Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • February 15, 2018

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Remodelers’ Suit Against Federal Flood Insurer

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 14 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraudulent inducement and intentional and negligent misrepresentation lawsuit against a federal flood insurer, reiterating that the claims are preempted by the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) (D&S Remodelers Inc. v. Wright National Flood Insurance Services LLC, et al., No.17-5554, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 3382).

  • February 6, 2018

    Insureds’ Claims For Contract Breach, Bad Faith Can Stand, Federal Judge Determines

    TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 2 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims in a dispute over coverage for earthquake and mold damages after determining that the insureds offered sufficient evidence to support their claims (Larry W. Thomas, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Co., No. 16-17, N.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17418).

  • February 5, 2018

    Summary Judgment Ruling In Flood Insurance Suit Affirmed By 3rd Circuit

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insurer’s lawsuit against his flood insurance provider was time-barred since he filed the suit outside the one-year statute of limitations for standard flood insurance policies (SFIP), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 31 in affirming (Anthony Migliaro v. Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 17-1434, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2097).

  • February 5, 2018

    Federal Judge Remands Flood Suit, Refuses To Exercise Supplemental Jurisdiction

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 1 granted a motion to remand a lawsuit arising over flood damage to state court, declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the insureds’ remaining state law claims against their insurance broker (Peggy Enriques Miranda, et al. v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, et al., No. 16-12555, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16439).

  • February 2, 2018

    Texas Federal Judge Denies Motion To Remand, Dismisses Adjuster As A Defendant

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Jan. 25 denied an insured’s motion to remand in a property damage coverage dispute after determining that the insured failed to support its allegations that the claims adjuster breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing (University Baptist Church v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-962, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12057).

  • January 30, 2018

    Insurers Object To Magistrate’s Report As To Reinsurance Claims In 9/11 Dispute

    NEW YORK — Insurers on Jan. 25 filed an objection to a New York federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that their claims arising out of reinsurance contracts be denied in a coverage dispute stemming from the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and also challenged the magistrate’s calculation of prejudgment interest (In re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, No. 03-MDL-1570, Continental Casualty Co. v. Al Qaeda Islamic Army, No. 04-5970, S.D. N.Y.).

  • January 30, 2018

    Tennessee Panel Reverses $200M Judgment Against Insurers In Flood Dispute

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee appeals panel on Jan. 26 reversed a lower court’s finding that insureds’ policy limits were $200 million in a breach of contract lawsuit arising from a May 2010 Nashville flood, finding that the $50 million sublimit applies because the insured property is partially located within one of the zones listed under the policy’s High Hazard Flood Zones (Opry Mills Mall Limited Partnership, et al. v. Arch Insurance Company, et al., No. M2016-01763, Tenn. App., 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 40).

  • January 26, 2018

    Individuals, Businesses File Class Suit For Losses From Fire, Montecito Mudslides

    LOS ANGELES — Southern California Edison Co. and Edison International (collectively, SCE) own, operate and improperly maintained unsafe electrical infrastructure that caused a December 2017 fire in southern California that, in turn, triggered a January 2018 mudslide, killing nearly two dozen people and destroying homes and business, individuals and businesses allege in a Jan. 24 class complaint filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeking an unnamed amount for damages and destruction of property, loss of use of property, loss of business, other damages and attorney fees (Victoria Frost, et al. v. Southern California Edison Company, et al., No. BC691146, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

  • January 25, 2018

    Question Of Fact Exists On Insurer’s Initial Adjustment Of Property Damage Claim

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Jan. 23 refused to dismiss an insured’s bad faith claim alleging that an insurer unreasonably adjusted its claim for property damages caused by a hailstorm because a question of fact exists regarding the insurer’s initial adjustment of the insured’s claim (Provincetown Landing II Association LLC v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-1403, D. Col., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10537).

  • January 25, 2018

    Panel: Insurer Failed To Prove Causation, Notice In Dispute Over Roof Collapse

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that an insurer failed to prove that a developer breached its lease with a sporting goods retailer, concluding that the developer is not liable for the insurer’ damages arising from a roof collapse during a rainstorm (Developers Diversified of Tennessee, Inc. v. Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co., 16-6615, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1552).

