Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • July 21, 2021

    6th Circuit: Court Correctly Affirmed Arbitration Award In Crop Insurance Dispute

    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.

  • July 20, 2021

    Federal Judge Dismisses Health Care Provider’s $1.25B Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    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.

  • July 20, 2021

    Coverage Not Limited To Injury Arising Out Of ‘Advertising Activities,’ Panel Says

    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.

  • July 20, 2021

    Federal Judge Dismisses Motion Picture Company’s COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    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.

  • July 19, 2021

    Parties Announce Tentative Settlement Of Coverage Suit Arising From Worker Injury

    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.

  • July 19, 2021

    5th Circuit Dismisses Insureds’ Appeal Of COVID-19 Dispute For Want Of Prosecution

    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.

  • July 16, 2021

    Justice:  Policy Terms ‘Utterly Refute’ Breach Of Contract Suit Prompted By COVID-19

    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.

  • July 16, 2021

    Negligence Claim Against Broker Is Ripe For Adjudication, Federal Judge Rules  

    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.

  • July 15, 2021

    Panel Reverses Ruling In Law Firm’s Favor Following Florida High Court’s Answer

    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.

  • July 15, 2021

    Arbitration Request In False Claims Act Suit Frivolous, Relators Say

    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.

  • July 14, 2021

    Federal Judge Blocks Portion Of New Florida Property Insurance Law

    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.”

  • July 14, 2021

    Pennsylvania Panel Affirms Insurer Had Duty To Defend Personal Injury Suit

    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.

  • July 13, 2021

    Roundup Of Latest Briefs Over Coronavirus 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.

  • July 13, 2021

    Fraud, Profits Exclusion Bar Directors And Officers Coverage, 5th Circuit Affirms

    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.

  • July 13, 2021

    Absolute Firearms Exclusion Bars Coverage, Judge Rules On Issue Of 1st Impression

    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.

  • July 13, 2021

    S.D. Supreme Court Accepts Certified Question Over Insurance Liquidation Statute

    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.

  • July 13, 2021

    Delaware Judge Dismisses 2nd Insurer From Private Equity Firms’ Coverage Suit

    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.

  • July 12, 2021

    Judge Denies Assignee’s Motion To Amend Professional Liability Coverage Complaint

    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.

  • July 12, 2021

    No Coverage For Counterclaims Against Credit Union, 8th Circuit Affirms

    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.

  • July 12, 2021

    Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Criminal Indictment Claims, Panel Says

    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.