SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Aug. 12 granted an insurer’s summary judgment motion in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit stemming from a wildfire damage claim, ruling that no triable issues of fact exist to support the insureds’ arguments that the insurer improperly narrowed its investigation of their claim to show that no damage existed (Jensen Shirley, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 18-994, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135776).
HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 6 dismissed insureds’ breach of contract lawsuit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency over Hurricane Harvey property damage, finding that the insureds did not serve the correct defendant and failed to properly serve any defendant (James Moore, et al. v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, No. 18-3959, S.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131709).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Ruling on dueling partial summary judgment motions, a federal judge in Florida on July 15 held that there are two “premises” for purposes of the Golf Course Outdoor Grounds Coverage in a coverage dispute over Hurricane Irma damage (Grey Oaks Country Club, Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Company, No. 18-639, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116857).
MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Aug. 2 dismissed a coverage dispute over Hurricane Irma damage one day after the insured and his federal flood insurer announced that they reached a settlement (Eric Rizzo v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-10155, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130537).
NEW ORLEANS — A church insured recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit alleging that the insurer breached the contract and acted in bad faith when it replaced roofing materials with lesser quality materials after the insured's property sustained hail and windstorm damage to its roof (University Baptist Church of Fort Worth v. Lexington Insurance Company, 18-11415, 5th Cir.).
FORT WORTH, Texas — The Second District Texas Court of Appeals on July 30 determined that insureds’ claims seeking coverage for storm damages to their home are time-barred because the claims in the insureds’ third-amended complaint did not relate back to claims in the insureds’ previously filed complaints and were filed after the two-year limitations period (Richard Seim, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, et al., No. 02-16-00050, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 6557).
GREENVILLE, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on July 29 denied insureds’ motion to settle a coverage dispute over flood damage caused by Hurricane Matthew for $35,620.13 and stay the proceedings, saying the insurer has made clear that no settlement has been reached (Daniel Felix, et al. v. US Attorney General, et al., No. 18-31, E.D. N.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125435).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on July 25 granted a motion for summary judgment filed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a flood coverage dispute, finding that the record establishes that the insured’s lawsuit was not filed within one year of FEMA's denial or partial denial of his supplemental flood claim (Steve Chatelain v. United States Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 18-7242, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123879).
HOUSTON — On remand from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a senior federal judge in Texas on July 23 granted a specialty retail chain insured’s motion for partial summary judgment as to its request for a declaration that its insurer owes coverage for demand letter claims and an underlying litigation arising from the hacking of its credit card network but denied the motion as to the insured’s TexasInsurance Code claim and claims for attorney fees and prejudgment interest (Spec's Family Partners, Ltd. v. The Hanover Insurance Company, No. 16-438, S.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122310).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit against her commercial property insurer was untimely, finding that accrual occurred on the date of the insurer’s unambiguous claim denial (Lillian Smith v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 18-20465, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22339).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on July 17 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured’s lawsuit arising from flood damage, finding that the insured did not establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he compliedwith the proof of loss requirement under his Standard Flood Insurance Policy (Fausto Moran v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, No. 18-13673, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119426).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — On remand from the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in New York on July 19 found that applying an insurance policy’s “Windstorm Definition” to its coverage clauses creates an ambiguity as to its flood exclusion and that the “available extrinsic evidence reveals triable issues of fact” that preclude summary judgment in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Madelaine Chocolate Novelties v. Great Northern Insurance Co., No. 15-5830, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120824).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Because there was alleged damage to other property, not property that an insured contracted to provide, and that damage was caused by an accident, a flood, there are claims for property damage caused by an “occurrence,” a panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held July 22, reversing the entry of judgment that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify (Pennsylvania Manufacturers Indemnity Co. v. Pottstown Industrial Complex LP, et al., No. 3489 EDA 2018, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 729).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit over hail damage, finding that the insured failed to submit its claim for losses “caused by or resulting from windstorm or hail” within one year as required under a commercial insurance policy’s “very specific endorsement” (Blanco West Properties, L.L.C. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Company, No. 18- 20745, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 21756).
MOBILE, Ala. — A federal magistrate judge in Alabama on July 15 issued a report recommending that a pro se plaintiff’s complaint seeking coverage for Hurricane Nate damage to her roof be dismissed without prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction before service of process on the insurer (Emogene Richardson Brown v. Certain Underwriters Mendes & Mount, et al., No. 19-00066, S.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119873).
TULSA, Okla. — An insured seeking coverage for extended business income loss sufficiently stated a claim for bad faith against its insurer, an Oklahoma federal judge said July 17 in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss the bad faith claim and the insured’s request for punitive damages (Tikk-A-Wok Inc. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 18-570, N.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118914).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals panel on July 15 held that an insured’s assignment of its tort claims against its insurance broker was invalid, reversing a lower court’s $500,000 ruling against the broker in a lawsuit alleging that it procured inadequate business interruption insurance (AII1, LLC v. Pinnacle Insurance Solutions, LLC, et al., Nos. A-2241-17T4 and A-2291-17T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2019 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1617).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — An insurer’s rehabilitator on July 8 asked a Puerto Rico federal judge to lift a stay of a dispute between the insurer and various of its reinsurers regarding losses from two hurricanes and then remand the case to the insurer’s rehabilitation proceeding (Integrand Assurance Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., et al., No. 19-01111, D. Puerto Rico).
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge July 11 dismissed an insured’s coverage lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irma property damage one day after the parties announced that they reached a settlement (James Osmolinski v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, et al., No. 19-10022, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116514).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on July 10 dismissed without prejudice insureds' breach of contract lawsuit against the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the secretary of Homeland Security after the parties announced that negotiations were successful and they settled all claims (Mark Roccaforte, et al. v. National Flood Insurance Program, et al., No. 17-10589, E.D. La.).