Mealey's California Insurance

  • September 21, 2023

    Disability Claimant Met Burden Of Showing She Remains Disabled, Judge Says

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A disability claimant met her burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that she remains disabled from performing the duties of any occupation, a California federal judge said in granting the claimant’s motion for judgment and in denying the disability insurer’s motion for judgment.

  • September 20, 2023

    Judgment Entered Against Insured In Fraud Dispute Over $841,881 In Benefits

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Sept. 19 entered default judgment against an insured who received more than $800,000 for long-term care benefits under a rider to her life insurance policy, finding that default judgment is appropriate due, in part, to no “excusable neglect” on the part of the insured in her failure to appear.

  • September 18, 2023

    Insured Sufficiently Alleged Insurer Was A Party To Commercial Property Policy

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge denied a motion to dismiss filed by two insurers after determining that an insured’s breach of contract, bad faith and unfair business practices claims can proceed against one of the insurers because the insured nursing home sufficiently alleged that the insurer was a party to a commercial property insurance policy.

  • September 15, 2023

    California High Court Won’t Review UCL Mental Health Coverage Ruling

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Supreme Court denied a petition for review after a lower court published its opinion finding that two insureds adequately alleged standing under the California unfair competition law (UCL) and that the way the insurer handles mental health care results in shortages of that care.

  • September 13, 2023

    Judge Dismisses Elder Abuse Suit Against LTC Insurer, Cites Inadequate Pleading

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge dismissed a breach of contract and elder abuse suit filed against a couple’s long-term care (LTC) insurer for its failure to cover the wife’s claim for benefits, finding that though the amended complaint contains “a bundle of allegations that might constitute plausible causes of action with some additional facts,” the amended complaint does not currently suffice to “allow this case to proceed.”

  • September 13, 2023

    No Coverage Owed For Restaurants’ Coronavirus Losses, 9th Circuit Affirms

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a restaurant owner insured’s breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the policy’s virus exclusion bars coverage.

  • September 12, 2023

    Judicial Estoppel Bid Doesn’t Stop Transfer Of Reinsurer’s Breach Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Concluding that judicial estoppel doesn’t apply and a reinsurer failed to meet its “burden of showing why the court should not transfer the case to the agreed-upon forum,” a California federal judge granted the defendants’ motion to transfer the case involving allegations of a fraudulent scheme to inflate provisional commissions and breach of various agreements.

  • September 11, 2023

    Amber Heard Seeks Dismissal Of Insurer’s Complaint In Defamation Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — Amber Heard moved to dismiss an insurer’s second amended complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that it has no duty to defend or indemnify her for a defamation judgment awarded to Johnny Depp.

  • September 08, 2023

    Federal Judge Dismisses TCPA Coverage Suit After Yahoo, Insurer Reach Settlement

    SAN JOSE, Calif. —  One day after Yahoo! Inc. and its commercial general liability insurer filed a notice of settlement, a federal judge in California dismissed with prejudice Yahoo’s lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying class actions alleging that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

  • September 08, 2023

    Federal Judge Dismisses Bobcat Wildfire Coverage Suit After Parties Reach Settlement

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California dismissed without prejudice a coverage dispute over underlying lawsuits arising from the Bobcat Wildfire one day after the parties announced that they reached a settlement.

  • August 31, 2023

    In 2-1 Decision, 9th Circuit Reverses On Threshold Question In Preemption Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a 2-1 ruling concerning a threshold issue, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel reversed and remanded a summary judgment order against a trade organization that argued that a city and county of San Francisco ordinance concerning health insurance benefits for airline employees is preempted by federal law including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • August 30, 2023

    Defamation Claimed In 2nd Cross-Complaint Filed In Breach Suit

    LOS ANGELES — In the second cross-complaint filed in a lawsuit in California state court involving allegations that a claim should have been covered by reinsurance of a shared risk incentive pool, a managed services organization (MSO) and its CEO allege defamation.

  • August 29, 2023

    Joint Statement Filed In Coverage Row Over Jet Leased To Russian Operator

    SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs in an international aviation insurance coverage dispute involving Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plan to initially focus depositions “on persons identified by the ‘War Risk’ insurers,” according to a filing in California state court.

