BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal magistrate on April 16 ordered an insured to file an amended complaint that adequately identifies and alleges the citizenship of Underwriters at Lloyd's London and sets out the amount in controversy in her breach of contract lawsuit over flood damage (Tosha Washington v. Underwriters at Lloyd's London, No. 17-1524, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63610).
AUSTIN, Texas — After agreeing to rehear a Hurricane Ike wind coverage dispute, a majority of the Texas Supreme Court on April 13 remanded the case for a new trial (USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Gail Menchaca, No. 14-0721, Texas Sup., 2018 Tex. LEXIS 313).
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York appeals panel on April 12 affirmed a lower court’s finding that coverage for a hotel’s Hurricane Irene damage is barred by an all-risk commercial liability insurance policy’s wear and tear exclusion and rain limitation (Superhost Hotels Inc v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 525034, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2478).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 16 denied review of a lower federal court’s finding that an insurer fulfilled the requirements of accord and satisfaction when it sent a check representing payment for a day care owner insured's Superstorm Sandy losses (Anna Cranmer, et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, No. 17-1266, U.S. Sup.).
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana insureds on April 6 sued their flood insurer in a Florida federal court, alleging that they are owed $191,136.20 in repair and replacement costs for flood damage (James R. Ringo, et al. v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, No. 18-00428, M.D. Fla.).
BATON ROUGE, La.— A Louisiana insured on April 6 sued its federal flood insurer for breach of contract in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, alleging that it wrongfully denied coverage and failed to pay the amount owed for the insured’s claim arising from “historic and catastrophic” flooding that occurred in central Louisiana in August 2016 (Michael Daigre v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-00422, M.D. La.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Insureds on April 4 asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation 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, contending that transfer “will prevent duplication of discovery, eliminate the possibility of conflicting pretrial rulings, and conserve party and judicial resources” (In Re: 2016 and 2017 Hurricane Seasons Flood Litigation, No. 32, JPMDL).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal flood insurer on March 28 responded to Louisiana insureds’ federal court lawsuit alleging that it breached the insurance policy by failing to pay their supplemental claim for flood damage, asserting that all extracontractual and tort claims arising out of the handling of the flood loss claim under the policy are preempted by federal law (Randell Whittington, et al. v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-00213, M.D. La.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on March 27 held that an insured’s failure to give prompt notice of rain damage loss to its residential apartment building and the operation of the policy’s “rain limitation” bar coverage for its claim, granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (South Fifth Towers LLC v. Aspen Insurance UK Ltd., et al., No. 15-151, W.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51268).
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge on April 9 denied a homeowners association’s motion to remand its insurance coverage lawsuit over Hurricane Matthew damage, finding that the association fraudulently joined an insurance agent to avoid federal jurisidiction (Wylly Island Homeowners' Association, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-244, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60088).
CAMDEN, N.J. —A New Jersey federal judge on March 28 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s bad faith claim arising from Superstorm Sandy damage, finding that the insured failed to establish that a reasonable jury could determine that the insurer lacked a fairly debatable reason for denying the disputed portion of the insured’s claim (Steven Breitman v. National Surety Corporation, No. 14-7843, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52496).
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A New Mexico federal judge on March 31 refused to dismiss an insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of an insurer’s handling of its claim for hail and wind damage because the insurer failed to show how it was prejudiced by the insured’s refusal to submit to an examination under oath and the insured plausibly alleged that the insurer handled the claim in bad faith (Naresh Raja d/b/a America’s Best Value Inn v. Ohio Security Insurance Co. et al., No. 17-0834, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55272).
OKLAHOMA CITY — Genuine questions of material fact exist as to whether an insurer’s engineer conducted a reasonable investigation into a homeowners insurance claim to determine whether damage to an insured’s home was caused by an earthquake or an event that was excluded under provisions of the policy, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled March 30 in denying the insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment (Ruth Whiteman v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 16-0975, W.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54412).
CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals panel on March 30 affirmed a lower court’s finding that water damage to an insured’s bookstore is not covered because it was caused by a sewer backup resulting from the accumulation of surface water and is considered a flood under the policy (Edmund Lapa, d/b/a Polska Ksiazka v. Sentinel Insurance Company, Limited, No. 1-17-1050, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div., 2018 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 569).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 27 denied New York University’s motion to amend its complaint in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute with its insurer, finding leave to amend is not warranted because the four claims the insured seeks to add are untimely and fail on the merits (New York University v. Factory Mutual Insurance Company, No. 15-8505, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53418).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Insureds were not required to first obtain a judgment in an underlying breach of contract suit against their homeowners insurance provider that determined the insurer’s liability and extent of damages before bringing their first-party insurance bad faith lawsuit against the insurer, a Florida appellate panel ruled March 29 in reversing a trial court’s order and remanding (Thomas Demase, et al. v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 5D16-2390, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 4335).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 28 denied the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that its government's agents and employees bear responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, finding that limited jurisdictional discovery on specific factual allegations critical to whether Saudi Arabia is immune from the suit will proceed promptly and expeditiously as to the alleged tortious acts by purported Saudi agents Fahad al Thumairy and Omar al Bayoumi (Underwriters Inc., et al. v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, et al., No. MDL 03-1570, S.D. N.Y.).
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 23 found that a condominium association insured’s failure to select an impartial appraiser in a hailstorm coverage dispute compelled vacatur of the appraisal award under its insurance policy, affirming a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of the insurer (Auto-Owners Insurance Company v. Summit Park Townhome Association, No. 16-1352, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 7334).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana insured sued her federal flood insurer in federal court on March 8, alleging that the insurer breached the policy when it wrongfully denied coverage for her $74,379.91 claim for flood damage (Stephanie LaValley v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 18-00268, M.D. La.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A day care owner insured on March 9 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower federal court’s finding that its insurer fulfilled the requirements of accord and satisfaction when it sent a check representing payment for the insureds' Superstorm Sandy losses (Anna Cranmer, et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, No. 17-1266, U.S. Sup.).