Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • August 16, 2022

    Manufacturer, Insurers Granted Partial Summary Judgment In Suit Over Product Damage

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on Aug. 11 granted a pharmaceutical manufacturer and its insurers’ motion for summary judgment as to a distributor’s contractual liability in a lawsuit arising from more than $200,000 in damaged product but held that no party is entitled to summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s damages.

  • August 15, 2022

    CVS Has Not Shown ‘Overwhelming Hardship’ To Warrant Dismissal Of Insurers’ Suits

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on Aug. 12 denied CVS Health Corp.’s motion to dismiss its insurers’ lawsuits disputing coverage for underlying opioid litigation, finding that CVS has failed to satisfy the “overwhelming hardship” standard that governs its motion to dismiss under forum non conveniens.

  • August 15, 2022

    Champlain Settlement Increased By $53M; Receiver Seeks To Strike Baseless Claims

    MIAMI — In separate Aug. 10 filings in a Florida court, the class plaintiffs in the largely settled case over the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South (CTS) condominium building in Surfside, Fla., filed a class notice that will inform members of an additional $53 million obtained in settlement funds and the receiver moved to strike claims by individuals believed to have no connection to the collapse.

  • August 13, 2022

    NHL Insureds State Claim Based On Communicable Disease Coverage, Calif. Judge Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California judge on Aug. 8 held that the National Hockey League (NHL) and 19 league clubs stated a claim based on their insurance policies’ communicable disease coverage, overruling an insurer’s demurrer to the insureds’ second amended complaint seeking coverage for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • August 12, 2022

    Restaurants Insureds Seek N.C. High Court Review Of Coronavirus Coverage Dispute

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Restaurant insureds on Aug. 8 filed a petition asking the North Carolina Supreme Court to review an appeals court’s July 5 reversal of a lower court’s grant of partial summary judgment in their favor in a coronavirus coverage dispute, challenging the appeals court’s finding that governmental orders that temporarily restricted the scope of the insureds’ restaurant operations did not constitute direct physical loss or property damage to trigger coverage under their “all-risk” insurance policies.

  • August 12, 2022

    Vizio Seeks 9th Circuit Review Of Coverage Dispute Over Smart TV Litigation Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Vizio Inc. on Aug. 10 filed a notice of appeal in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a lower federal court’s dismissal of its fourth amended complaint seeking defense and indemnity for an underlying $17 million settlement and defense costs arising from class claims over the insured’s unauthorized collections of consumers’ television viewing data.

  • August 12, 2022

    4th Circuit Rejects Golden Corral Franchisor’s Appeal In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — Finding “no reversible error,” the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of an insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissal of Golden Corral Corp. and Golden Corral Franchising Systems’ bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for their financial losses arising from the suspension of their restaurant operations in response to the government orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • August 12, 2022

    S.C. High Court Answers ‘No’ To Certified Question In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Supreme Court on Aug. 10 held that the presence of COVID-19 and the subsequent government orders prohibiting indoor dining do not fall under a commercial property insurance policy’s “direct physical loss or damage” language to trigger coverage, answering “no” to a question certified from a federal district court.

  • August 11, 2022

    Exclusion Bars Coverage For Product Liability Suit, N.J. High Court Says In Reversal

    TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Supreme Court on Aug. 10 held that a commercial general liability insurance policy's Designated New York Counties Exclusion bars coverage for an underlying product liability lawsuit against an insured, reversing and remanding an appeal court’s ruling against the insurer in a coverage dispute arising from a Home Depot employee’s injury.

  • August 11, 2022

    Judge Refuses To Grant Summary Judgment To Accountant’s Professional Liability Insurer

    ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia on Aug. 8 denied a professional liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying lawsuit against its accountant insured, finding that he cannot conclude that a letter and Information Document Request that was sent by the Internal Revenue Service constituted notice of a “formal administrative or regulatory proceeding” to trigger coverage under the policy.

