NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on May 30 confirmed an appraisal award of approximately $5,000 entered in favor of insureds whose home sustained mold damage following Superstorm Sandy, rejecting the insureds’ argument that the appraisal failed to comply with the court’s prior order regarding the terms of the appraisal.
BOSTON — A district court properly found that an insurer is entitled to reimbursement for defense costs paid on behalf of its insureds and has no duty to contribute to the settlement of a bodily injury suit stemming from an employee’s contact with raw sewage because the policy’s fungi and bacteria exclusion clearly precludes coverage, the insurer says in an appellee brief filed in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
DETROIT — No coverage is afforded for water damage in an insured home because the homeowners policy at issue clearly excludes coverage for damages caused by surface water, a Michigan federal judge said in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment and dismissing the suit against the insurer.
TRENTON, N.J. — An insured’s counterclaims for breach of contract and bad faith alleged against its excess insurer, which relied on its policy’s total pollution exclusion to deny coverage for underlying suits arising out of an explosion set off by the use of the insured’s magnesium powder, must be dismissed for failure to allege sufficient facts in support of the claims, a New Jersey federal judge said in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss.
TRENTON, N.J. — A trial court did not err in determining that an insured’s claim for the collapse of his home’s foundation is not covered because experts hired by both the homeowners insurer and the insured determined that the collapse was caused by water seepage and earth movement, both of which are excluded causes of loss under the policy, the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division said May 23.
MOBILE, Ala. — In the wake of a nearly $170,000 verdict against it in an insurance dispute over the handling of a property damage claim after Hurricane Sally, an insurer has filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial, arguing that an insured church failed to establish that its claimed losses were covered under the policy, that the insured’s expert testimony was not reliable and that the “jury instructions were incomplete.”
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 affirmed a district court’s ruling that a pollution liability insurer owes no coverage to an insured for an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured illegally discharged wastewater into a city sewage treatment facility because the underlying suit does not allege an occurrence for which coverage exists.
NEW YORK — In a May 22 ruling that represents its best guess as to what the United Kingdom Supreme Court would do, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel upheld a decision against an English facultative reinsurer over all-sums allocation of an environmental claims settlement.
PHILADELPHIA — Homeowners and a contractor are appealing to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a federal judge in Pennsylvania’s determination that the contractor’s insurer owes them no coverage for personal injuries one of the homeowners sustained as a result of a mold infestation caused by the contractor’s negligent workmanship.
SEATTLE — In three rulings, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 19 affirmed a Washington federal judge’s ruling that granted insurers’ motion to dismiss consolidated class actions brought by western Washington businesses seeking coverage for lost income stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, agreeing that COVID-19 does not cause the physical loss or damage to the insureds’ property that is required to trigger coverage.
DETROIT — An insured counters in a response to an umbrella liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment filed in Michigan federal court that the plain language of a three-year policy provides that the policy’s $5 million limit applies separately to each of the policy’s three years for underlying environmental contamination suits filed against the insured and does not only provide one $5 million policy limit for all three years.
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge denied an insured’s motion for leave to amend its complaint to add claims for statutory and common-law bad faith against its insurer in a coverage dispute arising out of toxic emissions created by the insured’s practice of sugarcane burning after determining that the bad faith claims are not yet ripe as the court has not resolved the issue of damages.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — An excess insurer’s policies only require the insurer to indemnify its insured for covered claims and does not require the insurer to defend against claims, a California federal judge said in partly granting the excess insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a groundwater contamination coverage suit.
DALLAS — An insured is not entitled to coverage for cleanup and remediation costs incurred as a result of a crude oil pipeline rupture because the excess policy at issue contains a pollution endorsement that bars coverage for the costs incurred by the insured, a second-layer excess liability insurer maintains in a complaint filed in Texas federal court.
RICHMOND, Va. — A district court erred in finding that a primary insurer owes a duty to defend its insured against an underlying suit arising out of exposure to Legionella bacteria at an insured hotel because the phrase “good or product intended for bodily consumption” as used in the policy’s bacteria exclusion is not ambiguous, the primary insurer contends in its appellant brief filed in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition for panel rehearing filed by insureds and refused to reconsider its finding that a mold exclusion in a homeowners policy bars coverage for the insureds’ mold damages.
OMAHA, Neb. — After three defendants cited Pennsylvania liquidation proceedings in asking a Nebraska federal court for stays in a suit over the $157.2 million settlement National Indemnity Co. (NICO) reached with Montana regarding alleged asbestos exposures, NICO says in a May 15 filing that it does not oppose a stay against one of the defendants.
DETROIT — An umbrella liability insurer filed a motion for partial summary in Michigan federal court, contending that its three-year policy includes only one $5 million policy limit for all three years and not three separate $5 million limits if it is found to owe coverage for underlying environmental contamination suits filed against the insured.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge denied a homeowners insurer’s motion for entry of default in a suit seeking a coverage declaration for water and mold damages and, instead, granted the insureds’ motion for an extension of time to file an answer to the insurer’s declaratory judgment complaint.
NEWARK, N.J. — An insured seeking coverage for an underlying asbestos bodily injury suit is not entitled to coverage under primary and excess policies because the insured breached the policies’ notice provisions by failing to notify its insurers of the underlying lawsuit until after a jury verdict was entered, a New Jersey federal judge said in granted the insurers’ motion for summary judgment.