DALLAS — An insurer on April 27 filed suit in a federal court in Texas, seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend its advertising agency and communications firm insured and its officers against an underlying lawsuit in which the National Rifle Association of America asserts that the insured “exploited decades of trust and confidence in order to siphon assets from the NRA” (RSUI Indemnity Company v. Ackerman McQueen, Inc., et al., No. 20-01048, N.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An insolvent insurer’s demand for payment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) reinsurance program fails because it had already been paid based on an offset of the amount owed by the insurer under the ACA’s risk adjustment program, the U.S. government argues in its April 27 opening brief to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Michael Conway v. The United States, No. 20-1292, Fed. Cir.).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s insurance commissioner and an auxiliary rehabilitator for an insolvent insurer argue in an April 24 opposition brief to a Puerto Rico federal court that a former employee of the insurer fails to raise any argument barring them from filing an interlocutory appeal from a denial of qualified immunity over a freedom of expression claim (Iván Colón Pérez, et al. v. Javier Rivera Ríos, et al., No. 19-1775, D. Puerto Rico).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A restaurant insured on April 24 filed a response in partial support of two motions asking the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to coordinate current and tag-along lawsuits seeking business interruption coverage for losses arising from governmental closure orders prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, arguing, however, that the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida is a better forum than the previously proposed Eastern District of Pennsylvania or the Northern District of Illinois (In re: COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Coverage Litigation, No. 2942, JPMDL).
BATON ROUGE, La. — An insolvent insurer’s rehabilitator in an April 23 memorandum asks a Louisiana federal court to remand a suit against the insurer’s various directors and officers, banks and a loan officer over allegations that they intentionally misled state insurance regulators on the insurer’s true financial condition (James J. Donelon v. Jeffrey C. Pollick, et al., No. 20-177, M.D. La.).
BOSTON — A district court erred in finding that no coverage is owed for the cleanup of a gasoline and diesel fuel spill from an insured tanker-truck because the excess policy’s special hazards endorsement clearly provides coverage and the policy’s pollution exclusion cannot be construed to override that coverage, an insured and its insurer argue in a March 24 appellant brief filed in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Performance Trans Inc., et al. v. General Star Indemnity Co., No. 20-1022, 1st Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — A remodeling company accuses its insurer of bad faith in an April 20 complaint filed in a California federal court over the insurer’s decision to deny a request for independent counsel in a lawsuit by homeowners for defective work in their home (Westside Remodeling Corporation v. James River Insurance Company, No. 20-03622, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — A Puerto Rico insurer argues in a April 21 motion that a New York federal court should send to arbitration a breach of contract dispute with a Bermuda life reinsurer over allegations that the reinsurer’s controlling owner improperly divested assets in a reinsurance trust (PB Life and Annuity Co. Ltd. v. Universal Life Insurance Co., No. 20-02284, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES — An insured that owns, operates and/or manages a small commercial business center in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., filed suit in a California court on April 9, seeking a declaration that a March 15 order by the mayor of Los Angeles constitutes a prohibition of access to its premises and that any current and future civil authority closures of commercial buildings in the state due to physical loss or damage from the coronavirus are covered under its all-risk insurance policy’s civil authority coverage section (837 Foothill Blvd., LLC v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al., No. 20STCV13929, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
BOSTON — In a dispute over reinsurance billings for settlements of sexual molestation claims, the insurer for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) argues in an April 17 brief that a Massachusetts federal judge already considered and rejected underwriters’ contention that the issue of res judicata under New York federal law is not arbitrable and must be resolved by the court (Century Indemnity Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 19-11056, D. Mass.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey restaurant on April 20 filed a declaratory judgment and breach of contract lawsuit on behalf of a nationwide class and New Jersey subclass, alleging that Chubb Ltd. has “wrongfully and illegally refused to provide coverage” for business income losses and other covered expenses related to the novel coronavirus (Truhaven Enterprises, Inc. v. Chubb Ltd, et al., No. 20-4586, D. N.J.).
TAMPA, Fla. — A sports bar insured on April 21 responded to a Florida federal judge’s second order to show cause as to why its amended complaint against its commercial property insurer seeking coverage for its losses arising from the “COVID-19 governmental suspension of business operations” should not be dismissed for lack of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code Section 1332(a)(1), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1), arguing that it “is not only what is owed under the contract, but what might be . . . owed under the policy” (Prime Time Sports Grill, Inc. v. DTW 1991 Underwriting Limited, No. 20-00771, M.D. Fla.).
BOSTON — Lexington Insurance Co. filed a complaint in Massachusetts federal court on April 20 accusing a reinsurer of breaching a facultative reinsurance contract by not indemnifying it for asbestos claim payments (Lexington Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 20-10763, D. Mass.).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — An insurer’s counterclaim and cross-claim in a coverage suit arising out of the insured’s manufacturing of defective chicken products should be dismissed because the Arkansas federal court does not have jurisdiction over the claims as diversity of citizenship no longer exists (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ozark Mountain Poultry Inc., et al., No. 20-05014, W.D. Ark.).
BOSTON — In response to a reinsurer’s res judicata argument as a basis for dismissal, a church congregant argues in an April 16 brief to a Massachusetts federal court that he did not split his negligence claim in previous litigation with his current claim under Massachusetts consumer protection law with regard to inspections on a boiler and appurtenances at the church (Brian R. Bishop v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, No. 20-30029, D. Mass.).
ATLANTA — Insurers argue in an April 17 appellant brief to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a lower court erred in finding that their dispute with a reinsurer over a construction defects case settlement should be arbitrated because the arbitration clause does not apply when the reinsurer is in runoff (Builders Insurance, et al. v. Fletcher Reinsurance Co., No. 20-10969, 11th Cir.).
HOUSTON — An insured on March 26 filed suit in a Texas court, alleging that its insurer “wrongfully denied” its claim for business interruption losses stemming from the coronavirus outbreak and “engaged its agents to misrepresent Policy provisions and coverage” (Barbara Lane Snowden v. Twin City Fire Insurance Company, No. 2020-19538, Texas Dist., Harris Co.).
TAMPA, Fla. — A reinsurer argues in an April 10 supplemental brief that a Florida federal court should grant it summary judgment because alleged wrongful acts against a city predate a reinsurance agreement, the claim is covered under a prior coverage agreement, the claim arose out of prior litigation and an inverse condemnation exclusion applies (Public Risk Management of Florida v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., No. 18-1449, M.D. Fla.).
TAMPA, Fla. — A sports bar insured on April 8 amended its complaint against its commercial property insurer seeking coverage for its losses arising from the “COVID-19 governmental suspension of business operations” five days after a federal judge in Florida issued a sua sponte order directing the insured to show cause as to why its complaint should not be dismissed for lack of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code Section 1332(a)(1), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) (Prime Time Sports Grill, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, No. 20-00771, M.D. Fla.).
MISSOULA, Mont. — Underwriters in an April 7 motion ask a Montana federal court to send to arbitration a $2.65 million reinsurance dispute with a joint risk pool for an association of Montana counties over the underwriters’ alleged breach of contract in refusing to indemnify the pool for a personal injury settlement (Montana Association of Counties Property and Casualty Trust v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, No. 19-196, D. Mont.).