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Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • December 10, 2018

    Policy Endorsement Limits Coverage For Sewage Backup, Panel Says

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appellate panel on Dec. 3 affirmed a trial court’s ruling that a policy’s custom endorsement limitation applies to cap an insurer’s coverage responsibility to $25,000 for damages caused by a sewage backup in an insured restaurant because the endorsement clearly excluded loss for business income or extra expenses  (Fouzia Salih v. Ohio Security Insurance Co., No. A-1179-17T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2647).

  • December 7, 2018

    Magistrate Recommends Ruling In Insurers’ Favor In Fraud Suit Over Hurricane Damage

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A New York federal magistrate judge on Dec. 4 recommended granting motions for summary judgment filed by a homeowners insurer and a federal flood insurer in a lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irene damage, finding that the plaintiff had no insurable interest in the property at the time of the alleged loss (Richard John Hudecek v. Travelers Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-7160, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206435).

  • December 7, 2018

    Protective Order Issued In Coverage Dispute Over Alleged Wind Damage

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on Dec. 6 granted insureds and their insurer’s joint motion for entry or a protective order that governs the exchange of confidential information during discovery in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute arising from commercial property damage allegedly caused by a wind event (Mr. And Mrs. John W. Weimar v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, No. 17-584, M.D. La.).

  • December 7, 2018

    Federal Flood Insurer Answers 2 Complaints In Louisiana Flood Coverage Suit

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Wright National Flood Insurance Co. recently answered two complaints filed in a Louisiana federal court seeking coverage for August 2016 flood damage, arguing that the insureds’ claims are barred to the extent they failed to submit a timely and proper proof of loss pursuant to their Standard Flood Insurance Policies (Rebecca and Louis Deshotel v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 18-202, and Stephanie LaValley v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 18-00268, M.D. La.).

  • December 5, 2018

    MDL Judge Dismisses Cases Over Malaysia Flight Disappearance

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal multidistrict litigation judge on Nov. 21 dismissed lawsuits against airlines and an insurer arising out of the disappearance of a flight because the claims “have a substantial and overriding nexus to Malaysia that outweighs the less substantial connection to the United States” (In re:  Air Crash over the southern Indian Ocean, on March 8, 2014, No. 16-1184, MDL No. 2712, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198598).

  • December 5, 2018

    Insurer Reinforces Motion To Dismiss Breach Of Contract Dispute Over Flood Damage

    NEWARK, N.J. — In an Oct. 29 reply brief filed in a New Jersey federal court, a federal flood insurer reinforced its motion to dismiss an insured's breach of contract lawsuit arising from alleged flood damage to a commercial warehouse (Hakim International Trading, et al. v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-02874, D. N.J.).

  • December 5, 2018

    Insured Asks Texas High Court To Review Take-Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Suit

    AUSTIN, Texas — An insured recently asked the Texas Supreme Court to review an appeals court’s reversal of a ruling in its favor in a dispute over homeowners insurance coverage for the insured’s Hurricane Ike damage (Ozier Hurst v. National Security Fire & Casualty Co., et al., No.  17-0719, Texas Sup.).

  • December 4, 2018

    Federal Flood Insurer Responds To Suit Over Hurricane Irma Structural Damage

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A federal flood insurer on Nov. 13 answered a Florida insured’s federal complaint alleging that it failed to adequately compensate him for his structural building damage caused by Hurricane Irma (Keith Chatman v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-01204, M.D. Fla.).

  • December 4, 2018

    Insurance Commissioner Seeks To Liquidate Insurer Following California Fires

    MERCED, Calif. — As a result of the fires in Paradise, Calif., the California insurance commissioner on Nov. 30 requested to be appointed liquidator for Merced Property & Casualty Co. because the insurer projects to be insolvent from those fires losses (Insurance Commissioner of the state of California v. Merced Property & Casualty Co., No. N/a, Calif. Super., Merced Co.).

  • November 30, 2018

    Federal Judge Issues Protective Order As To Discovery In Flood Coverage Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 27 signed a stipulated protective order regarding disclosure and discovery in an insured’s lawsuit arising from flood damage (Alicia Martin v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 17-04066, N.D. Calif.).

