Mealey's Insurance

  • February 23, 2017

    Judge: Most Of Amtrak’s Claims Of Attorney-Client Privilege Should Be Sustained

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Feb. 17 found that most of Amtrak’s claims of attorney-client privilege should be sustained with some exceptions, adopting the majority of a special master’s report and recommendation in a coverage dispute over environmental contamination (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al., v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 14-4717, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23680).

  • February 17, 2017

    Insurer Files Complaint, Seeks Rescission Of Product Contamination Policy

    NEW YORK — An insurer claims in a Feb. 10 complaint filed in New York federal court that rescission of its product contamination insurance policy is warranted because the insured failed to disclose its knowledge of a possible contamination of its frozen vegetables (Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co. v. CRF Frozen Foods LLC, et al., No. 17-1030, S.D. N.Y.).

  • February 17, 2017

    9th Circuit: Insurance Policy Bars Damage Caused By ‘Subsidence’

    SAN FRANCISCO — Claims against a mutually insured subcontractor for damage caused by “subsidence” are excluded under an insurance policy, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 14, finding that an insurer had no duty to defend and thus was not responsible to share in costs incurred by a defending insurer (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. Navigators Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-56723, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2586).

  • February 17, 2017

    10th Circuit Panel Says No Breach Of Contract For Denying Claim For Damages

    DENVER — Because an insured failed to establish that it suffered water damage to “covered property” at a renovation project under a builders risk policy, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 16 affirmed a Colorado federal judge’s finding that the insurer properly denied coverage and did not breach its contract (Gerald H. Phipps, Inc. d/b/a GH Phipps Construction Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 16-1039, 10th Cir.).

  • February 16, 2017

    Washington Federal Judge Denies Motion For Summary Judgment On Bad Faith Claims

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Feb. 13 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s claims for bad faith in an environmental coverage dispute because the judge previously found that the insurer breached its duty to defend and any estoppel argument is now irrelevant to the disposal of the insured’s bad faith claims (King County v. Travelers Indemnity Co., et al., No. C14-1957, W.D. Wash.).

  • February 16, 2017

    Insureds Failed To File Suit Within 1-Year Limitation Period, Federal Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES — Because insureds seeking coverage for damages to their home caused by a sewage backup did not file their lawsuit against their insurers until well after the policy’s one-year limitation period expired, a California federal judge on Feb. 13 granted the insurers’ motion for summary judgment and dismissed the insureds’ complaint in its entirety (Jacqueline Keller, et al. v. Federal Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-3946, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20820).

  • February 15, 2017

    Judge Rules In Insurer’s Favor In Suit Arising From Superstorm Sandy Flood Damage

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 14 granted a federal flood insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by insureds seeking a declaration that they are entitled to coverage and compensatory damages stemming from the insurer’s purported mishandling of their Superstorm Sandy flood claim (Herbert Ruth and Danna Ruth v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-2616, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20534).

  • February 14, 2017

    Washington Federal Judge: Insurers Breached Duty To Defend In Environmental Suit

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Feb. 10 granted an insured’s motion for summary judgment after determining that three insurers breached their contracts of insurance by refusing to defend the insured against state and federal agency claims arising out of environmental contamination because the claims are potentially covered under the policies at issue (King County v. Travelers Indemnity Co., et al., No. C14-1957, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19397).

  • February 14, 2017

    California Appeals Panel Says No Additional Coverage Owed For Water Damages

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer owes no additional coverage for water damages to an insured’s condominium, the First District California Court of Appeal, Division Four,  said Feb. 10 after determining that substantial evidence supports a jury’s verdict in favor of the insurer (Greg Kawai v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. A136569, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1006).

  • February 13, 2017

    Insured Ordered To File Motion To Remand If It Objects To Removal

    SHREVEPORT, La. — A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on Feb. 10 ordered an insured seeking coverage for damages caused by a sewage backup that occurred during the insured’s work in a neighborhood to file a motion to remand its suit if it contests the insurer’s notice of removal to Louisiana federal court (Eagle Water LLC v. Arch Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-250, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19317).

