We use cookies on this site to enable your digital experience. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our cookie policy. close

Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • September 21, 2018

    Panel Stands By Ruling In Dispute Over Legal Fees Arising From Sexual Abuse Claim

    SAN DIEGO — On a motion for rehearing, a California appeals panel on Sept. 20 reaffirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to pay $106,102.63 in legal fees that were purportedly incurred by the insured's general counsel in defending a lawsuit arising from the sexual abuse of a foreign exchange student (Pacific Intercultural Exchange v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, No. D071478, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6432).

  • September 21, 2018

    Panel Partly Vacates Rulings In Dispute Over Ownership Of Life Insurance Policies

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 18 vacated and remanded in part a lower federal court’s ruling in a dispute in which a insurer asserts that a financing company secured its life insurance policies through an unlawful and tortious conspiratorial scheme and the financing company counters that the insurer committed breach of contract when it attempted to interfere with the company’s ownership of and rights under the policies (Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. Imperial Premium Finance, LLC, Nos. 17-10189 and 17-10415, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26461).

  • September 20, 2018

    New York Justice: Excess Insurer Fails To Establish Exclusion Applies

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on Sept. 10 held that an excess insurer has failed to satisfy its burden of showing as a matter of law that its policy’s Prior or Pending Demand or Litigation (PPLI) Exclusion bars coverage, denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment and refusing to vacate an earlier order that directed it to advance attorney fees and costs to defend against underlying lawsuits (Freedom Specialty Insurance Company, et al. v. Platinum Management [NY], LLC, No. 652505/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3891).

  • September 20, 2018

    Panel Affirms Judgment In Diocese’s Favor In Sexual Misconduct Coverage Dispute

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 affirmed a lower federal court’s $945,265.11 breach of contract judgment against an insurer in a coverage dispute stemming from underlying sexual misconduct cases brought against its diocese insured (The Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Casualty Company, Nos. 16-2999 and 17-2484, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 26698).

  • September 19, 2018

    Georgia Panel Affirms Claim Untimely; No Bad Faith On Insurer’s Part

    ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals panel on Sept. 18 affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a business liability insurer, finding that the plaintiff failed to provide timely notice of a coverage claim and that the insurer had reasonable grounds for denying the claim (Taylor, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. A18A1398, Ga. App., 3rd Div., 2018 Ga. App. LEXIS 513).

  • September 19, 2018

    Insured Accuses Insurer Of ‘Profit Driven Scheme’ In Hurricane Irma Dispute

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida insured on Sept. 5 sued his homeowners insurer in a Florida court, alleging that the insurer charged Floridians for hurricane insurance and then intentionally undervalued or denied legitimate insurance claims by using unlicensed adjusters and engineers (Lawrence Malysa v. Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co., et al., No. N/A., Fla. Cir., 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).

  • September 18, 2018

    Insured Objects To Magistrate’s Report Suggesting Dismissal Of Superstorm Sandy Suit

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — An insured on Sept. 14 filed objections to a magistrate’s report that recommended dismissal of his lawsuit alleging that he was wrongfully denied $141,274.50 in insurance proceeds for Superstorm Sandy damage to his Long Beach, N.Y., home, asserting the “legal impact” of the errors in the magistrate’s report and recommendation “go far beyond this case” (David Clutter v. William B. Long, et al., No. 17-4833, E.D. N.Y.).

  • September 14, 2018

    All Expert Testimony Survives Vetting In Ponzi Scheme Insurance Case

    MIAMI — In two orders, a Florida federal magistrate judge on Sept. 12 denied bids by both sides to exclude expert testimony in an insurance coverage dispute created by the billion-dollar Ponzi scheme of South Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein (Michael I. Goldberg, et al. v. Aon Risk Services, Northeast, Inc., No. 13-21653, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155362, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155363).

  • September 13, 2018

    Insurer Can’t File Cross-Claim Against Broker Of Contaminated Products Policy

    SEATTLE — An insurer involved in a contaminated products coverage dispute cannot file a cross-claim against the broker that handled the sale of the policy because the insurer failed to demonstrate good cause for allowing the cross-claim to be filed after the court’s deadline to submit amended pleadings, a Washington federal judge said Sept. 12 (National Frozen Foods Corp. v. Berkley Assurance Co., No. 17-339, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155621).

  • September 12, 2018

    Panel: Evidence Tampering Does Not Fall Under Malicious Prosecution Exception

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 held that a law enforcement liability insurance policy expressly bars indemnification of intentional criminal acts and that a police commander’s act of evidence tampering in a murder investigation does not fall under the policy’s malicious prosecution exception to the exclusion for criminal, dishonest and fraudulent acts, reversing a lower court’s ruling against the insurer (Nicholas Sampson v. Investigator William Lambert, et al. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-1104, No. 17-1106, Nos. 17-1114 and 17-1117, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25666).

