Mealey's Insurance Pleadings

  • July 15, 2020

    Dish Network: Exclusion Not Applicable; Insurer Must Defend Copyright Claims

    NEW YORK — Dish Network Corp. in a May 26 brief asks the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court ruling because the company’s insurer did not meet its burden of demonstrating that an exclusion to coverage applies and, therefore, it had a duty to defend the company in underlying litigation (Dish Network Corporation, et al. v. Ace American Insurance Company, No. 20-628, 2nd Cir.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Insured Refutes Motion To Certify Direct Physical Loss Questions To Ohio High Court

    CINCINNATI — An insured on July 6 responded to an insurer’s motion to certify to the Ohio Supreme Court three questions as to whether the presence of the novel coronavirus constitutes direct physical loss, arguing that the questions “do not involve novel or intricate questions of state law nor do they affect vital state interests” and “are not unique to Ohio policyholders and, in reality, are not even questions of Ohio law in any meaningful sense” (Troy Stacy Enterprises Inc. v.The Cincinnati Insurance Company, No. 20-00312, S.D. Ohio).

  • July 14, 2020

    3 Minor League Baseball Teams File COVID-19 Coverage Suit In Pennsylvania Court

    PHILADELPHIA — Three minor league baseball teams on July 2 sued their insurer in a Pennsylvania court for breach of contract and declaratory relief, seeking business interruption coverage for their “catastrophic financial losses” stemming from the “first-ever cessation of Minor League Baseball” due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and Major League Baseball’s decision that its teams will not satisfy their contractual duties to provide players under contract to their affiliated teams in the Minor League (Nostalgic Partners LLC, et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 200700054, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Travelers Disputes Coverage For $2.1B Tax-Refund Scheme Suits Brought By Denmark

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — An agribusiness insurer on July 6 filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit in a federal court in Kentucky, arguing that it owes no coverage for underlying lawsuits in which the Kingdom of Denmark alleges that insureds were involved in a $2.1 billion “fraudulent tax-refund scheme” (Travelers Indemnity Company of America v. Bernard Tew, et al., No. 20-00292, E.D. Ky.).

  • July 14, 2020

    Insureds Say District Court Erred In Interpreting Intellectual Property Exclusion

    SAN FRANCISCO — Insureds seeking coverage for an underlying libel and trade secrets suit claim in a March 4 reply brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court erred in determining that an insurer had no duty to defend based on the policy’s endorsement excluding intellectual property claims (MyChoice Software LLC, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 19-56030, 9th Cir.).

  • July 10, 2020

    Insurer Objects To Pension Plan Trustees’ Discovery On Alleged ERISA Violations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Bermuda reinsurance and insurance company on July 6 accused the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) pension plan trustees of “fishing” for information to prove a District of Columbia federal court’s jurisdiction over allegations of Employee Retirement Income Security Act violations for failure to make $934 million in withdrawal liability payments (Michael H. Holland, et al. v. Cardem Insurance Company Ltd., No. 19-02362, D. D.C.).

  • July 10, 2020

    Reinsurer Concedes Claims Should Be Arbitrated, Seeks Stay Of Federal Court Case

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A reinsurer concedes in a July 9 brief filed in a Michigan federal court that it should arbitrate its claims against an insurer over damages in excess of $3,707,961 related to alleged improper claim payments under two employee benefit plans, but it seeks a stay so that the court can resolve any third-party discovery disputes (Alliance Health & Life Insurance Company v. Symetra Life Insurance Company, No. 20-431, W.D. Mich.).

  • July 09, 2020

    Covil: Asbestos Insurance Coverage Dispute Was Improperly Removed

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — An insurer removed an asbestos coverage dispute “on dubious grounds, hoping to achieve what it perceives to be a more favorable forum,” Covil Corp. tells a South Carolina federal court in a July 7 reply brief, seeking remand of its case, which also involves the South Carolina Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association (SCPCIGA) (Covil Corporation v. Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 20-1979, D. S.C.).

  • July 08, 2020

    Insurer: Insureds Failed To Plead Covered Losses Under Policy Provisions

    SAN FRANCISCO — The owners of two San Francisco restaurants have failed to state any claim for relief in arguing that their insurer breached the terms of a commercial property insurance policy and acted in bad faith when it denied coverage for losses the restaurants suffered as a result of stay-at-home orders issued in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic because they have failed to sufficiently show that their losses fall within the policies’ business income or civil authority additional coverages, the insurer argues in a June 29 motion to dismiss in California federal court (Nari Suda LLC v. Oregon Mutual Insurance Co., No. 20-3057, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 08, 2020

    Pennsylvania Restaurant: Virus Exclusion Does Not Apply To Losses Over Coronavirus

    PITTSBURGH — A restaurant and tavern operator filed a class action against its “all-risk” commercial property insurer for breach of contract and declaratory relief in a federal court in Pennsylvania on June 11, arguing that its business interruption losses caused by the novel coronavirus and the subsequent shutdown orders “arise from direct physical loss or damage” and that the policy’s virus exclusion does not apply (1 S.A.N.T., Inc. v. Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., et al., No. 20-862, W.D. Pa.).

