. A151428, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 645).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on July 20 granted an insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment in a suit seeking coverage for injuries and damages caused by a gas leak after determining that the insurer is entitled to control the insureds’ defense in the underlying suits (Sempra Energy, et al. v. Associated Electric and Gas Insurance Services Limited, et al., No. 19-3340, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127505).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 16 dismissed insurers’ bad faith claim as a tort remedy against their reinsurer and struck the insurers’ request for attorney fees and statutory penalties in their dispute over denied reinsurance payments (California Capital Insurance Co., et al. v. Maiden Reinsurance North America, Inc., No. 20-01264, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a coverage dispute involving six insurers over the defense of a potential additional insured in a construction defects case arising out of a Hampton Inn hotel project, a California federal judge on July 15 refused to dismiss one of the insurer’s declaratory relief cross-claim against another insurer (ACE American Insurance Company v. Old Republic General Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 20-482, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124791).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on July 16 denied a directors and officers liability insurer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract, bad faith and California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, finding that the insurer has failed to show as a matter of law that the insurance policy does not provide coverage for an underlying lawsuit brought against the insured’s former chief executive officer and general counsel (Marius Domokos, et al. v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, No. 20-00336, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125648).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 15 dismissed a bad faith complaint without prejudice after determining that the insureds failed to allege sufficient facts in support of their bad faith claim against their homeowners insurer (Martha Ruiz et al. v. General Insurance Company of America et al., No. 20-218, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125666).
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 16 held that underlying claims brought against the insured by its competitor were not potentially covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy's personal and advertising injury coverage or were barred by the policy’s prior publication, known injury and intellectual property exclusions, affirming a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (Scottsdale Insurance Company v. PTB Sales, Inc., No. 19-55350, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22158).
SAN FRANCISCO — Insureds seeking coverage for an underlying libel and trade secrets suit claim in a March 4 reply brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court erred in determining that an insurer had no duty to defend based on the policy’s endorsement excluding intellectual property claims (MyChoice Software LLC, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 19-56030, 9th Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 6 denied a disability insurer’s motion to dismiss after agreeing with the disability claimant that the administrative remedies under the plan should be deemed exhausted because the disability insurer failed to timely issue a claim decision as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Vennessa Hasten v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 19-7943, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121897).
SAN FRANCISCO — Two excess insurers on July 13 sued their reinsurer in a California federal court for breach of contract in refusing to pay toward the reinsurer’s share of a more than $11.6 million confidential buyout agreement regarding an insured’s asbestos liabilities (New Hampshire Insurance Company, et al. v. TIG Insurance Company, No. 20-04668, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on June 29 granted an insured’s motion to remand its lawsuit seeking professional liability coverage, rejecting the insurer’s argument that removal is proper because the insured acted in bad faith by keeping the broker who procured the policy as a defendant to prevent removal to federal court until 28 U.S. Code Section 1446(c)(1)’s one-year removal period expired (Somera Capital Management, LLC v. Twin City Fire Insurance Company, No. 20-4277, C.D Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115193).
SAN DIEGO — Following a contempt judgment in its favor, a reinsurer in a July 7 motion asks a California federal court for direct payment of $239,238.88 in registry funds belonging to an insolvent insurance agency’s principal in its case concerning the agency’s alleged fraudulent transfer of assets to avoid payment of a $3.2 million judgment (Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Richard Keith Nagby, et al., No. 16-3038, S.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on July 9 granted insurers’ motion for judgment on the pleadings on the “unfair” and “fraudulent” prongs of the insured’s California unfair competition law (UCL) claim but denied the insurers’ motion as to the “unlawful prong” of the UCL claim and to the extent that they contend that the insured is precluded from seeking equitable remedies in its suit alleging that they wrongfully denied defense and indemnity for an underlying $50 million settlement (Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. v. Global Aerospace, Inc., et al., No. 17-01515, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121802).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 7 ruled that remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is necessary because an insurer failed to show that two window and door manufacturers also named as defendants in the lawsuit were fraudulently misjoined in the action (Gordon Wangers, et al. v. AIG Property Casualty Co., et al., No. 20-4167, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119036).