  • January 24, 2018

    Federal Flood Insurer Seeks Dismissal Of New York Insured’s Superstorm Sandy Suit

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — Wright National Flood Insurance Co. on Jan. 10 moved for a New York federal court to dismiss an insured’s lawsuit alleging that he was wrongfully denied $141,274.50 in insurance proceeds for Superstorm Sandy damage to his Long Beach, N.Y., home, contending that the lawsuit is time-barred (David Clutter v. William B. Long, et al., No. 17-4833, E.D. N.Y.).

  • January 22, 2018

    Erroneous Jury Instruction Warrants Reversal Of Hailstorm Coverage Suit, Panel Says

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.— A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 17 found that a lower court wrongly applied the efficient proximate cause doctrine in instructing the jury and improperly shifted the burden of proof in a hailstorm coverage dispute, reversing and remanding (Richard W. Jones, et al. v. Federated National Insurance Company, No. 4D16-2579, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 561).

  • January 18, 2018

    Panel: Insurer Breached Duty To Defend, Is Equitably Responsible For Defense Costs

    MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin appeals panel on Jan. 17 affirmed that an insurer is equitably responsible for a government agency insured’s $1.55 million underlying defense costs because it breached its duty to defend the insured against a lawsuit alleging that the insured was negligent in the inspection, maintenance, repair and operation of its sewer system before and during a June 2008 rain event in the greater Milwaukee area (Steadfast Insurance Company v. Greenwich Insurance Company, No. 2016AP1631, Wis. App., Dist. 1, 2018 Wisc. App. LEXIS 51).

  • January 18, 2018

    North Carolina Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurers’ Favor In Superstorm Sandy Suit

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina appeals panel on Jan. 16 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of insurers in their declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for underlying property damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, finding that the insured’s interpretation of the examination under oath (EUO) policy provision is unreasonable (North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., et al. v. Ronnie D. Lilley, Sr., No. COA16-998, N.C. App., 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 60).

  • January 17, 2018

    Hurricane Irene Claim For Additional Damage Is Untimely, Federal Judge Says

    ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — A North Carolina federal judge on Jan. 11 found that insureds’ claim for additional damage was made well beyond the Federal Emergency Management Agency deadline for Hurricane Irene-related claims, further concluding that the subrogation provision in a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) provides no basis for the relief that the insureds’ seek (Robert Shearer, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, et al., No. 17-31, E.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6298).

  • January 12, 2018

    Claims In Bad Faith Suit Found To Be Preempted By Federal Law

    SAN FRANCISCO — Insureds’ claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit over coverage under a homeowners insurance policy and a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) are preempted by federal law, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 10 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Alicia Martin, et al. v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, No. 17-4066, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4675).

  • January 11, 2018

    3rd Circuit Panel Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling In Bad Faith Lawsuit

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insurer paid full coverage limits for mold remediation under the terms of a homeowners insurance policy and, thus, could not have acted in bad faith, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 10 in affirming (Mary Ann Andrews, et al. v. Merchants Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-1413, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 637).

  • January 10, 2018

    Judge: City Is Not Entitled To Independent Counsel In Sewer Backup Coverage Suit

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on Dec. 18 denied the city of Laguna Beach’s motion for partial summary judgment but granted its motion for partial stay in a coverage dispute over damages arising from an April 26, 2016, sewer backup (Tokio Marine Specialty Insurance Company v. Laguna Beach, No. 17-00277, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212828).

  • January 10, 2018

    New York Justice: Subcontractor Was Proximate Cause Of Throgs Neck Bridge Fire

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on Dec. 26 found that a contractor is entitled to coverage as an additional insured under a subcontractor’s primary insurance policy because the subcontractor was the proximate cause of a fire on the Throgs Neck Bridge (E.E Cruz & Company, Inc. v. Axis Surplus Insurance Company, et al., No. 152988/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5137).

  • January 10, 2018

    Flood Claim Barred By Statute Of Limitations, Federal Judge Rules

    HOUSTON — A Texas federal judge on Jan. 9 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for flood damage caused by a May 2015 storm in Houston, finding that the lawsuit is untimely (Ali Ekhlassi v. National Lloyds Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1257, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3568).