MINNEAPOLIS — An insurer is not permitted to recoup defense costs it paid on behalf of an insured for underlying asbestos bodily injury claims pursuant to a reservation of rights because the policies at issue did not include a right to recoup the costs paid, the insured argues in a May 16 motion to dismiss filed in Minnesota federal court.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on May 17 issued two orders granting separate joint motions to dismiss with prejudice against two defendants in an asbestos liability coverage suit alleging that a man contracted malignant mesothelioma and died due to his inhalation of asbestos fibers.
LANSING, Mich. — No coverage is owed to an insured spa and salon for business losses sustained as a result of shutdown orders issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because the insured did not sustain a direct physical loss to its property and because the policy at issue includes a contamination exclusion that precludes coverage, the Michigan Appeals Court said May 19.
NEW ORLEANS — Tort claims alleged against an employer’s insurer in an asbestos coverage dispute must be dismissed because the claims are preempted by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), a federal statute that provides medical and disability benefits to covered maritime workers, a Louisiana federal judge said May 19 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 affirmed a district court’s ruling that no coverage is owed for dust contamination caused by the negligent installation of a garage door because the dust contained silica and the policy at issue clearly precludes coverage for silica and silica-related dust.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana panel on May 4 held that private and public interest factors weigh heavily in favor of California as a more appropriate and convenient forum for an insured’s coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that a lower court abused its discretion in denying the insurer’s motion to dismiss based on forum non conveniens.
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on April 13 granted an primary insurer’s petition for review in a long-standing asbestos insurance coverage dispute, agreeing to review the question of whether horizontal or vertical exhaustion should be applied when allocating the insurer’s claim for equitable contribution.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An insurer on May 11 waived its right to respond to an insured’s petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a commercial lines policy’s virus exclusion clearly precludes coverage for the insured’s business losses sustained as a result of state government-ordered business closures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
NEW YORK — Following an April 26 jury verdict that coverage is owed for three of an insured’s former manufactured-gas plants, a New York County Supreme Court justice on May 11 issued a post-trial decision, offering detailed explanations of a number of rulings made during the trial about the content of the jury charge and verdict sheet.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 denied an insurer’s petition for rehearing en banc, refusing to reconsider a panel majority’s finding that the insurer violated North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) when it denied coverage for a collapsed breezeway and that the insured should be awarded treble damages for the denial of coverage.
MIAMI — A homeowners insurer does not owe coverage for water damage sustained in an insured’s home as a result of broken drainpipes because the policy clearly excludes coverage for damages caused by wear and tear or deterioration, a Florida federal judge said May 13.
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on May 11 granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on a punitive damages claim brought by an asbestos claimant under a former Louisiana Civil Code article after determining that the insurer’s policy was not effective during the time in which the Louisiana law was effective.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — No coverage is owed for the shifting of the foundation to an insured home discovered after a water line failure at the home because the policy’s earth movement exclusion clearly precludes coverage for the shifting foundation, a Kansas federal judge said May 4 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
ORLANDO, Fla. — A pollution exclusion bars coverage for an underlying bodily injury suit seeking damages as a result of exposure to toxic vapors, an insurer asserts in a May 3 complaint filed in Florida federal court.
RICHMOND, Va. — An insurer filed a petition for rehearing en banc on May 2, arguing that the majority of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals incorrectly found that the insurer violated North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) when it denied coverage for a collapsed breezeway and incorrectly determined that the insured should be awarded treble damages for the denial of coverage.
NEW CASTLE, Del. — An insurer on April 28 answered an insured’s appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court seeking to overturn a lower court’s finding that an insurance policy’s “Pollution and Contamination” exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for the insured’s economic losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and related government shutdowns of its six family entertainment centers and two water parks in three states.
PHILADELPHIA — An insured’s claim for declaratory judgment against a homeowners insurer in a water damage coverage dispute must be dismissed because it is duplicative of the insured’s breach of contract claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge said April 29.
RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on March 31 denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract and bad faith suit against it filed by the professional liability insurer of an insurance broker as assignee of a commercial construction company sued for damages related to the design of a roofing system. The judge rejected the insurer’s arguments that it must consider the release agreement between the broker and the construction company and that punitive damages are unassignable.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on March 24 granted an insurer’s motion for reconsideration in a dispute over coverage for an underlying chemical exposure suit and reopened discovery to allow the insurer to obtain information on coverage issues raised in a declaration submitted by the insured’s former in-house counsel.
JACKSON, Miss. — A pollution liability insurer owes no coverage to an insured for an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured illegally discharged wastewater into a city sewage treatment facility because the underlying suit alleges intentional and reckless acts, which are excluded under the policy, a Mississippi federal judge said March 30.