ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court should deny an insurer’s petition for writ of certiorari because the Georgia Court of Appeals correctly found that defense costs incurred as a result of underlying asbestos claims filed against the insured do not erode the policy limits of two of the insurer’s policies, the insured says in a Dec. 21 response to the insurer’s petition (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al. v. Scapa Dryer Fabrics Inc., et al., No. BC290354, Ga. Sup., 2018 GA S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 777).
HONOLULU — After a second amended complaint alleging unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the placement of insurance through “illegal kickback or captive reinsurance arrangements” was dismissed in part, a homeowner, on behalf of herself and others, on Jan. 15 filed a third amended complaint in a Hawaii federal court (Julia Wieck v. CIT Bank, N.A., et al., No. 16-00596, D. Hawaii).
LINCOLN, Neb. — A note holder to a promissory note executed pursuant to a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) in a Jan. 11 filing opposes a request in Nebraska federal court for class certification of a nationwide class of employers who purchased unlawful workers’ compensation insurance programs and signed related promissory notes because the counterclaims are not typical of a class (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Top’s Personnel Inc., No. 15-90, D. Neb.).
RICHMOND, Va. — A federal appeals court is set to decide whether a medical malpractice insurer should have defended against liability when the insured left the country, or whether its insured’s failure to communicate prevented it from mounting a defense in his shoes (Claudia M. Mora, et al. v. Lancet Indemnity Risk Retention Group Inc., No. 18-1566, 4th Cir.).
ATLANTA — Two insureds are asking the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court’s ruling and find that their rot coverage claim was wrongly dismissed because the defendants did not move for its dismissal. They also contend that the lower court committed “legal error” by denying their motion for reconsideration (The S.O. Beach Corp., et al. v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, No. 18-11967, 11th Cir.).
CINCINNATI — The leaser of a tunnel-boring machine that malfunctioned during a project and an insurer recently submitted arguments in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over whether a decision holding that the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify the company in an international arbitration should be overturned (Maxum Indemnity Co. v. Robbins Co., 18-3776, 6th Cir.).
NEW YORK — An investor on Jan. 11 joined other motions seeking to dismiss a fraud and conspiracy lawsuit filed in a New York federal court by the liquidators for two hedge funds concerning allegations that the funds with a net asset value of nearly $1 billion turned out not only to be insolvent but also to have liabilities between $400 million and $800 million (Martin Trott, et al. v. Platinum Management [NY] LLC, et al., No. 18-10936, S.D. N.Y.).
BALTIMORE — Underwriters subscribing to a facultative reinsurance certificate in a Jan. 11 filing oppose a request to compel arbitration or dismiss their Maryland federal court lawsuit seeking a declaration that a reinsurance contract is void ab initio based on insurers’ failure to disclose certain information in their application (Certain Interested Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, subscribing to the facultative reinsurance certificate 2017100003409 v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., et al., No. 18-02972, D. Md.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a dispute with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar II on who is responsible for payment to insureds of workers’ compensation plans that become insolvent, the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) argues in a Jan. 8 reply brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a lower court erred in dismissing claims based on preemption grounds and based on the government’s failure to timely file proofs of claims (California Insurance Guarantee Association v. Alex Azar II, et al., Nos. 17-56526 & 17-56528, 9th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A Walt Disney Co. insurer recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s ruling that granted the insured’s motion to compel arbitration in a coverage dispute stemming from "pink slime" defamation claims against Disney’s subsidiary (The Walt Disney Co. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-56840, 9th Cir.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Four insurers standing in the shoes of their Butte County, Calif., insureds filed one of four lawsuits in a California Superior Court on Dec. 21, alleging that PG&E Corp. and/or Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s “well-documented disregard for safety regulations and risk management practices” and “blind eye towards the use of effective maintenance and inspection practices for their facilities and equipment” triggered various factors that caused and/or contributed to causing the “most destructive and deadly wildfire California has ever experienced” (United Services Automobile Association, et al. v. Pacific Gas and Electric Co., No. 34-2018-00247013, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).
ST. LOUIS — Banks in a Jan. 2 motion seek to exclude an expert witness from offering rebuttal damages opinions in a Missouri federal court case filed by a special deputy receiver and state insurance guaranty associations over the mishandling of funds belonging to insolvent funeral insurers (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a dispute over a $26 million arbitration award, a financial services company argues in a Dec. 17 brief that reinsurers provide no basis for a District of Columbia federal judge to reconsider his ruling allowing claims against the reinsurers for breach of an implied-in-fact contract, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment to be added (Vantage Commodities Financial Services I, LLC v. Assured Risk Transfer PCC, LCC, et al., No. 17-01451, D. D.C.).
LOS ANGELES — An insured involved in a long-standing asbestos insurance coverage dispute argues in a Nov. 21 brief filed in the Second District California Court of Appeal that a trial court correctly ruled that a primary insurer’s allocation approach is prohibited by the “all sums” rule of allocation (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Cement & Gypsum Corp. et al., No. B278091, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4, 2018 CA App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 7843).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Jan. 23 in a dispute in which a commercial general liability insurer contends that it is entitled to recover from a co-insurer costs the CGL insurer incurred defending a dairy company in an underlying contamination lawsuit (Harleysville Worcester Insurance Company v. Wesco Insurance Company, No. 18-1300, 2nd Cir.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In two putative class actions over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) of hundreds of California businesses that bought a workers’ compensation program, plaintiffs argue in a Dec. 11 brief that a California federal court should certify a class because whether the program and RPA are illegal is a common question for all class members (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-00158, Pet Food Express Ltd., et al. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-01211, E.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should grant an insured’s motion for judicial notice regarding briefs filed in two cases that address similar facts to the insured’s argument in its appeal of a district court’s ruling that California law, rather than Alabama law, applies to an environmental contamination coverage suit, the insured argues in response to the insurers’ objection to the motion for judicial notice (Arrow Electronics Inc. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., et al., No. 18-55810, 9th Cir.).
SEATTLE — Environmental liability investigation costs incurred by an insured as a result of an agreement with the Washington Department of Ecology should be classified as defense costs and not as damages under an insurer’s policies, the insured argues in a Dec. 3 brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (The Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Richland, Nos. 18-35543, 18-35558, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a dispute over a $26 million arbitration award, reinsurers in a Dec. 5 motion request that a District of Columbia federal judge reconsider his ruling allowing a financial services company to amend its complaint to assert claims against them for breach of an implied-in-fact contract, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment (Vantage Commodities Financial Services I, LLC v. Assured Risk Transfer PCC, LCC, et al., No. 17-01451, D. D.C.).
RICHMOND, Va. — The obtainer of a $910,148 default judgment entered against a design company in a negligent design dispute recently asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to hold the design company’s insurer responsible for the judgment, $22,210 in attorney fees and $370 in court costs (Gateway Residences at Exchange, LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Company, No. 18-1491, 4th Cir.).