CHICAGO — An insured on March 23 sued two of its insurers for breach of contract in a federal court in Illinois, seeking event cancellation coverage for its alleged several million dollars in losses arising out of its “necessary and unavoidable cancellation” of the May 2020 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago due to circumstances that were created by the coronavirus pandemic.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Affirming a lower court’s ruling in favor of a homeowners insurer, a Florida panel on March 24 found that there were no issues of material fact as to an insured’s claim for Hurricane Irma damage and there is no ambiguity in the policy regarding the insured’s plumbing leak claim.
WINCHESTER, Tenn. — A federal magistrate judge in Tennessee on March 16 granted a joint motion for a protective order filed by a homeowners insurer and insureds, defining what constitutes confidential information in the insureds’ breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from their tornado property damage.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on March 19 granted an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that a franchisee of Outback Steakhouse restaurants in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and California and its parent and affiliated companies have failed to plausibly allege “direct physical loss of or damage to” their property to trigger coverage under the policy.
PASADENA, Calif. — An insured in a Feb. 25 brief asks the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its putative class action seeking coverage for class members’ “substantial financial losses” resulting from the coronavirus and the subsequent civil authority orders, arguing 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."
AUSTIN, Texas — A majority of the Texas Supreme Court on March 19 reversed a lower court’s ruling in favor of a homeowners insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from hailstorm damage, finding that the insurer was not entitled to summary judgment because it did not pay the amount that “must be paid” on the insured’s claim before the statutory deadline.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 18 granted an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a hospital insured’s class action lawsuit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief as to coverage for its losses caused by the coronavirus and the subsequent governmental orders, finding that the insured failed to establish an initial right to coverage and the policy’s virus exclusion further bars recovery.
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on March 17 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit brought by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, finding that the insureds’ “general statements that the COVID-19 virus was on surfaces and in the air at their properties is insufficient to show property loss or damage.”
NEW YORK — Two commercial property insurers on March 11 asked a New York federal court to dismiss Northwell Health Inc.’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking $1.25 billion in coverage for its property and business interruption losses and decontamination costs arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the purported presence of the COVID-19 virus in the insured’s facilities did not cause any physical damage to its property and did not cause it to treat a less profitable mix of patients (Northwell Health, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Company, et al., No. 21-01104, S.D. N.Y.).
ATLANTA — An insurer in a March 12 response asks the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reject an insured’s motion to consolidate its appeal of a lower court’s dismissal of its lawsuit seeking coverage for its business losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic with two related appeals for oral argument, contending that “consolidation would prejudice the parties by risking confusion of the unique and complex factual and legal issues in each case.”
LAKE CHARLES, La. — Insured Sonya Breda on March 13 filed one of 18 lawsuits seeking coverage for damage caused by hurricanes Laura and Delta in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, arguing that the insurer failed to timely and reasonably adjust her loss and respond to her satisfactory proof of loss.
SEATTLE — The owner and operator of the Space Needle in Seattle on March 12 sued its insurer for breach of a contract and declaratory judgment in a federal court in Washington, seeking to recoup the “millions of dollars in revenues” it lost when its busines was interrupted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
CAMDEN, N.J. — No coverage is owed to insured restaurant and food service operators for business losses caused by the shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the virus exclusions in the applicable property insurance policies unambiguously bar coverage for any losses caused by any virus, a New Jersey federal judge said March 12 in granting the insurers’ motion to dismiss.
LAKE CHARLES, La. — Insureds sued their property insurer in Louisiana federal court on March 12, alleging that the insurer breached the terms of their insurance policy and acted in bad faith in its handling of their proof-of-loss claim after their property sustained significant hurricane damage, which rendered the property uninhabitable.
SAN ANTONIO — A Texas federal judge on March 10 denied an insured’s motion to remand a breach of contract and bad faith suit filed against a property insurer and its agent after determining that complete diversity of citizenship exists because the insurer accepted liability for the acts of its agent.
WILMINGTON, Del. — The Delaware Supreme Court on March 11 reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a homeowners insurer as to a collapsed retaining wall in a coverage dispute over alleged rainstorm damage, finding that there are disputed material facts regarding whether the sole cause of the damage was a water backup.
CAMDEN, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on March 10 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a gym insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, finding that the commercial lines insurance policy’s virus exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for the insured’s claims arising from the government’s closure orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on March 10 granted an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after determining that no coverage is afforded for an insured’s business losses sustained in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the loss was not a specified cause of loss as defined in the policy’s virus endorsement and the policy’s virus exclusion clearly bars coverage.
SAN DIEGO — In a March 8 order, a federal judge in California granted a commercial property insurance provider’s motion to dismiss, ruling that insureds failed to sufficiently show that the insurer breached the terms of its insurance agreement with them or acted in bad faith by denying coverage for losses of “stock” sustained as a result of governmental actions during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
INDIANAPOLIS — No coverage is afforded to insured hotels that sustained business losses as a result of shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the policies at issue include a virus exclusion that clearly precludes coverage for any losses stemming from a virus, an Indiana federal judge said March 8.