NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled against Utica Mutual Insurance Co. in a combined opinion issued July 29 on two cases that had “inconsistent” results before different judges of the same federal court in New York, affirming a judgment in favor of one reinsurer and partly reversing, vacating and remanding the judgement against the other reinsurer.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Following a jury’s verdict in favor of an insurer on whether defense costs paid on behalf of an insured for asbestos liabilities are covered under a reinsurer’s policies and entry of judgment awarding $10,901,005 in damages, the insurer on July 29 filed notice of a motion before a New York federal judge to correct or amend the motion to include prejudgment interest of $8,444,834.
ALBANY N.Y. — An Albany County, N.Y., Supreme Court justice on July 26 granted an all-risk commercial insurer’s motion to transfer an insured’s coronavirus coverage lawsuit to New York County, rejecting the insured’s argument that the current venue is proper under the policy’s forum selection clause.
NEW YORK — Twenty days after issuing a one-page order dismissing Northwell Health Inc.’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking $1.25 billion in coverage for its property and business interruption losses and decontamination costs arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge in New York on July 27 entered a judgment in favor of two commercial property insurers after finding that Northwell’s arguments for coverage under “a litany of possible provisions” “are unpersuasive.”
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on July 25 determined that underlying personal injury claims arising out of an insured’s lead-smelting operations constitute one occurrence under four policies issued by an insurer because all of the underlying claims arose out of the insured’s operation of a lead-smelting plant.
NEWARK, N.J. — In a July 14 answer to an amended complaint filed in New Jersey federal court about environmental investigation and remediation at an insured property, an insurer asserts numerous affirmative defenses including that the insured “is barred from bringing a claim against the defendant by virtue of being made whole through the voluntary settlement of a previous matter.”
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A total pollution exclusion does not preclude coverage to an insured for an underlying personal injury suit arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the malfunction of a gas-powered boiler because under Wyoming law, pollution exclusions do not apply to personal injuries caused by exposure to nonenvironmental pollution, a Wyoming federal judge said July 16 in granting the underlying plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.
ATLANTA — American Property Casualty Insurance Association on July 21 filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London in a coronavirus coverage suit, arguing to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that commercial property insurance policies “do not—and were never intended to—provide coverage for economic losses untethered to physical loss or physical damage.”
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 9 granted a rental dwelling insurer’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims after determining that the insured failed to show that the water leak was sudden as required for coverage to exist under the policy.
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on July 19 heard oral arguments on an umbrella insurer’s motion seeking almost $400,000 in attorney fees and costs in a dispute with an English reinsurer over responsibility for an environmental claims settlement.
PITTSBURGH — Chapter 11 debtor ON Marine Services Company LLC is ready to turn to a mediator to help negotiate with asbestos claimants and insurance companies over the amounts the insurers should pay in settlements with the debtor to fund an asbestos trust, the company says in a July 19 status report in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court.
MINNEAPOLIS — No coverage is owed for dust contamination caused by the negligent installation of a garage door because the dust contamination contained silica and the policy at issue clearly precludes coverage for silica and silica-related dust, a Minnesota federal judge said July 20 in granting a motion for summary judgment filed by the contractor responsible for the garage door installation.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal jury in West Virginia on July 16 awarded an insured seeking coverage for property damages caused by the collapse of its silo almost $33 million after determining that the collapse of the silo was not caused by wear and tear, an excluded cause of loss under the policy.
BOSTON — In a procedural order noted in a July 16 docket entry, a federal judge in Massachusetts set a final pretrial conference for Sept. 22 in a reinsurance billings dispute over the allocation of a $120 million environmental claims settlement.
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 16 dismissed an insured’s bad faith claim against a rental dwelling insurer after determining that the insured failed to support the allegation that the insurer acted in bad faith in denying the insured’s claim for water damage.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on July 7 granted two commercial property insurers’ motion to dismiss Northwell Health Inc.’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking $1.25 billion in coverage for its property and business interruption losses and decontamination costs arising out of the coronavirus pandemic and denied as moot Northwell’s motion for partial summary judgment.
LOS ANGELES — One day after a motion picture company insured and its insurer filed a joint stipulation of dismissal, a federal judge in California on July 16 dismissed without prejudice the insured’s lawsuit alleging that its insurer refused to extend its “film producers risk” insurance policy when the production of the movie “Hypnotic” starring Ben Affleck was delayed by risks associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
ROME, Ga. — Settlements worth more than $47 million between Chapter 11 debtor The Fairbanks Co. and its asbestos insurers that are the linchpins of the company’s plan to reorganize gained approval July 9 from a Georgia federal bankruptcy judge.
WILMINGTON, Del. — An insurer claims in a July 16 answer to a complaint that it did not breach its contract in handling its insureds’ claim seeking coverage for underlying benzene exposure claims.
NEW ORLEANS — Granting an insolvent insurer’s motion to stay an asbestos liability lawsuit in its entirety, a federal judge in Louisiana held July 6 that allowing the plaintiffs to proceed against the insureds while the claims against the insolvent insurer are stayed “would frustrate the parties' ability to resolve the case as a whole and may result in undue prejudice to both plaintiff and defendant.”