Mealey's Insurance

  • July 20, 2017

    Court Allows Widow To Add Claims To Suit Over Missing Asbestos Payment

    NEW YORK — A widow may add claims for declaratory judgment and tortious interference with contract to her case claiming that insurers and an administrator are intentionally delaying or denying payment on a more than $7 million asbestos verdict, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 18 (Ruby Konstantin, et al. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., et al., No. 652897/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2697).

  • July 20, 2017

    Reinsurer, Insurer’s Late Notice Dispute Set For Trial In Federal Court

    UTICA, N.Y. — A reinsurer and insurer’s dispute over reinsurance concerning an underlying $325 million settlement of asbestos claims against an insured has been scheduled for trial on Nov. 13 (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., No. 09-cv-00853, N.D. N.Y.).

  • July 19, 2017

    2nd Circuit Panel Remands Judgment In Contamination Dispute For Proper Allocation

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 18 vacated and remanded a judgment entered against an insurer in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the damages must be allocated in accordance with the all sums, vertical exhaustion method outlined in a 2016 decision by the New York Court of Appeals (Olin Corp. v. OneBeacon America Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2047, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12939).

  • July 19, 2017

    Reinsurer Argues To New York High Court For Cap Of Defense Costs In Asbestos Suit

    NEW YORK — Reinsurance certificates should be interpreted according to their plain language requiring “all reinsurance ‘subject to’ the amount of liability and subordinating the follow-the-form clause to the certificates’ specific terms,” a reinsurer argues in a brief filed June 27 in the New York Court of Appeals, saying that its liability for defending and indemnifying asbestos litigation is capped (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co., No. CTQ-2016, 0005, N.Y. App.).

  • July 18, 2017

    New Jersey Federal Magistrate Consolidates 2 Environmental Contamination Lawsuits

    NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on July 14 granted an insured’s motion to consolidate a subrogation lawsuit filed by a property owner against an insured and an insurance coverage lawsuit filed against the insured after determining that the suits involve common questions of law regarding subrogation of costs and coverage for a property contaminated with mercury (BRG Harrison Lofts Urban Renewal LLC v. General Electric Company, et al., and Evanston Insurance Co. v. Accredited Environmental Technologies Inc., et al., Nos. 16-6577, 17-1584, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109447).

  • July 17, 2017

    Panel Dismisses Insurance Guaranty Association From Asbestos Coverage Dispute

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 dismissed the Property & Casualty Insurance Guaranty Corp. (PCIGC) from an insured insulation company’s appeal of a partial summary judgment order entered in favor of a number of solvent and insolvent insurers involved in an asbestos coverage case (General Insurance Company of America and The Walter E. Campbell Co. Inc. v. United States Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1585, 4th Cir.).

  • July 17, 2017

    Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Contaminant Dispersed Within Swine Feed

    MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge July 14 granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by an insurer after determining that a policy’s pollution exclusion bars coverage for contaminated fat products supplied to a pork producer because the pollution exclusion applies to the contaminant that was dispersed within the supplied fat products fed to the pork producer’s swine (Restaurant Recycling LLC, v. New Fashion Pork LLP, intervenor plaintiff, v. Employer Mutual Casualty Company, d/b/a EMC Insurance Companies and Hamilton Mutual Insurance Company, No. 17-7, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109755).

  • July 14, 2017

    Insured’s Negligent Work Constitutes An ‘Occurrence’ Under Policy, 1st Circuit Says

    CHICAGO — A condominium association’s claim that a painting subcontractor acted negligently is sufficient under Illinois law to constitute an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 13 (Westfield Insurance Co. v. National Decorating Service, Inc., et al., No. 16-1439, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12516).

  • July 13, 2017

    Professional Services Exclusion Bars Coverage For Pipeline Explosion, Panel Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — The First District California Court of Appeal on July 11 affirmed a trial court’s  judgment in favor of an excess insurer after finding that its policy’s professional services exclusion bars  coverage for underlying claims arising from a deadly pipeline explosion (Energy Insurance Mutual Limited v. Ace American Insurance Co., No. A140656, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4).

  • July 13, 2017

    Illinois Judge Rejects Insured’s Arguments, Denies Motion To Reconsider

    CHICAGO — An Illinois judge on July 10 denied an insured’s motion for reconsideration in an environmental contamination coverage suit, rejecting the insured’s argument that the court erred in determining that the underlying environmental contamination suit did not allege any release of hazardous materials into the environment (Illinois Toolworks Inc. v. ACE Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-20792, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).

