Mealey's California Insurance

  • August 16, 2022

    Judge Says Bad Faith Claim Fails; $44M Verdict Entered For Insured’s Equipment Loss

    LOS ANGELES — Following a California federal judge’s July 1 summary judgment ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer on an insured’s bad faith claim in an equipment breakdown coverage dispute, a jury on July 29 entered a more than $44 million verdict in favor of the insured after finding that the insurer breached its duty to pay the insured’s claim.

  • August 15, 2022

    Mortgagors Argue ‘Manifest Injustice’ In Appeal Over Class RESPA Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Seeking reversal of a decision denying modification of a final pretrial order (PTO), mortgagors in a long-running Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) class action over captive reinsurance agreements argue in a July 25 appellant brief before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a California federal court’s ruling “resulted in manifest injustice and was tantamount to case-ending sanctions.”

  • August 13, 2022

    NHL Insureds State Claim Based On Communicable Disease Coverage, Calif. Judge Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California judge on Aug. 8 held that the National Hockey League (NHL) and 19 league clubs stated a claim based on their insurance policies’ communicable disease coverage, overruling an insurer’s demurrer to the insureds’ second amended complaint seeking coverage for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • August 12, 2022

    Parties In Reinsurance Row Note Stipulation, Seek Stay Pending Mediation Attempt

    LOS ANGELES — Parties in a suit alleging breach of reinsurance contracts over billings for claims related to asbestos and other issues have negotiated a stipulation that “substantially narrows the range of disputes” and want the court to maintain its stay of all proceedings until Oct. 10 so they can attempt mediation, they told a California court in an Aug. 10 joint status report.

  • August 12, 2022

    Vizio Seeks 9th Circuit Review Of Coverage Dispute Over Smart TV Litigation Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Vizio Inc. on Aug. 10 filed a notice of appeal in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a lower federal court’s dismissal of its fourth amended complaint seeking defense and indemnity for an underlying $17 million settlement and defense costs arising from class claims over the insured’s unauthorized collections of consumers’ television viewing data.

  • August 11, 2022

    Parties File Stipulation Of Dismissal In Long COVID, Disability Benefits Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A disability insurer and a disability claimant suffering from symptoms of long COVID following a battle with COVID-19 have settled the claimant’s suit seeking a reinstatement of short-term disability (STD) benefits and a finding that she is entitled to long-term disability (LTD) benefits, according to an Aug. 8 stipulation of dismissal filed by the parties in California federal court.

  • August 05, 2022

    Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Dismissed For Failure To Comply With Policy

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 3 granted an auto insurer’s motion to dismiss insureds’ claims for breach of contract, bad faith, misrepresentation and fraud after determining that the insureds failed to show that they complied with the policy’s arbitration requirement and failed to allege facts in support of the misrepresentation and fraud claims.

  • August 03, 2022

    9th Circuit Won’t Rehear Prior Exclusive Jurisdiction, Abstention Disputes

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 denied a July 1 petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc regarding a ruling that affirmed dismissal under the prior exclusive jurisdiction rule of two suits involving the same insurance conservatorship.

  • August 01, 2022

    9th Circuit Refuses To Rehear No-Coverage Ruling In Fraud Suit Over Sale Of Facility

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 29 denied an insured’s petition for a panel rehearing of its July 8 ruling that affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of the insured’s action seeking defense for an underlying fraud lawsuit arising from its sale of a manufacturing facility in Mexico, rejecting the insured’s argument that the panel “overlooked or misapprehended” a material factual distinction between general “contract” and “breach of contract” exclusions.

  • August 01, 2022

    Insured Appeals Ruling In Favor Of Insurers In Suit Arising From Opioid Epidemic

    SAN FRANCISCO — A prescription drug distributor insured on July 27 filed a notice of appeal in a federal California court asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review the lower court’s ruling that underlying lawsuits prompted by the opioid epidemic fail to allege an “accident” under California law.

