LAKE CHARLES, La. — An excess commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying environmental contamination lawsuit because the damages alleged in the underlying suit occurred outside of the insurer’s policy periods, a Louisiana federal judge said Aug. 16 in granting the excess insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Admiral Insurance Co. v. Zadeck Energy Group Inc., No. 16-912, W.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139334).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 13 reversed a district court’s ruling that California law, rather than Alabama law, applies to an environmental contamination coverage suit because each of the policies at issue clearly mentions Alabama as the place of the performance (Arrow Electronics Inc. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., et al., No. 18-55810, 9th Cir.).
RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 9 granted summary judgment in favor of a professional liability insurer after determining that no coverage is owed to its insured for damages arising out of its mold remediation work because coverage is clearly precluded under the policy’s pollution liability coverage form (Rockhill Insurance Co. v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 17-496, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134194).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge on Aug. 12 granted an umbrella insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a carbon monoxide poisoning coverage suit after determining that the insurer had no duty to defend its insured against an underlying suit because the underlying policy was not exhausted (Travis and Jessica Fritz, et al. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., No. 17-433. E.D. Tenn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135066).
NEW YORK — A New York justice on Aug. 1 dismissed an interpleader complaint filed by two excess insurers involved in an asbestos coverage dispute, agreeing with a defendant that the excess insurers failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted (Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., et al. v. Mary Murphy Clagget, et al., No. 650546/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4293).
BATON ROUGE, La. — The First Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal on Aug. 7 reversed a trial court’s ruling against Exxon Mobil Corp. and its liability insurer after determining that the survivors of the former Exxon employee who alleged wrongful death claims as a result of the former employee’s exposure to benzene timely filed the claims against Exxon and its insurer (Michael Martin Mulkey Sr. v. Century Indemnity Co. et al., No. 2018 CA 1551, La. App., 1st Cir., 2019 La. App. LEXIS 1387).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Aug. 2 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by an insurer after determining that questions of fact exist as to the cause of mold that contaminated an insured’s bird seed products (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Mills Bros. International Inc. et al., No. 18-1661, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129598).
NEW YORK — A provision in a 1970s insurance policy for asbestos liability can only be read to allow an insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. to reduce the policy limits to zero by offsetting a previous settlement amount, the insurer argues in an Aug. 7 reply in support of its summary judgment bid in a New York federal bankruptcy court adversary action (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho federal judge on Aug. 2 granted an insurer’s motion to intervene in an environmental contamination coverage dispute because none of the parties to the coverage suit adequately represents the interests of the insurer seeking intervention (Huntsman Advanced Materials LLC v. OneBeacon American Insurance Co., No. 08-229, D. Idaho, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129846).
TOLLAND, Conn. — Questions of fact exist as to whether an insured home’s basement walls experienceda sudden falling or caving in as the result of defective concrete used when the foundation walls were built, a Connecticut judge said July 11 in denying the homeowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Alan J. Gnann, et al. v. United Services Automobile Association, No. CV166010517S , Conn. Super., 2019 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1955).
NEW YORK — A New York justice on Aug. 1 dismissed an insurer’s complaint and entered final judgment against the insurer based on prior rulings that coverage is owed for underlying asbestos claims arising out of the construction of the original World Trade Center towers and that the policy at issue is not exhausted (American Home Assurance Co. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, et al., No. 651096/12, N.Y. Sup., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4306).
DENVER — An insured is entitled to defense and indemnity for underlying environmental contamination liabilities, a Colorado federal judge said Aug. 5; however, the insurers must decide on the proper method of allocation to determine the amount of contribution owed by one of the insurers (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. et al., No. 18-1896, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130976).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nonparty insurers create federal jurisdiction in five asbestos personal injury cases against their dissolved insured simply because the company’s receiver changed the case name, a federal judge held July 26 in dismissing the action (Roxanne Falls, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., Timothy W. Howe, et al. v Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., James Michael Hill v. Advance Auto Parts Inc., et al., Denver D. Taylor, et al. v Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No.19-1948, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124742).
BALTIMORE — A homeowners insurer is not entitled to summary judgment on an insured’s claims of breach of contract and bad faith because issues of fact exist regarding whether additional coverage is owed for water and mold damages in the insured home, a Maryland federal judge said Aug. 1 (William Jackson v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-1612, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129884).
FORT WORTH, Texas — The Second District Texas Court of Appeals on July 30 determined that insureds’ claims seeking coverage for storm damages to their home are time-barred because the claims in the insureds’ third-amended complaint did not relate back to claims in the insureds’ previously filed complaints and were filed after the two-year limitations period (Richard Seim, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, et al., No. 02-16-00050, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 6557).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 30 remanded a district court’s ruling in favor of an excess insurer in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the lower court must consider whether a primary insurer’s payment for claims arising out of one of three landfills applied to all of the landfills and exhausted the primary insurer’s limits under a 1982 primary policy (Penn National Insurance Co. v. North River Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-2687, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22561).
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on July 25 denied a reinsurer’s motion for partial summary judgment in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that an ambiguity exists as to whether defense costs paid by an insurer on behalf of an insured are covered under the reinsurance policies at issue (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., No. 13-1178, N.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124077).
MIAMI — The Third District Florida Court of Appeal on July 24 reversed a trial court’s judgment in favor of an insurer in a mold coverage dispute after determining that a suit filed by a mold testing company against the insurer did not bar the insureds’ suit against the insurer (Margarita Brito, et al. v. Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 3D18-1448, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 11643).
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 reversed and remanded a lower court’s finding that a professional liability insurance policy’s faulty workmanship exclusion precluded coverage for a lawsuit alleging that the insured poorly designed and constructed a fisheries enhancement project and the court’s grant of summary judgment on the insured’s claim of statutory bad faith but affirmed the dismissal of the insured’s common-law bad faith claim (Rockhill Insurance Company v. CFI-Global Fisheries Management, et al., Nos. 18-1201 & No. 18-1207, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22049).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Because there was alleged damage to other property, not property that an insured contracted to provide, and that damage was caused by an accident, a flood, there are claims for property damage caused by an “occurrence,” a panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held July 22, reversing the entry of judgment that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify (Pennsylvania Manufacturers Indemnity Co. v. Pottstown Industrial Complex LP, et al., No. 3489 EDA 2018, Pa. Super., 2019 Pa. Super. LEXIS 729).