PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on June 16 ruled that an insurer is not obligated to pay defense costs a cotton grower’s association incurred during an international arbitration with an Indian company because the cotton grower did not file a claim regarding the arbitration until more than three years after it received a demand for arbitration, which the judge said constituted the commencement of the claim.
ATLANTA— The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 held that a professional liability insurance policy’s innocent insured provision unambiguously allows coverage for an innocent insured when the principal insured did not comply with the policy’s reporting provision requirements, vacating a lower federal court’s partial summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer and remanding.
CHICAGO — A businessowners liability insurer on June 1 filed suit in a federal court in Illinois seeking a declaration that it does not owe coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that the owners and operators of Wing Stop violated the Biometric Information Privacy Act by capturing, collecting, storing and/or disseminating its employees’ biometric information without their valid consent.
From a new complaint filed in a federal court by the owners and operators of various bars, restaurants and taverns, including the Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, to a notice of appeal to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, Mealey Publications takes a look at the latest pleadings relating to insurance coverage for COVID-19.
PORTLAND — A federal judge in Oregon on June 14 held that a professional liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured against an underlying lawsuit asserting “incomplete, negligent, and defective” architectural designs for a psychiatric hospital, finding that the policy’s breach of contract exclusion does not preclude coverage.
ATLANTA — Indicating that they have negotiated a settlement, a multimedia liability insurer and a radio station insured on June 14 filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice of the insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for Hulk Hogan’s 2016 allegations that the insured and its employees conspired to disseminate videotaped recordings of sexual encounters between Hogan and the wife of a Tampa, Fla., radio personality.
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on June 11 held that under Illinois law, it was not reasonable for a pharmaceutical corporation insured to expect excess insurance coverage for punitive damages that were imposed due to its negligence, granting the excess insurer’s motion for summary judgment in its declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for part of an underlying $20.5 million judgment arising from claims that the insured “knowingly and intentionally omitted information about the serious risk of bodily harm to patients who were prescribed both a serotonergic psychiatric medication and methylene blue.”
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California appeals panel on June 11 held that the record failed to support the duty of care element of a negligence claim and wrongful use required to support a elder financial abuse claim, reversing a lower court’s $2,920,000 judgment against a life insurer in a lawsuit arising from an annuity sold by an independent agent.
WILMINTON, Del. — A professional liability insurer on June 11 filed a notice of interlocutory appeal to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a federal court’s finding that it has a duty to defend against an underlying class action alleging that a senior living facility and its owners breached their contractual duties to provide adequate staffing and personal care.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on June 10 granted an engineering company insured’s motion to remand its declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking professional liability coverage for an underlying professional negligence lawsuit, finding that the factors in GrandTrunk W.R. Co. v. Consolidated Rail Corp. “point heavily toward remand.”
TOPEKA, Kan. — A insurer on June 3 filed a dismissal with prejudice of its lawsuit disputing directors and officers liability coverage for underlying shareholder claims after the insurer, in response to a federal magistrate judge in Kansas’ order to show cause, indicated that it “waited to effectuate service because the parties were engaged in good faith negotiations.”
AUSTIN, Texas — After the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals certified two questions in a coverage dispute over $1.2 million in stolen gold coins to the Texas Supreme Court, an insurer in a June 7 brief argues that an insurance policy’s “invalid payments exclusion” barred coverage for the insured’s loss.
ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 7 held that an appellant failed to demonstrate that a taxi cab company’s insurer increased his risk or that the taxi company relied on the insurer's background checks, affirming a lower federal court’s ruling that the insurer did not undertake a duty to the insured’s passengers.
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on June 8 denied an excess insurer’s motion to dismiss Duke University’s breach of contract, bad faith and unfair and deceptive trade practices claims in its lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying antitrust claims, finding that a 2020 antitrust class action relates back to a 2015 antitrust class action to trigger coverage.
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals court on June 9 rejected an attorney insured’s contention that a professional liability insurance policy must be reformed because it failed to comply with the requirements of New Jersey Rule of Court 1:21-1B(a)(4), affirming a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer in a coverage dispute over approximately $800,000 in client funds that were allegedly misappropriated by a paralegal.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island judge on June 4 granted in part and denied in part an insurer’s motion to dismiss a nightclub operator insured’s coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that the insured sufficiently stated a claim for civil authority coverage and that the insurer has failed to satisfy its burden of proving that the virus exclusion applied to bar coverage for the insured’s civil authority coverage claim.
MINNEAPOLIS — A barbershop owner insured on June 4 asked a federal judge in Minnesota to deny an insurer’s request to amend a June 2 order that partly denied the insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s coronavirus coverage lawsuit, arguing that the insurer fails to establish that this lawsuit is exceptional enough to warrant interlocutory appeal.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 7 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its apartment complex owner insured against an underlying lawsuit arising from a fatal shooting that occurred at one of its properties, finding that a reasonable reader would not construe the application and insurance policy to cover the property where the shooting occurred.
NEWARK, N.J. — Owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton filed a notice of appeal in a New Jersey federal court on June 4 indicating they are seeking the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal’s review of the lower court’s dismissal of their breach of contract lawsuit alleging $40,798,390 in damages for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
AUSTIN, Texas — No coverage is afforded for an underlying shareholder derivative lawsuit filed against an insured ice cream product manufacturer and its directors and officers following a Listeria outbreak because the underlying suit is not a suit seeking damages for bodily injury caused by an occurrence as required by the policies, the insurers say in a June 3 complaint filed in Texas federal court.