PHILADELPHIA — Three insurers on Jan. 27 filed separate appellee briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals defending a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in their favor in a steel manufacturer insured’s breach of contract, bad faith and declaratory relief lawsuit arising from underlying claims alleging exposure to various chemical additives at a muffler manufacturer’s facility.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 22 denied an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari in an oil and gas well damage suit, refusing to review the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ dismissal of the insured’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
SAN FRANCISCO — Small businesses that own and operate Minor League Baseball (MiLB) teams on Feb. 8 asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of their breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking business interruption coverage for their losses arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
NEW YORK — An insurer owes no coverage for damages to an insured building caused by the overflow of a toilet in a tenant’s unit because the policy’s water exclusion clearly precludes coverage, a New York justice said Jan. 26 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
AKRON, Ohio — Granting an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 17 held that although a restaurant owner insured plausibly alleged that governmental shutdown orders and the possible or actual presence of the novel coronavirus interfered with its intended use of its restaurant properties, the properties were not materially or perceptibly destroyed, harmed or ruined and remain in the insured’s possession.
GOSHEN, N.Y. — A New York justice on Feb. 12 dismissed a bus contractor insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage under an “all risk” commercial property insurance policy for its business interruption losses and extra expenses incurred as a direct result of governmental shutdown orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, finding that under state law, there is no “business income/extra expense” coverage in the absence of “direct physical loss or damage” to the insured’s premises.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 17 denied an insured’s motion for reargument or rehearing in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the insured failed to identifyany change of controlling law or any new evidence that would warrant reconsideration of the court’s finding that no coverage is owed for the underlying asbestos claims.
ST. LOUIS — A federal judge in Missouri on Feb. 16 held that “the great weight of authority supports” insurers’ argument that “direct physical loss of” requires that “some physical event” occurs on the insureds’ properties, granting the insurers’ motion for judgment on the pleadings in a breach of contract and bad faith coverage lawsuit arising from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
NEWARK, N.J. — In a Feb. 1 answer to an industrial equipment supplier’s complaint alleging that an insurer breached its contract by refusing to pay for an environmental investigation and remediation at an insured property, the insurer claims that the insured’s claims against it may be barred based on the insured’s failure to provide timely notice of an occurrence under the policy.
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 15 granted an insurer and reinsurer’s motion to dismiss a dispute over the reinsurer’s alleged failure to indemnify environmental claims payments after the parties reached an agreement to dismiss the suit with prejudice.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 12 determined that an insurer must pay its insured approximately $24.2 million in prejudgment interest on a $25 million judgment entered for the insured for past environmental contamination costs incurred at one of the insured’s sites.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Feb. 11 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that no coverage is owed for damages caused by a sewer backup because the policy clearly excludes coverage for damages caused by water backups.
SAN FRANCISCO — One day after an insurer filed an answering brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a retailer insured’s appeal of a federal judge’s dismissal of its class complaint seeking coverage under a comprehensive business insurance policy for its claimed losses following the state’s “Stay at Home” order in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, United Policyholders on Feb. 9 said its amicus support is “especially vital” in the case “because the issues implicated by this case are far-reaching and of critical importance, as they may affect the fate of insurance recoveries for small businesses throughout California.”
CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on March 3 in an appeal of an asbestos coverage dispute by an insurer that claims a district court erred in denying its motion to dismiss the insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit.
NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 21 signed a consent order ending an adversary action against asbestos insurers filed by Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. based on a settlement among the parties.
OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 10 denied an insurer’s motion for bifurcation of breach of contract and bad faith claims in an environmental contamination dispute after determining that the potential benefitsof bifurcation do not outweigh the potential drawbacks of bifurcation.
MINEOLA, N.Y. — A New York justice on Feb. 8 dismissed an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the closure of its movie theater in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, concurring “with the majority view” that the insured’s loss of use of its premises because of the coronavirus-related shutdown orders does not constitute “direct physical loss of or damage to the property” under the policy and further noting that the insured fails to assert that it inquired about insurance coverage for government closures related to a pandemic.
NEWARK, N.J. — No coverage is owed for business losses sustained by an ophthalmology practice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because a virus exclusion in the applicable policy applies as a bar to coverage, a New Jersey federal judge said Feb. 8.
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 29 dismissed an insurer’s appeal over coverage issues in the Chapter 11 case of asbestos debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. at the request of all parties based on a global settlement in the bankruptcy case that led to confirmation of the debtor’s plan of reorganization.
ATLANTA — An insured on Feb. 2 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court’s dismissal of its breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its business losses that were “directly caused” by government “stay-at-home” orders in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the lower court’s “ruling threatens to cause grave and in many cases irreparable harm to Florida’s small business community already suffering from the pandemic’s impact.”