Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • December 7, 2017

    Judge Enjoins Insureds From Removing Any Property From Storage Unit In Sandy Suit

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Nov. 6 confirmed that an Oct. 23 court-ordered subpoena remains in effect to make a storage space in Brooklyn, N.Y., available to allow the inspection of the contents of several storage units maintained by insureds in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute and enjoined the insureds from removing any boxes or property from the storage units absent permission form the court (Robert Toussie v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., Nos. 14-2705 and 15-5235, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183603).

  • December 6, 2017

    Judge Allows Subpoena Of Insurer’s Consultants In Windstorm Coverage Dispute

    SEATTLE — Finding insufficient support for an insurer’s claim that its consultants were engaged in advance of possible insurance fraud litigation, a Washington federal judge on Dec. 5 denied the insurer’s motion to quash subpoenas served on them by the plaintiff in a coverage suit related to extreme weather events (Premier Harvest LLC, et al. v. AXIS Surplus Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00784, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199910).

  • December 6, 2017

    Insured’s Suit Against Adjuster In Hurricane Ike Coverage Dispute Is Untimely

    GALVESTON, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Dec. 5 found that an insured’s breach of contract and negligence lawsuit against an adjuster is time-barred by a two-year statute of limitations, granting the adjuster’s motion for summary judgment in Hurricane Ike coverage dispute (Gracie Reese v. Aftermath Public Adjusters, Inc., et al., No. 16-273, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199527).

  • December 1, 2017

    Judge Stays Class Action Challenging Insurance Practices After Settlement Announced

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge in a Nov. 29 text order granted a joint motion to stay a class action alleging that a homeowners insurer committed breach of contract when it unlawfully applied a policy's $1,000 deductible to an actual cash value (ACV) payment in a hailstorm coverage dispute after the parties announced that they reached a settlement (Jean Heckmann v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-04147, W.D. Mo.).

  • November 30, 2017

    No Homeowners Coverage Owed For Flood Damage, Federal Judge Says

    HOUSTON — A Texas federal judge on Nov. 27 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion for partial 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 policy excluded flood damage from coverage (Ali Ekhlassi v. National Lloyds Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1257, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194467).

  • November 30, 2017

    Magistrate Judge Recommends Denial Of Reinsurance Claims In 9/11 Insurance Dispute

    NEW YORK — In a dispute over claims stemming from the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, a New York federal magistrate judge on Nov. 27 recommended that insurers be awarded $221.5 million but that their claims arising out of reinsurance contracts be denied (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., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196192).

  • November 22, 2017

    3rd Circuit Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Insurer In Superstorm Sandy Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 17 affirmed a district court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute after determining that the insurer fulfilled the requirements of accord and satisfaction when it sent its insureds a check representing payment for the insureds’ losses (Anna Cranmer, et al. v. Harleysville Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1596, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23187).

  • November 21, 2017

    Insurer Must Cover Damage By Wind, Not Construction Defects, Appeals Panel Says

    DETROIT — An insurer is responsible to cover damage from wind-driven rain to condominium units but is not responsible for damage caused by construction defects, a Michigan appeals panel held Nov. 16, reversing summary disposition to the insurer (Walters Beach Condominium Association v. Home-Owners Insurance Co., No. 335172, Mich. App., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 1810).

  • November 17, 2017

    Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith By Only Paying For A Portion Of Floor Replacement

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 15 dismissed a bad faith claim alleged against a homeowners insurer after determining that the insureds failed to prove that the insurer acted unreasonably by paying for only a portion of the insureds’ kitchen floor following a flood at the insureds’ home (Steven Barnwell et al. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-4739, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188427).

  • November 10, 2017

    Federal Judge: Flood Did Not Become Excluded Peril Once Sublimits Were Exhausted

    SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Nov. 9 granted insureds’ motion for partial summary judgment in their breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from storm damage, finding that the insurer remains liable for any damages caused by pure wind and the combination of wind and flood if such damages are proven by the insureds (Hidden Cove Park and Marina, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-00193, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186191).

