MIAMI — A Florida judge agreed on Dec. 3 to extend to Dec. 30 the deadline for responses to the consolidated second amended class complaint brought by estates and residents of a Surfside, Fla., condominium high-rise that partially collapsed on June 24 who partially allege that the construction of a neighboring building destabilized the foundation of the building that collapsed.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal magistrate judge in California on Dec. 3 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss insureds’ lawsuit alleging that their insurer violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by denying their coronavirus coverage claims without proper investigation and fraudulently marketing and selling “illusory” limited coverage, finding that the insurer’s purported failure to investigate cannot form the basis of a UCL claim because there is no coverage as a matter of law.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 denied an insured’s petition seeking review of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ refusal to certify questions to the Maryland Court of Appeals in a coronavirus coverage dispute, refusing to address the insured’s contention that the Fourth Circuit did not treat it fairly in denying its motions.
BRONX, N.Y. — A New York justice on Oct. 15 denied a pollution legal liability insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of the insured’s claim for business interruption losses caused by the shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the insurer failed to show that the policy affords no coverage for the losses.
CLEVELAND — An Ohio appeals panel on Dec. 2 affirmed a lower court’s grant of a commercial business insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a nail salon owner insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its business interruption losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the “singular challenges facing restaurants, bars, and other hospitality services over the last eighteen months are not lost on us.”
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge on Dec. 2 granted an insurer’s motion to exclude an expert retained to testify that a roof was damaged by a hailstorm and estimate the cost of the repair, finding that the insured’s failure to respond to the motion or meet disclosure requirements led to his decision.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Noting that it is again confronting the issue of whether an appraisal was prematurely granted when an insurer “wholly denied” coverage, a Florida appeals panel on Dec. 1 held that a lower court prematurely granted appraisal in a hailstorm coverage dispute and reversed and remanded for further proceedings.
MIAMI — A Florida judge on Dec. 1 granted a joint motion to approve a confidential settlement between the receiver for the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association and an insurer in a negligence lawsuit arising from the Surfside, Fla., condominium collapse.
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Nov. 30 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit arising from more than $1 million in flood damage to a commercial warehouse, further finding that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to the insured’s claims against a public adjuster.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Finding that appraisal is appropriate to determine the amount of loss and scope of repairs to be made to insureds’ property that was damaged by Hurricane Irma, a Florida appeals court panel on Nov. 24 reversed a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insureds and remanded for the lower court to enter an order compelling appraisal.
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 30 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a bridal owner insured’s breach of contract lawsuit against its businessowners insurer, finding that nothing on the pleadings permits the court to infer that the coronavirus infiltrated the insured’s store and physically altered its property at a given time.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 29 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a Write-Your-Own insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit over Hurricane Harvey flood damage, finding that the insured failed to file a timely proof of loss.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Finding that total pollution exclusions in four consecutive commercial general liability insurance policies are ambiguous, a majority of the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Nov. 23 reversed a lower court’s ruling that the total pollution exclusions clearly and unambiguously bar coverage for underlying lawsuits arising out of alleged seismic activity caused by the insured’s oil and gas operations.
NEW ORLEANS — A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court on Nov. 23 held that an appeals court erred in reversing a lower court’s judgment that dismissed a professional malpractice claim against an insurance agent in a lawsuit arising from flood damage, finding that there are no facts under which the insured’s claims against the insurance agent are not perempted.
MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin federal magistrate judge on Nov. 24 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by a homeowners insurer after determining that an expert report submitted by the insurer and based on a post-litigation review of the insurer’s claims handling cannot be used to avoid liability for any bad faith conduct.
NEW ORLEANS — An all-risk commercial liability insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying a claim for business interruption losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic because the insureds did not sustain a direct physical loss to their properties and because the policy’s contamination clause clearly precludes coverage, a Louisiana federal judge said Nov. 19 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss.
NEW CASTLE, Del. — Granting an insurer’s motion to dismiss a coronavirus coverage dispute with prejudice, a Delaware judge on Nov. 18 held that the policy’s “Pollution and Contamination” exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for an insured’s economic losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and related government shutdowns of its six family entertainment centers and two water parks in three states.
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on Nov. 15 granted insurers’ motion to remand their subrogation lawsuit seeking redress for their insurers’ losses arising from the 2017 Creek Fire, finding that the court lacks jurisdiction because defendant Southern California Edison has failed to establish a substantial federal interest.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The owner and manager of a residential development on Nov. 10 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking the high court’s review of a lower court’s order compelling arbitration of an insurance coverage dispute against English underwriters for $5.66 million in Hurricane Harvey damage, arguing that the lower court’s ruling “requires Washington policyholders to arbitrate disputes with foreign insurance companies, notwithstanding a Washington statute that invalidates arbitration agreements in insurance contracts.”
NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Supreme Court on Nov. 17 denied an insured’s application for a writ of certiorari seeking review of an appeals court ruling in favor of a homeowners insurer in its bad faith lawsuit arising from a roof damage claim, refusing to disturb the appeals court’s finding that the trial court was within its discretion in qualifying two witnesses as experts.