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Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • June 25, 2019

    Insured: Coverage Was Triggered For $25M Damage Arising From Refinery Fire

    ST. LOUIS — An insured recently asked the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit seeking coverage for $25 million in damages arising from a fire at an oil refinery, contending that the lower court failed to recognize that the underlying claims are dependent upon allegations that it was responsible for the failure of the pipe elbow that caused the fire and covered property damage (Murphy Oil Corporation v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 19-1140, 8th Cir.).

  • June 21, 2019

    Federal Judge Grants Motion To Compel Arbitration, Stay Hurricane Irma Dispute

    MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on June 14 found that all of the jurisdictional prerequisites to compel arbitration of a Hurricane Irma coverage suit under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards have been met, granting the insurer’s motion to compel arbitration and stay the insured’s lawsuit (Gold Coast Property Management Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, et al., No. 18-23693, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99997).

  • June 20, 2019

    Policy Does Not Provide Blanket Coverage For Flood Damage, Judge Says In Irma Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on June 17 held that a commercial property insurance policy’s $10 million flood coverage limit is subject to a statement of values and does not provide blanket coverage in a Hurricane Irma coverage suit, ruling in favor of the insurer (Aligned Bayshore Holdings v. Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. 18-21692, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100453).

  • June 17, 2019

    Judge Refuses To Dismiss Claim Seeking Attorney Fees Against Insurer Under EAJA

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on June 13 denied a federal flood insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s request for attorney fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) in a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute, finding that it is at least plausible at this juncture that attorney fees may be paid by Federal Emergency Management Agency from federal funds (Armando Arevalo v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, No. 19-159, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99000).

  • June 14, 2019

    Magistrate Allows Insurer To Inspect Property In Hurricane Matthew Suit

    GREENVILLE, N.C. —A North Carolina federal magistrate judge on June 11 granted in part a federal flood insurer’s motion to enter and inspect an insureds’ property in a coverage dispute over flood damage caused by Hurricane Matthew but denied the insurer’s request to have a U.S. Marshal present during the inspection (Daniel Felix, et al. v. US Attorney General, et al., No. 18-31, E.D. N.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97583).

  • June 12, 2019

    New York Panel Affirms No Coverage For Superstorm Sandy Flood Damage

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York appeals panel on May 8 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of commercial insurer in the insured’s breach of contract lawsuit arising from Superstorm Sandy damage (Hudson Shore Associates, L.P. v Praetorian Insurance Company, No. 2017-07124, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Dept., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3561).

  • June 12, 2019

    Judge Closes Hurricane Irma Suit After Parties Reach An Agreement In Principle

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on May 29 dismissed a coverage dispute over Hurricane Irma for administrative purposes five days after the insureds and their federal flood insurer indicated that they reached an agreement in principle to settle (Joan Rodriguez Grau, et al. v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, et al., No. 18-24188, S.D. Fla.).

  • June 11, 2019

    5th Circuit Panel Refuses To Rehear Environmental Damage Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 denied  a petition for rehearing filed by a company that conducted fracking operations on an insured's facility asking it to reconsider its ruling that reversed a federal court's finding that a site pollution legal liability insurer waived its subrogation rights under an onshore master services agreement (MSA) (Halliburton Energy Services Inc. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-20678 consolidated with No. 18-20239, 5th Cir.).

  • June 10, 2019

    Judge Dismisses Flood Coverage Suit After Parties Announce Confidential Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 29 signed an order dismissing with prejudice insureds’ lawsuit arising from flood damage one day after the insureds and their insurer announced that they reached a confidential settlement following mediation (Alicia Martin v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 17-04066, N.D. Calif.).

  • June 7, 2019

    Judge Enters Final Order Of Dismissal In Federal Flood Coverage Suit

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on June 3 entered a final order dismissing with prejudice insureds’ breach of contract lawsuit against their federal flood insurer after the parties announced that they reached an amicable settlement (Robert Britz, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-10034, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49427).

  • June 5, 2019

    Statute Of Limitations Bars Federal Flood Insurance Claim, Majority Affirms

    NEW ORLEANS — A majority of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that the National Flood Insurance Act’s one-year statute of limitations barred the insured's federal flood insurance claim arising from a May 2015 storm in Houston, finding that the insured failed to timely file his lawsuit in the correct court (Ali Ekhlassi v. National Lloyds Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-20228, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 16808).