  • August 09, 2022

    5th Circuit Affirms Coverage Ruling In Suit Arising From Sinkhole Injury

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 8 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling against an excess insurer in a coverage dispute over an underlying negligence lawsuit arising from a sinkhole injury, rejecting the excess insurer’s argument that the “subsidence exclusion” barred coverage.

  • August 09, 2022

    Majority Refuses To Disturb Finding That Policy Is Ambiguous In COVID-19 Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — A majority of a Louisiana appeals court on Aug. 8 refused to disturb its June 15 finding that an insurance policy is ambiguous and capable of more than one reasonable interpretation as to coverage for a French Quarter restaurant insured’s lost business income arising from the coronavirus pandemic, standing by its reversal of a lower court’s judgment against the insured and its holding that coverage exists for the insured’s loss or damage caused by “direct physical loss of or damage to” its premises as a result of COVID-19 contamination.

  • August 08, 2022

    Insurer Only Obligated To Cover General Contractor On ‘Excess’ Basis, Panel Affirms

    CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals panel on Aug. 3 held that an insurance policy obligated a subcontractor’s insurer to cover a general contractor only on an “excess” basis, affirming a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer in a coverage lawsuit arising from an underlying workplace injury.

  • August 08, 2022

    Judge Extends Stay Of CGL Insurers’ Suit Disputing Coverage For Surfside Collapse

    BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on Aug. 5 extended the stay of two commercial general liability insurers’ lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying lawsuits brought by victims of the June 24 partial collapse of a Surfside, Fla., condominium high-rise after the insurers reported that they “have been working diligently to finalize formal settlement documentation” and anticipate being able to file a notice of dismissal within 10 days.

  • August 05, 2022

    Florida Majority Affirms Dismissal Of Wedding Designer’s COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    MIAMI — A majority of a Florida appeals court panel on Aug. 3 affirmed dismissal of a wedding designer company insured’s lawsuit seeking commercial property insurance coverage for its loss of business income caused by the suspension of its operations resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the recent case Commodore, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London is “indistinguishable” from the present case.

  • August 05, 2022

    No Good Faith Duty Arose, Majority Says, Affirms Ruling In CGL Insurer’s Favor

    CINCINNATI — A majority of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Aug. 3 that a commercial general liability insurer did not have a duty to pay for an underlying settlement over a defective automatic fastener because no lawsuit was ever filed against the automotive supplier insured, affirming a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurer in the insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit.

  • August 05, 2022

    Justice Denies Insurer’s Motion To Consolidate Suits Arising From Personal Injury

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on Aug. 2 denied an insurer’s motion to consolidate two coverage lawsuits arising from an underlying personal injury lawsuit, finding that relation of the two cases is limited to the triggering coverage event and that the two lawsuits involve separate policy language and different coverage provisions.

  • August 04, 2022

    5th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Restaurants’ Bad Faith Suit Stemming From COVID-19

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 affirmed a federal court’s ruling that no coverage is owed to insured restaurant owners for business losses incurred as a result of the governmental shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the restaurants did not sustain a direct physical loss to their properties, affirming the lower court’s dismissal of the lawsuit seeking coverage and penalties for the insurers’ alleged bad faith denial of their coverage claim.

  • August 04, 2022

    Judge In Champlain Towers Allows Attorney Fees Applications For Damage Claims

    MIAMI — A Florida judge overseeing the more than $1 billion class settlement in the consolidated complaint over the June 2021 partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South (CTS) condominium building in Surfside, Fla., issued a sua sponte order on Aug. 3 permitting attorneys helping class members present damage claims to apply to the court for attorney fees and costs but reminded the attorneys that no fees or costs may be requested from class members.

  • August 04, 2022

    Issues Of Fact Exist On When Professional Liability Insurer Disclaimed Coverage

    NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on July 28 denied motions for summary judgment filed by a professional liability insurer and assignees of an insured in a dispute over coverage for an underlying professional negligence claim after determining that questions of fact exist regarding whether the bad faith lawsuit filed by the assignees is timely pursuant to the applicable statute of limitations.