  • July 13, 2017

    Insurer Permitted To Depose 2 Individuals Regarding Knowledge Of Policies

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal judge on July 10 granted an insurer’s motion to compel the deposition of two individuals after determining that the insurer is entitled to depose the individuals regarding their knowledge of policies issued to insureds seeking coverage for environmental contamination claims (Eli Lilly and Co., et al. v. Arch Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-1770, S.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105833).

  • July 12, 2017

    Judge Allows First-Party Insured’s Bad Faith Claim To Proceed To Trial

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa — While dismissing an insured’s third-party bad faith claim against an insurer for denied coverage of water damage, an Iowa federal judge on June 30 allowed the insured’s first-party bad faith and punitive damages claims to proceed to trial (Tim Van Der Weide v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 14-4100, N.D. Iowa; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101735).

  • July 11, 2017

    9th Circuit Vacates Ruling Enjoining Insurers From Pursuing ICC Case

    PORTLAND, Ore. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 10 vacated a district court's decision enjoining two surety companies from participating in an international arbitration case, vacating a trial court's ruling enjoining them from pursuing their claims related to a guarantee (Portland General Electric Co. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-35628, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12267).

  • July 11, 2017

    Insurer Owes Defense To Insureds For Environmental Contamination Suit, Judge Says

    HOUSTON — An insurer has a duty to defend its insureds in an underlying environmental contamination suit because the policy’s exclusions for pollution and use of an auto do not apply to bar coverage, a Texas federal judge said July 7 in granting the insureds’ motion for summary judgment (USA Environment, L.P. et  al., v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co. n/k/a AIG Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-2216, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104962).

  • July 11, 2017

    6th Circuit Majority Says Settlement Agreement Applies To Only 1 Battery Plant

    CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on June 30 reversed a district court’s finding that a 1989 settlement agreement regarding environmental cleanup costs bars all potential claims for environmental contamination arising out of  two of the insured’s battery plants after determining that the settlement agreement pertains only to coverage for one of the battery plants (Employers Insurance of Wausau, et al. v. McGraw Edison Company, No. 16-1264, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11773).

  • July 11, 2017

    California Panel Affirms No Coverage Due For Damage To Underground Storage Tank

    LOS ANGELES — An insured is not entitled to coverage for the collapse of an underground storage tank because an impairment of the tank’s structural integrity does not qualify as an actual collapse for which coverage is afforded under the policy, the Second District California Court of Appeal said July 3 (Tustin Field Gas & Food, Inc., v. Mid-Century Insurance Company, No. B268850, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 602).

  • July 11, 2017

    Illinois Majority Says Insured’s Documents May Be Protected

    CHICAGO — The First District Illinois Appellate Court on June 30 reversed a trial court’s order regarding the production of documents by an insured after determining that the documents may be protected by the attorney-client privilege (Motorola Solutions Inc, v. Zurich Insurance Company, et al., No. 1-16-1465, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1, 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 443).

  • July 10, 2017

    Federal Judge Says Claims Related To Environmental Remediation Not Timely Filed

    BECKLEY, W.Va. — A West Virginia federal judge on July 7 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an environmental remediation coverage suit after determining that the insured’s claims for breach of contract and bad faith were not filed within the applicable statute of limitations (R.T. Rogers Oil Company Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Company, No. 16-1390, S.D. W.Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105150).

  • July 10, 2017

    Maryland Federal Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss In Pier Collapse Suit

    BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge on July 5 denied a third-party defendant’s motion to dismiss an insured’s third-party complaint alleging claims arising out of a collapsed pier after determining that the insured stated a plausible negligence claim against the third-party defendant  (The Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. The Harborview Marina & Yacht Club Community Association Inc., No. 16-769, D. Md.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103260).

  • July 5, 2017

    Bankruptcy Judge Removes Consent Finding In Coverage Dispute Ruling

    CHICAGO — An insurer successfully petitioned an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge to remove a finding in his ruling denying the insurer summary judgment in a coverage dispute with asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Oakfabco Inc. that the insurer waived its right to object to the ruling, according to a June 29 amended opinion (In re:  Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 1856).