OMAHA, Neb. — Investment companies were granted permission on May 2 by a Nebraska federal magistrate judge to file a third amended answer, counterclaim and cross-claim in a breach of contract dispute over a workers’ compensation program involving a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. Ramesh Pitamber & Kusum Pitamber, et al., No. 17-61, D. Neb., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74280).
LONDON — The England and Wales Court of Appeal ruled April 17 that an insurer cannot allocate asbestos-related losses to its choice of reinsurance policy (Equitas Insurance Ltd. v. Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd., No. A4/2017/1278, England and Wales App.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An insurance fund and a railroad company filed supplemental briefs on April 24 with an Illinois federal court to address whether shares of stock were held in a resulting trust to support claims for alter-ego and de facto merger with regard to payment for mine subsidence damages in their reinsurance coverage dispute (Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., No. 17-3199, C.D. Ill.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An insurer filed a notice of appeal on April 29 regarding a New York federal judge’s ruling that a reinsurer is not liable for any additional monies to an insurer under a 1973 facultative reinsurance certificate (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., No. 12-00196, Munich Reinsurance America Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
BOSTON — A Bermuda reinsurance investment company and an affiliated company on April 29 moved to dismiss a former employee’s breach of contract lawsuit filed in Massachusetts federal court over an alleged failure to make incentive payments of $7.45 million because the employment agreement is subject to Bermuda court jurisdiction (Alissa Fredricks v. Markel CATCo Investment Management Ltd., et al., No. 19-10331, D. Mass.).
NEW YORK — A New York justice on Feb. 19 appointed an attorney as umpire for an arbitration dispute between an insurer and reinsurers concerning a $1.47 million demand arising out of asbestos losses (Enstar EU Ltd., et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 654089/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1902).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 25 approved a proposal for modification to schedules in two putative class actions over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) entered into by hundreds of California businesses when they bought a workers’ compensation program (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-158, Pet Food Express Ltd., et al. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-1211, E.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on April 26 denied a request by reinsurers to dismiss or arbitrate a financial service company’s amended complaint concerning their breach of an implied-in-fact contract dispute over a $26 million arbitration award because there was no express agreement (Vantage Commodities Financial Services I, LLC v. Assured Risk Transfer PCC, LCC, et al., No. 17-01451, D. D.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70417).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Home health aides filed a first amended class action complaint on April 24 in a New York federal court, alleging that their employers’ captive insurance and reinsurance scheme cheated them out of lost wages and benefits (Ynes M. Gonzalez de Fuente, et al. v. Preferred Home Care of New York LLC, et al., No. 18-6749, E.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — A businessman argues in an April 23 motion filed in a New York federal court that two hedge funds’ liquidators failed to “present a coherent narrative” to support a “guilt by association approach” to allegations in connection “with one of the most spectacular hedge fund collapses” (Martin Trott, et al. v. Platinum Management [NY] LLC, et al., No. 18-10936, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — An insurer tells a Puerto Rico federal court on April 23 to deny a request by reinsurers to dismiss or compel arbitration of the insurer’s lawsuit regarding hurricane losses because the arbitration clause is invalid and unenforceable under Puerto Rico law (Integrand Assurance Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., et al., No. 19-01111, D. Puerto Rico).
DETROIT — A putative class of dry bean farmers argues to a Michigan federal court in an April 22 response that crop insurers and the federal agencies that reinsure them are liable to them for loss of revenue protection in 2015 because the federal agencies failed to use the actual market price as the harvest price to provide revenue protection under a dry bean revenue endorsement (DBRE) (Gregory Ackerman, et al. v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, et al., No. 17-11779, E.D. Mich.).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge granted summary judgment on April 22 to defendants regarding a reinsurer’s claim seeking recovery of proceeds from avoidable transfers in a case over a $3.2 million judgment because discovery showed that no transfers occurred (Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Richard Keith Nagby, et al., No. 16-3038, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68950).
CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire trial judge recently approved a $27 million settlement between the liquidator of The Home Insurance Co. and federal government claimants as well as a separate reinsurance commutation agreement in the amount of $1.3 million between the liquidator and a reinsurer (In the matter of the liquidation of The Home Insurance Co., No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Super., Merrimack Co.).
NEW YORK — In an opinion setting forth reasons for a “bottom-line” order, a New York federal judge held April 22 that a run-off insurer’s claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act are barred under Section 107 of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (RICO Amendment) (Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania v. Beechwood Re Ltd., et al., No. 18-6658, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67952).
BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge received a joint stipulation of dismissal on April 22 from underwriters subscribing to a facultative reinsurance certificate and insurers with regard to the dispute seeking a declaration that a reinsurance contract is void ab initio (Certain Interested Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, subscribing to the facultative reinsurance certificate 2017100003409 v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., et al., No. 18-02972, D. Md.).
NEW YORK — An agreement between an insurer and a steel maker does not establish a reinsurer’s liability to pay a $5 million arbitration award, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 18, vacating a lower court’s ruling granting enforcement of the award against the reinsurer (National Indemnity Co., et al. v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 18-534, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11284).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 17 denied leave to file a renewed motion for class certification in consolidated cases over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) entered into by businesses when buying a workers’ compensation program because there was no reason for why the class definition could not have been initially sought (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-158, Pet Food Express Ltd., et al. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 16-1211, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65807).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In their March 8 reply brief, reinsurers raise failure to state a claim and timeliness as reasons that a District of Columbia federal judge should dismiss or arbitrate a financial service company’s amended complaint concerning their breach of an implied-in-fact contract dispute over a $26 million arbitration award (Vantage Commodities Financial Services I, LLC v. Assured Risk Transfer PCC, LCC, et al., No. 17-01451, D. D.C.).
By Robert M. Hall