  • June 3, 2019

    Florida Condo Association Sues Insurer For Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith

    ORLANDO, Fla. — A condominium association on May 16 sued an insurer for breach of contract, unfair settlement practices and bad faith in a Florida court, alleging that its covered property damages caused by a Sept. 10, 2017, storm “were obvious had Defendant conducted an impartial and adequate inspection of the premises” (Reserve at Pershing Oaks Condominium Association v. Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company, No. 19-00931, Fla. Cir.).

  • May 31, 2019

    Insurer:  Arbitration Clause Is Vague, Ambiguous In Dispute With Reinsurers

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — In a Puerto Rico federal court dispute against reinsurers regarding hurricane losses, an insurer argues in its May 28 surreply that the text of an arbitration clause is vague and ambiguous regardless of whether the insurer has filed arbitration proceedings (Integrand Assurance Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., et al., No. 19-01111, D. Puerto Rico).

  • May 30, 2019

    Fracking Company Asks Panel To Rehear Environmental Damage Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — A company that conducted fracking operations on an insured’s facility on May 15 filed a petition asking a panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling that reversed a federal court's finding that a site pollution legal liability insurer waived its subrogation rights under an onshore master services agreement (MSA) (Halliburton Energy Services Inc. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-20678 consolidated with No. 18-20239, 5th Cir.).

  • May 30, 2019

    Insured: Court Improperly Held FEMA’s Conduct Is Beyond Scope Of Judicial Oversight

    NEW ORLEANS — In a May 20 reply brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an insured argues that a lower federal court erred in ruling that the actions by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Superstorm Sandy claims review process are beyond the scope of judicial oversight in his quest to reverse the dismissal of his lawsuit alleging that he was wrongfully denied $141,274.50 in insurance proceeds for Superstorm Sandy damage to his Long Beach, N.Y., home (David Clutter v. William B. Long, et al., No. 18-3520, 2nd Cir.).

  • May 28, 2019

    Jury Charge Error Was Not Harmless, Texas Panel Says, Reverses Coverage Dispute

    AMARILLO, Texas — A Texas appeals panel on May 17 held that error in a jury charge was not harmless in a breach of contract and unfair settlement practices lawsuit against a homeowners insurer, reversing and remanding for a new trial (State Farm Lloyds v. Robert MacKeen, et al., No. 07-17-00175, Texas App., 7th Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 4047).

  • May 28, 2019

    Parties In Hurricane Irma Dispute Reach An Agreement In Principle After Mediation

    MIAMI — Florida insureds and their federal flood insurer on May 24 filed a notice of settlement in a federal court, indicating that they reached an agreement in principle to settle their coverage dispute over Hurricane Irma damage (Joan Rodriguez Grau, et al. v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, et al., No. 18-24188, S.D. Fla.).

  • May 24, 2019

    Insurer Granted Summary Judgment On All Claims In Bad Faith Suit

    SAN ANTONIO — An insured has failed to present any evidence showing that his insurer failed to timely investigate his claim for roof damage and, thus, has failed to state a claim for insurance bad faith, a federal judge in Texas ruled May 15 in granting the insurer’s summary judgment motion (Mark Sadovsky v. Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-271, W.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83864).

  • May 24, 2019

    Insured Alleges Insurer Paid Only $2.6M Of Its $39.6M Hurricane Maria Losses

    BOSTON — An insured on May 21 sued its insurer for bad faith in a federal district court, alleging that the insurer has made no payment on almost half of its 228 claims for a total of $39.6 million in damage caused by Hurricane Maria (Capital Crossing Servicing Company LLC v. Mapfre Praico Insurance Company, No. 19-11157, D. Mass.).

  • May 23, 2019

    Federal Judges Rules In Favor Of Insurer In Coverage Dispute Over Hailstorm Damage

    DALLAS — A federal judge in Texas on May 21 found that summary judgment in favor of an insurer is appropriate because it has established that noncovered hail events could have caused some of the insured’s damage to the roof of its warehouse facility and the insured has failed to present evidence that presents a reasonable basis upon which a jury could segregate its damages (Generation Trade, Inc. v. Ohio Security Insurance Company, No. 18-0434, N.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85165).