Mealey's Insurance

  • December 06, 2019

    Bad Faith Claim Cannot Stand, Federal Judge Says In Granting Motion To Dismiss

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 4 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion to dismiss a bad faith claim arising out of the insurer’s denial of coverage for an oil spill on the insured's property after determining that the insured failed to allege sufficient facts in support of her claim for bad faith (Dorothy Biela v. Westfield Insurance Co., No. 19-4383, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209418).

  • December 05, 2019

    Federal Judge Denies Insurers’ Motions To Intervene In Contamination Suit

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on Dec. 3 denied motions to intervene by a number of insurers in a dispute over liability for groundwater contamination under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act after determining that the insurers failed to show good cause for intervening in the suit (California Department of Toxic Substances Control, et al. v. Jim Dobbas Inc., et al., No. 14-0595, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209377).

  • December 05, 2019

    Issue Of Fact Exists On Exception To Frozen-Plumbing Exclusion In Insured’s Policy

    SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Dec. 3 adopted a magistrate’s report and recommendation that a commercial property insurer’s motion for summary judgment should be denied on the basis that a question of fact exists as to whether water damages sustained in an insured building fall within the policy’s exception to a frozen-plumbing exclusion (Brandy Ventures LLC v. Mesa Underwriters Specialty Insurance Co., No. 18-641, E.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208898).

  • December 05, 2019

    Insurer Asks Court To Confirm Final Award In Reinsurance Billings Case

    CHICAGO — An insurer argues in a Nov. 22 brief that an Illinois federal court should confirm a final award in its reinsurance billings dispute over asbestos claims and reject a reinsurer’s motion to confirm an interim award (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-4341; Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 19-7080, N.D. Ill.).

  • December 04, 2019

    Judge Denies Reinsurer’s Post-Trial Motions In Case Against Insurer Over Billings

    UTICA, N.Y. — In an “epilogue to a hard-fought contract dispute” between an insurer and a reinsurer over the reinsurer’s alleged breach of two indemnity agreements for asbestos claim settlements, a New York federal judge on Dec. 3 denied the reinsurer’s motion to amend or correct the judgment, renewed motions for judgment as a matter of law, motion for a new trial and motion for post-trial discovery (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Century Indemnity Co., No. 13-995, N.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207547).

  • December 03, 2019

    Pollution Exclusion Dispute Transferred From Michigan To Indiana Federal Court

    DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on Nov. 19 transferred an insurer’s action seeking a declaration that no coverage is owed for an underlying suit based on the policy’s pollution exclusion after determining that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana is the proper venue (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. McKinley Inc., et al., No. 19-11418, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200148).

  • December 03, 2019

    ExxonMobil Moves To Confirm $25M Arbitration Award Against Insurer

    NEW YORK — An insured on Nov. 21 filed a motion to confirm a $25 million arbitration award entered against an excess liability insurer and to award more than $6 million in prejudgment interest in an environmental contamination coverage dispute, arguing that confirmation of the award is warranted because the excess insurer forfeited any right to contest the award (ExxonMobil Oil Corp. v. TIG Insurance Co., No. 16-9527, S.D. N.Y.).

  • December 02, 2019

    Over Insurers’ Objection, Imerys Judge Sets Bar Date For ‘Indirect’ Talc Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A request by Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. to set a bar date for filing indirect talc claims gained approval from a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge Nov. 22 over the objections of insurers who said the debtor was not allowed to restrict claims by nondebtor parties (In re:  Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • December 02, 2019

    Homeowners Insurer Properly Paid For Damages Caused By Windstorm, Judge Says

    LAS VEGAS — A homeowners insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in handling an insured’s claim for roof damage and water and mold damages because the insurer promptly investigated the claim and timely paid the insured for the repairs to the home, a Nevada federal judge said Nov. 25 (Patricia Lombardo v. Property & Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford, No. 17-2242, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205352).

  • December 02, 2019

    Florida Panel Vacates, Remands Ruling That Insured Perpetrated Fraud On Lower Court

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on Nov. 13 vacated and remanded a lower court's finding that an insured perpetrated a fraud on the court by providing materially false information in her affidavit in a water damage coverage dispute, noting that this is a “teaching point and a caution that a client's personal knowledge, however imperfect, is not to be gilded, excessively bolstered, or embellished by her counsel in the hope of improving a case” (Irma Perez v. Safepoint Insurance Company, No. 3D18-1588, Fla., App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 17010).

