Mealey's Insurance

  • February 21, 2020

    Insurer Owes No Defense Under Mold Exclusion, Florida Federal Judge Says

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A mold exclusion relieves an insurer from its duty to defend or indemnify against a condominium unit owner’s allegations of mold exposure caused by water intrusion related to an insured’s services, a Florida federal judge held Feb. 19 (United Specialty Insurance Co. v. Annette Davis, et al., No. 18-62451, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29255).

  • February 20, 2020

    Magistrate Recommends Default To Insurer In Lead Exposure Coverage Dispute

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Feb. 18 recommended that an insurer be granted a default judgment declaring that it has no duty to defend or indemnify cases against an insured alleging lead exposure (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. United Revolver Club of Sacramento, Inc., No. 18-2960, E.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27406).

  • February 20, 2020

    2nd Circuit Reverses, Says Manville Broker Protected From Asbestos Claims

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals handed Johns-Manville Corp.’s insurance broker a win Feb. 19 in a long-running dispute over whether asbestos claimants can hold the broker liable for their injuries in state court.  They can’t, the Second Circuit said, reversing a district court’s finding that their due process rights were violated in Johns-Manville’s bankruptcy case (In re Johns-Manville Corp., Marsh USA, Inc. v. The Bogdan Law Firm, No. 18-2531, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 5019).

  • February 20, 2020

    Judge Denies Judgment To Insurer On Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on Feb. 18 denied summary judgment to an insurer on a homeowner’s breach of contract and bad faith claims arising out of denied coverage for mold in her home because there is a genuine issue of material fact (Heather Evans v. Auto Club Property Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-486, W.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27153).

  • February 20, 2020

    Damage From Defects In Tennis Center Is Not An ‘Occurrence,’ Judge Says

    NEWARK, N.J. — Owners of a tennis center cannot show property damage caused by an “occurrence” triggering an insurer’s duty to defend under the traditional theory or the continuous trigger theory, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Feb. 13 (The Travelers Lloyds Insurance Co. v. Rigid Global Buildings, LLC, et al., No. 18-5814, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25759).

  • February 18, 2020

    Insurer Owes Defense For $1.5M Contaminated Ceramic Proppant, Magistrate Says

    HOUSTON — An insurer has a duty to defend against damages of $1.5 million related to an insured’s sale of contaminated ceramic proppant because it provided sufficient notice to trigger coverage under a professional liability insurance policy in effect in 2016, a Texas federal magistrate judge found Feb. 13 (Evanston Insurance Co. v. OPF Enterprises, LLC, No. 17-2048, S.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25652).

  • February 18, 2020

    Magistrate:  Multiunit Exclusion Shields Insurer From Defending Subcontractor

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Feb. 13 recommended granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment, finding that a multiunit residential development exclusion shields a company from defending a masonry subcontractor in a third-party state court lawsuit over alleged construction defects (Brit UW Limited v. FPC Masonry LP, No. 18-CV-876, W.D. Texas).

  • February 18, 2020

    Alabama Federal Judge: Insured’s Faulty Work Is An ‘Occurrence’

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Property damage resulting from a contractor’s faulty work is an “occurrence,” an Alabama federal judge held Feb. 14, denying summary judgment to an insurer in a homeowners’ case seeking satisfaction of a $900,000 judgment (Robert Barton, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-618, N.D. Ala., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25943).

  • February 18, 2020

    Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Barred By Policy’s Suit Limitation Provision

    SCRANTON, Pa. — Breach of contract and bad faith claims arising out of a water and mold damage coverage dispute are barred by a two-year suit limitation provision in a homeowners policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Feb. 13 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss (Carey Mazzoni v. The Travelers Home and Mutual Insurance Co., No. 19-2169, M.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25513).

  • February 14, 2020

    Arbitration Panel’s Ruling Must Be Vacated; Insurer Says Pollution Exclusion Applies

    NEW YORK — An arbitration ruling in favor of an insured for underlying groundwater contamination liabilities must be vacated because the excess policy’s pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage and the arbitration panel’s nullification of a portion of the pollution exclusion constitutes a manifest disregard of the law, an excess insurer contends in a Jan. 23 motion to vacate the arbitration ruling (HDI Global SE, f/k/a HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG, v. Phillips 66 Co., No. 20-631, S.D. N.Y.).

