LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on March 16 held that an insurer’s invocation of an appraisal process and its payment of an appraisal award after the expiration of the 60-day cure period on the insured’s civil remedy notice did not cure its alleged bad faith, reversing and remanding a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer in a lawsuit arising from the insured’s property damage caused by a lightning strike.
ELGIN, Ill. — An Illinois appeals panel on March 15 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer in a café owner insured’s declaratory judgment lawsuit arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the partial loss of the insured’s use of its premises was not sufficient to assert a “direct physical loss of or damage to” its property to trigger business interruption or extra expense additional coverage.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — An insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith fail because there was no physical damage to insured property as a result of shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and because the policy’s microorganism exclusion precludes coverage, a California federal judge said March 14 in granting the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.
DALLAS — A bad faith claim alleged against a homeowners insurer cannot proceed because the insureds failed to provide evidence supporting their claim that the insurer’s investigation of their claim for damages caused by a tornado was not conducted in good faith, a Texas federal judge said March 9 in granting the insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment.
MIAMI — A Florida judge on March 11 issued orders permitting a third amended class complaint adding new defendants in the consolidated case over the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Building (CTS) in Surfside, Fla., and requiring mediation between four of the previously named defendants, the plaintiffs and the receiver; the orders came just three days after claims against three other defendants were stayed pending approval of settlements totaling more than $55 million.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 11 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurance policy’s “Subsidence Exclusion” unambiguously precludes any possibility of coverage for underlying claims against a landscaper insured arising from a catastrophic landslide, finding that all of the injuries connected to the underlying complaints “aris[e], in whole or part, out of . . . ‘earth movement.’”
CHICAGO — McDonald’s Corp. and a commercial general liability insurer on March 10 filed a joint notice of settlement in a breach of contract and declaratory relief lawsuit brought by McDonald’s Corp. and former and current franchise owners seeking coverage for an underlying class action injunction alleging that they are taking inadequate steps to contain COVID-19 in the workplace.
MIAMI — A Florida judge on March 8 granted a motion filed the same day by the receiver and putative class plaintiffs seeking to stay claims against three of the defendants in the consolidated case over the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Building (CTS) in Surfside, Fla., pending approval of settlement agreements totaling more than $55 million.
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on March 9 denied an insured’s petition seeking review of a California appeals panel’s finding that a commercial property insurance policy does not provide coverage for five lodging facilities’ lost business income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
MIAMI — The court-appointed receiver for Champlain Towers South Condominium Association Inc. on Feb. 22 sued the association’s commercial general liability insurer in a Florida court for declaratory relief and breach of contract, contending the insurer has “ignored settled law and “misapplied the clear allegations” in its “wrongful denial” of coverage for underlying suits arising from the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Building (CTS) in Surfside, Fla.
LAKELAND, Fla. — Finding that an insurer fully denied coverage for a condominium association insured’s supplemental claim for Hurricane Irma damage, a Florida appeals panel on Feb. 25 reversed a lower court’s order requiring an insurer to participate in an appraisal.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 7 held that a creative events company insured did not suffer a loss that was caused by, or related to, material destruction or material harm to its covered property, affirming a lower federal court’s dismissal of the insured’s suit seeking coverage for business income and business interruption losses caused by governmental shutdown orders for the COVID-19 pandemic.
MIAMI — In an order docketed March 7, a Florida judge preliminarily approved an allocation settlement agreement between unit owners and the wrongful death class in a putative class action over the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Building (CTS) in Surfside, Fla., capping participating unit owners’ claims at $83 million.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on March 3 dismissed insureds’ breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for their loss of business income arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that none of insureds’ attempts to classify COVID-19’s impact “as a ‘physical loss of or damage to property’ succeeds.”
NEW ORLEANS — A yacht owner insured on Jan. 24 filed a notice of appeal indicating that it was challenging a Louisiana federal court’s various rulings in favor of its insurer in the insurer’s lawsuit alleging that the policy was void ab initio because the insured breached the warranty under the Hurricane Questionnaire/Plan.
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 held that an eye-care provider insured failed to allege any direct physical loss of property or physical damage to its property to trigger coverage for its more than $2 million in expected losses due to its decision to shut down operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, affirming a lower federal court’s grant of the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.
LOS ANGELES — Dismissal of an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against a commercial property insurer is warranted because the insured failed to show that it sustained a direct physical loss to the property as required to recover business interruption income losses under the policy, a California federal judge said Feb. 3 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
CINCINNATI — Noting that it sympathizes with a Kentucky brewpub and taproom owner for the hardships it has faced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said March 3 that it is bound by its recent holding in Estes v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. that “‘physical loss’ means ‘that a property owner has been tangibly deprived of the property or that the property has been tangibly destroyed.’”
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 3 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for flood damage arising from Hurricane Harvey, finding that the insureds failed to create a genuine fact issue regarding whether a flood caused their property damage.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on March 1 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a dental insured’s amended complaint seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus and subsequent shutdown orders, joining “the growing number” of courts that have determined “losses caused by the mere presence of COVID-19 are not ‘direct physical loss or damage’ to the insureds’ properties.