NEW YORK — A New York justice on Feb. 2 granted directors and officers liability primary and excess insurers’ motion for summary judgment declaring that they owe no coverage for settlements and consent judgments in three underlying actions alleging false and misleading Securities and Exchange Commission filings by a publicly traded real estate investment trust but denied the insurers’ request for their costs and reasonable attorney fees.
NEW YORK — A New York justice on Feb. 5 held that a subcontractor’s commercial general liability insurer has no duty to provide additional insured coverage to a contractor for an underlying personal injury lawsuit because the policy’s “fall from heights” exclusion bars coverage.
SAN FRANCISCO — One day after an insurer filed an answering brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a retailer insured’s appeal of a federal judge’s dismissal of its class complaint seeking coverage under a comprehensive business insurance policy for its claimed losses following the state’s “Stay at Home” order in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, United Policyholders on Feb. 9 said its amicus support is “especially vital” in the case “because the issues implicated by this case are far-reaching and of critical importance, as they may affect the fate of insurance recoveries for small businesses throughout California.”
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York appeals panel on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court’s denial of insurers' motions to compel discovery of the National Football League’s defense and settlement materials from underlying lawsuits alleging that it negligently failed to protect former players from brain injuries purportedly caused by concussive head impact, finding that the policies’ cooperation clauses did not operate as waivers of the insured’s attorney-client and work product privileges.
NEW YORK — A New York justice on Feb. 1 refused to vacate a default judgment entered against the former employee of a restaurant insured in an insurer’s subrogation lawsuit seeking to recover the $200,000 it paid the insured for its loss after the employee embezzled $566,503 from its Brooklyn restaurant, finding that the defendant failed to assert any reasonable excuse for not responding to the insurer’s complaint.
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on Feb. 8 found that an insurer has failed to carry its burden of demonstrating that a 2016 antitrust lawsuit brought against Perdue by chicken purchasers and a 2017 antitrust action brought by growers that raise chickens for Perdue are “related wrongful acts” under a 2017 insurance policy, granting Perdue’s motion for summary judgment in its breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit against the insurer.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on Feb. 8 denied a commercial general liability insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment in its lawsuit seeking a declaration that another insurer has a duty to defend underlying lawsuits arising from the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Las Vegas, finding that genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment.
MINEOLA, N.Y. — A New York justice on Feb. 8 dismissed an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the closure of its movie theater in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, concurring “with the majority view” that the insured’s loss of use of its premises because of the coronavirus-related shutdown orders does not constitute “direct physical loss of or damage to the property” under the policy and further noting that the insured fails to assert that it inquired about insurance coverage for government closures related to a pandemic.
NEWARK, N.J. — No coverage is owed for business losses sustained by an ophthalmology practice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because a virus exclusion in the applicable policy applies as a bar to coverage, a New Jersey federal judge said Feb. 8.
CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 8 granted an insured’s motion for partial summary judgment in its breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking crime protection insurance coverage for an alleged fraudulent scheme through which the insured’s employee stole $1,954,329.13 in commission payments.
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge in Minnesota on Feb. 8 granted an insurer’s cross-motion for summary judgment in Target Corp.’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its settlement with a group of financial institutions (FIs) over a 2013 data breach, finding that Target has failed to establish that its settlement liability stemming from the payment card claims constitutes loss-of-use damages.
NEW ORLEANS — A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court on Feb. 9 refused to rehear or reconsider its Nov. 19 holding that proof of collectability of an underlying judgment stemming from a car accident is not an element necessary for a plaintiff to establish a legal malpractice claim against the attorney insured who represented the underlying claimant and that collectability cannot be asserted by the attorney as an affirmative defense in the legal malpractice lawsuit.
SAN FRANCISCO — Appellants recently asked the California Supreme Court to clarify the application of California Insurance Code Sections 10113.71 and 10113.72 “consistent with their plain language and remedial purpose” and direct an appeals court to confirm the application of these statutes to a $1 million life insurance policy, arguing that the appeals court’s opinion “leaves vulnerable” senior and disabled policyholders that the statutes intended to protect.
ST. LOUIS — Property insurance policies are written to protect against damage and do not extend to business interruption caused by the likes of the novel coronavirus, two insurance advocacy groups told an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a Jan. 20 amicus curiae brief.
DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 9 granted a commercial property insurer’s motion to dismiss its restaurant insured’s lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage for its losses arising from the novel coronavirus after determining that the insured failed to allege facts in support of its breach of contract and bad faith claims; however, the judge said the insured is permitted to file a third amended complaint.
ATLANTA — An insured on Feb. 2 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its business losses that were “directly caused” by government “stay-at-home” orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the lower court’s “ruling threatens to cause grave and in many cases irreparable harm to Florida’s small business community already suffering from the pandemic’s impact.”
NEW YORK — Northwell Health Inc. sued two of its “all-risk” commercial property insurers in a federal New York Court on Feb. 8, arguing that it has experienced hundreds of millions of dollars of costs and losses that are covered under the policies because the presence of the novel coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 disease caused direct physical loss of and/or damage to its covered property and the suspension of its business activities due to the coronavirus “includes a wide variety of procedures, some of which are anything but a matter of choice.”
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Noting that he “wholeheartedly” regrets that business owners “have had little to no luck seeking recourse in federal court,” a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 8 said he is “compelled” to agree with most of his colleagues and granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a self-proclaimed “mom and pop” South Carolina restaurant owner’s class action seeking coverage for its business closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 4 found that a commercial property insurance policy’s “virus and bacteria” and “consequential loss” exclusions bar business income, extra expense and civil authority coverage for a hair salon insured’s claims arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown orders but that the insured’s claim under the policy’s communicable diseases coverage survives the insurer’s motion to dismiss.
PHOENIX — Partially reversing a lower court, an Arizona appeals court panel on Feb. 4 held that cyber fraud against an insured constituted three “occurrences” under a business property insurance policy’s “Computer Fraud” endorsement and, therefore, the insured is entitled to recover the $10,000 limit for each occurrence.