Mealey's California Insurance

  • July 27, 2020

    Insurer Says Trial Court Properly Set Aside Default Asbestos Judgment

    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).

  • July 27, 2020

    Judge Denies USC's Arbitration Motion In Coverage Suit Over Sexual Misconduct Claims

    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.).

  • July 24, 2020

    Magistrate Dismisses Bad Faith, Contract Counterclaims In Insurance Coverage Case

    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).

  • July 23, 2020

    Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurers' Favor On Reimbursement, Bad Faith Claims

    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).

  • July 22, 2020

    Judge Remands Coverage Suit Over COVID-19 Tenant Relief Orders To California Court

    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).

  • July 21, 2020

    Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Trademark Suit, 9th Circuit Affirms

    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.).

  • July 21, 2020

    Vertical Exhaustion Applies To Policies In Asbestos Coverage Dispute

    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).

  • July 21, 2020

    Insurer Has Right To Control Defense Of Underlying Gas Leak Lawsuits, Judge Says

    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).

  • July 20, 2020

    Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim Based On Tort Remedy Against Reinsurer

    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.).

  • July 20, 2020

    Judge Declines To Dismiss Cross-Claim In Defects Insurance Coverage Case

    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).

  • July 20, 2020

    Court Refuses To Dismiss Suit Alleging Insurer Wrongfully Denied D&O Coverage

    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).

  • July 17, 2020

    Bad Faith Complaint Dismissed For Failure To Support Claim Against Insurer

    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).

  • July 17, 2020

    CGL Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Trademark Infringement Suit, 9th Circuit Affirms

    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).

  • July 14, 2020

    Insureds Say District Court Erred In Interpreting Intellectual Property Exclusion

    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.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Disability Insurer Failed To Timely Make A Decision On LTD Benefits Claim

    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).

  • July 14, 2020

    Reinsurer Refused Payment For $11.6M Asbestos Losses Buyout, Excess Insurers Say

    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.).

  • July 13, 2020

    Federal Judge Remands Professional Liability Coverage Dispute To California Court

    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).

  • July 13, 2020

    Reinsurer Seeks Funds After Contempt Judgment In Fraudulent Transfer Case

    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.).

  • July 13, 2020

    Federal Judge Allows ‘Unlawful’ Prong Of UCL Claim To Proceed Against Insurers

    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).

  • July 10, 2020

    Homeowners Insurance Bad Faith Dispute Remanded To State Court

    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).

Can't find the article you're looking for? Click here to search the Mealey's California Insurance archive.