NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 5 heard oral arguments in a dispute over whether Munich Reinsurance America Inc. breached its contract in denying Utica Mutual Insurance Co.’s billings of $2.7 million for asbestos bodily injury claims under a 1973 reinsurance certificate.
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on May 11 granted a reinsurer’s letter motion to postpone a trial date for a week in a dispute between an insurer and a reinsurer over whether defense costs paid on behalf of an insured for asbestos liabilities are covered under the reinsurer’s policies.
DALLAS — A Texas federal judge on May 13 granted a motion for leave to file an amended complaint in a coverage dispute over pollution cleanup costs after determining that amendment of the complaint would not be futile and after finding that the amended complaint pleads additional facts related to the bad faith claim against the insurer.
CHICAGO — No coverage is owed for underlying lawsuits arising out of exposure to a chemical released by an insured’s medical operations plant because the absolute pollution exclusion bars coverage for the underlying suits, an insurer claims in a May 10 complaint filed in Illinois federal court.
NEW ORLEANS — A homeowners insurer owes no coverage for the collapse of a home’s joists as a result of termite and rot damage because there was no entire collapse of the home as required by the policy, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 13 in affirming a district court’s ruling in favor of the insurer.
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on May 12 denied Ralph Lauren Corp.’s motion for partial judgment on the pleadings and granted its insurer’s cross-motion for judgment on the pleadings in a coverage lawsuit arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured’s pleadings fail to include any specific allegations as to physical loss or damage to its covered or surrounding properties.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A federal judge in Illinois on May 10 held that, for now, a hair salon insured has plausibly stated a cause of action that it is entitled to “Communicable Disease Business Income and Extra Expense Coverage” for its losses arising from the governmental shutdown of its business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s declaratory judgment lawsuit in its entirety.
PHILADELPHIA — Denying an insurer’s motion to dismiss a retail furniture insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses stemming from the forced closure of its business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a Pennsylvania federal judge on May 7 said the more-than-100-page policy requires “the insured to fall down a rabbit hole and wander through a vast thicket of verbiage that would leave even the most careful reader mystified by the mazes of pages to be pieced together and deciphered in order to determine if there is coverage on the other side.”
CHICAGO — Amici curiae in support of an insurer on May 5 asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a lower federal court’s dismissal of a restaurant insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its alleged $977,891 in lost business income arising from its government-ordered shutdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that “[i]mposing a new and retroactive extra-contractual risk on insurers would threaten insurer solvency and harm Illinois’ insurance marketplace."
SAN FRANCISCO — The owner of two Los Angeles restaurants recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its lawsuit seeking coverage for its business income loss caused by the governmental shutdown orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, contending that the lower court dismissed its complaint “based on a range of hypothetical policy consequences” that render its interpretation of the policy “unreasonable — even if conceivable.”
NEW YORK — A Manhattan-based art gallery tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an April 2 brief that a lower federal court committed reversible error in its interpretation of an all-risk business owners insurance policy because it permitted the insurer to escape liability even though a reasonable interpretation of the policy requires the insurer to provide coverage for its losses arising from the forced cessation of its operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota federal judge on May 3 determined that the owner of an oil and gas well that exploded, injuring workers and killing one worker, is entitled to coverage under a number of policies as an additional insured and further determined that coverage is not barred by the pollution exclusions in the applicable policies based on a hostile fire exception and a time element exception.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on May 3 affirmed a trial court’s judgment in favor of a force-placed homeowners insurer on a negligence claim because the homeowner, who is seeking coverage for damages caused by an overflow of sewage in his home, failed to prove that the insurer had a duty to provide greater coverage than the coverage that was provided in the policy.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Insureds seeking coverage for environmental contamination claims are not owed coverage under environmental impairment liability and contractors pollution liability policies because the insureds failed to file a claim for coverage during the environmental impairment liability policy periods and made material misrepresentations on their applications for the contractors pollution liability policies, a Montana federal judge said May 5 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on April 30 issued a trial order, scheduling a jury trial to begin June 21 in a dispute between an insurer and a reinsurer over whether defense costs paid on behalf of an insured for asbestos liabilities are covered under the reinsurer’s policies.
NEWARK, N.J. — In an April 27 amended complaint filed in New Jersey federal court, an insured claims that its insurers, one of which is a subsidiary of a reinsurance group, breached their contracts by refusing to pay for an environmental investigation and remediation at an insured property.
MACON, Ga. — No coverage is owed for an underlying lawsuit seeking damages caused by storm water runoff as a result of insureds’ property development activities because the policy’s pollution exclusion and the policy’s “your work” exclusion bar coverage for the underlying suit, an insurer asserts in an April 27 complaint filed in Georgia federal court.
PHILADELPHIA — The owner and operator of the Philadelphia Eagles football organization on April 30 moved for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to remand its lawsuit seeking a declaration as to coverage for its alleged losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic eight days after its property insurer moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that remand is warranted so the federal court “can avoid interference in the delicate state regulatory issues involved and give appropriate respect to the important state interests implicated by this action."
BOSTON — Summary judgment should be granted in favor of reinsurers involved in a reinsurance billings dispute over the insurer’s allocation of a $120 million environmental claims settlement because there is no dispute that the insurer’s reinsurance allocation contradicts the exposures that the insurer actually settled, the reinsurers contend in an April 14 reply in support of a motion for summary judgment filed in Massachusetts federal court.
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on April 29 determined that insureds are not entitled to additional coverage under a homeowners policy for water damages because the insureds failed to prove that the policy’s provisions for tear out coverage and ordinance and law coverage are applicable to their claim.