Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • June 24, 2022

    2nd Circuit Affirms Prior Acts Exclusion Bars Coverage For Pay Discrimination Suit

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of a directors and officers liability insurer’s motion to dismiss a direct action lawsuit seeking coverage for an underling pay discrimination lawsuit, finding that the prior acts exclusion bars coverage.

  • June 24, 2022

    2nd Circuit Affirms Prior Acts Exclusion Bars Coverage For Pay Discrimination Suit

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of a directors and officers liability insurer’s motion to dismiss a direct action lawsuit seeking coverage for an underling pay discrimination lawsuit, finding that the prior acts exclusion bars coverage.

  • June 24, 2022

    Building Owner, Property Manager Seek Additional Insured Coverage For 2018 Shooting

    BALTIMORE — The owner and property manager of a building leased by the Baltimore Sun Co. LLC sued the newspaper’s commercial general liability insurer in a federal court in Maryland on June 21 seeking a declaration as to additional insured coverage for underlying wrongful death and negligence lawsuits arising from a 2018 shooting in which five newspaper employees were killed.

  • June 24, 2022

    California Panel:  Insurers Have No Duty To Defend Suit Over Sonoma County Parcel

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals panel held June 21 that a federal court’s related coverage ruling precludes relitigation of whether an underlying lawsuit alleging that insureds violated a conservation easement arose from an “accident” to trigger coverage under two insurance policies, affirming a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurers on different grounds.

  • June 24, 2022

    Citing ‘Very Different’ Policy, Judge Partly Rules For Insured In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Partially granting a real estate trust insured’s motion for partial summary judgment in its breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for its business interruption losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge in California on June 15 held that the insured’s “very different” insurance policy has to be interpreted “to encapsulate the very thing for which” the insured seeks coverage.

  • June 23, 2022

    Insurer Withdraws Limited Objections To $1B Champlain Towers Collapse Class Settlement

    MIAMI —Six days after an insurer filed a limited objection to a proposed final judgment, proposed receivership bar order and proposed definition of “settlement class” in a consolidated putative class lawsuit filed by unit owners and estates of those who died in the June 2021 partial collapse of Champlain Towers South (CTS) in Surfside, Fla., the insurer withdrew the objection on June 22.

  • June 23, 2022

    Panel Partially Reverses Ruling, Finds Insurer Has No Duty To Defend All Claims

    MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — An Ohio appeals panel on June 21 reversed a lower court’s denial of a homeowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment as to insured’s claims for assault, battery, negligence, punitive damages and loss of consortium, finding that there is no genuine issue of material fact that the insurance policy does not provide coverage for these underlying claims that  relate to, or arise from, an underlying personal injury.

  • June 21, 2022

    California Panel Affirms Stay Of Coverage Suit Arising From Opioid Epidemic

    SANTA ANA, Calif. —A California appeals panel on June 20 affirmed a lower court’s grant of pharmaceutical and distributor insureds’ motion to stay their insurers’ declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for claims over the insureds’ distribution of opioids, finding the insurers failed to satisfy their burden to demonstrate the lower court abused its discretion in staying their lawsuit pending resolution of a related West Virginia lawsuit.

  • June 21, 2022

    Parties Stipulate To Dismissal Of Coverage Suit Arising From Sex Trafficking Claims

    ATLANTA — The owner, operator and franchisors of a Marietta, Ga., hotel and their insurer on June 17 stipulated and agreed to dismiss as moot all claims and counterclaims in the insurer’s lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying sex trafficking claims against the insureds, noting that the underlying action has been dismissed.

  • June 21, 2022

    Illinois Panel:  Intentional Acts Exclusion Bars Coverage For Consumer Fraud Suit

    ELGIN, Ill. — An Illinois appeals panel on June 17 determined that a lower court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of car dealership insured in a coverage dispute over underlying consumer fraud claims, finding that reversal is warranted because the policy’s intentional acts exclusion bars coverage.