  • February 13, 2017

    Insured Seeks Coverage For Water Damage Caused By Burst Water Pipe

    BISMARCK, N.D. — An insurer acted in bad faith by denying a claim for water damage to an insured apartment building because water damage is listed as a “specified cause of loss” in the policy, an insured claims in a Feb. 7 complaint filed in North Dakota federal court (Spring Glen Apartments LLP v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-28, D. N.D.).

  • February 13, 2017

    Policy Limits Coverage For Insureds’ Water Damage, New York Panel Majority Says

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Because an insurance policy limits coverage to $25,000 for water damage and an insured property was damaged by water that entered the basement through a broken conduit, a trial court erred in denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment, a Fourth Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division majority said Feb. 10 (Ronald J. Papa, et al., v. Associated Indemnity Corp., et al., No. 16-01136, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1132).

  • February 13, 2017

    2nd Circuit Panel Says Policy Is Ambiguous On Insurer’s Liability Limits

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 vacated a district court’s award of partial judgment on the pleadings entered in favor of an insured seeking coverage for an oil spill after determining that the policy language regarding the insurer’s liability to the insured is ambiguous (American Commercial Lines LLC v. Water Quality Insurance Syndicate, Nos. 16-91, 16-119, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2460).

  • February 13, 2017

    Judge: ‘Vacancy Provision’ Does Not Exclude Insured’s Water Damage Claim

    SCRANTON, Pa. — Because more than 31 percent of an insured condominium development's common areas were in use at the time a loss for water damage occurred, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 10 that an insurance policy’s “Vacancy Provision” does not apply to exclude coverage for the insured’s claim (Village Heights Condominium Association v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 16-554, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19425).

  • February 10, 2017

    Panel Finds Insured’s Flood Loss Barred, Affirms Judgment Notwithstanding Verdict

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Finding that a church’s cause of loss was a flood and, consequently, that the loss was excluded under its insurance policy, an Iowa appeals panel on Feb. 8 affirmed a trial judge’s granting of an insurer’s motion for judgment notwithstanding a $717,000 verdict in favor of the church (Salem United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-0170, Iowa App., 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 122).

  • February 9, 2017

    Reinsurer Says It Was Not Obligated To Follow The Fortunes Of Its Reinsured

    NEW YORK — A reinsurer told the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 that a lower court judge erred in finding that the reinsurer was obligated to pay its reinsured under the follow-the-fortunes or follow-the-settlement doctrine (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-2824 and Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 16-2535, 2nd Cir.).

  • February 8, 2017

    Judge: Fact Issues Exist On If Roofing Limitation Bars Coverage For Insured

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A genuine issue of material fact exists as to the suitability of a roof covering on a homeowner’s roof in order to trigger a roofing limitation endorsement in a commercial general liability insurance policy that would preclude coverage for damages, a South Carolina federal judge held Feb. 6 (Williford Roofing Inc. v. Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-01830, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16033).

  • February 7, 2017

    New York Justice: Insurer’s Claims Against Sprinkler Company Must Be Dismissed

    ITHACA, N.Y. — A New York justice on Feb. 1 determined that an insurer’s claims against a company with which the insured contracted to install a sprinkler system must be dismissed because the applicable contract between the insured and the defendant included a subrogation waiver that bars the insurer from seeking reimbursement from the defendant (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., as subrogee of Country Club of Ithaca, NY Inc. v. Buffalo Hotel Supply Co. Inc., et al., No. EF2015-0101, N.Y. Sup., Tompkins Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 346).

  • February 7, 2017

    Judge Finds Subcontractor Exception Negates ‘Your Work’ Exclusion In Insurance Policy

    ORLANDO, Fla. — On reconsideration, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 6 that a commercial general liability insurer had a duty to defend a lawsuit over damage to a condominium complex because the subcontractor exception negates application of the “your work” exclusion (Evanston Insurance Co. v. DiMucci Development Corporation of Ponce Inlet Inc. and Towers Grande Condominium Association, No. 15-486, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16154).

  • February 7, 2017

    Insurer: Claim Barred By Failure To Comply With Warehouse Receipt Provision

    CHICAGO — An insurer has asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reject an insured assignee’s argument that a lower court erred in finding that the failure to obtain a storage agreement or warehouse receipt bars coverage for the contamination of products stored at the insured's warehouse (PQ Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 16-3280, 7th Cir.).