  • August 29, 2023

    Appeal Of Dispute Over Arbitrator’s Firm’s Work For Reinsurer Is Dismissed

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appellate case over confirmation of an arbitration panel’s ruling against a university was dismissed after the parties filed a joint notice of settlement and a stipulation for dismissal, the case docket shows.

  • August 22, 2023

    Parties In Reinsurance Row Dispute Bifurcating Declaratory Judgment Claim

    LOS ANGELES — Parties in a dispute over reinsurance billings have filed responses in a California court disagreeing on whether a declaratory judgment claim should be bifurcated, with the plaintiff saying it does not object to bifurcation and the defendants opposing bifurcation but saying it would be appropriate for the court to decide some factual issues before a jury trial.

  • August 22, 2023

    Rescission Row Stayed Pending Resolution Of Underlying Suit Against Contractor

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge granted a painting contractor’s motion for a stay in an insurer’s suit against the contractor seeking rescission of the contractor’s insurance policy and a declaratory judgment that it is not required to provide coverage to the contractor in an underlying breach of contract case, finding that a stay pending resolution of the underlying case is warranted in part due to the overlap between the cases such that issuing a stay “increases judicial efficiency.”

  • August 21, 2023

    California High Court Agrees To Review Tribe’s Coronavirus Coverage Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court granted an Indian tribe insured’s petition to review a state appellate court’s finding that the insured and its experts failed to present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the coronavirus caused property damage to the tribe’s casino and resort.

  • August 15, 2023

    Under Stipulation, Reinsurer May Intervene In California Liquidation Proceeding

    LOS ANGELES — Following a stipulation by a liquidator and a reinsurer who had a dispute playing out in two jurisdictions, a California judge has ruled that the reinsurer may intervene in the state court action.

  • August 15, 2023

    Judge: Fact Issues Preclude Summary Judgment In Coverage Suit Over Forgery Claims

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in California held that fact issues preclude summary judgment in favor of a bank insured in its lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses resulting from a forgery.

  • August 15, 2023

    Insurer’s Suit Against Amber Heard Is Clearly Moot, Judge Says In Tentative Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — Ruling on motions for judgment on the pleadings in an insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit alleging that it has no duty to defend or indemnify Amber Heard for a defamation judgment awarded to Johnny Depp, a federal judge in California issued a tentative ruling that concluded that the lawsuit, as it has been pleaded, is now “clearly moot.”

  • August 10, 2023

    California Panel Reverses Ruling For Insurer In Builder’s SIR Refund Action

    LOS ANGELES — Finding it unclear when a homebuilder exceeded the self-insured retention (SIR) amounts in homebuilders protective policies covering homes in several states, a California appellate panel reversed the trial court’s order sustaining its insurer’s demurrer on statute of limitations grounds of the builder’s suit seeking a refund for excess amounts it paid under the policies.

  • August 08, 2023

    Subcontractor’s Appeal Of Faulty Workmanship Coverage Ruling Dismissed By 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has granted a subcontractor’s motion to voluntarily dismiss its appeal of a lower court’s dismissal of its coverage dispute with its commercial general liability insurer stemming from the faulty installation of a foundation system for a new airport concourse and related improvements at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

  • August 04, 2023

    9th Circuit Reverses FCA Dismissal, Says Public Disclosure Bar ‘Not Triggered’

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 reversed and remanded an order dismissing a relator’s qui tam suit alleging violations of the federal False Claims Act (FCA) against pharmaceutical companies related to their alleged fraud by artificially inflating drug prices, finding that the suit was not precluded by the public disclosure bar because none of the public disclosures “made a direct claim” that the pharmaceutical companies committed fraud.

  • August 03, 2023

    Insurers File Class Complaint Over Policy Payments For Kia, Hyundai Thefts

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Insurance companies across the United States filed a master complaint in a multidistrict litigation in a federal court in California over the thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles seeking to recover damages they paid to their insureds due to the purported design flaws in the vehicles that permit thieves to steal them in less than two minutes.

  • July 28, 2023

    California Appeals Court: Interactions Didn’t Create Provider-Insurer Contract

    SAN DIEGO — There is no evidence that an insurer’s past payments or benefit discussions with a provider created a contract or promise to pay a specific level of reimbursement, a California appeals court said in affirming summary judgment on July 27.