Mealey's Insurance

  • February 21, 2018

    Maryland Casualty Seeks Protection Of W.R. Grace Injunction For Asbestos Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. — An asbestos liability insurer of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. asked a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge Jan. 29 to enforce the protective injunction in the debtor’s reorganization plan to halt claimants in Montana from pursuing asbestos claims against the insurer and to impose sanctions on the claimants’ attorneys for continuing to prosecute the claims despite a prior order (In re:  W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • February 21, 2018

    Geo. V. Hamilton Settles Dispute With Insurance Association For $6 Million

    PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania insurance guaranty association will pay $6 million to the asbestos trust planned in the Chapter 11 case of debtor Geo. V. Hamilton Inc. to resolve a coverage dispute involving five policies issued to Hamilton by now-insolvent insurers, with a federal bankruptcy judge approving the deal Feb. 14 (In re Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc., No. 15-23704, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).

  • February 21, 2018

    Coverage Barred For Release Of Chlorine Gas, New York Federal Judge Says

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — No coverage is owed to insureds seeking a defense for an underlying suit alleging bodily injury claims caused by the release of chlorine gas from the insureds’ scrap metal recycling plant because the policies’ absolute pollution exclusion clearly precludes coverage for the underlying suit, a New York federal judge said Feb. 13 (Ben Weitsman & Son of Scranton LLC, et al. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-0780, N.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22970).

  • February 20, 2018

    Most Emails Sought Are Shielded From Discovery In Pollution Coverage Row

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Twelve of 19 emails between an insurer, a claims management company and attorneys are protected from discovery by the work product doctrine, an Indiana federal magistrate judge determined Feb. 6 after conducting an in camera review of the emails sought by an insured in an environmental contamination coverage dispute (Valley Forge Insurance Company v. Hartford Iron & Metal, Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-00006, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19695).

  • February 16, 2018

    Kaiser Gypsum Debtors Agree To Claim Amount In Insolvent Insurers’ Run-Off

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 17 approved in a minute order a settlement between Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. and the joint scheme administrator for two insolvent British insurers, setting claim values for the debtors in the insurers’ run-off proceedings (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).

  • February 15, 2018

    Rapid-American Denied Protective Order For Insurers’ Subpoenas

    NEW YORK — Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and asbestos claimants in its bankruptcy case do not have standing to challenge subpoenas served by insurers to asbestos claims-processing facilities seeking evidence of fraud in the asbestos trust system, and besides, the information sought is relevant to the debtor’s declaratory judgment action against the insurers, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held Feb. 12 (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 378).

  • February 15, 2018

    Insurer Asks For Relief From Kaiser Gypsum’s Stay To Seek Settlement Reimbursement

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. sought relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay Feb. 13 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court so it can pursue $2.8 million in reimbursements from other insurers for settlement payments made to asbestos personal injury claimants under a 2009 agreement (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).

  • February 14, 2018

    Reinsurer, Insurer Agree To Litigate $1.25M Breach Of Contract Dispute

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 7 granted a joint motion by a reinsurer and insurer to withdraw a motion to dismiss and a motion to enjoin and instead to litigate a $1.25 million breach of contract dispute over settlement of underlying asbestos claims (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 17-02144, D. Conn.).

  • February 14, 2018

    Insurer Has Duty To Defend, Indemnify Negligent Installation Claims, Appeals Panel Finds

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify an insured subcontractor against a contractor’s claims of negligent installation, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed Feb. 9 (J.J.D. Urethane Co. v. Westfield Insurance Co., et al., Nos. 1440 EDA 2017 & 1554 EDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 396).

  • February 14, 2018

    Insurer, Reinsurer Submit Briefs On New York High Court Decision’s Application

    NEW YORK — In a coverage dispute over asbestos litigation costs, a reinsurer and insurer submitted letters on Feb. 9 to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concerning how a New York high court ruling applies to a reinsurance contract’s per-occurrence liability cap (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co., No. 15-2164, 2nd Cir.).

  • February 13, 2018

    Federal Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss As It Pertains To Clause In Settlement Agreement

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 6 denied an insured’s motion to dismiss as it pertained to the enforcement of a judgment reduction clause in a settlement agreement regarding a number of environmentally contaminated sites because it pertains to the claims at issue in the contribution suit, which has been pending in the New York federal court since 1984 (Olin Corp. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., et al., No. 84-1968, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20424).

