FARGO, N.D. — Whether a garage attached to a house by way of a deck constitutes an attached structure for insurance purposes is before the North Dakota Supreme Court after briefing wrapped up this summer (Scott A. Dahms, et al. v. Nodak Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 20180202, N.D. Sup.).
BOSTON — A group of insurers and two broker-dealers recently submitted arguments to the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether a district court’s decision that a specific litigation exclusion barred all of the broker’s coverage claims because they overlapped with previous cases filed against them should be upheld (UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico et al. v. XL Specialty Insurance Co. et al., 18-1148,1st Cir.).
ATLANTA — Plaintiffs on Oct. 15 filed a petition for the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider its Sept. 24 majority ruling that held that the filed-rate doctrine bars all of their class action claims alleging that two mortgage servicers and an insurer overcharged force-placed insurance (FPI) premiums as part of a kickback scheme (Pankaj Patel, et al. v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, et al., Nos. 16-12100 and 16-16585, 11th Cir.).
NEW YORK — A company recently asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s decision in favor of its insurer, which refused to provide defense coverage for an investigation and ensuing enforcement action by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against the company and its chief executive officer. The company contends that the lower court incorrectly found that the claim for coverage was asserted prior to the policy coverage period (Patriarch Partners LLC v. AXIS Insurance Company, No. 17-3022, 2nd Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS — An insurer recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling that found its insurance policy provided coverage for an underlying personal injury lawsuit brought by two Mexican nationals in this country on temporary agricultural work visas, arguing that there is no coverage because at the time of the accident, the plaintiffs were presumptive employees of its insured or independent contractors performing manual labor (Alejandro Jorge Chavelas, et al. v. Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co., et al., 18-30388, 5th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — In an Oct. 11 complaint filed in a California federal court, an insurer argues that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor and subcontractor because a total pollution exclusion and a professional liability exclusion bar coverage for an underlying construction defects case (Houston Casualty Co. v. Rosebud Ventures LLC, et al., No. 18-8777, C.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In appeals regarding the vacating and setting aside of three reimbursement demands made to the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA), the state insurance guaranty association and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar II recently filed their opening briefs with the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (California Insurance Guarantee Association v. Alex Azar II, et al., Nos. 17-56526 & 17-56528, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK — In a run-off insurer’s New York federal case alleging mismanagement and misuse of $320 million in investments, reinsurers, their affiliates and current and former owners, officers and insiders in an Oct. 15 motion seek partial dismissal of all claims that are duplicative of the ones for breach of contract (Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania v. Beechwood Re Ltd., et al., No. 18-06658, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO — Opposing a request for dismissal by an insolvent insurer’s liquidator, a reinsurer argues in an Oct. 15 brief that an Illinois federal court has jurisdiction to confirm an arbitration award for $437,000 in attorney fees (Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. v. Jennifer Hammer, No. 18-05642, N.D. Ill.).
LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on Sept. 27 heard arguments in an equitable contribution dispute between two insurers regarding fees incurred in the defense of a real estate developer as an additional insured in an underlying construction defect action (Interstate Fire and Casualty Co. v. Axis Surplus Insurance Co., No. B286980, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8).
AUSTIN, Texas — Two insurers allege in an Oct. 12 complaint filed in a Texas federal court that they have no coverage obligations for a $130 million arbitration proceeding in which an insured is accused of defective construction work on a Texas state highway project (American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., et al. v. Zachry Industrial Inc., No. 18-872, W.D. Texas).
MIAMI — Insureds on Oct. 10 filed a breach of contract lawsuit against their federal flood insurer in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, asserting that the insurer underpaid their loss caused by Hurricane Irma (Joan Rodriguez Grau, et al. v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, et al., No. 18-24188, S.D. Fla.).
GALVESTON, Texas — In a breach of contract lawsuit brought against a federal flood insurer in a Texas federal court on Oct. 11, an insured alleges that the adjuster that was dispatched by the insurer to estimate his Hurricane Harvey damage failed to abide by the insurance policy terms, the insurer’s general claims handling standards and/or with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims manuals (Morgan Harris v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-00329, S.D. Texas).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida insured filed suit in a federal district court on Oct. 11, alleging that his federal flood insurer failed to adequately compensate him for his structural building damage caused by Hurricane Irma (Keith Chatman v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-01204, M.D. Fla.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal flood insurer on Sept. 25 moved for a New Jersey federal court to dismiss an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit, contending that the insured’s flood damage claim involving its commercial warehouse is untimely (Hakim International Trading, et al. v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-02874, D. N.J.)
UTICA, N.Y. — In a dispute with an insurer over settlements of asbestos claims, a reinsurer in an Oct. 10 motion seeks reconsideration of a New York federal judge’s ruling because controlling evidence on the collateral estoppel issue and controlling decisions on the standing issue were overlooked (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Century Indemnity Co., No. 13-995, N.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — An insurer in an Oct. 9 petition asks for a rehearing of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that a reinsurer’s liability is expense‐supplemental because the reinsurer’s obligations under reinsurance contracts follow the insurer’s expense‐supplemental obligations under umbrella policies (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., Nos. 16-2535 & 16-2824, 2nd Cir.).
HOUSTON — Texas insureds on Oct. 8 filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, alleging that their federal flood insurer committed breach of contract in its handling of their flood damage claim arising from Hurricane Harvey (Justin And Rebecca Blumberg v. Wright National Flood Insurance Company, No. 18-3659, S.D. Texas).
ST. LOUIS — In a dispute over the mishandling of funds belonging to insolvent funeral insurers, a Missouri federal judge was recently briefed on a motion to compel discovery regarding expert witness meetings held on behalf of state insurance guaranty associations (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.).
SEATTLE — Whether an insured church may use savings from repairing rather than replacing an arched beam and then spend the monies on other areas of a structure after a fire confronts the Washington appeals court in a series of recent briefs (Mount Zion Lutheran Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 78107-3-I, Wash. App., Div. 1).