  • July 08, 2020

    Law Firm In ‘Hotspot’ Sues Insurer Over Losses Arising From COVID-19, Closures

    NEW YORK — A Manhattan law firm on June 29 filed a class action in a federal court in New York alleging that its “all risk” commercial property insurer breached their contract by refusing to pay claims related to the novel coronavirus, arguing that the insurance policy “exemplifies the broken promise from insurance companies across the country” (Siegel & Siegel, et al. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, No. 20-04993, S.D. N.Y.).

  • July 07, 2020

    Reinsurers, Brokers Submit Summary Judgment Motions In Breach Of Contract Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three summary judgment motions were filed on July 1 by reinsurers and reinsurance brokers in a District of Columbia federal court concerning a financial service company’s breach of contract dispute over a $26 million arbitration award (Vantage Commodities Financial Services I, LLC v. Assured Risk Transfer PCC, LCC, et al., No. 17-01451, D. D.C.).

  • July 07, 2020

    Yahoo Claims District Court Erred In Enforcing Deductible Coverage Endorsement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge erred in allowing a commercial general liability insurer to enforce its policy’s deductible coverage endorsement because enforcing the endorsement in the data privacy coverage dispute ignores the plan language of the policy, the insured contends in a May 18 brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 19-16475, 9th Cir.).

  • July 07, 2020

    Insurer’s Bad Faith Claim Is Not Recognized Under Alabama Law, Reinsurer Says

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A reinsurer in a July 2 reply brief argues that an Alabama federal court should dismiss an insurer’s bad faith claim because Alabama courts “have been loathe to extend the doctrine” in the years since recognizing a tort cause of action for bad faith (Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 20-300, M.D. Ala.).

  • July 07, 2020

    Insured Reinforces ‘Forum Shopping’ Argument In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A law firm insured on July 6 replied to a business owners insurer’s opposition to its earlier motion asking a federal court in California to dismiss or, alternatively, stay the insurer’s lawsuit seeking a declaration that the presence or suspected presence of the novel coronavirus does not constitute “direct physical loss or damage” to trigger coverage for the insured’s claimed loss of income (Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America v. Geragos & Geragos, No. 20-03619, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 07, 2020

    District Court Erred In Finding No Duty To Defend Exists For TCPA Claims, Insured Says

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reverse an Illinois federal judge’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from underlying claims that its insured violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because the judge incorrectly found that the underlying claims are excluded from coverage, the insured says in a June 15 appellant brief (Zurich American Insurance Company, et al. v. Ocwen Financial Corporation, et al., No. 17-2873, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175023).

  • July 07, 2020

    Property Insurer Breached Contract, Acted In Bad Faith In Denying COVID-19 Claim

    PHILADELPHIA — A property insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith in using a pollution exclusion to deny coverage for business interruption and extra expenses arising out of the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an insured contends in a June 24 complaint filed in Pennsylvania court (Fegley Management & Energy, LLC, et al. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., et al., No. 200601426, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

  • July 06, 2020

    Dentist Reinforces Argument In Favor Of Staying COVID-19 Suit Pending JPMDL Ruling

    SEATTLE — A dentist insured argues in a June 26 reply that stay of his class action seeking coverage for losses stemming from the interruption of business due to the novel coronavirus pandemic is warranted in “the interest of judicial economy, potential cost savings, and because there will be little, if any, prejudice” to the insurer “during the anticipated short duration of the requested stay” (Mark Germack DDS v. The Dentists Insurance Company, No. 20-00661, W.D. Wash.).

  • July 02, 2020

    Minor League Baseball Teams Voluntarily Dismiss COVID-19 Coverage Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — Minor league baseball teams on July 2 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice of their breach of contract and declaratory relief lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage for their “catastrophic financial losses” stemming from the “first-ever cessation of Minor League Baseball” due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and Major League Baseball’s decision that its teams will not satisfy their contractual duties to provide players under contract to their affiliated teams in the Minor League (Chattanooga Professional Baseball LLC, et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-03032, E.D. Pa.).

  • June 30, 2020

    Day Care Sues Insurer For Bad Faith Handling Of Business Interruption Claim

    BOSTON — An operator of day care centers sued its commercial property insurance provider in Massachusetts federal court on June 29, alleging that the insurer breached its contract with the insured and acted in bad faith in failing to provide business interruption coverage after the day care centers were forced to limit their business operations to families of first responders in response to the commonwealth’s implementation of a stay-at-home order in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic (Pakachoag Acres Day Care Center Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 20-40083, D. Mass.).