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.
SHERMAN, Texas — A commercial property insurer failed to show that good cause exists for its request to file a third amended answer and affirmative defenses in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of the insured’s claims for property damage and business interruption losses following a fire at its business, a Texas federal judge said March 1 in denying the insurer’s motion for leave to file the amended answer and affirmative defenses.
MIAMI — An insurer’s subrogation proceeding seeking more than $6 million from a condominium association as a result of the partial collapse of a Surfside, Fla., condominium high rise in June 2021 as well as other actions filed against the association should all be stayed except for the main action in a Florida court, a court-appointed receiver for the association argues in a Feb. 24 motion to stay; meanwhile, one of the main action defendants stated in a Feb. 23 filing supporting class certification that it has reached a “settlement in principle.”
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of an insured’s breach of contract and declaratory relief lawsuit seeking coverage for its business income losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured’s arguments on appeal are foreclosed by its recent decision in 10012 Holdings, Inc. v. Sentinel Insurance Co.
NEW ORLEANS — A district court properly dismissed an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit filed against a homeowners insurer because the insured’s amended complaint fails to show how the insurer breached its contract or acted in bad faith in handling the insured’s claim for hail and windstorm damages, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 25.
CINCINNATI —The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 23 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of three coronavirus coverage lawsuits brought by Michigan businesses, finding that the insureds have failed to adequately assert that their properties was harmed.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Feb. 11 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss a declaratory relief claim brought by the insured’s assignee seeking recovery of an appraisal award for the insured’s Hurricane Irma damage, rejecting the insurer’s argument that dismissal is warranted because the claim is duplicative of a breach of contract claim.
LAFAYETTE, La. — A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana held Feb. 7 that insureds have failed to state a claim for relief against their insurance agent in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Laura flood damage, granting the agent’s motion to dismiss.