Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • June 04, 2021

    Judge Dismisses Consolidated Class Actions Seeking Coverage For COVID-19 Losses

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on May 28 granted insurers’ motion to dismiss consolidated class actions of hundreds of western Washington businesses seeking coverage for their lost income stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that COVID-19 does not cause the physical loss or damage to the insureds’ property that is required as a condition precedent to trigger coverage.

  • June 03, 2021

    Insurer Undervalued Hurricane Damage Losses, Insureds Allege

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — An insurer acted in bad faith and breached the terms of a homeowners insurance policy by failing to timely tender compensation to its insureds and undervalued the damages sustained for covered losses as a result of losses sustained by Hurricane Laura, the insureds allege in a complaint filed June 1 in Louisiana federal court.

  • June 03, 2021

    Florida Majority Affirms Jury Verdict In Insureds’ Favor In Hurricane Irma Suit

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on June 2 held that a reasonable view of the evidence supports a jury verdict awarding $26,425 in damages in favor of insureds in their breach of contract lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irma damage, finding that the jury did not err in finding that the insureds did not intentionally conceal or misrepresent material facts, engage in fraudulent conduct or make material false statements.

  • June 01, 2021

    Judge OKs Expert In Insurance Coverage Dispute, Grants Partial Summary Judgment

    HOUSTON — An insurer was unable to convince a Texas federal judge on May 21 that an expert testifying in a dispute over whether a roof was damaged during a storm is unqualified under Federal Rule of Evidence 702, but the judge did grant summary judgment on a breach of contract and bad faith claim.

  • June 01, 2021

    Judge Grants Insured’s Motion To Remand COVID-19 Coverage Suit To Louisiana Court

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on May 26 granted a strip mall and hotel owner insured’s second motion to remand its lawsuit seeking business interruption and extra expense coverage for its alleged losses arising from the government stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that “it is imperative that the Court defer to the Louisiana judiciary in interpreting the emerging questions of Louisiana state law implicated by this case.”

  • June 01, 2021

    Judge:  Coronavirus Losses Fail To Trigger Business Income, Civil Authority Coverage

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 26 held that an “all-risks” insurance policy does not provide coverage for an insured’s business income losses incurred while its operations were suspended following Gov. Tom Wolf’s March 19, 2020, order in response to the coronavirus pandemic, further finding that there is no coverage available under the policy’s civil authority provision and the policy’s virus exclusion also bars recovery.

  • May 28, 2021

    Insured: ‘No Lawful Basis’ For Insurer To Deny Coverage For Looting, Water Damages

    PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia property owner on May 24 sued its insurer for breach of contract and bad faith in a Pennsylvania court, seeking more than $200,000 in property damage caused by looting and subsequent water damage.

  • May 27, 2021

    Insurer Says District Court’s Ruling On COVID-19 Losses Must Be Affirmed

    ATLANTA — A district court correctly found that an insured restaurant chain’s claim for loss of business income caused by shutdown orders issued by state governors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is not covered because the decision is clearly supported by the insurance policy’s language and because the policy’s contamination exclusion bars coverage, an insurer says in a May 26 appellee brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • May 26, 2021

    Judge Refuses To Vacate Dismissal Of Franchise Owners’ $41M Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on May 24 denied a motion to vacate filed by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, refusing to disturb her dismissal of their breach of contract lawsuit alleging $40,798,390 in damages for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • May 26, 2021

    Coronavirus Does Not Constitute Pollution Condition, Federal Judge Determines

    MINNEAPOLIS — The virus that causes COVID-19 does not constitute a pollution condition under a premises pollution liability policy, a Minnesota federal judge said May 25 in granting an insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s complaint seeking business interruption losses caused by the shutdown of nonessential businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • May 25, 2021

    Owners Of Custom Men’s Clothing Stores Appeal No Coverage Ruling In COVID-19 Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — Insureds on May 22 filed a notice in a Louisiana federal court indicating that they are appealing an April 23 ruling that granted a businessowners insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in their lawsuit seeking coverage for their alleged losses prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • May 24, 2021

    COVID-19 Is Not Biological Agent, Pollution Condition, Florida Federal Judge Says

    MIAMI — No coverage is owed for an insured’s business losses sustained as a result of shutdown orders issued to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus because the insured failed to show that the virus is a biological agent as defined in the policy’s pollution condition endorsement, a Florida federal judge said May 20 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss.

  • May 24, 2021

    Bad Faith Claim To Proceed In Cyberattack Coverage Dispute, Judge Determines

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on May 17 determined that an insured’s bad faith claim against its businessowners insurer and arising out of the insurer’s denial of business interruption losses caused by a cyberattack can proceed because the insured’s allegations are enough to support a claim for bad faith against the insurer.

  • May 21, 2021

    Judge: Insurer’s Third-Party Claims Fail In Dispute Arising From Tornado Damage

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on May 19 held that a commercial property and business interruption insurer’s third-party claims against a broker’s affiliate and a manufacturer insured’s parent company fail and must be dismissed from a coverage dispute over the insured’s alleged $60 million to $100 million loss caused by tornado damage to its glass manufacturing facility.

  • May 21, 2021

    Panel: Court Did Not Err In Forgoing Appraisal In Hurricane Irma Coverage Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on May 19 held that a lower court did not err as a matter of law and did not err in exercising its discretion to forgo appraisal in a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute until it reached the enforceability issues raised in the merits of the insureds’ declaratory judgment claims.

  • May 20, 2021

    Convention Center Owner Tells 7th Circuit Its Policy Interpretation Is Reasonable

    CHICAGO — The owner of a hotel, restaurant and convention center on May 7 reiterated its argument asking the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that its interpretation of its “all-risk” insurance policy’s business income coverage is reasonable and, therefore, the insurer has failed to establish the “legal insufficiency” of its complaint.

  • May 20, 2021

    Insurer Accuses Art Gallery Of ‘Misdirection’ In Coronavirus Coverage Dispute

    NEW YORK — An insurer in a May 7 appellee brief asserts that New York law is settled on the meaning of “direct physical loss” and that the several pages an art gallery insured “devotes to cites from jurisdictions far and wide is nothing but an exercise in misdirection” and asks the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a lower federal court’s dismissal of the insured’s complaint for failing to assert facts establishing “direct physical loss of or physical damage to” its gallery.

  • May 20, 2021

    Florida Panel Reverses $25,454 Judgment Against Insurer In Hurricane Irma Dispute

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on May 19 reversed a lower court’s order that granted insureds’ motion to enforce payment of an appraisal award and entered judgment against their insurer in the amount of $25,454.44, finding that the insurer did not fail to comply with any conditions precedent that were necessary for the formation of a repair contract.

  • May 19, 2021

    Unreliable Methodology Dooms Expert Testimony In Insurance Spat, Federal Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on May 11 said the methodology used by an expert to determine the cost of repairs for a home struck by lightning “casts doubt on the reliability of his conclusions” and granted the insurer’s motion to exclude in the coverage dispute.

  • May 19, 2021

    11th Circuit Raises Jurisdictional Question In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 12 asked the owner of a Florida restaurant and its insurer to address whether the relevant pleadings in a coronavirus coverage lawsuit sufficiently alleged the citizenship of the parties to invoke a Florida federal court’s jurisdiction in the first instance.

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