CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 20 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a fun park owner insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its lost income arising from the coronavirus and Kentucky’s subsequent closure order, concluding that the coronavirus and the closure order neither destroyed the insured’s park nor dispossessed the insured of its property.
LANSING, Mich. — No coverage is owed to an insured spa and salon for business losses sustained as a result of shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the insured did not sustain a direct physical loss to its property and because the policy at issue includes a contamination exclusion that precludes coverage, the Michigan Appeals Court said May 19.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 19 certified three questions to the Teas Supreme Court in an insured’s lawsuit alleging that his roof damage was caused by a 2018 hailstorm, noting that there “are substantial gaps in the concurrent causation doctrine, and this case poses significant consequences for the Texas insurance market.”
LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appeals court on May 18 held that a lower court erred in finding that insureds’ second amended complaint failed to state a claim for declaratory relief, reversing and remanding the lower court’s dismissal of the insureds’ coverage lawsuit alleging their property incurred direct physical loss from Hurricane Irma.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A commercial property insurer on May 17 filed a notice of removal in Florida federal court, contending that federal jurisdiction exists for an insured’s bad faith suit arising out of damages caused by Hurricane Irma because the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000, based on a recent settlement demand made by the insured.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of Florida restaurant owner insureds’ breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, finding that coverage was not triggered because the insureds’ losses resulted from the intangible harm caused by the coronavirus.
TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on May 17 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment on a bad faith claim after determining that the claim cannot proceed because there was a legitimate coverage dispute over damages sustained to the insureds’ roof and the insureds failed to show that the insurer acted unreasonably.
MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on May 18 held that a lower court erred in its determination of a lodestar amount and in applying a contingency risk multiplier “in the absences of competent substantial evidence,” reversing and remanding a $652,239 attorney fee award in a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute.
ATLANTA — A hotel operator insured on May 4 filed a response to an insurer’s motion to dismiss its appeal challenging a lower federal court’s denial of its post-trial motions and motion for a mistrial in an insurance dispute stemming from the insured’s alleged filing of a fraudulent Hurricane Irma commercial property damage claim, disputing the insurer’s argument that the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lacks jurisdiction.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana panel on May 4 held that private and public interest factors weigh heavily in favor of California as a more appropriate and convenient forum for an insured’s coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that a lower court abused its discretion in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens.
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 13 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of dental insureds’ breach of contract lawsuit, finding that prior precedent forecloses the insureds’ assertion that the loss of use of their dental offices constitutes “‘direct physical loss of or damage to’ their property.”
MIAMI — One day after a more than $997 million settlement was announced in a putative consolidated class complaint over the June 2021 partial collapse of a Florida condominium tower, Champlain Towers South (CTS), the court-appointed receiver and the putative class plaintiffs on May 12 filed a joint motion in a Florida court to stay the claims against the settling defendants.
SEATTLE — A Washington appeals panel on May 16 held that a homeowners insurance policy is unambiguous and does not obligate the insurer to pay to replace the undamaged portion of an insured’s roof that was damaged by a December 2018 windstorm, affirming a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Claims for breach of contract and bad faith alleged against a homeowners insurer cannot proceed because the insureds failed to comply with the policy’s requirement to supply the insurer with a detailed estimate of the cost to replace their home that was damaged in a storm, an Oklahoma federal judge said May 5 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An insurer on May 11 waived its right to respond to an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a commercial lines policy’s virus exclusion clearly precludes coverage for the insured’s business losses sustained as a result of state government-ordered business closures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 13 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a Florida restaurant owner insured’s lawsuit alleging that its business losses and extra expenses resulting from coronavirus pandemic were covered, finding that loss of business as a result of government closure orders is not covered because as recently found in SA Palm Beach, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, “some tangible alteration of the property is required.”
MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on May 11 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a restaurant and bar’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its business income losses caused by the suspension of its operations during the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured’s economic losses are not covered under its commercial property insurance policy.
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 10 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith coverage lawsuit arising from hail and wind damage, rejecting homeowners association insured’s contention that the policy was ambiguous and finding that an appraisal award was invalid.
MIAMI — Attorneys representing individuals who brought a putative consolidated class complaint after a Florida condominium tower partially collapsed in June 2021 killing 98 people announced a settlement “in excess of $997 million” on May 11.
PHILADELPHIA — An insured’s bad faith claim against a homeowners insurer can proceed because the insured’s allegations regarding the handling of her claim for wind and water damage provide sufficient support for the bad faith claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge said May 9 in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss.