NEWARK, N.J. — Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper because a third-party’s claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal magistrate judge in New Jersey ruled Feb. 17 (North Jersey Brain & Spine Center v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1544, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22710).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel will hear oral arguments on March 7 in an appeal of a federal district court ruling granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on its insured’s insurance bad faith claim in which the lower court held that no genuine issue of material fact existed showing that the insurer acted in bad faith in its investigation and handling of the insured’s underinsured motorist claim (Chris “Wyatt” Hicks v. Progressive Casualty Insurance, No. 15-55953, 9th Cir.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Unable to determine from the evidence provided whether an insured’s disability benefits plan is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a federal judge in New Mexico on Feb. 14 converted the insurer’s motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment and ordered supplemental briefing (Sherry Evans-Carmichael v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., No. 16-276, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20599).
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.).
DENVER — A two-year statute of limitations precludes an insured’s breach of contract claim against its insurer for denied coverage for property damage to commercial properties, a Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 13 (The Pinewood Townhome Association Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 15-01604, D. Colo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19999).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Feb. 9 denied as moot errors and omissions insurers’ motion for leave to appeal a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued in a bankruptcy court in a coverage dispute with their insured MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) (MF Global Holdings Ltd., et al. v. Allied World Assurance Co. Ltd., et al., Nos. 17-106 and 17-113, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19328).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An insured’s claims for insurance breach of contract and bad faith against his insurer were not timely filed within the contractual limitations period and the insured failed to show that the insurer engaged in any outrageous conduct to support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress in failing to provide coverage under a comprehensive long-term care policy, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 9 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Donald Mann v. Mutual of Omaha, et al., No. 16-2560, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18732).
RENO, Nev. — A federal district court did not err in finding that, without bad faith, the liability of an insurer that has breached its duty to defend is not increased beyond the limits of the policy, and the Nevada Supreme Court should answer a question posed by a federal appeals court in the affirmative, a group of trade associations of major property and casualty insurance companies argues in a Jan. 24 amicus brief filed in the Nevada Supreme Court (James Nalder, guardian ad litem on behalf of Cheyanne Nalder, et al. v. United Automobile Insurance Co., No. 70504, Nev. Sup.).
SCRANTON, Pa. — Summary judgment on an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims regarding a homeowners insurance policy is proper because the claims pertain to property not subject to the insurance policy, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania ruled Feb. 6 in his report and recommendation (Andrew Porter v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. 15-0759, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17142).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insured in a third-party insurance bad faith lawsuit because the third party failed to show that the insurer failed to meet its obligations to its insured as required, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 1 in affirming (Norma Ines Feijoo v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 15-14947, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1759).
DENVER — In a bad faith lawsuit between a contractor and insurer, a Colorado federal judge on Feb. 8 certified a question to the state’s high court on whether a claim under Colorado Revised Statutes Section 10-3-1116 is subject to a one-year statute of limitations and applicable to “All actions for any penalty of forfeiture of any penal statutes” (Rooftop Restorations Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-2560, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17787).
TULSA, Okla. — An insured has only pleaded conclusory allegations in making claims that his insurer acted in bad faith in failing to pay completely for damages under a homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Feb. 6 in granting in part and denying in part the insurer’s motion to dismiss and granting the insured leave to amend his bad faith claim (Neil Erbe v. AAA Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-596, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16184).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — An insured’s breach of contract claim against her homeowners insurance provider was filed outside the contractual and statutory limitations periods and is, thus, time-barred, while her remaining claims for insurance bad faith and declaratory relief are duplicative of the breach of contract claim, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 6 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Gelsomnia Maniello v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 16-1598, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16450).
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).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — An insured has sufficiently pleaded more than just “mere conclusions” in making his insurance bad faith claim against his homeowners insurance carrier and, thus, his claim is sufficient pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a federal judge in South Dakota ruled Feb. 3 in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Steven Haney v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-4113, D. S.D., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15154).
SAN FRANCISCO — A policy’s continuous or progressive injury exclusion bars coverage for two underlying suits filed against an insured because the insured’s repair work to address the water intrusion problems was completed more than four years before the inception of the policy, a California federal judge said Jan. 31 (Saarman Construction Ltd. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-3548, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13633).
PHOENIX — An Arizona trial court did not err in granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because the insurer provided sufficient evidence that it properly conducted its investigation into an insured’s homeowners insurance claim, an Arizona Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 31 (Norma Epperson, et al. v. AAA Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0846, Ariz. App., Div. 1, 2017 Ariz. App. LEXIS 95).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — On Jan. 31, Yahoo! Inc. sued its commercial general liability (CGL) provider in California federal court, alleging breach of contract and bad faith related to the insurer’s decision not to defend or indemnify the internet firm in four class actions alleging privacy violations in certain email-scanning practices (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 5:17-cv-00489, N.D. Calif.).
LUCAS, Ohio — A trial court did not err in granting partial summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the life insurance agreement was “clear and unambiguous,” an Ohio appellate panel ruled Jan. 27 (Craig Harris, et al. v. Transamerica Advisors Life Insurance Co., No. 15-1252, Ohio App., 6th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 336).
SAN ANTONIO — An insured has shown that a claims adjuster and its employee violated provisions of the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and, thus, that those defendants were properly joined in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Texas ruled Jan. 31 in granting an insured’s motion to remand the action to state court (Kris Hospitality LLC, d/b/a Days Inn, v. Tri-State Insurance Co. of Minnesota, et al., No. 16-1229, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13532).