FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge on Aug. 13 issued a report that recommended granting a homeowners insurer’s motion to compel appraisal of a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute, rejecting the insured’s argument that the insurer waived its right to appraisal (Alasyn Starling v. GeoVera Specialty Insurance Company, No. 18-60988, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138144).
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurer owes no coverage for property damage caused by a wildfire known as the Waldo Canyon Fire, rejecting the insureds’ argument that there were errors in the jury instructions (Paul Macomber, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Group, No. 17-1194, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22927).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 15 found that a lower court did not err in its damages instructions to a jury in a negligence and unjust enrichment lawsuit brought against an insurance agent, further finding that the lower court’s error in excluding certain evidence was harmless (The Lexington Club Community Association, Inc., et al. v. Love Madison, Inc., No. 4D17-1843, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 11514).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 held that an insured provided no summary judgment evidence that casts doubt on the reliability of an insurer’s estimate for her wind and hail property damage or that suggests the insurer’s decision to rely on its own estimate was unreasonable, affirming a lower federal court (Erica Chavez v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17- 40861, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 22629)
NEW YORK — An insured’s complaint seeking additional coverage for consigned property damaged by water after a pipe burst in a commercial building must be dismissed because the insurer paid the policy’s limit for property of others and the insured is not owed any additional coverage under the policy’s business personal property provision, a New York justice said Aug. 14 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Talisman Services Inc. v. Hermitage Insurance Co., No. 151351/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
McALLEN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 13 dismissed claims alleging violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act (DTPA) and the Texas Insurance Code (TIC) after determining that the insureds failed to state facts in support of the claims, leaving the claims for breach of contract and bad faith to be decided in a hailstorm coverage dispute (Alfredo Murillo Jr., et al. v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., No. 18-208, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136946).
SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 13 stayed an insured’s bad faith suit and granted an insurer’s motion to compel appraisal of the insured’s claim for hailstorm damages after determining that the insurer did not waive its right to invoke the policy’s appraisal provision (Rainey Rogers v. Nationwide General Insurance Co., No. 18-213, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136062).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on Aug. 8 ordered a coverage dispute over property damage caused by a tornado administratively closed after the parties announced that they reached a settlement (Charles A. Shadid LLC v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-595, W.D. Okla.).
BEAUFORT, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on Aug. 7 ruled that a commercial inland marine insurance policy should be interpreted according to its typewritten Special Provisions section, which excludes coverage for wind, hail and flood damage, granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising from three golf courses damaged by Hurricane Matthew (Greenwood Communities and Resorts, Inc. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 16-3995, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132270).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on July 12 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion to dismiss insureds’ claims for attorney fees, costs, expenses and interest, finding that they are preempted by federal law (Keith Favaro, et al. v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 17-1711, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116735).
BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on July 13 granted insureds’ motion to remand their lawsuit arising from flood damage to Louisiana court, noting that he has the discretion to remand supplemental state law allegations when the claims that provided the basis for original jurisdiction have been dismissed (James E. Miller, et al. v. American Fidelity Insurance Agency, Inc., et al., No. 16-00800, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117295).
NEW YORK — An insured recently filed an appeal in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a lower federal court’s finding that an insurance policy unambiguously excluded coverage for the damage floodwaters caused to its facility as a result of Superstorm Sandy, arguing that the court erred in concluding that the wind endorsement does not alter unambiguous language that bars flood coverage (Madelaine Chocolate Novelties, d/b/a The Madelaine Chocolate Co. v. Great Northern Insurance Co., No. 17-3396, 2nd Cir.).
DENVER — A Colorado couple recently appealed to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asking it to reverse a ruling by a federal jury and find that their insurer owes them coverage for damage to their home caused by a wildfire known as the Waldo Canyon Fire (Paul Macomber, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Group, No. 17-1194, 10th Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on July 25 reversed and remanded a lower court’s ruling that denied an insurer’s motion to compel appraisal of its insureds’ claim for roof damage allegedly caused by a tornado, finding that the issues of causation and the "amount of loss" should be determined by an appraisal where the insurer has not "wholly denied" coverage (People's Trust Insurance Company v. Andrea Tracey, et al., No. 4D17-3945, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 10383).
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas multidistrict litigation panel on July 27 unanimously granted an insurer’s motion to transfer 11 Hurricane Harvey lawsuits to a single pretrial court for consolidated or coordinated pretrial proceedings, finding that transfer of the related cases would result in a “more efficient pretrial” (In Re: Farmers Insurance Company Hurricane Harvey Litigation, MDL No. 18-0547, Texas MDL, 2018 Tex. LEXIS 737).
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on July 23 granted an insured’s motion to compel appraisal of a commercial property that was demolished because of Hurricane Irma damage, finding that appraisal is appropriate considering the insurer has admitted that at least some of the loss is covered (Evanston Insurance Company v. Etcetera, Etc. Inc., et al., No. 18-103, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122154).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that enforced a policy’s choice-of-law provision and granted an insurer's motion to compel arbitration of the insureds’ breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from Superstorm Sandy damage, rejecting the insureds’ argument that New Jersey and not New York law applies (Fin Associates, et al. v. Hudson Specialty Ins. Co., 16-3541, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 20695).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on July 16 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by its gas station operator insured, finding that the insured failed to comply with all of the requirements under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (Monticello Road, LLC, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance, No. 17-0730, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118690).
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on July 12 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claim for attorney fees and costs in a Hurricane Irma dispute, finding that the state law claim is preempted by federal law (James Shawn Brown v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-10034, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118198).
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on July 10 dismissed without prejudice an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its alleged $582,572.16 in flood damage arising from a Sept. 10 hurricane after the parties filed a notice of voluntary dismissal (Enis Maritime Holdings LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-21392, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116275.)