LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University (MSU) on July 26 sued 13 of its insurers for breach of contract in Michigan court, seeking a declaration as to coverage for numerous lawsuits arising from decades of sexual abuse by its former doctor Lawrence “Larry” Gerard Nassar (Michigan State University v. United Educators, et al., No. n/a., Mich. Cir., Ingham Co.).
CINCINNATI — An insurer on July 27 filed a petition for rehearing of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that it owes coverage for fraudulent email communications that caused its insured to issue three wire transfer payments of $834,107 to cybercriminals (American Tooling Center Inc. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America, 17-2014, 6th Cir.).
NEW YORK — In a July 26 petition for panel rehearing, an insurer argues that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that a firm's multimillion-dollar loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme constituted computer fraud under an executive protection insurance policy “conflicts with decisions” of the other federal circuit courts and the New York Court of Appeals “on a question of exceptional importance to insurers and insureds administering policies with ‘Computer Fraud’ coverage provisions” (Medidata Solutions Inc v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 17-2492, 2nd Cir.).
ATLANTA — A claim for surcharge by an insolvent insurer’s sole shareholder is barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, the insolvent insurer’s liquidator and an auditing company argue July 9 in separate appeal briefs to the Georgia Supreme Court (Georgia, et al. v. International Indemnity Co., et al., No. S18G0493 & Regulatory Technologies Inc. v. Georgia, et al., No. S18G0499, Ga. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals “greatly departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings” in concluding that a liability insurer may fail to defend a lawsuit in breach of its contract with the insured, all the while safe in the knowledge that at worst it will someday hypothetically be liable only for the policy limits, a woman told the Supreme Court on June 28 (Shannon Hyland, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 18-24, U.S. Sup.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An insolvent insurer’s receiver filed a reply on July 20 to an Oklahoma federal court in support of her request to dismiss a party from her negligence lawsuit against reinsurance intermediaries for their alleged negligence in providing reinsurance services to the insurer (Oklahoma, et al. v. Axiom Re LP, et al., No. 17-0484, W.D. Okla.).
RICHMOND, Va.— An appellant recently asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s finding that the sale of a vehicle anti-theft device that has a manufacturer warranty does not constitute the sale of insurance pursuant to West Virginia law, contending that the “Protection Plus Policy” was “manifestly insurance and not a warranty” and
HELENA, Mont. — A property owner and contractor recently submitted arguments over whether a trial court misapplied its inherent powers when it awarded $925,619 in fees to an insurer in a coverage dispute related to property defects (Abbey/Land, LLC v. Glacier Construction Partners, LLC, And James River Insurance Company, No. DA 17-0705, Mont. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A subcontractor argues to the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 10 brief that there is no split on how federal appellate courts predict how a state high court would rule over whether faulty work that caused damage to an insured’s own work can constitute an “occurrence” (Aspen Insurance [UK] Ltd, et al. v. Black & Veatch Corp., No. 17-1662, U.S. Sup.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals court is set to decide whether a man’s homeowners insurance covers injuries a woman sustained when he made physical contact with her while picking his stepson up from school. Oral arguments are scheduled for July 24 (Doreen Holden, et al. v. Homeowners Choice Property and Casualty Insurance Company Inc., et al., Case Nos. 4D17-2364, 4D17-2397, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
ST. LOUIS — In a Missouri federal court dispute over the mishandling of funds belonging to insolvent funeral insurers, a special deputy receiver and state insurance guaranty associations on July 23 objected to a nonparty’s motion to quash documents and, instead, argue that the nonparty should be required to comply with a subpoena (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96627).
PHILADELPHIA — A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on July 12 from an insurer and a motorist who was in a car accident, as they debated whether coverage was available for a vehicle that was added to a car insurance policy after the insured had signed a stacking waiver (Wayne E. Kuhns, et al. v. The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., No. 17-3371, 3rd Cir.).
NEW YORK — Insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. continue to do battle over the amount of claimant information they are entitled to under court-approved discovery subpoenas to asbestos trust claims-processing facilities, with the insurers telling a New York federal bankruptcy court on July 10 that they should be allowed to issue subpoenas like those used in Garlock Sealing Technologies’ landmark bankruptcy case (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments on June 12 in a dispute between a commercial general liability insurer, a contractor and a university over whether coverage exists for damages sustained in a construction project as a result of allegedly defective work caused by subcontractors (Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services Inc. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 2017-0514, Ohio Sup.).
NEW YORK — An insurer counterclaimed for breach of contract on July 16 against two reinsurers in a New York federal court, seeking a declaration that the insurer cannot arbitrate claims asserted 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.).
DENVER — An insured filed a brief Jan. 5 in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asking it to reverse a lower court’s decision and send his lawsuit against a property insurer back to state court on grounds that the insurer committed bad faith, wrongly depreciated his property and should not have reduced the amount he sought on his claim for repairs to a property for which he is a landlord (Douglas E. Bruce v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-1426, 10th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA — Allowing an insurer to prey upon consumers by hurrying them into signing releases when both parties are insured by the same company guts existing precedent and would drastically reduce the reach of New Jersey consumer-protection law, an insured tells the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in recent briefing. But in response, the insurer and its employee tell the court that the insured is not a consumer under the law in question, and that her claims are preempted (Ana Lidia Alpizar-Fallas v. Frank E. Favero, et al., No. 17-3837, 3rd Cir.).
RICHMOND, Va. — A reinsurer on May 7 asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to grant its renewed motion to compel arbitration, arguing that a lower federal court improperly denied the motion after finding that the reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) was an insurance contract pursuant to Virginia Code Section 38.2-312 (Minnieland Private Day School v. Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc., 17-2385, 4th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Two excess insurers have asked the Delaware Superior Court to dismiss with prejudice or stay Pfizer Inc.’s lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying class action claims that its directors and officers made misrepresentations and omissions as to the safety of two COX-2 inhibitor drugs, arguing that their related federal lawsuit is the more appropriate forum (Pfizer Inc. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Company and U.S. Specialty Insurance Company, N18C-01-310, Del. Super.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A couple told the Pennsylvania Superior Court in a May 8 reply brief that a trial judge erred when awarding summary judgment to an insurer, arguing that the judge should have vacated an arbitration award because the insurer’s arbitrator was not impartial because she did work for the company’s defense firm (Erie Insurance Exchange v. Patricia Neishel, et al., No. 1813 MDA 2017, Pa. Super.).