ATLANTA — Indemnity claims are barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, an insolvent insurer tells the Georgia Supreme Court in a July 30 brief, also saying that any claim to reimburse a regulatory tech firm for any administrative expenses that were excessive was not barred and should be remanded for further proceedings (Georgia, et al. v. International Indemnity Co., et al., No. S18G0493; Regulatory Technologies Inc. v. Georgia, et al., No. S18G0499, Ga. Sup.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Life insurers, a bank and a financial services firm on Aug. 8 moved for dismissal of claims filed in a total value annuity investor’s Kansas federal court lawsuit alleging that the defendants depleted the life insurers’ surplus assets by reinsuring their risks with one another rather than using “arm’s-length reinsurance treaties” (Albert Ogles v. Security Benefit Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-02265, D. Kan.).
TAMPA, Fla. — The Second District Florida Court of Appeal will hear oral arguments on Sept. 24 in a dispute over whether coverage exists for water damages incurred by insureds as a result of an underground water line that was never capped after a well was abandoned (Ross Simon, et al., v. Security First Insurance Co., No. 2D17-4166, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In a case over the denial of benefits under four long-term disability insurance policies, a reinsurer argues in an Aug. 1 motion that an Alabama federal court should dismiss breach of contract, bad faith and fraud claims because it is not a party to the policies (Horace R. Theriot Jr. v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-00688, M.D. Ala.).
ATLANTA — An insolvent insurer’s sole shareholder on July 26 asked the Georgia Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that sovereign immunity applies to its claim for surcharge against the insurer’s liquidator and an auditing company (Georgia, et al. v. International Indemnity Co., et al., No. S18G0493; Regulatory Technologies Inc. v. Georgia, et al., No. S18G0499, Ga. Sup.).
TULSA, Okla. — In an Oklahoma federal court lawsuit alleging disparagement through false and misleading representation of reinsurance problems, a distributor of self-insurance products filed an answer on Aug. 2 to an insurance agency’s counterclaims for breach of contract and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage (The Sandner Group – Alternative Risk Solutions Inc. v. BancFirst Insurance Services Inc., et al., No. 18-0265, N.D. Okla.).
LOS ANGELES — Three lawsuits were filed by insurers on Aug. 8 in a California federal court asserting equitable contribution claims over defense costs for construction defects cases (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. American Safety Indemnity Co., No. 18-06794; St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 18-06803; St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 18-06799, C.D. Calif.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurers argue in a July 6 reply brief to a California appeals court that a state tax code does not preclude them from pursuing equitable and contractual subrogation claims against various subcontractors that allegedly owed a duty to defend a developer in an underlying construction defects case (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Engel Insulation Inc., No. C085753, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.).
NEW YORK — An insured recently filed an appeal in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a lower federal court’s finding that an insurance policy unambiguously excluded coverage for the damage floodwaters caused to its facility as a result of Superstorm Sandy, arguing that the court erred in concluding that the wind endorsement does not alter unambiguous language that bars flood coverage (Madelaine Chocolate Novelties, d/b/a The Madelaine Chocolate Co. v. Great Northern Insurance Co., No. 17-3396, 2nd Cir.).
SEATTLE — Amazon.com Inc.’s use of a New Jersey artificial turf maker’s trademark in search engine keyword advertising did not violate the Lanham Act, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 6, finding that the online retailer made no misrepresentations about any products’ source or quality (Steven Lasoff v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 17-35173, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21720).
DENVER — A Colorado couple recently appealed to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asking it to reverse a ruling by a federal jury and find that their insurer owes them coverage for damage to their home caused by a wildfire known as the Waldo Canyon Fire (Paul Macomber, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Group, No. 17-1194, 10th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should grant review of a disability claimant’s petition for writ of certiorari in a dispute over the offsetting of a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits to account for Social Security disability income (SSDI) benefits received on behalf of the claimant’s dependents because the plan administrators did not apply the language of the LTD plan as written, the claimant says in a June 22 reply brief (Susan Rene Jones v. Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corp., et al., No. 17-1478, U.S. Sup.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida trial court erred when it agreed with a contractor and an insurer that an arbitration provision contained in a subcontract was enforceable as it impermissibly expands judicial and appellate review, a millwork company argues in its May 29 amended reply brief filed in Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (National Millwork, Inc. v. ANF Group, Inc., et al., No. 17-14537, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
NEW YORK — On Aug. 6, two reinsurers filed an answer and defenses to an insurer’s breach of contract counterclaim in a New York federal court lawsuit regarding claims under facultative reinsurance contracts for losses of $2.5 million (Continental Insurance Company of New Jersey, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 18-4715, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should deny a petition for writ of certiorari because the Colorado Supreme Court’s dismissal of two long-term disability insurance lawsuits based on the failure to serve the proper parties was the proper decision and there is no conflict between federal courts of appeal regarding whether a benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a proper defendant, the respondents argue in a July 25 brief (Brenda Olivar v. Public Service Employee Credit Union Long Term Disability Plan, and Caroline Burton, et al. v. Colorado Access, et al., No. 17-1543, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court review of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in an insurance bad faith lawsuit is necessary because the appellate panel’s ruling does not follow the precedent set by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, an insured argues in a July 20 petition for writ of certiorari (David Duncan v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 18-108, U.S. Sup.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An insurer and plaintiffs in an underlying injury lawsuit recently submitted challenges to a trial court’s ruling in a Missouri appeals court, disputing at what point an amendment to a Missouri law would require that the insurer be given notice of an agreement between the underlying parties and the opportunity to intervene (Neil Desai, et al. v. Garcia Empire, LLC, et al., No. WD81220, Mo. App.).
ATLANTA — An insurer recently asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that a lower federal court erred in awarding attorney fees to insureds under Florida Statutes Section 627.428 “when there was a pending non-final declaratory judgment related to coverage,” further contending that the court improperly awarded a contingency fee multiplier (Houston Specialty Insurance Company v. Enoch Vaughn et al., No. 18-10635, 11th Cir.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A pedestrian on Aug. 1 filed a complaint in state court seeking personal injury damages from the New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) after he suffered injuries caused by an unknown driver (John Plantz v. New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. ESX-L-005402-18, N.J. Super., Essex Co.).
ST. LOUIS — A nonparty to a dispute over the mishandling of funds belonging to insolvent funeral insurers argues in a July 30 reply brief that a Missouri federal court should quash documents requested by the insurers’ receiver that were previously settled (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.).