NEW YORK — A run-off insurer argues in a June 21 opposition filed in New York federal court that affiliates of a failed Ponzi scheme strain the language of investment management agreements (IMAs) to support their motion for reconsideration of a ruling on a counterclaim for advancement of expenses (In re: Platinum-Beechwood Litigation; Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania v. Beechwood Re Ltd., et al., No. 18-6658, and David Levy v. Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, No. 19-3211, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81271).
SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is set to hear oral argument on July 8 in an insurance coverage appeal brought by judgment creditors who argue that a lower court erred when it failed to hold an insurer to the strict standard it must meet to show that coverage is barred (Bradley Stephen Cohen, et al. v. Berkley National Insurance Company, No. 17-16960, 9th Cir.).
LAS VEGAS — MGM Resorts International and others on June 19 sued their commercial general liability insurer in a Nevada federal court for breach of contract and bad faith, contending that the insurer wrongfully breached its duty to defend them against more than 4,000 claims arising from the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival (MGM Resorts International, et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Company, No. 19-01051, D. Nev.).
CAMDEN, N.J. — A homeowners insurer argues in a June 21 motion to dismiss in a New Jersey federal court that an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit stemming from the insured’s water damage claim must be dismissed because no coverage is owed under the policy and the insured failed to prove that the insurer’s denial of coverage was unreasonable (Johann Smith et al., v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 19-10319, D. N.J.).
ST. LOUIS — An insured recently asked the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit seeking coverage for $25 million in damages arising from a fire at an oil refinery, contending that the lower court failed to recognize that the underlying claims are dependent upon allegations that it was responsible for the failure of the pipe elbow that caused the fire and covered property damage (Murphy Oil Corporation v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 19-1140, 8th Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Two Florida homeowners on Jan. 14 appealed a state trial court ruling that they lack standing to bring an insurance coverage claim because they assigned their insurance rights to a company that performed remediation work on their home (Mohammed Sidiq, et al. v. Tower Hill Select Insurance Company, No. 4D18-2177, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
HELENA, Mont. — Two recent briefs filed in the Montana Supreme Court question whether a state statute provides an absolute limit on the types of costs and expenses insureds can recover in suits against insurers or whether an exception permits additional recovery (Kyra King v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. DA 18-0503, Mont. Sup.).
NEW YORK — In seven separate motions, third-party defendants on June 14 asked a New York federal court to dismiss a runoff insurer’s third-party complaint alleging aiding-and-abetting fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in a “massive fraudulent scheme” for failing to make particularized allegations against them (Melanie L. Cyganowski v. Beechwood Re Ltd., et al., No. 18-12018, S.D. N.Y.).
ANDERSON, S.C. — An insurer’s special deputy receiver in June 14 motions argues that two defendants played a role in an alleged scheme to defraud a multiple-employer self-insured health plan with fraudulent letters of credit (LOC) and, thus, a South Carolina federal court should not dismiss the receiver’s claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act against them (Michael J. FitzGibbons, et al. v. Alton Atkinson, et al., No. 17-2092, D. S.C.).
CHICAGO — An insolvent insurer’s liquidator argues in a June 7 reply filed in Illinois federal court that a panel exceeded its authority when it issued attorney fees in its $437,000 arbitration award to a reinsurer (Catalina Holdings [Bermuda] Ltd. v. Jennifer Hammer, No. 18-5642, N.D. Ill.).
BOSTON — Stating that a confirmation proceeding was not a “prior pending action,” an insurer in a June 13 brief opposes a request to dismiss a Massachusetts federal court case seeking to compel arbitration of a dispute over outstanding reinsurance billings for sexual molestation (Century Indemnity Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, No. 19-11056, D. Mass.).
SEATTLE — Citing a reinsurer’s failure to find any reinsurance exemption to Washington’s anti-arbitration regulation, an association of state public entities argues against the reinsurer’s request for arbitration of their breach of contract dispute regarding settlement of a lawsuit over police officers’ alleged excessive force in a June 10 brief in a Washington federal court (Washington Cities Insurance Authority v. Ironshore Indemnity Inc., No. 19-00054, W.D. Wash.).
OMAHA, Neb. — A reinsurer and its affiliates moved to dismiss counterclaims on June 7 in their breach of contract dispute over a workers’ compensation program, telling a Nebraska federal court that the counterclaims “are a hodgepodge of conclusory allegations and unsupported assertions that fail to meet basic pleading standards” (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. Ramesh Pitamber & Kusum Pitamber, et al., No. 17-61, D. Neb.).
ST. LOUIS — An insured who sought coverage after a vehicle accident and an insurer recently submitted briefs to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals disputing whether a lower court’s decision that the policy did not entitle the insured to stack underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) coverage for three vehicles should be reversed (Renae Strain v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. 18-1587, 8th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was set to hear oral arguments on June 10 in a case in which an insured contends that its insurer engaged in deception by misrepresenting that it was investigating a claim filed by the insured, when the insurer was not. Consequently, the insurer says that it was forced to conduct its own inquiry to “prove” the cause of a specific loss and the resulting damages (NAZ LLC v United National Insurance Company, No. 18-31008, 5th Cir.).
ATLANTA — Appellants recently asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling that they breached their duties to pay workers’ compensation insurance policy deductibles, arguing that the insurer “wrote a confusing, convoluted” policy that fails to “clearly and unambiguously establish” that they are liable for their alleged deductible obligations (Zurich American Insurance Company v. G&S Leasing Group VI Inc., et al., No. 17-15625 consolidated with No. 18-10706, 11th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — A trial court correctly determined that a pollution exclusion does not bar coverage for contamination of oil in a storage tank caused by an insured’s work; however, the trial court incorrectly determined that the insurer was entitled to rescind the insured’s policy, the party seeking coverage for damage caused by the insured’s work argues in a May 22 brief to the Second District California Court of Appeal (NRG Delta LLC v. Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co., No. B285909, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2019 CA App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 1450).
CHICAGO — No coverage is owed to an insured for claims asserted against the insured by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because the policies at issue bar coverage, the insurers maintain in a May 31 complaint filed in Illinois federal court (Markel Insurance Co., et al. v. J. Solotken & Co. Inc., No. 19-3661, N.D. Ill.).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An insured has sufficiently pleaded her claim for bad faith against her automobile insurance provider, and a judge should reject the insurer’s argument that the claim must fail because it presupposes that insurers breached their policy by not paying the insured’s underinsured motorist bodily injury claim, the insured argues in a May 20 opposition brief filed in New Mexico federal court (Yvonne Apodaca v. Young America Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-399, D. N.M.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Because its breach of contract dispute concerns whether coverage exists for $8.6 million in equipment breakdown claims and does not concern the interpretation of a reinsurance agreement, an insurer argues on June 5 that a California federal court should deny a reinsurer’s request to arbitrate or dismiss (Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co. v. The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., No. 19-00531, C.D. Calif.).