Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • September 26, 2023

    Insurer: Ruling ‘Sharply Conflicts’ With Dupree, Warrants High Court Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An insurer asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that there is enough evidence for a jury to reasonably conclude that it acted in bad faith because it delayed acting on its duty to investigate and settle the underlying worker injury claim, asserting that the appeals court’s holding “sharply conflicts” with the high court’s recent ruling in Dupree v. Younger and warrants grant of its petition for writ of certiorari, vacatur of the lower court’s judgment and remand for further consideration.

  • September 26, 2023

    Panel Affirms Demurrer In Entertainment Conglomerate’s Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel affirmed a lower court’s ruling that sustained commercial property insurers’ demurer to an entertainment conglomerate insured’s complaint seeking coverage for its economic losses arising from the coronavirus, finding that, until the U.S. Supreme Court provides guidance in pending cases, it sides with the vast majority of courts that have ruled that direct physical loss or damage to property is a prerequisite for coverage.

  • September 25, 2023

    Illinois Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurers’ Favor In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    CHICAGO — An Illinois panel on Sept. 22 affirmed a lower court’s grant of commercial property insurers’ motion to dismiss an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its business income losses and extra expenses arising from the coronavirus, finding that no coverage was triggered because the insured failed to demonstrate that it incurred damage of a physical nature.

  • September 25, 2023

    Default Judgments Against Insurer In Contamination Suit Must Be Reinstated

    SEATTLE — A trial court erred in reversing default judgments entered for homeowners who sought damages from their homeowners insurer for the contamination of their home with methamphetamine residue because the homeowners insurer was properly served under Washington law, the Division I Washington Court of Appeals said.

  • September 25, 2023

    Delaware Judge:  Fact Issues Preclude Summary Judgment As To Premium Exclusion

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge granted an insured’s motion for summary judgment as to claim reserves and underwriting exclusions in a professional liability coverage dispute but found that genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment as to the premium exclusion.

  • September 25, 2023

    Judge: Harmful Acts Alleged Against Insureds’ Son Are Not ‘Occurrence’ Under Policy

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York held that the alleged intentionally harmful acts of insureds’ infant son fail to constitute an “occurrence” to trigger coverage under an insurance policy, granting the homeowners insurer’s motions for summary judgment and for a default judgment.

  • September 22, 2023

    11th Circuit Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Dispute Over $54M Arbitration Award

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of primary and excess insurers in a coverage dispute over a $54 million arbitration award entered against their additional insureds in a lawsuit brought by residents of an apartment complex that provided Section 8 housing for disabled and elderly individuals, finding that the additional insureds failed to comply with their duties under the policies.

  • September 22, 2023

    Insured Failed To Provide Timely Notice Of Opioid Suits, 11th Circuit Affirms

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an excess insurer has no duty to defend an opioid manufacturer insured against underlying lawsuits arising from the insured’s sale of prescription opioid medications, finding that the insured failed to provide timely notice of the underlying actions.

  • September 20, 2023

    Viacom, 1 Insurer Stipulate To Dismissal In D&O Coverage Suit Over Merger

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Viacom Inc. and XL Specialty Insurance Co. stipulated and agreed to dismiss with prejudice all claims against XL Specialty in Viacom’s lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage for underlying claims that its directors, officers and controlling shareholders breached their fiduciary duties in connection with a 2019 merger with CBS Corp.

  • September 19, 2023

    Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Fraud Suit Challenging Its Practices

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in an insured’s lawsuit alleging that it applied an undisclosed, extracontractual insurance premium formula to secretly increase his policy premiums, finding that the insured failed to demonstrate a material misrepresentation as required for a common-law fraud claim or unlawful conduct as required under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJFCA).

  • September 19, 2023

    Insurers Cross-Appeal In Coverage Dispute With Home Depot Over 2014 Data Breach

    CINCINNATI — Insurers filed cross-appeal notices in an Ohio federal court two weeks and one day after their mutual insured, Home Depot, appealed to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the lower court’s finding that an insurance policy’s electronic data exclusion bars coverage for the retailer’s losses stemming from a 2014 data breach.

