SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 1 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of an insured’s putative class action seeking coverage for class members’ “substantial financial losses” resulting from the coronavirus and subsequent civil authority orders, rejecting the insured’s contention that pursuant to California’s rules of policy interpretation, the lower court had a duty to adopt the insured’s reasonable interpretation of the phrase “direct physical loss of or damage to property.”
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 1 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a retailer insured’s class complaint seeking coverage under a comprehensive business insurance policy for its claimed losses following the state’s “Stay at Home” order in response to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that its interpretation that the phrase “direct physical loss of or damage to” insured property requires physical alteration of property is consistent with other policy provisions.
LOS ANGELES — A California judge on Oct. 1 overruled an insurer’s demurrer to an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a “Cancellation, Abandonment and Non-Appearance Insurance” policy for the postponement of the last six shows of Metallica’s South American tour in 2020, finding that the insurer “inadequately investigated” the claim and that the complaint adequately alleged that the coronavirus “is not the efficient proximate cause” of the concert cancellations.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 1 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit brought against insurers by small businesses that own and operate Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams, finding that the virus exclusion bars business interruption coverage for their losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic.
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 22 affirmed a federal court’s ruling that granted a property insurer’s motion to dismiss an Ohio Italian restaurant’s coronavirus coverage lawsuit, finding there is no coverage because the restaurant has not been tangibly destroyed and the owner has not been tangibly or concretely deprived of any of its restaurant.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 17 granted the owner and manager of a residential development’s motion to stay the issuance of its mandate affirming a district court’s order compelling arbitration of an insurance coverage dispute against English underwriters for $5.66 million in Hurricane Harvey damage while they petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review.
ERIE, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 28 granted plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel’s motion for relief from an earlier order requiring unanimous consent of all plaintiffs to file a consolidated amended class action in a coronavirus business interruption coverage lawsuit against Erie Insurance Co., allowing the one hold-out plaintiff to join the class action within 10 days of its filing or alternatively file a notice that it will not join the complaint.
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 29 granted a commercial insurer’s petition for permission to appeal a lower federal court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of restaurant insureds in a coronavirus coverage dispute over lost business income, vacating the lower court’s ruling as to the coverage issue alleged in the breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims and remanding for further proceedings.
NEW ORLEANS — Finding that a policy’s flood deductible is ambiguous, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 24 reversed and remanded a federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of insurers in a general contractor’s bad faith lawsuit arising from flood damage at a hotel renovation.
RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Sept. 8 granted an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissed Golden Corral Corp. and Golden Corral Franchising Systems’ bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for their financial losses arising from the suspension of their restaurant operations in response to the government orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insureds have not plausibly alleged tangible, physical harm to their covered property or a tangible loss of their covered property.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Supreme Court on Sept. 23 held that a homeowners insurer cannot depreciate the “intangible” cost of labor when determining the actual cash value of its insured’s loss as defined under the policy’s Dwelling coverage, affirming an Illinois appeals court’s answer to a certified question in a coverage dispute arising from wind damage but noting that it does not agree with all of the appeals court’s reasoning.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In an opinion filed Sept. 16, a federal judge in Missouri granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a consolidated class action complaint seeking coverage for passes for ski resorts that were prematurely closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for breach of contract.
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania said on Sept. 13 that although he “is sympathetic” to the insured and other similarly situated property owners who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the insured failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to coverage for its COVID-19 related losses.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Sept. 8 reversed and remanded a lower court’s order that granted an insurer’s motion to compel the right to repair Hurricane Irma damage, finding that the order provided the insurer with injunctive relief in the nature of specific performance that was never supported by a pleading requesting that relief.
GREENVILLE, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Aug. 30 granted the remaining defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a Hurricane Matthew coverage dispute, finding that the doctrine of res judicata bars the insureds’ claims.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 13 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss an installation company insured’s declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking Business Income, Extra Expense and the Civil Authority coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured’s “loss of use” of its property alone does not qualify as a direct physical loss to trigger coverage.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 31 held that a dental practice insured failed to allege that an insurer breached an insurance policy's “Business Income,” “Extra Expense” and “Civil Authority” provisions in a coverage dispute arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured did not allege anything that could qualify as physical loss or damage.
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on Sept. 7 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s bad faith claim after determining that the insured failed to prove that the insurer acted in bad faith in handling the insured’s claim for damages to his home caused by a windstorm.
SAN FRANCISCO — The owner and manager of a residential development ask the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 1 motion to stay the issuance of its mandate affirming a district court’s order compelling arbitration of an insurance coverage dispute against English underwriters for $5.66 million in hurricane damage while they petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review, writing that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling created a circuit split.
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on Aug. 31 dismissed an insured’s amended complaint seeking coverage for business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic after determining that the insured failed to show that it sustained a direct physical loss to any of its properties as a result of the COVID-19 virus.