  • July 26, 2022

    Fact Issues Remain As To Whether Insurer Was Prejudiced By Notice Delay

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 11 ruled that an insurer is not entitled to partial summary judgment on its claim that it is not obligated to reimburse an insured general contractor for costs incurred in underlying arbitration proceedings stemming from the contactor’s alleged failure to properly secure a building in advance of a hurricane for costs incurred before Feb. 5, 2020, because issues of fact remain as to whether the insurer was prejudiced by the contractor’s delay in notifying it of a counterclaim filed against the contractor.

  • July 25, 2022

    Insured Seeks Rehearing Of No Coverage Ruling For Fraud Suit Over Sale Of Facility

    PASADENA, Calif. — An insured on July 22 filed a petition for a panel rehearing of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ July 8 ruling that affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of its action seeking defense for an underlying fraud lawsuit arising from its sale of a manufacturing facility in Mexico, arguing that the panel “overlooked or misapprehended” a material factual distinction between general “contract” and “breach of contract” exclusions.

  • July 24, 2022

    Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Fail In Vandalism, Misrepresentation Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on July 15 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith after determining that the breach of contract claim cannot proceed because the insured misrepresented material facts regarding the extra expenses it incurred following the vandalism of its property and that the bad faith claim cannot proceed because no reasonable jury could find that the insurer acted in bad faith in handling the claim.

  • July 20, 2022

    Vizio Fails To Plead Coverage Suit After 5 Opportunities, Judge Says In Dismissal

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 19 granted an excess insurer’s motion to dismiss Vizio Inc.’s fourth amended complaint seeking defense and indemnity for an underlying $17 million settlement and defense costs arising from class claims over the insured’s unauthorized collections of consumers’ television viewing data, dismissing the claims this time with prejudice after finding that the insured “again fails to state a claim after having had five opportunities to properly plead its case.”

  • July 19, 2022

    California Panel Affirms Court’s Refusal To Dismiss Insurer’s Subrogation Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on July 18 affirmed a lower court’s denial of a defendant’s special motion to strike an insurer’s subrogation lawsuit alleging carrier liability under the Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act, finding that the defendant failed to carry its threshold burden under the state’s anti-SLAPP statute.

  • July 18, 2022

    Prior Damage Exclusion Precludes Coverage In Underlying Defects Suit

    LOS ANGELES — An insurer is entitled to summary judgment on claims brought by another insurer seeking a declaration that the defendant owes a duty to defend a subcontractor in an underlying construction defects lawsuit alleging that faulty workmanship provided by the subcontractor led to water intrusion damage to a home because a prior damage exclusion contained in the defendants’ commercial liability policy precludes coverage for the alleged damage, a federal judge in California ruled July 14 in granting the defendants’ summary judgment motion and denying the plaintiff insurer’s motion for summary judgment.

  • July 14, 2022

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Business’s UCL Claim For Denied Coronavirus Coverage

    LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel July 13 reversed a trial court’s grant of an insurer’s demurrer to claims that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached an insurance policy by denying a claim for physical damage from the COVID-19 virus brought by a business forced to shut down during the pandemic, finding that the court improperly ruled based on its “disbelief” of the plaintiffs’ allegations.

  • July 14, 2022

    Winery Owner Sues Insurer Seeking Coverage For Damage Caused By California Wildfires

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insured on July 12 sued its insurer in a California federal court seeking coverage for property damage to its Napa County wineries caused by two separate wildfires, alleging that the insurer breached the policy by denying coverage for its claims for smoke/smoke taint damage to “Wine in Process,” limiting its amount of coverage and failing to fully pay its claims for business income and extra expense coverage.

  • July 13, 2022

    Parent Company Of Homeowners Insurer To Remain As Defendant In Bad Faith Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 12 denied a motion to dismiss filed by a homeowners insurer and its parent company in a bad faith suit after determining that the insureds sufficiently alleged facts in support of its claim that the parent company is an alter ego of the homeowners insurer.

  • July 13, 2022

    9th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Dispute Between CGL, Professional Liability Insurers

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 5 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a commercial general liability insurer in a lawsuit brought by a professional liability insurer, finding that the professional liability insurer may not recover under the equitable indemnity or subrogation doctrines in a coverage dispute over an underlying negligence lawsuit brought against their mutual insured.