  • June 20, 2022

    S.D. High Court:  Concurrent Cause Doctrine Does Not Apply In Farm Liability Suit

    PIERRE, S.D.— The South Dakota Supreme Court on June 15 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit disputing farm liability coverage for an underlying personal injury lawsuit involving a utility-terrain vehicle (UTV), finding that alleged acts of independent negligence by the farm owners are part and parcel of the victim’s use of the UTV.

  • June 20, 2022

    California Panel Reverses Judgment In Coverage Suit Over Damaged Art

    LOS ANGELES — In a case that “spans nearly 15 years and fills several bookcases,” a California appeals panel on June 16 held that a lower court prejudicially erred in issuing a jury instruction in a coverage dispute over damaged art, finding that reversal is warranted “because there is a reasonable chance the court’s error affected the jury's verdict on the insureds' breach of contract and bad faith claims” against its insurer.

  • June 17, 2022

    Indiana High Court Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Suit Over Dram Shop Act Claims

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court on June 16 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage lawsuit arising from underlying claims that the insureds violated Indiana’s Dram Shop Act, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify under businessowners insurance policies that were issued to two clubs and a liquor liability insurance policy that was issued to one club.

  • June 17, 2022

    Panel: Restaurant Did Not Suffer ‘Direct Physical Loss Of Or Damage To Property’

    CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals panel on June 15 held that a restaurant insured did not incur “direct physical loss of or damage to property” under a commercial property insurance policy when the insured suspended or scaled back its operations as required by governmental restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, affirming a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurer.

  • June 16, 2022

    Panel Finds ‘No Reversible Error’ In Court’s No Coverage Ruling In COVID-19 Dispute

    RICHMOND, Va. — Dispensing with oral argument, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in an insured’s lawsuit seeking a declaration as to business interruption coverage for the effects on its business and operations from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • June 16, 2022

    Louisiana Majority Finds Policy Language Ambiguous In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — A majority of a Louisiana appeals court on June 15 held that an insurance policy is ambiguous and capable of more than one reasonable interpretation as to coverage for a French Quarter restaurant insured’s lost business income arising from the coronavirus pandemic, reversing a lower court’s judgment against the insured and holding that coverage exists for the insured’s loss or damage caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to” its premises as a result of COVID-19 contamination.

  • June 16, 2022

    Motion To Dismiss Insured’s Claims In COVID, Pollution Suit Properly Denied

    BRONX, N.Y. — A trial court did not err in denying 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 meet its burden of proving that no coverage is afforded under the policy for the losses, the First Department of the New York County Supreme Court Appellate Division said June 14.

  • June 16, 2022

    Allocation Agreement Altered; Final Approval Of $1B Condo Collapse Pact Sought

    MIAMI — A Florida judge on June 13 issued a supplemental order approving a previously announced increase of the allocation settlement agreement for unit owners suing over the June 2021 partial collapse of Champlain Towers South (CTS) in Surfside, Fla., and granted a request by the receiver for an extension of the deadline to submit the proposed form escrow agreement due to a “dispute” between one group of settling defendants and its insurers.

  • June 15, 2022

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Professional Negligence Claim Against Insurance Broker

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a professional negligence claim against an insurance broker in a lawsuit arising from claims that the construction firm insured’s negligence caused damages to a retaining wall, finding that the lower court did not err in concluding that the insured failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether it could prevail on its professional negligence claim.

  • June 14, 2022

    Judge Enters $1.4M Judgment For D&O Insurer In Coverage Dispute Over SEC Suits

    WILMINGTON, Del. — One day after an insurer and its insured stipulated for entry of a $1.4 million judgment in favor of the insurer to expedite the insured’s ability to appeal, a federal judge in Delaware on June 7 signed the order after finding last month that the insurer is entitled to a declaration of no coverage and no bad faith, recoupment of underlying defense costs and summary judgment on all but one of the insured’s counterclaims in a directors and officers liability coverage dispute arising from lawsuits brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission and shareholders.