Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • March 19, 2021

    Indiana High Court Partly Reverses Ruling In Ransomware Attack Coverage Suit

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court on March 18 held that although an insured’s losses from a ransomware attack resulted directly from the use of a computer, neither the insured nor its insurer is entitled to summary judgment, reversing the lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer, affirming the lower court’s denial of the insured’s motion for summary judgment and remanding for further proceedings.

  • March 19, 2021

    Federal Judge Dismisses Franchise Owners’ $41M Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on March 17 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit brought by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, finding that the insureds’ “general statements that the COVID-19 virus was on surfaces and in the air at their properties is insufficient to show property loss or damage.”

  • March 18, 2021

    2nd Circuit Affirms Ruling Against Insurer In Its Suit Against New York School

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 18 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a New York school and underlying claimants in an insurer’s lawsuit disputing general liability coverage for an action over a pedestrian who was struck and severely injured by a school bus carrying students to the insured’s school.

  • March 17, 2021

    Insurers Seek Dismissal Of Health Care Provider’s $1.25B Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    NEW YORK — Two commercial property insurers on March 11 asked a New York federal court 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, arguing that the purported presence of the COVID-19 virus in the insured’s facilities did not cause any physical damage to its property and did not cause it to treat a less profitable mix of patients (Northwell Health, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Company, et al., No. 21-01104, S.D. N.Y.).

  • March 17, 2021

    Delaware Judge Denies Insurers’ Request For Interlocutory Appeal Of Verizon Suit

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on March 16 denied insurers’ application for certification of interlocutory appeal of a Feb. 23 ruling that Verizon Communications Inc. can recoup approximately $24 million in defense costs it incurred in defending against an underlying fraudulent conveyance lawsuit that settled for $95 million and that the insurers failed to demonstrate that coverage is unavailable under Verizon’s tower policies as a matter of law.

  • March 17, 2021

    Roundup Of Latest Complaints, Briefs Over Coronavirus Coverage

    From the owner and operator of Seattle’s iconic Space Needle’s coverage complaint to an insurer’s plea to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s abstention order, Mealey Publications takes a look at the latest pleadings relating to insurance coverage for COVID-19.

  • March 16, 2021

    Insurer Asks 11th Circuit To Not Consolidate 3 Appeals In COVID-19 Coverage Suits

    ATLANTA — An insurer in a March 12 response asks the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reject an insured’s motion to consolidate its appeal of a lower court’s dismissal of its lawsuit seeking coverage for its business losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic with two related appeals for oral argument, contending that “consolidation would prejudice the parties by risking confusion of the unique and complex factual and legal issues in each case.”

  • March 16, 2021

    Federal Judge Allows Sex Trafficking Coverage Suit To Proceed But Stays Discovery

    ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia on March 15 refused to dismiss an insurer’s lawsuit seeking to rescind a liability insurance policy and a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnity the owner, operator and franchisors of a Marietta, Ga., hotel against underlying sex trafficking claims but stayed discovery to see how prosecution of the underlying action proceeds.

  • March 15, 2021

    Nevada Majority: Insurer Has Right To Recoup Costs For Defending Uncovered Claims

    LAS VEGAS — Answering a certified question from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in the affirmative, a majority of the Nevada Supreme Court on March 11 found that an insurer is entitled to reimbursement of already expended defense costs where a determination has been made that it has no duty to defend and expressly reserved its right to seek reimbursement in writing after a defense was tendered but where the policy included no reservation of rights.

  • March 15, 2021

    Owner Of Iconic Seattle Space Needle Files COVID-19 Coverage Suit In Federal Court

    SEATTLE — The owner and operator of the Space Needle in Seattle on March 12 sued its insurer for breach of a contract and declaratory judgment in a federal court in Washington, seeking to recoup the “millions of dollars in revenues” it lost when its busines was interrupted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • March 15, 2021

    Insurer Has No Duty To Defend TCPA, FDCPA Claims, 7th Circuit Affirms

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 12 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend against underlying claims that the insured violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

  • March 15, 2021

    Virus Exclusions Bar Coverage For Losses Sustained As A Result Of Coronavirus

    CAMDEN, N.J. — No coverage is owed to insured restaurant and food service operators for business losses caused by the shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the virus exclusions in the applicable property insurance policies unambiguously bar coverage for any losses caused by any virus, a New Jersey federal judge said March 12 in granting the insurers’ motion to dismiss.

  • March 12, 2021

    Indiana Majority Denies NCAA’s Petition To Transfer No Coverage Ruling

    INDIANAPOLIS — A majority of the Indiana Supreme Court on March 11 denied the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) appeal of a lower court’s ruling that an insurance policy’s “Related Wrongful Acts” exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging antitrust violations merits oral argument.

  • March 12, 2021

    Judge: Virus Exclusion Bars New Jersey Gym’s Claim Arising From Coronavirus

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on March 10 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a gym insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, finding that the commercial lines insurance policy’s virus exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for the insured’s claims arising from the government’s closure orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • March 11, 2021

    Insured’s ‘Intentional’ Conduct Not Occurrence Under Policy, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 8 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of a homeowners insurer, finding that there was no "occurrence" triggering coverage under the policy because the insured’s alleged conduct in an underlying lawsuit was intentional.

  • March 11, 2021

    Judge Tosses Insurer’s Product Liability, Misrepresentation, Fraud Claims Against Amazon

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on March 9 granted Amazon.com Inc.’s motion for summary judgment on claims for product liability, negligent misrepresentation and statutory consumer fraud in an insurer’s subrogation lawsuit alleging that Amazon and two Chinese companies are responsible for defective hoverboards that purportedly caused fire damage to its insureds’ home.

  • March 11, 2021

    Professional Liability Coverage Owed For Failure To Settle Claim, Panel Affirms

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 9 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that professional liability coverage is owed for an underlying claim alleging that a medical malpractice insurer failed to settle a malpractice claim against its doctor insured, finding that the lower court did not err in concluding that the medical malpractice insurer was covered under its 2006 professional liability insurance policy before a jury decided the issue of exclusion.

  • March 11, 2021

    Policy Requires Final Judgment Or Settlement Before Suit, Panel Affirms

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 9 affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of an equipment rental company insured’s bad faith failure-to-settle lawsuit against its insurer, noting that the Georgia Supreme Court has interpreted nearly identical policy language as requiring a final underlying judgment or settlement before a party can bring a coverage suit.

  • March 11, 2021

    Virus Exclusion Bars Coverage For COVID-19 Losses, Judge Says

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on March 10 granted an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after determining that no coverage is afforded for an insured’s business losses sustained in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the loss was not a specified cause of loss as defined in the policy’s virus endorsement and the policy’s virus exclusion clearly bars coverage.

  • March 10, 2021

    Wisconsin Panel: No Employee Benefits Liability Coverage Owed For Franchise Owner

    MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin appeals panel on March 9 held that a commercial insurer does not owe employee benefits liability coverage for six underlying class action lawsuits brougt against its restaurant franchise operations owner insured, affirming a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer.