ATLANTA — An Alabama federal judge correctly determined that a policy’s total pollution exclusion cannot be asserted as a bar to coverage for two underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from sewage exposure because the interpretation is consistent with Alabama law, an appellee argues in a May 25 brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Evanston Insurance Co. v. J&J Cable Construction LLC, et al., No. 17-11188, 11th Cir.).
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Supreme Court on May 19 remanded an environmental contamination coverage case to allow the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division to reconsider its ruling regarding a successor company’s rights under its predecessor’s insurance policies in light of the high court’s February 2017 ruling in a similar environmental contamination suit that also addressed the assignment of policy rights (Haskell Properties LLC v. The American Insurance Co., et al., No. 078210, N.J. Sup.).
CHICAGO — A federal judge will not decide a dispute over the amount of money available to Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. to pay asbestos claims under two lost insurance policies after the judge on May 17 granted the Asbestos Claimants’ Committee’s request to withdraw its motion to move the dispute from bankruptcy court (Asbestos Claimants Committee v. Oakfabco Inc., et al., No. 17-03336, N.D. Ill.).
SEATTLE — An insured has asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurer is not liable for damage to apartments from hidden decay under its policies' "collapse" provisions (American Economy Insurance Co. v. CHL, LLC, No. 16-35606, 9th Cir.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An insurance coverage dispute over two polluted sites in Oregon and Washington between Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. and its insurers will not be decided by a North Carolina bankruptcy court after the court remanded the case May 16 (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
COLUMBUS, Ga. — In granting an insurer’s motion to reconsider, a Georgia federal judge on May 15 determined that based on a recent Georgia Supreme Court opinion, the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured in an underlying action based on the policy’s pollution exclusion (Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co. v. Fort Benning Family Communities LLC, et al., No. 15-75, M.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76913).
NEW YORK — Three insurers agreed in an April 7 filing to drop their New York state court lawsuit against their reinsurer over $1.3 million in reinsurance proceeds for an underlying settlement of lawsuits involving asbestos and tainted blood-clotting products (Granite State Insurance Co., et al. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 654494/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal on May 18 reversed a trial court’s judgment in favor of an insured in a silica coverage case after determining that the insured released its right to assert any bad faith claims against the insurer and after finding that the insurer has no further duty to defend the insured because the insurer’s policy limits were exhausted in 2013 (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Moldex Metric Inc., et al., No. B272378, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3485).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on May 17 partially denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that questions of fact remain regarding whether damage to a freezer floor is barred by the policy’s earth movement exclusion (Thurston Foods Inc. v. Wausau Business Insurance Co., No. 15-14, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74935).
NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge on May 15 declined to award summary judgment to either Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. or one of its insurers in a dispute over whether a policy has a $7 million or $14 million limit for asbestos liability claims, saying the policy is too ambiguous to interpret at this stage (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
MOBILE, Ala. — Because a third-party claimant seeking coverage for an environmental contamination lawsuit failed to prove that the environmental damages were unintended, no coverage is afforded under a policy’s subsection that provides coverage for unintended pollution incidents caused by transportation activities, an Alabama federal judge said May 15 (Heartland Catfish Co. Inc., et al. v. Navigators Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-368, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73795).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on May 12 entered judgment against an insurer after determining that the insurer is required to pay for remediation services rendered on behalf of its insured and may seek reimbursement from its insured if it believes the services are not covered under the policy at issue (Environmental Cleanup Inc. v. Ruiz Transport LLC, et al., No. 15-867, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72707).
LAKELAND, Fla. — On remand, a trial judge should enter a corrected judgment to show that an insured must contract for repairs within damages awarded by a jury and that the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) is required to pay actual repair costs to the contractors up to the combined statutory cap, a Florida appeals panel ruled May 12 (Maria Pupo v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 2D15-3901, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 6775).
PHILADELPHIA — An insurer adequately alleged a relationship between an insurance policy and a reinsurance contract, even without reference to a cession statement, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 12, denying the reinsurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings on the insurer’s breach of contract counterclaim (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72964).
BOSTON — A collection of insurance syndicates sued an insurer on April 11 in Massachusetts federal court, seeking to compel arbitration with regard to their involvement in an underlying coverage dispute over environmental claims that would affect reinsurance billings (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Transport Insurance Co., No. 17-10618, D. Mass.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on May 4 stayed a breach of contract dispute between a reinsurer and insurer so that the parties could pursue a settlement agreement (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. v. Century Indemnity Co. as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-170, D. Conn.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on May 9 denied motions for reconsideration filed by insurers involved in a construction defects coverage suit after determining that the insurers failed to raise any issues that warrant reconsideration (Eagle Harbour Condominium Association v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-5312, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70793).
RICHMOND, Va. — An insured insulation company filed a notice May 2 to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals appealing a partial summary judgment order entered in favor of a number of solvent and insolvent insurers involved in an asbestos coverage dispute after it was determined that the insured’s claims regarding the exhaustion of the insurers’ policies were not timely filed (General Insurance Company of America and The Walter E. Campbell Co. Inc. v. The Continental Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1585, 4th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA — An insured seeking coverage for underlying asbestos-related claims filed against it on May 5 filed a petition for en banc rehearing in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the appeals panel’s finding that a policy’s asbestos exclusion is enforceable was in error (General Refractories Company v. First State Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3409, 3rd Cir.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — In a May 8 stipulation of dismissal filed in New York federal court, Amtrak and one of its insurers notified the court that they have agreed to settle their claims in an environmental contamination and asbestos injury coverage suit (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 14-4717, E.D. N.Y.).