  • November 26, 2019

    Contractor: Builders Risk Insurer Improperly Handled Water, Mold-Related Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — An additional insured contractor alleges in a Nov. 7 complaint filed in a California federal court that a builders risk insurer breached its policy, acted in bad faith and violated California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq., regarding its claim handling of water and mold-related damage in a construction project (Build Group, Inc. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp., No. 19-07359, N.D. Calif.).

  • November 26, 2019

    Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Diesel Fuel Spill, Federal Judge Says

    BOSTON — No coverage is owed for the cleanup of a gasoline and diesel fuel spill from an insured tanker-truck because a policy’s pollution exclusion clearly applies as a bar to coverage, a Massachusetts federal judge said Nov. 25 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Performance Trans Inc., et al. v. General Star Indemnity Co., No. 19-40086, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204093).

  • November 22, 2019

    Insurer Breached Contract, Acted In Bad Faith In Claims Response, Contractor Says

    TAMPA, Fla. — A contractor sued a commercial general liability insurer on Nov. 21 in a Florida federal court, alleging that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by failing to respond to claims for additional insured coverage for an underlying construction defects action (Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 19-02878, M.D. Fla.).

  • November 21, 2019

    No Coverage Owed For Water Damage Inside Church, Federal Judge Determines

    DETROIT — No coverage is owed for water damage sustained to the interior of a church during a storm because the water damage was caused by the insufficient placement of tarps on the  insured roof that was being repaired when the storm occurred, a Michigan federal judge said Nov. 19 in granting summary judgment in favor of a commercial property insurer (Christ Church of the Gospel Ministries d/b/a Evangel Churches v. Guideone Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-11208, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200138).

  • November 21, 2019

    Fungus Exclusion Bars Coverage For $861,592 Award, Insurer Argues

    HOUSTON — Citing a fungus or spore exclusion and business risk exclusions, an insurer alleges in a Nov. 18 complaint filed in a Texas federal court that there is no coverage for a $861,592.73 judgment for water penetration and mold growth at a 326-unit apartment complex (Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Co. v. SLI Framing Company, Inc., et al., No. 19-4531, S.D. Texas).

  • November 21, 2019

    Imerys Insurers Oppose Setting Bar Date For ‘Indirect’ Talc Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A request by Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. to set a bar date for filing indirect talc claims should be denied because the debtor is not allowed to restrict claims by nondebtor parties, especially when the term “indirect” is so ill-defined in the request, a group of insurers say in a Nov. 18 objection filed in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re:  Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • November 21, 2019

    Insurer Says Judge Erred In Staying Suit Alleging Policy Breaches By Debtors

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Putting off an attempt by an asbestos insurer to have a jury hear its declaratory judgment claims against Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. will only cause unnecessary delay and prejudice, the insurer argues in an Oct. 30 reply brief in North Carolina federal court (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-467, W.D. N.C.).

  • November 19, 2019

    Wisconsin Appeals Panel Says Occurrence In Excess Policies Is Ambiguous

    WAUSAU, Wis. — The Third District Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Nov. 19 remanded a trial court’s ruling in an environmental contamination coverage dispute on the meaning of occurrence used in three excess policies after determining that the term occurrence is ambiguous and that an insured has to prove only that “one event” caused the damage at issue (Superior Water, Light and Power Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London et al., No. 2018AP1926, Wis. App., Dist. 3, 2019 Wisc. App. LEXIS 617).

  • November 18, 2019

    Issue Of Fact Exists As To Whether Mold Contamination Is Covered Under Policy

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico federal magistrate judge on Nov. 17 denied motions for partial summary judgment filed in a mold contamination coverage suit after determining that issues of fact exist as to whether the mold contamination within the insured’s laboratory facility was directly caused by a lightning strike and, therefore, covered under the insured’s policy (Factory Mutual Insurance Co., et al. v. Federal Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-760, D. N.M., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198934).

  • November 15, 2019

    Insureds, Homeowners Answer Insurer’s Appeal Of Construction Defects Coverage Ruling

    PHILADELPHIA — Insured contractors and homeowners who are suing them in two underlying construction defects lawsuit filed two separate briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26, refuting a commercial general liability insurer’s appeal of a federal court's ruling that it has a duty to defend against the underlying claims (Nautilus Insurance Company v. 200 Christian Street Partners LLC, et al., Nos. 19-1507 and 19-1506, 3rd Cir.).