Mealey's Insurance

  • September 20, 2017

    Federal Judge Schedules Jury Trial In Reinsurance Suit Over Asbestos Claims

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In a reinsurance dispute over coverage for underlying asbestos injury claims, an insurer writes in a letter filed in a New York federal court on Sept. 19 that it rejects a reinsurer’s suggestion that it dismiss the case without prejudice because the case presents a justiciable controversy (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-270, N.D. N.Y.).

  • September 19, 2017

    Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Manure Contamination, Judge Says

    YAKIMA, Wash. — No coverage is owed to insureds seeking coverage for an underlying environmental contamination suit arising out of liquid manure that seeped from the insureds’ holding pond and contaminated the local water because the policies’ pollution exclusions clearly bar coverage for the contamination, a Washington federal judge said Sept. 11 (The Dolsen Cos., et al. v. Bedivere Insurance Co, et al., No. 16-3141, E.D. Wash.).

  • September 19, 2017

    Massachusetts Justice Says Issues Of Fact Exist In Contamination Coverage Suit

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts Superior Court justice on Sept. 7 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an environmental contamination coverage suit after determining that issues of fact exist about the insured’s knowledge of the contamination and whether some of the contamination occurred prior to the inception of the policy at issue (Casella Waste Systems Inc., et al. v. Steadfast Insurance Co., No. 2016-2521, Mass. Super., Suffolk Co.).

  • September 19, 2017

    1st Circuit Allows Negligence Claims Against U.S. In Oil Spill Coverage Dispute

    BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Sept. 15 reversed a district court’s dismissal of admiralty and maritime negligence claims filed against the United States in an oil spill dispute after determining that the negligence claims are viable under the Suits in Admiralty Act (Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., et al. v. United States of America, et al., No. 16-1589, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17928).

  • September 18, 2017

    Insurer Is Responsible For 25 Percent Of Lead-Paint Judgment, Federal Judge Says

    BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge on Sept. 14 said an insurer is responsible for paying for 25 percent of a judgment entered against its insured in an underlying lead-paint injury case after determining that the allocation must be calculated based on the time period during which the tenant lived in the insured’s property (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co., v. Jacob Dackman & Sons LLC, et al., No. 16-2640, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148907).

  • September 15, 2017

    Issue Of Fact Exists As To Whether Water, Mold Damage Occurred Within Policy Periods

    TRENTON, N.J. — The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court on Sept. 11 vacated a portion of a trial court’s ruling after determining that the evidence creates a question of fact as to whether water and mold damage caused by the faulty installation of doors and windows occurred during the applicable policy periods (Selective Insurance Company of America v. TRH Builders Inc., et al., No. A-1015-15T3, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2265).

  • September 15, 2017

    Reinsurer Opposes Motion To Bar Employee’s Testimony In Asbestos Coverage Dispute

    UTICA, N.Y. — In a dispute over an underlying $325 million settlement of asbestos claims, a reinsurer responds in a Sept. 13 opposition brief to an insurer’s motion to exclude testimony from the reinsurer’s former employee, arguing to a New York federal court that the former employee has extensive knowledge regarding reinsurance practices, policies and procedures (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., No. 09-cv-00853, N.D. N.Y.).

  • September 14, 2017

    Repopulation Of Bird Flock Lost In Avian Flu Outbreak Is Covered Under Policy

    MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge on Sept. 12 determined that an insured is entitled to reimbursement for the costs of repopulating its bird flock after an outbreak of the avian flu virus required the flock to be destroyed because the destruction of the birds qualifies as a remediation expense as it is damaged property (Rembrandt Enterprises Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-2913, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147030).

  • September 14, 2017

    Insurer Says To New York High Court: Reinsurer Must Pay Its Share Of Defense Costs

    NEW YORK — Reinsurance certificates should be treated as concurrent with underlying insurance policies, an insurer argues in an Aug. 4 reply brief in the New York Court of Appeals, so that a reinsurer must pay its share of defense costs for asbestos litigation (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co., No. CTQ-2016, 0005, N.Y. App.).

