BEAUFORT, S.C. — An insured on June 4 filed a breach of contract lawsuit against its flood insurer in a federal South Carolina court, asserting that its Hurricane Matthew claim was “grossly underestimated” (Richard C. Pattisall Retirement Trust v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., No. 18-01518, D. S.C.).
PHOENIX— The Arizona Supreme Court on June 14 found that a homeowners insurance policy’s “contractual liability” exclusion does relieve an insurer of its duty to defend its builder-vendor insured against an underlying negligent excavation claim arising from rockslide damage, finding that the negligence allegation arises from the common-law duty to construct a home as a reasonable builder would (Dennis E. Teufel v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. CV-17-0190-PR, Ariz. Sup., 2018 Ariz. LEXIS 187).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Florida federal judge on May 10 found that an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency is premature because his additional flood claim has not been disallowed, dismissing the lawsuit without prejudice (Charles Bankston v. National Flood Insurance Program, et al., No. 17-01059, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79980).
SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 11 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer on an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking additional coverage for business interruption losses and future property repairs arising from a fire that damage its apartment building (Live Group Of USA, LLC v. Mid-Century Insurance Company, No. 16-35599, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15657).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on June 8 affirmed in part and reversed in part an appeals court’s ruling in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Ike damage, remanding to the appeals court the issue of whether the trial court properly disregarded some of the jury's findings (State Farm Lloyds v. Candelario Fuentes, et al., No. 16-0369, Texas Sup., 2018 Tex. LEXIS 517).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer, finding that a hotel owner insured did not satisfy its burden to establish what portion, if any, of its alleged hail damage occurred during the policy’s coverage period (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London v. Lowen Valley View, L.L.C., et al., No. 17-10914, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15337).
ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals court on June 1 affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court’s ruling that denied all motions for summary judgment in a lawsuit seeking recovery of a payment made on an insurance claim for hail damage to a commercial property (Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Hale Haven Properties, LLC, et al., Nos. A18A0132, A18A0134, A18A0133 and A18A0147, Ga. App., 2nd Div., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 330).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on June 6 denied insureds' request to transfer related lawsuits over flood claims resulting from the 2016 and 2017 hurricane seasons in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings, finding that the lawsuits “possess only a superficial factual commonality” (In Re: Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands 2016 and 2017 Hurricane Seasons Flood Litigation, No. 2844, JPMDL).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on June 5 granted a joint stipulation of dismissal of a flood dispute after a magistrate said sanctions would be imposed if the insured could not show good cause why she failed to comply with a May 8 order asking her to file a stipulation of dismissal of her breach of contract suit (Tosha Washington v. Underwriters at Lloyd's London, No. 17-1524, M.D. La.).
DES MOINES, Iowa —The Iowa Supreme Court on June 1 reversed a lower court’s judgment that rejected a $1.4 million appraisal award in favor of a townhome association insured for its hailstorm damage, remanding for the lower court to address the extent of pre-existing shingle damage excluded from coverage through the insurance policy's anti-concurrent-cause provision (Walnut Creek Townhome Association v. Depositors Insurance Company, No. 16-0121, Iowa Sup., 2018 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 57).
HOUSTON — A majority of a Texas appeals court on May 31 found that a school district insured did not establish causation and damages as a matter of law based solely on a $10.8 million appraisal award, reversing and remanding a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insured in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association v. Dickinson Independent School District, No. 14-16-00474, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 3856).
BATON ROUGE, La.— Two days after a Louisiana federal magistrate judge ordered an insured’s counsel to personally appear before her and show cause why sanctions should not be imposed for failing to comply with a May 8 order asking the insured to file a stipulation of dismissal of her breach of contract suit, the insured and the insurer on June 1 filed a stipulation of dismissal of the flood dispute (Tosha Washington v. Underwriters at Lloyd's London, No. 17-1524, M.D. La.).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas high court on June 1 granted an insured’s petition for review to determine if an exception to a policy’s joint venture provision applies to provide coverage to an insured seeking coverage for damages incurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (Anadarko Petroleum Corp., et al. v. Houston Casualty Co., et al., No. 16-1013, Texas Sup.).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on May 30 ordered an insured’s counsel to personally appear before her and show cause why sanctions should not be imposed for their failure to comply with a May 8 order asking the insured to file a stipulation of dismissal of her breach of contract suit or a motion to substitute the complaint with a proposed comprehensive amended complaint that adequately identifies and alleges the citizenship of the appropriate defendants and establishes amount in controversy (Tosha Washington v. Underwriters at Lloyd's London, No. 17-1524, M.D. La.).
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 25 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that a manufacturer insured’s $14 million in unpaid mitigation costs were not "necessary expenses” under a commercial insurance policy’s business income coverage, finding that “necessary expenses” are limited to expenses that reduce a covered business income loss (Welspun Pipes, Inc., et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 17-1470, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13926).
MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on May 16 reversed a lower court’s final judgment against an insurer in a dispute over coverage for insureds’ $59,719.25 supplemental Hurricane Wilma claim, finding that the insured's failure to comply with their post-loss obligations under the policy relieved the insurer of any duties regarding the supplemental claim (State Farm Insurance Co. v. Efrain Xirinachs, et al., No. 3D16-2225, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 6775).
MIAMI — An insured on April 9 sued its insurer for breach of contract in a Florida federal court, seeking coverage for its alleged $582,572.16 in flood damage arising from a Sept. 10 hurricane (Enis Maritime Holdings LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 18-21392, S.D. Fla.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 11 ordered the city of Laguna Beach and its insurer to show cause why a coverage dispute over a sewer backup should not be stayed in its entirety pending resolution of the underlying lawsuit (Tokio Marine Specialty Insurance Company v. Laguna Beach, No. 17-00277, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80214).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on May 8 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed a coverage dispute over flood damage, finding that the insured failed to submit the required proof of loss pursuant to his Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Humphrey O. Uddoh v. Selective Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 13-2719, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77075).
LAKELAND, Fla. — Florida insureds on April 26 asked a state appeals court to reverse and remand a lower court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a sinkhole coverage dispute, contending in their reply to the insurer’s opposition that they presented “ample record evidence of material disputed issues of fact” (Brent Thierry, et al. v. Security First Insurance Co., No. 2D17-3426, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).