  • November 29, 2018

    Florida Panel Again Reverses, Remands $542,883 Judgment In Sinkhole Dispute

    LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on Nov. 16 again reversed and remanded a $542,883.49 judgment in favor of the insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute, finding that its determination that the jury instructions were confusing and may have misled the jury was not affected by a 2016 decision by the Florida Supreme Court (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Rona Salkey, et al., No. 2D14-3002 consolidated with No. 2D14-5077, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 16438).

  • November 20, 2018

    Flood Insurer Not Prejudiced By 1-Day Delay In Service Of Suit

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 14 denied a flood insurer’s motion to dismiss after determining that the insurer was not prejudiced by a one-day delay in service of the insureds’ suit (Brian J. Pennington, et al. v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, No. 18-588, M.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194667).

  • November 20, 2018

    Remand Of Suit Seeking Business Interruption Costs Not Warranted, Judge Says

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Nov, 19 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds in a suit alleging that their insurer acted in bad faith in ceasing payments for business interruption losses caused by mold growth within the insureds’ dental office because the suit does not present an exceptional circumstance that would warrant abstention by the federal court (Anthony J. Vitale DMD, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 18-8988, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197043).

  • November 16, 2018

    Insured Reinforces Argument That Exception To Pollution Exclusion Does Not Apply

    CHICAGO — An insured recently replied to an insurer’s response in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, reiterating its argument seeking reversal of a federal judge's ruling in favor of the insurer on the applicability of the sudden and accidental exception to the pollution exclusion (Varlen Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-3212, 7th Cir.).

  • November 16, 2018

    Parties Jointly Move For Protective Order In Earthquake Damage Coverage Suit

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An insured and its insurer on Nov. 9 filed a joint motion for an agreed protective order in an Oklahoma federal court, seeking protection for document production that may include confidential information in a coverage dispute over earthquake damage (VTT Management Inc v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 17-767, W.D. Okla.).

  • November 13, 2018

    Delay In Settling Collapse Claim Was Unreasonable, Vexatious, Panel Says

    ELGIN, Ill. — A trial court did not err in finding that an insurer’s delay in settling a claim following the collapse of an insured building was unreasonable and vexatious because the insurer failed to offer a written explanation for the denial of certain costs, failed to complete the property investigation and failed to complete a determination of liability, the Second District Illinois Appellate Court said Nov. 8 (Charter Properties Inc. v. Rockford Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2-17-0637, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 829).

  • November 12, 2018

    On Remand, Texas Court Again Rules In Insurer’s Favor In Storm Damage Dispute

    FORT WORTH, Texas — After the Texas Supreme Court remanded an appellate court’s ruling in favor of a homeowners insurer in a coverage dispute over storm damage, an appellate panel on Nov. 8 concluded that no evidence exists that the insureds’ property damage was caused by or solely attributable to a covered peril (Richard Seim, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, et al., No. 02-16-00050, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 9190).

  • November 12, 2018

    Insurer To Federal Court: Mold Exclusion Precludes Hurricane Damage

    MIAMI — A commercial general liability insurer cites a mold exclusion among others in its Nov. 8 complaint seeking a declaratory judgment from a Florida federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify damages caused by a condominium association’s failure to remediate mold following a hurricane (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Aquasol Condominium Association Inc., et al., No. 18-24692, S.D. Fla.).

  • November 7, 2018

    Federal Judge Denies Insured’s Motion To Remand Coverage Dispute Over Flood Damage

    ALEXANDRIA, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 18 denied an insured’s motion to remand its lawsuit against a federal flood insurer and an insurance agent after a magistrate issued a report recommending that the motion be denied (Marks Real Estate Co., LLC v. Richard E. Jewell, et al., No. 18-00546, W.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180083).

  • November 7, 2018

    Judge: United States Has Not Waived Sovereign Immunity For Flood Damage Claims

    NEW ORLEANS — A judge on Oct. 24 held that a Louisiana federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over an insured’s breach of contract complaint because the United States has not waived sovereign immunity for the insureds’ claims, dismissing the lawsuit over flood damage (Joelle Carmouche v. The National Flood Insurance Program, et al., No. 17-11479, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182394).