  • September 12, 2017

    California High Court Declines To Review Ruling On Policy Exhaustion In Silica Dispute

    LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court on Aug. 9 denied petitions for review filed by insurers and an insured seeking review of an appellate court’s’ ruling regarding the exhaustion of a primary policy in a silica coverage dispute (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Moldex Metric Inc., et al., No. S242845, Calif. Sup., 2017 Cal. LEXIS 6325).

  • September 12, 2017

    Connecticut Federal Magistrate Judge: Insurer Cannot Redact Claims-Related Data

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal magistrate judge on Aug. 31 ordered an insurer to produce a number of requested documents in an asbestos coverage dispute and said that the insurer is permitted to redact only policyholders’ information and is not permitted to redact any claims-related data  (ITT Corp. and Goulds Pump Inc. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., No. 12-38, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140588).

  • September 12, 2017

    Horizontal Exhaustion May Not Apply To All Policies In Environmental Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal on Aug. 31 determined that an insured cannot electively stack its excess insurance policies in an environmental coverage dispute and said that each of the more than 115 policies at issue must be individually analyzed to determine whether a horizontal exhaustion method should be applied (Montrose Chemical Corporation of California v. Superior Court of the State of California, et al., No. B272387, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 759).

  • September 12, 2017

    Insured Must Produce Identity Of Documents Sought By Insurer In Environmental Dispute

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal judge on Sept. 1 determined that an insured must provide its insurer with the identity of a number of compiled documents sought by the insurer and must produce the final summaries used by the insured’s corporate representative during a deposition in an environmental contamination coverage dispute (Eli Lilly and Co., et al. v. Arch Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-1770, S.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141732).

  • September 12, 2017

    Panel Says Trial Court Erred In Striking Expert Testimony In Water, Mold Damage Suit

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A trial court erred in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute over coverage for water and mold damage because the expert testimony proffered by the insureds was improperly excluded by the trial court, the First Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal said Sept. 8 (Melvin and Anjeanette Adolph v. Lighthouse Property Insurance Corp., No. 2016 CA 1275, La. App., 1st Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 1597).

  • September 12, 2017

    Federal Judge Schedules Jury Trial In Reinsurance Suit Over Asbestos Claims

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Aug. 30 scheduled a reinsurance dispute between Utica Mutual Insurance Co. and R&Q Reinsurance Co. involving coverage for underlying asbestos injury claims for a March 12 jury trial (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-cv-270, N.D. N.Y.).

  • September 8, 2017

    Judge: Issues Remain On Pollution Exclusion, Primary Insurance Exhaustion

    CHICAGO — An insured showed that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether all primary policies have been exhausted for an excess insurance policy to be triggered and as to whether a pollution exclusion applies, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 7, denying summary judgment to a reinsurer who indemnified the excess policy (Velsicol Chemical LLC v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-2534, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144698).

  • September 6, 2017

    No Sudden Or Accidental Damage, Federal Judge Says In Dismissing Bad Faith Claim

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — No coverage is afforded for damage to the foundation walls of an insured home because the damage was not sudden and accidental as required by the terms of the policy at issue, a Connecticut federal judge said Aug. 29 in dismissing the insureds’ claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Linda Clough, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-140, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140009).

  • September 6, 2017

    No Coverage For Cracking, Crumbling Foundation, Connecticut Federal Judge Says

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — No coverage is owed for an insured’s foundation damage caused by a chemical reaction because the damage was not sudden and accidental as required by the policy’s exception to the collapse exclusion, a Connecticut federal judge said Aug. 29 in dismissing the insured’s claims of breach of contract and bad faith (Daniel Adams v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-1360, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139998).

  • September 1, 2017

    10th Circuit Affirms Owned-Property Exclusion Clearly Precludes Coverage

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 25 affirmed a district court’s dismissal of an insured’s complaint in an environmental contamination dispute after determining that the owned-property exclusion clearly precludes coverage for the cleanup of the environmental contamination (Taos Ski Valley Inc. v. Nova Casualty Co., No. 16-2118, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16254).

  • September 1, 2017

    Pennsylvania Federal Judge: Insured Failed To Prove Carrier Acted In Bad Faith

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 25 granted an insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment on a bad faith claim after determining that the insured, seeking coverage for water damages, failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that State Farm acted unreasonably in its denial of his insurance claim (Darryl Brodzinski v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 16-6125, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136644).