CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 20 held that a lower federal court properly affirmed an arbitration award to reimburse a crop insurer for its overpayment of an indemnity claim, finding that the arbitrator’s award respected a federal agency’s finding that a crop insurer may reject a claim based on the insured’s poor record-keeping alone and may obtain retroactive reimbursement for the overpaid claim on that basis.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on July 7 granted two commercial property insurers’ motion to dismiss Northwell Health Inc.’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking $1.25 billion in coverage for its property and business interruption losses and decontamination costs arising out of the coronavirus pandemic and denied as moot Northwell’s motion for partial summary judgment.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota appeals court held July 19 that a lower court erred in finding that an insured’s coverage was limited to injury arising out of its “advertising activities,” reversing the lower court’s finding that insurers have no duty to defend against underlying counterclaims prompted by the insured’s lawsuit seeking to recover fees from a gun club and remanding for further proceedings.
LOS ANGELES — One day after a motion picture company insured and its insurer filed a joint stipulation of dismissal, a federal judge in California on July 16 dismissed without prejudice the insured’s lawsuit alleging that its insurer refused to extend its “film producers risk” insurance policy when the production of the movie “Hypnotic” starring Ben Affleck was delayed by risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
SAN FRANCISCO — Primary and excess commercial insurers and their insured on July 16 announced that they reached a tentative settlement of the insurers’ declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured failed to use reasonable care in fulfilling its duty to oversee job site safety regarding the hazards associated with construction yard traffic.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 dismissed insureds’ appeal of a Louisiana federal court’s grant of their businessowners insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in their lawsuit seeking coverage for their alleged losses prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the appellants failed to timely file their brief and record excerpts.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York justice on July 15 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for the plaintiff’s alleged business income losses arising from the governmental restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the policy terms “serve to utterly refute” the breach of contract claims.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on July 13 denied an insurance broker’s motion to dismiss an insured’s negligence claim arising from insurers’ denial of coverage for alleged structural damage to the insured’s newly built facility, finding that the insured’s purported harm due to the insurers’ coverage denial renders its claim against the broker as ripe as its claims against the insurer.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals court on July 14 reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a law firm insured and remand for proceedings consistent with the Florida Supreme Court’s finding that an insurer has standing to maintain a legal malpractice lawsuit against counsel who was hired to represent its insured where the insurer is contractually subrogated to the insured's rights under the policy.
GULFPORT, Miss. — A federal judge in Mississippi should deny an insurer’s motion to compel arbitration of claims under the False Claims Act (FCA) and stay all proceedings in relators’ 15-year-old qui tam suit accusing the insurer of filing false flood insurance claims after Hurricane Katrina because the motion is frivolous and the insurer failed to address “obvious issues” in its motion, waiting instead to address them in a forthcoming reply brief, the relators argue in a May 27 opposition brief.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A portion of a new Florida property insurance law that bans “written or electronic communication that encourages, induces or instructs someone to contact a contractor or public adjuster for the purpose of filing an insurance claim for roof damage” violates First Amendment rights, a federal judge in Florida ruled July 11 in granting a preliminary injunction that prohibits the secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation from enforcing the law as it pertains to “prohibited advertisements.”
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Superior Court on July 13 affirmed a lower court’s judgment in favor of an insured in his lawsuit seeking homeowners insurance coverage for an underlying personal injury lawsuit, finding that the underlying allegations pleaded an occurrence under the policy and that the intentional acts exclusion does not apply to bar coverage.
From a Florida restaurant’s notice of appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to restaurant insureds asking the North Carolina Supreme Court to assume immediate jurisdiction of an insurer’s appeal, Mealey Publications takes a look at the latest pleadings relating to insurance coverage for COVID-19.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 affirmed that two directors and officers insurers owe no coverage for underlying fraud and breach of fiduciary claims, finding that the policies’ fraud and profits exclusions bar coverage.
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania judge on June 30 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in its declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing liquor liability coverage for an underlying wrongful death lawsuit against its American Legion Post insured, finding that a comparison of the underlying complaint to the controlling policy language “indisputably reveals” that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The same day the South Dakota Supreme Court accepted certification of a question involving the state’s insurance liquidation statute in a lawsuit in which the liquidator of ReliaMax Surety Co. (RSC) seeks a declaration that coverage exists under a claims-made excess insurance policy above a directors and officers (D&O) policy for a $21 million wrongful acts claim, a federal judge in South Dakota on June 28 denied without prejudice the liquidator’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and alternative motion for summary judgment and the insurer’s motion for summary judgment to refile after the South Dakota high court rules on the certified question.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on July 6 dismissed a second insurer from private equity firm insureds’ lawsuit seeking coverage for their $120 million settlement with the bankruptcy estate of a retail fashion holding company they acquired four days after the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal and less than three weeks after another insurer was dismissed.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska on July 7 denied a motion by an insured’s assignees to amend their complaint against a professional liability insurer, finding that the assignees have failed to demonstrate good cause to modify the scheduling and planning order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4) and that the proposed amendment is futile under Rule 15.
ST. LOUIS —The Eighth Circuit U.S Court of Appeals on July 9 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that there was no possibility of commercial general liability coverage for a credit union insured’s damages incurred litigating and settling an underlying consumer class action because alleged "loss of use” damages were not caused by an “occurrence” and all alleged damages stemmed from the insured’s provision of credit union financial services that are unambiguously excluded from coverage.
OWENSBORO, Ky. — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 affirmed a district court’s ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend insured directors and officers who were indicted for violating federal law by allegedly manipulating dust sampling equipment and testing processes at a company mine because the policies’ pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage for the underlying claims against the insureds.