  • February 13, 2018

    Claims Against Insurer Fail; Plaintiffs Failed To Show They Are Third-Party Beneficiaries

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The daughter and daughter-in-law of a named insured cannot assert claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an insurer in connection with a coverage claim for water and mold damages within an insured home because the daughter and daughter-in-law failed to prove that they are third-party beneficiaries under the policy at issue, an Oklahoma federal judge said Feb. 6 in granting an insurer’s motion to dismiss (Karen Annette Foster-Blackwood, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 17-1146, W.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19275).

  • February 12, 2018

    Justice Allows Tortious Interference Claim Against Insurer’s Claims Handler

    NEW YORK — In a dispute over an alleged profit arrangement between insurers and reinsurers, an estate’s executor established sufficient allegations to move forward with his tortious interference claim against a claims handler for its denial of payment of an underlying $7.1 million asbestos judgment, a New York justice ruled Jan. 24 (Ruby Konstantin v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, et al., No. 652897/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • February 12, 2018

    Insureds’ Complaint Seeking Coverage For Foundation Damages Dismissed

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 8 granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss its insureds’ amended complaint seeking damages as a result of defective concrete used in their home’s foundation after determining that the insureds failed to carry their burden of proving that coverage is afforded under the policy and that the insurer acted in bad faith when it denied their claim (Joseph Mazzarella, et al. v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-598, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20737).

  • February 12, 2018

    Quarry Dust Exposure Coverage Suit Dismissed In Deference To Parallel State Suit

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An insurer’s suit seeking  a declaration that no coverage is owed for underlying  claims arising out of exposure to lime quarry dust must be dismissed in deference to the additional insured’s suit filed in Alabama state court against the insurer and others because Alabama has a substantial interest in litigating claims in state court, an Alabama federal judge said Feb. 9 (The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co. v. G&R Mineral Services Inc., et al., No. 17-752, N.D. Ala., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21533).

  • February 8, 2018

    Insurer Required To Cover Damages From ‘Collapse,’ Magistrate Judge Finds

    MIAMI — Finding that “collapse” is not defined in an “all-risk” insurance policy, a Florida federal magistrate judge on Feb. 5 held that an insurer is obligated to cover sagging and falling down ceilings at a condominium complex (Key Biscayne Ambassador Condominium Association Inc. v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-24564, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19440).

  • February 7, 2018

    Water Leakage, Seepage Excluded Under Homeowners Insurance Policy, Judge Says

    MISSOULA, Mont. — The efficient proximate cause of homeowners’ loss was repeated seepage or leakage of water over an extended period of time, which is an excluded peril under a homeowners insurance policy, a Montana federal judge ruled Feb. 5 (Tafford and LaRayne Oltz v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 16-124, D. Mont., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18743).

  • February 6, 2018

    New York High Court To Decide If Coverage Due For Time No Insurance Was Available

    ALBANY, N.Y. — After hearing oral arguments on Feb. 6, the New York Court of Appeals is set to decide whether an excess insurer owes coverage to its insured for the time periods when the insured was unable to purchase environmental liability insurance coverage even if the excess insurer’s policies specifically stated that coverage is afforded only for damages occurring during the policy period (KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., et al., No. APL-2016-00236, N.Y. App.).

  • February 6, 2018

    Insureds’ Claims For Contract Breach, Bad Faith Can Stand, Federal Judge Determines

    TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 2 denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims in a dispute over coverage for earthquake and mold damages after determining that the insureds offered sufficient evidence to support their claims (Larry W. Thomas, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Co., No. 16-17, N.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17418).

  • February 5, 2018

    Federal Magistrate Judge Orders Defendant To Amend Answers In Lead Coverage Suit

    BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal magistrate judge on Jan. 31 ordered a defendant in a lead paint coverage suit to amend two answers in response to an insurer’s requests for admission after determining that the defendant can learn additional information regarding the insured property’s conditions from her grandmother and legal guardian who lived with the defendant at the insured property (CX Reinsurance Co. Ltd., et al. v. Homewood Realty Inc., et al., No. 15-3136, D. Md.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15339).