  • November 8, 2017

    Judge Transfers Hurricane Matthew Coverage Dispute To New Federal Venue

    MIAMI — A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Oct. 18 granted insurers’ alternative motion to transfer a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Matthew damage, finding that the Middle District of Florida is the proper venue because that is where the insureds’ property is located (Flash Restoration LLC v. Rockhill Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-23416, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173319).

  • November 8, 2017

    Judge: Negligence Per Se Claim, Attorney Fees Request Are Preempted By NFIA, NFIP

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge on Oct. 16 granted insurers’ motion to dismiss an insured’s negligence per se claim and request for attorney fees in a coverage dispute over damage to hotel rooms caused by tidal waters, finding the claims preempted by the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (Surfsand Resort LLC v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-00866, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171548).

  • November 7, 2017

    Judge Allows Insured To Amend Petition To Properly Assert Insurer’s Citizenship

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on Nov. 2 allowed an insured to amend her complaint to adequately allege a flood insurer’s citizenship in her breach of contract lawsuit arising from flood damage (Sarah Faye Carrier v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 17-1543, M.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182386).

  • November 6, 2017

    Federal Judge: No Evidence Insured’s Race Prompted Insurer’s Coverage Decisions

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas federal judge on Oct. 27 dismissed with prejudice an insured’s 42 U.S. Code Section 1981 claim against his insurer, finding that there was no evidence that the insured’s race prompted the insurer’s coverage decisions regarding damage caused by two storms (Kasib Tauheed Bilal v. IDS Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-675, E.D. Ark., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178317).

  • November 2, 2017

    Insurance Adjuster Improperly Joined In Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

    FORT WORTH, Texas — Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is not necessary because insureds improperly joined an insurance adjuster in an attempt to defeat federal court jurisdiction, a federal judge in Texas ruled Oct. 27 in denying the insureds’ motion (Cheryl Fernandez, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, et al., No. 17-729, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178273).

  • November 2, 2017

    New York Justice: Insurers Not Entitled To 2nd Proof Of Loss In Superstorm Sandy Suit

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on Oct.22 denied two insurers’ request for an order compelling an insured to provide them with a signed and sworn proof of loss (POL) detailing Superstorm Sandy property damage because the insured has already provided them with a signed and sworn POL (The Howard Hughes Corporation v. Ace American Insurance Co., et al., No. 650308/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5261).

  • November 2, 2017

    Bad Faith Claim Survives Dismissal In Homeowners Insurance Dispute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Insureds have pleaded minimally sufficient facts to support their insurance bad faith claim against their homeowners insurance provider for its alleged failure to properly investigation their claim and provide coverage under the policy, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Oct. 24 in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss the bad faith claim (Daniel E. Lang, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Co. Inc., No. 17-0919, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175858).

  • November 2, 2017

    Florida High Court Accepts Appeal Of Court’s Refusal To Conduct New Appraisal

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Supreme Court on Oct. 20 accepted an appeal of an appellate decision finding that an insured’s post-appraisal submission of increased costs with a state insurance guaranty association in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute is not a legally sufficient basis to reopen the existing appraisal or conduct a new appraisal (Orlando Noa v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, No. SC17-738, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 2124).

  • October 26, 2017

    Florida Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Bad Faith Suit In Hurricane Wilma Dispute

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 18 found that a bad faith lawsuit should not have been dismissed because the record undisputedly establishes that an insurer received an insured’s civil remedies notice (CRN) in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute nearly four years before the insured filed its bad faith suit and responded to the CRN without challenging its service (Evergreen Lakes HOA, Inc. v. Lloyd's Underwriters at London, No. 4D16-2657, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 14833).

  • October 24, 2017

    Judge: New York Insureds Failed To Submit Timely Proof Of Loss In Flood Dispute

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Oct. 23 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a flood coverage dispute, finding that the insureds failed to timely submit a signed and sworn proof of loss for all their alleged damages caused by a June 1, 2015, flood (John Scharr, et al. v. Selective Insurance Company of New York, et al., No. 16-06821, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175222).