SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Feb. 23 denied a motion to file an amended complaint in a suit filed by insureds seeking coverage for asbestos contamination after determining that the insureds failed to prove that the addition of an insurance agent as a defendant is necessary to get complete relief.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. on Feb. 23 dropped its bid for sanctions against a couple who filed state court asbestos fraud claims against the debtor, saying it is withdrawing its request for sanctions due to the death of the husband but that it is continuing with its request against another couple and their law firm.
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Feb. 22 refused to dismiss business interruption coverage and bad faith claims brought against an insurer in three bellwether lawsuits arising from the governmental shutdown of hospitality businesses in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, finding that a reasonable jury can find that the insureds suffered “a direct ‘physical’ loss of property on their premises.”
CHICAGO — No coverage is owed to an insured city for an underlying suit filed by city residents who allege that the city supplied contaminated water to its residents because the policies’ exclusions for lead and pollution bar coverage, two insurers maintain in a Feb. 18 complaint filed in Illinois state court.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to a homeowners insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims because the policy at issue clearly limited the amount of coverage available for fungi and wet-rot damages, an Ohio appellate panel said Feb. 23.
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Feb. 22 denied a commercial general liability insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract and declaratory relief lawsuit brought by McDonald’s Corp. and former and current franchise owners seeking coverage for an underlying class action injunction alleging that they are taking inadequate steps to contain COVID-19 in the workplace.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal judge in Illinois on Feb. 18 granted in part a commercial insurer’s motion to dismiss a dentist insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its lost income arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured fails to state a claim, but allowed the insured to amend his complaint and conduct discovery into his alter-ego theory.
PHILADELPHIA — Three insurers on Jan. 27 filed separate appellee briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals defending a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in their favor in a steel manufacturer insured’s breach of contract, bad faith and declaratory relief lawsuit arising from underlying claims alleging exposure to various chemical additives at a muffler manufacturer’s facility.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 22 denied an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari in an oil and gas well damage suit, refusing to review the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ dismissal of the insured’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
SAN FRANCISCO — Small businesses that own and operate Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams on Feb. 8 asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of their breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage for their losses arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
NEW YORK — An insurer owes no coverage for damages to an insured building caused by the overflow of a toilet in a tenant’s unit because the policy’s water exclusion clearly precludes coverage, a New York justice said Jan. 26 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
AKRON, Ohio — Granting an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 17 held that although a restaurant owner insured plausibly alleged that governmental shutdown orders and the possible or actual presence of the novel coronavirus interfered with its intended use of its restaurant properties, the properties were not materially or perceptibly destroyed, harmed or ruined and remain in the insured’s possession.
GOSHEN, N.Y. — A New York justice on Feb. 12 dismissed a bus contractor insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage under an “all risk” commercial property insurance policy for its business interruption losses and extra expenses incurred as a direct result of governmental shutdown orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, finding that under state law, there is no “business income/extra expense” coverage in the absence of “direct physical loss or damage” to the insured’s premises.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 17 denied an insured’s motion for reargument or rehearing in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the insured failed to identifyany change of controlling law or any new evidence that would warrant reconsideration of the court’s finding that no coverage is owed for the underlying asbestos claims.
ST. LOUIS — A federal judge in Missouri on Feb. 16 held that “the great weight of authority supports” insurers’ argument that “direct physical loss of” requires that “some physical event” occurs on the insureds’ properties, granting the insurers’ motion for judgment on the pleadings in a breach of contract and bad faith coverage lawsuit arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
NEWARK, N.J. — In a Feb. 1 answer to an industrial equipment supplier’s complaint alleging that an insurer breached its contract by refusing to pay for an environmental investigation and remediation at an insured property, the insurer claims that the insured’s claims against it may be barred based on the insured’s failure to provide timely notice of an occurrence under the policy.
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 15 granted an insurer and reinsurer’s motion to dismiss a dispute over the reinsurer’s alleged failure to indemnify environmental claims payments after the parties reached an agreement to dismiss the suit with prejudice.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 12 determined that an insurer must pay its insured approximately $24.2 million in prejudgment interest on a $25 million judgment entered for the insured for past environmental contamination costs incurred at one of the insured’s sites.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Feb. 11 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that no coverage is owed for damages caused by a sewer backup because the policy clearly excludes coverage for damages caused by water backups.
SAN FRANCISCO — One day after an insurer filed an answering brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a retailer insured’s appeal of a federal judge’s dismissal of its class complaint seeking coverage under a comprehensive business insurance policy for its claimed losses following the state’s “Stay at Home” order in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, United Policyholders on Feb. 9 said its amicus support is “especially vital” in the case “because the issues implicated by this case are far-reaching and of critical importance, as they may affect the fate of insurance recoveries for small businesses throughout California.”