  • February 13, 2020

    Louisiana Federal Judge Says Question Of Fact Exists On Amount Of Insureds’ Damages

    MONROE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 11 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by a homeowners insurer after determining that a question of fact exists as to the amount of damages sustained by the insured as a result of water damage and after determining that discovery must be reopened to allow the insurer to depose the contractor who repaired damages at the insureds’ home (Joe Pentacost Jr. et al., v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida et al., No. 19-0592, W.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24106).

  • February 12, 2020

    Washington Court Affirms $4.5M Covenant Agreement In Asbestos Case

    SEATTLE — A trial court properly considered the potential verdicts and likelihood of success when determining the reasonableness of a $4.5 million covenant agreement in an asbestos case, a Washington appeals court held Feb. 11 (Robert P. Ulbricht, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 79490-6, Wash. App., Div. 1).

  • February 11, 2020

    Judge Orders Arbitration Of Reinsurance Case Over Asbestos Loss Billings

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 7 ordered a reinsurer to arbitrate its dispute regarding asbestos loss billings with an insurer and a reinsurer based on an arbitration clause but stayed the dispute against another insurer pending arbitration (TIG Insurance Co. v. American Home Assurance Co., et al., No. 18-10183, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22639).

  • February 10, 2020

    Insured Failed To File Water Damage Coverage Suit Within Suit Limitation Provision

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Feb. 7 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a water damage coverage suit after determining that the insured failed to file suit within the policy’s two-year limitation provision; however, after determining that amendment may not be futile, the judge said the insured is permitted to file an amended complaint (Riki Roash v. Automobile Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, No. 19-035, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21992).

  • February 10, 2020

    Law-Of-Case Doctrine Bars Denial Of Lift-Stay Motion, Insurer Argues

    TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy judge committed reversible error in denying an insurer’s bid to vacate a stay order barring its contribution claims against other insurers for asbestos claims against Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc., the insurer argues in a Jan. 31 reply brief on appeal in federal court (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-5648, W.D. Wash.).

  • February 07, 2020

    Excess Insurers Must Bear Cost Of Insurer’s Insolvency, Missouri Federal Judge Says

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 31 denied a motion for summary judgment filed by two excess insurers in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the excess insurers must bear the cost of an underlying insurer’s insolvency because the excess policies at issue do not explicitly exclude the “drop down” of coverage (O’Reilly Auto Enterprises LLC v. United States Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-3007, W.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18422).

  • February 07, 2020

    Panel Should Reconsider Ruling That Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage, Insured Says

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reconsider its finding that an insured quarry operator’s unplanned discharge of rock pellets into a nearby stream is excluded from coverage pursuant to the policy’s pollution exclusion because the appeals panel misapplied the meaning of contaminants in determining that the pollution exclusion applies, the insured contends in a Jan. 31 petition for panel rehearing (Eastern Concrete Materials Inc. v. ACE American Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-11043, 5th Cir.).

  • February 06, 2020

    Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Against Homeowners Insurer Should Be Dismissed

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A  New York federal magistrate judge on Jan. 30 recommended that an insured homeowners’ breach of contract and bad faith complaint be dismissed because the insured failed to file suit within the policy’s two-year limitations provision (Shahzad Nawaz v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 19-1727, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16361).

  • February 05, 2020

    Parties Request Stay Against English Reinsurer Based On Bankruptcy Court Order

    BOSTON — A reinsurer and an English reinsurer ask a Massachusetts federal court in a Jan. 28 motion for a stay of counterclaims against the English reinsurer concerning allocation and billing of environmental claims because a bankruptcy court order was issued against the English reinsurer (Certain London Market Company Reinsurers v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-10534, D. Mass.).

  • February 04, 2020

    Consultant Was Not Fraudulently Joined To Defeat Jurisdiction In Water Damage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 27 remanded a suit filed by insured homeowners seeking coverage for water damages after determining that complete diversity jurisdiction does not exist because the insureds did not fraudulently join a consultant hired by the insurer as a defendant to defeat diversity jurisdiction (Ramin Javaherian, et al. v. AMCO Insurance Co., et al., No. 19-10317, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14793).