  • September 19, 2023

    High Court Review Sought For Reverse-Preemption Ruling In Insurance Info Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arguing in part that the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals removed “large pieces of insurance regulation from the purview of states, where it has long been placed and confirmed by the McCarran-Ferguson Act [MFA],” the Delaware Department of Insurance (DDOI) asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a corporate privacy case involving microcaptive insurance company information.

  • September 18, 2023

    Nevada High Court Vacates Ruling Against Insurer In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    CARSON CITY, Nev. — Granting a commercial property insurer’s petition for writ of mandamus in a coverage dispute arising from the forced closure of a shopping mall in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Nevada Supreme Court directed the lower court to vacate its order denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment on the insured’s breach of contract and declaratory relief claims after finding that the insured’s evidence failed to create a genuine dispute of material fact regarding the existence of “direct physical loss or damage” to trigger coverage and that the policy’s pollution and contamination exclusion further barred coverage.

  • September 18, 2023

    Judge Says CGL Insurer Owes Reasonable Defense Costs, Orders Allocation Of Costs

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts held that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to pay all reasonable defense costs incurred by its insured in an underlying trade secret lawsuit brought by a competitor but ordered a reasonable allocation of costs between the insured and noninsured parties.

  • September 18, 2023

    N.Y. Justice Denies Insurer’s Summary Judgment Motion In Malpractice Coverage Suit

    NEW YORK — A New York justice denied a professional liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment as premature in its lawsuit seeking a declaration as to primary and excess insurance coverage obligations for an underlying malpractice lawsuit brought against a law firm, further denying as moot the insurer’s motion to stay discovery.

  • September 15, 2023

    Panel:  Professional Liability Insurers Owe Pro Rata Coverage For Educators

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 14 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurer and a risk management fund owe professional liability coverage on a pro rata basis for an underlying lawsuit brought against Georgia public school educators, agreeing with the lower court that the parties’ “other insurance” clauses are irreconcilable.

  • September 15, 2023

    Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage, Delaware High Court Affirms

    WILMINGTON, Del. — The Delaware Supreme Court on Sept. 14 affirmed a lower court’s $4,907,612.95 final judgment in favor of an insured in its lawsuit seeking coverage for approximately $18 million in losses arising from an underlying False Claims Act investigation, finding that the management liability insurance policy’s professional services exclusion did not bar coverage and that the insurer did not act in bad faith.

  • 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 08, 2023

    COMMENTARY: Maui Wildfire Insurance Recoveries: In The Rush To Lay Blame, Remember Your Claim

    By Christopher C. Loeber and Helen P. Hunter

  • September 12, 2023

    Panel Remands Coronavirus Coverage Suit To Decide Federal Diversity Jurisdiction

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 reversed and remanded a coronavirus coverage lawsuit for an Iowa federal court to determine whether federal diversity jurisdiction exists, finding that it is unable to decide if an insured’s members were diverse based on the insured’s new affidavit.

  • September 12, 2023

    Delaware High Court Refuses Insurer’s Interlocutory Appeal In Dispute With FedEx

    DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Supreme Court denied an excess insurer’s request for an interlocutory appeal of a lower court’s grant of FedEx’s stay of the insurer’s lawsuit disputing coverage for post-judgment interest that FedEx incurred from a $157 million jury verdict in an underlying personal injury lawsuit, finding that there are no exceptional circumstances to warrant an interlocutory appeal.

  • September 12, 2023

    Questions On Meaning Of Occurrence, Pollutants Certified To Hawaii High Court

    HONOLULU — A Hawaii federal judge certified two questions to the Hawaii Supreme Court, seeking the state high court’s guidance regarding the meaning of the terms “occurrence” and “pollution” as used in insurance policies in a suit filed by a petroleum company seeking coverage for underlying lawsuits alleging that the petroleum company is responsible for contributing to the effects of global warming based on its alleged failure to warn of the hazards of using fossil fuel products.

  • September 07, 2023

    COMMENTARY: Should Insureds Reimburse Insurers For Defense Costs When No Coverage Is Found?

    By Robert M. Hall

  • 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 11, 2023

    9th Circuit Certifies Pollution Exclusion Question To Alaska Supreme Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals certified a question to the Alaska Supreme Court, asking the state high court to answer the question of whether a pollution exclusion in a homeowners insurance policy bars coverage for the carbon monoxide death of a 17-year-old.