SAN FRANCISCO —Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar II argues in a Nov. 16 brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA), as a primary plan, is responsible for making payment to insureds of workers’ compensation plans that become insolvent (California Insurance Guarantee Association v. Alex Azar II, et al., Nos. 17-56526 & 17-56528, 9th Cir.).
ST. LOUIS — The special deputy receiver for three insolvent insurers argues in a Nov. 19 reply to a Missouri federal court that responses to its motion to abstain or dismiss a cross-claim in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit ignore the effect of a liquidation order (Winner Road Properties LLC v. BMO Harris Bank, N.A. v. Jo Ann Howard & Associates, P.C., No. 16-1395, E.D. Mo.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — An insurer alleges in a Nov. 8 complaint filed in a Florida federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor against defects allegations in a condominium development because the policy does not provide coverage for new construction (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. WCI Communities Inc., No. 18-62716, S.D. Fla.).
FLORENCE, S.C. — In a Nov. 8 complaint, an insurer seeks a declaration from a South Carolina federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify contractors against defects allegations in a residential development because no “property damage” occurred during the policy period (Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Carlos Castro, et al., No. 18-03026, D. S.C.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In a breach of contract and bad faith case based on the denial of disability benefits, a reinsurer argues to an Alabama federal court in its Nov. 6 reply brief in further support of a motion to dismiss that no contract existed between it and an insured it (Horace R. Theriot Jr. v. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-688, M.D. Ala.).
UTICA, N.Y. — In response to a reinsurer’s motion for reconsideration of a collateral estoppel issue in a dispute over settlements of asbestos claims, an insurer argues on Nov. 6 to a New York federal court that there are no “exceptional circumstances” warranting reconsideration (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Century Indemnity Co., No. 13-995, N.D. N.Y.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Missouri trial court erred in ruling that it lacked jurisdiction over a plaintiff’s insurance bad faith claims against an insurer upon remand from the state’s supreme court because the high court’s mandate, which was entered by the trial court, “was a partial summary judgment which did not put an end to the litigation” against the insurer, the plaintiff argues in an Oct. 9 appellant brief filed in the Missouri Court of Appeals (Franklin D. Allen v. Atain Specialty Insurance Co., No. WD81677, Mo. App.).
ST. LOUIS — State insurance guaranty associations and banks filed opposition briefs on Nov. 5 in response to five summary judgment motions on key issues in a Missouri federal court dispute 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.).
HELENA, Mont. — A professional liability insurer recently asked the Montana Supreme Court to reverse a lower court’s ruling that held that a $10 million stipulated judgment against its insured was reasonable, contending that the lower court “applied an improper legal framework” to decide the reasonableness of the stipulated judgment (Draggin' Y Cattle Company, Inc., et al. v. Larry Addink, et al., No. 17-0731, Mon. Sup.).
SEATTLE — A Washington man on Oct. 4 filed a brief in state appellate court arguing that a trial court erroneously granted summary judgment to Travelers Commercial Insurance Co. with regard to his claim seeking coverage for injuries he sustained while riding his bicycle (Todd McLaughlin v. Travelers Commercial Insurance Company, No. 78534-6, Wash. App., Div. 1).
LAKELAND, Fla. — Whether a judge conducted the proper analysis in declining to strike a juror, granting directed verdict on causation in an automobile insurance case, and in not stopping extreme comments at closing arguments that changed how the jury viewed the case are before a Florida appeals court after briefing wrapped up recently (Jennie Buziak, et al. v. Amalia Diaz, Nos. 2D17-4689 & 2D18-0387, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).
HAMMOND, Ind. — An insured alleges in a Nov. 5 complaint filed in an Indiana federal court that an insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith when denying coverage based upon a condominium exclusion for cracking damage caused by the insured’s work (Gary Material Supply LLC v. Western World Insurance Group, No. 18-00421, N.D. Ind.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In South Carolina federal court, a bank sued for its role as trustee of a reinsurance trust for an insolvent insurer on Nov. 2 sought summary judgment against an insurer regarding claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation and civil conspiracy because those claims are time-barred (Accident Insurance Company Inc. v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 16-2621, D. S.C.).
AUSTIN, Texas — No coverage is owed for a collapse that occurred during the construction of a hotel because the collapse is precluded by a policy’s earth movement exclusion, sewer exclusion and defects exclusion, an insurer argues in a Nov. 2 response to the insured’s motion for summary judgment (White Lodging Services Corp., et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-277, W.D. Texas).
MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Oct. 28 heard oral arguments in a coverage dispute over whether a pollution liability insurer owes coverage to an additional insured for underlying property damage claims arising out of a sewage backup (Steadfast Insurance Co. v. Greenwich Insurance Co., No. 2016AP1631, Wis. Sup.).
HOUSTON — On remand from the Texas Supreme Court, an insurer argues in a Sept. 13 brief that a jury’s findings that insureds materially breached their insurance policy obligations and prejudiced it excuse its further performance under the policy (State Farm Lloyds v. Candelario Fuentes, et al., No. 16-0369, Texas Sup.).
NEW YORK — In an Oct. 16 complaint filed in a New York federal court, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that two individuals “perpetrated multiple schemes to defraud their advisory clients, which were insurance companies and reinsurance trusts” (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Alexander C. Burns, et al., No. 18-09477, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — An insurance company on Oct 19 filed an amicus curiae brief in support of a rehearing by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of its ruling that a reinsurer’s liability follows an insurer’s expense‐supplemental obligations under umbrella policies because the insurer says the decision is “contrary to bedrock principles of reinsurance law and sound public policy favoring settlements” (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., Nos. 16-2535 & 16-2824, 2nd Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — In an Oct. 18 complaint filed California federal court, insurers for subcontractors seek equitable reimbursement from contractors as additional insureds for defense costs incurred in 51 underlying construction defects cases (The Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al. v. Pulte Group Inc., et al., No. 18-08994, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — Insurance companies in an Oct. 17 complaint in a California federal court request equitable contribution from two other insurers of $1.3 million incurred in the defense of seven underlying construction defects actions (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-08964, C.D. Calif.).