  • September 12, 2018

    Massachusetts High Court: Use Of Runner’s Name Is Advertising Idea Under Policy

    BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Sept. 12 found that a lower court erred in concluding that the family of deceased 1960 Olympic marathon gold medalist Abebe Bikila did not actually use the name Bikila as an advertising idea, reversing the lower court’s ruling in favor of insurers in a coverage dispute over a lawsuit challenging the propriety of a shoe company's use of the runner's name (Holyoke Mutual Insurance Co. in Salem, et al. v. Vibram USA Inc., et al., No. SJC-12401, Mass. Sup., 2018 Mass. LEXIS 568).

  • September 12, 2018

    Insurer Owes No Coverage For Faulty Laminate Suit, 7th Circuit Affirms

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 10 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that an insurer has no duty to provide coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that its plastics company insured manufactured a faulty laminate (Berry Plastics Corp. v. Illinois National Insurance Co., No. 17-1815, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25576).

  • September 11, 2018

    Federal Judge: Notice Of Claim Was Untimely, Insured’s Delay Was Unjustified

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — A federal judge in Georgia on Sept. 6 found that an insured failed to overcome his unreasonable delay in notifying his liability insurers of an underlying occurrence for which he sought coverage, granting the insurers’ motion for summary judgment in their declaratory judgment lawsuit (Zurich American Insurance Company, et al. v. Dr. James Y. Jones, No. 15-081, S.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152009).

  • September 6, 2018

    Justice: Insurer Has Duty To Defend Landlord Entities As Additional Insureds

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on Aug. 15 found that a commercial tenant’s insurer has a duty to defend landlord entities as additional insureds against an underlying negligence lawsuit, further concluding that the issue of whether the insurer has a duty to indemnify them is premature (Zurich American Insurance Company, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 160188/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3611).

  • September 4, 2018

    Insured’s Bad Faith Claim Arising Out Of Defective Knee Settlements Will Proceed

    KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 17 refused to dismiss an insured’s suit alleging that an insurer acted in bad faith in settling underlying claims arising out of the insured’s sale of defective artificial knee joints after determining that the insured stated a viable claim for bad faith that was not addressed in either of two prior lawsuits filed by the insured against the insurer (Stryker Corp. et. al., v. XL Insurance America Inc., No. 17-66, W.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140216).

  • August 31, 2018

    Federal Judge Dismisses Hotel Franchisee’s Suit Against Insurers, Broker

    DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 17 issued a take-nothing judgment against insurers and an independent insurance broker in a construction defects coverage dispute after issuing three rulings that a hotel franchisee failed to sufficiently allege that the broker is liable for any conduct established in any section of the Texas Insurance Code and failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted against the insurers (Spih Tyler, LLC v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1292, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139605).

  • August 31, 2018

    Federal Judge: 2 Pleading Deficiencies Fatal To Insured’s Coverage Theory

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — An Arkansas federal judge on Aug. 21 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss a law firm insured’s breach of contract lawsuit, finding that the insured has failed to assert any facts demonstrating that it is entitled to coverage for an underlying lawsuit brought by a litigation financing company (Parker Law Firm, et al. v. The Travelers Indemnity Company, et al., No. 18-5080, W.D. Ark., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143684).

  • August 31, 2018

    2nd Circuit Stands By $5.8M Judgment In Coverage Dispute Over Computer Fraud

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 23 denied an insurer’s petition for a panel rehearing of its ruling that a firm's multimillion-dollar loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme constituted computer fraud under an executive protection insurance policy (Medidata Solutions Inc. v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 17-2492, 2nd Cir.).

  • August 31, 2018

    Majority Partly Vacates, Remands Ruling In Professional Liability Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — A panel majority of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 30 vacated a court’s no professional liability coverage ruling as to one of two legal malpractice claims, remanding for the lower court to dismiss the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Imperium Insurance Co. v. Shelton & Associates P.A., et al., Nos. 16-60728, 16-60730, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 24766).

  • August 31, 2018

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Insurer’s Intervention In Tort Suit Against Insureds

    LAKELAND, Fla.— A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 10 affirmed a lower court’s order dismissing a commercial general liability’s intervention in a tort lawsuit brought against its insured (Houston Specialty Insurance Company v. Enoch Vaughn, et al., No. 2D17-2713, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 11197).