WILMINGTON, Del. — A hit-and-run victim and the company that insured the perpetrator completed briefing on Jan. 29 to Delaware Supreme Court on whether being struck by the vehicle rendered the man an occupant of it for purposes of underinsured motorist benefits purposes (Donald R. Johnson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 450, 2017, Del. Sup.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A property owner and an insurer recently filed briefs with the Florida Supreme Court, disputing whether a trial court’s decision refusing to compel an appraisal of roof replacement to include ordinance and law coverage under the policy should be overturned (Orlando NOA v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Assoc., No. SC17-738, Fla. Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas — An insurance company is asking the Texas Supreme Court to review an appellate court ruling that awarded a father and daughter damages for breach of contract when the insurer failed to pay for damages allegedly caused by Hurricane Ike. The insurer insists that the appellate decision “completely undermines confidence” in Texas public records and “substantially rewrites” Texas community property law (National Security Fire & Casualty Company v. Rene Lampson, No. 17-0149, Texas Sup.).
CHICAGO — Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. has asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s finding that it was liable for the full amount of a $4.6 million underlying judgment based on its failure to defend its insured, arguing that the lower court’s opinion “upends decades of settled Illinois law” (Shannon Hyland v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 17-2712, 7th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — A law firm insured recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of its professional liability insurer in a coverage dispute arising from an underlying legal malpractice claim (Imperium Insurance Co. v. Shelton & Associates P.A, Nos. 16-60728 and 16-60730, 5th Cir.).
LAS VEGAS — An insurer recently asked the Nevada Supreme Court to expressly hold in answer to a certified question that the liability of an insurer that acted in good faith and did not decline a within-limits settlement opportunity is capped at its contracted-for $1 million policy limit plus any defense costs that were incurred by the insured (Century Surety Co. v. Andrew, No. 73756, Nev. Sup.).
HELENA, Mont. — An insurer who previously accepted a workers’ compensation claim is on the hook for a later aggravation of that condition, even where the employee made a full recovery and the employer changed insurers, the Montana Supreme Court was told in a Dec. 20 brief (Montana State Fund v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. v. Kim Wiard, No. DA 17-0522, Mont. Sup.).
LINCOLN, Neb. — A reinsurer moved for summary judgment on Feb. 9 in Nebraska federal court, arguing that a promissory note executed pursuant to a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) is void and unenforceable as a matter of public policy (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Top’s Personnel Inc., No. 15-90, D. Neb.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer is asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s decision, arguing that it erred in determining that an additional insured endorsement applied solely to vicarious liability and did not apply to all the claims alleged against the defendants in an underlying injury lawsuit (First Mercury Insurance Company v. Great Divide Insurance Company, No. 17-15711, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The high court should refuse to review an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling that an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan can bring a declaratory judgment claim to enforce the plan’s coordination-of-benefits provision against a blanket insurer because the decision does not conflict with any other federal or state court opinion, a health plan argues in a Jan. 16 opposition to a petition for writ of certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court (First Agency Inc., et al. v. Dakotas and Western Minnesota Electrical Industry Health and Welfare Fund, No. 17-863, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 183; Dakotas and Western Minnesota Electrical Industry Health and Welfare Fund v. First Agency, Inc., et al., No. 17-1008, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 202).
ST. LOUIS — A man has asked the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s ruling that he was not permitted to testify as to the depreciated value of his home, which had suffered damage in a fire, and instead was limited to recover from his insurer based on “actual cash value” (William Hatcher v. MDOW Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-2410, 8th Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas — A workers’ compensation insurer recently asked the Texas Supreme Court to find that a policy’s waiver endorsement cannot reasonably be construed to waive its right to recover from a claimant’s personal injury settlement with a third party (Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company v. James Wedel And Michelle Wedel, 17-0462, Texas Sup.).
ALBANY, N.Y. — After hearing oral arguments on Feb. 6, the New York Court of Appeals is set to decide whether an excess insurer owes coverage to its insured for the time periods when the insured was unable to purchase environmental liability insurance coverage even if the excess insurer’s policies specifically stated that coverage is afforded only for damages occurring during the policy period (KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., et al., No. APL-2016-00236, N.Y. App.).
PHILADELPHIA — A construction company and an insurer recently filed briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether a trial court’s decision finding that the insurer had no duty to defend the company in an underlying construction defects action should be affirmed (Lenick Construction Inc. v. Selective Way Ins., 16-1891, 3rd Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Under Delaware law, an insurer has the duty to make a “meaningful offer” to an insured to purchase uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage up to the state’s limits of liability coverage, and USAA Casualty Insurance Co. failed to show that it did so, two insureds argue in their Jan. 18 reply brief filed in the Delaware Supreme Court, seeking reformation of their insurance policy (Richard Spivey, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company, No. 371, 2017, Del. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two individuals named as contingent beneficiaries of their father's life insurance policy asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 to hold that the application of Minnesota’s revocation-upon-divorce statute to the policy, which was signed before the statute's enactment, does not violate the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution (Ashley Sveen, et al. v. Kay Melin, et al., No. 16-1432, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER — An insured recently asked the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that his loss occurred when the court in a quiet title action invalidated his trust deed and not when the quiet title lawsuit first arose, further arguing that the title insurance policy indicated that a loss should be actually realized before there is any liability (Kang Sik Park v. First American Title Insurance, No. 17-4125, 10th Cir.).
UTICA, N.Y. — A reinsurer argues in its Jan. 19 reply brief for a new trial following a jury’s $64 million verdict that an insurer does not show that seven reinsurance agreements cover payments made to an insured in an asbestos claims settlement (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., No. 09-00853, N.D. N.Y.).
HARTFORD, Conn. — A reinsurer in a Jan. 16 motion seeks dismissal of a breach of contract complaint filed in Connecticut federal court based upon its refusal to pay $1.25 million under a series of reinsurance agreements to an insurer for a settlement of underlying asbestos claims (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-02144, D. Conn.).
NEW YORK — Insurers on Jan. 25 filed an objection to a New York federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that their claims arising out of reinsurance contracts be denied in a coverage dispute stemming from the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and also challenged the magistrate’s calculation of prejudgment interest (In re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, No. 03-MDL-1570, Continental Casualty Co. v. Al Qaeda Islamic Army, No. 04-5970, S.D. N.Y.).