SALT LAKE CITY — A excess insurer on Dec. 2 filed an amended complaint against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (JLI) seeking a Utah federal court’s declaration that a $5 million liability policy is null and void because of alleged misrepresentations made about the discontinuance of candy-flavored vaping pods and about class actions by injured users (Prime Insurance Company v. Juul Labs, Inc., No. 19-925, D. Utah).
BOSTON — An environmental liability insurer must pay an additional $2.9 million for the discharge of wastewater at an insured food processing facility because mitigation costs related to the pollution event are covered under the policy at issue, the insured asserts in a Dec. 11 complaint filed against the insurer in Massachusetts federal court (Ken’s Foods Inc. v. Steadfast Insurance Co., No. 19-12492, D. Mass.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An insurer on Dec. 10 asked a federal court in Florida to dismiss its insureds’ amended breach of contract complaint arising from Hurricane Irma damage to their St. Augustine, Fla., residential property, arguing that the express language of the lender-placed insurance policy unambiguously bars the plaintiffs from bringing the breach of contract claim as either named insureds or intended third-party beneficiaries to the policy (Jeffrey G. Meyer, et al. v. Integon National Insurance Company, No. 19-1397, M.D. Fla.).
CHICAGO — An insurer argues in a Nov. 22 brief that an Illinois federal court should confirm a final award in its reinsurance billings dispute over asbestos claims and reject a reinsurer’s motion to confirm an interim award (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-4341; Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 19-7080, N.D. Ill.).
AUSTIN, Texas — A school district tells the Texas Supreme Court in an Oct. 30 merits brief that an appeals court majority erred when vacating a trial court judge’s rulings awarding summary judgment to it regarding causation and property damage based on an appraisal of wind damage caused by Hurricane Ike, arguing that its insurer did not challenge the findings of the appraisal before trial and that the appraisal specifically said the damages were the result of wind from the hurricane (Dickinson Independent School District v. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, No. 18-1092, Texas Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — An unmarried couple recently filed a brief in California appellate court contending that a lower court erred when it ruled that an insurer did not breach its contract to the insureds by refusing to cover one member of the couple when they were both sued for malicious prosecution related to an underlying lawsuit (Gilbert Purcell, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, et al., No. B292698, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1).
RICHMOND, Va. — A personal injury law firm and its attorney recently asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s finding that a business liability insurer has no duty to defend against an underlying lawsuit alleging that they violated the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, arguing that construing the policy exclusions against the insurer and in favor of coverage is required under North Carolina law (Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. John J. Gelshenen Jr., et al., No. 19-1578, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75985).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A contractor sued a commercial general liability insurer and a member of its insurance group in New York federal court on Nov. 26, alleging that the insurers breached their contract and acted in bad faith in failing to indemnify the contractor in a pair of underlying actions relating to a personal injury lawsuit (Insituform Technologies LLC v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-6873, W.D. N.Y.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Parties in an insurance bad faith lawsuit recently asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to determine whether a divided state appellate panel abused its discretion in overturning a $21 million judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit when it ruled that an automobile insurance provider had no duty to verify the safety of an automobile damaged in an accident after it chose to repair the automobile instead of declaring it a structural total loss (Daniel Berg v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. Inc., No. 22 MAP 2019, Pa. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Trustees of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) pension plan argue in a Nov. 21 brief that there is evidence of a Bermuda reinsurer’s contacts with the United States and that discovery will reveal additional evidence to support personal jurisdiction by a District of Columbia federal court over alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act regarding the 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.).
AUSTIN, Texas — An insurer ignored Texas law and now asks a court to correct that mistake and create a situation where insurers can abandon insureds based on the smallest suspicion of fraud, leaving the insureds in a nearly impossible position, respondents tell the Texas Supreme Court in an Oct. 28 brief (Loya Insurance Co. v. Osbalto Hurtado Avalos, et al., No. 18-0837, Texas Sup.).
MINNEAPOLIS — Citing a multimillion dollar coverage dispute of more than five years with its primary insurer over its settlement with a group of financial institutions (FIs) over a 2013 data breach, Target Corp. filed breach of contract claims against the insurer in Minnesota federal court on Nov. 15, seeking coverage declarations and damages (Target Corp. v. ACE American Insurance Co., et al., No. 0:19-cv-02916, D. Minn.).
ST. LOUIS — Insureds notified a federal court in Missouri on Nov. 15 that they will ask the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review a magistrate judge’s dismissal of their claims for breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay brought against a directors and officers liability insurer (Verto Medical Solutions, LLC, et al. v. Allied World Specialty Insurance Company, No. 19-01532, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190779).
SAN FRANCISCO — An appellant recently asked a California appeals court to reverse a lower court’s ruling that stayed his declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing the validity of a professional liability insurer’s subrogation claim against his family trust, arguing that the stay “has no legal basis” (John Berman v. Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, No. A155394, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The receiver for an insolvent insurer argues in an Oct. 15 brief to a Missouri appeals court that a trial judge was correct in denying motions filed after the insurer’s estate was closed because the judge had no jurisdiction to decide the matter (Arthur A. Blumeyer III v. Chlora Lindley-Myers, et al., No. WD82921, Mo. App., Western Dist.).
RICHMOND, Va. — Defendants in Oct. 21 informal briefs request that the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reverse a recommendation to deny summary judgment in part on a special deputy receiver’s claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act alleging a scheme to defraud a multiple-employer self-insured health plan with fraudulent letters of credit (LOCs) (Michael J. FitzGibbons, et al. v. De’Shaun Williams, et al., No. 19-2049, 4th Cir.).
NEW YORK — An investment bank and a financial services company argue in a Nov. 18 reply brief to a New York federal court that despite 18 months and the benefit of discovery, a runoff insurer fails to allege that two valuation reports prepared by them “substantially assisted” an alleged fraud or caused damage to the runoff insurer in the investment of $320 million in a failed Ponzi scheme (In re Platinum-Beechwood Litigation, No. 18-6658, Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania v. Lincoln International LLC, et al., No. 19-07137, S.D. N.Y.).
DENVER — A precast concrete company is asking the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a district court’s order and find that its insurer wrongly denied the company’s claim related to an underlying complaint against the company in which the plaintiffs alleged construction defects on a building project (Rocky Mountain Prestress LLC v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 19-1169, 10th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — An errors and omissions liability insurer’s failure to settle a consumer class action lawsuit against its insured for violating provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Action (TCPA) amounts to a bad faith breach of contract, an assignee argues in a Nov. 5 complaint filed in California federal court (Ignacio Perez v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-7288, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA — Insured contractors and homeowners who are suing them in two underlying construction defects lawsuit filed two separate briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26, refuting a commercial general liability insurer’s appeal of a federal court's ruling that it has a duty to defend against the underlying claims (Nautilus Insurance Company v. 200 Christian Street Partners LLC, et al., Nos. 19-1507 and 19-1506, 3rd Cir.).