Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • May 20, 2024

    5th Circuit Refuses To Rehear Dispute Over $1M Settlement Of Canceled Music Festival

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied an insurer’s petition to reconsider its reversal of a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in its favor in the insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying $1 million class action settlement arising from the insured’s refusal to refund ticket sales for the South by Southwest festival that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, refusing to disturb its finding that the policy’s contract and professional services exclusions do not bar coverage.

  • May 20, 2024

    Massachusetts Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Restaurants’ Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts appellate panel on May 20 affirmed a lower court’s grant of an insurer’s motion to dismiss a coverage lawsuit arising from the coronavirus pandemic, concluding that the restaurant insureds failed to demonstrate that the coronavirus physically altered or affected their insured property in any way.

  • May 17, 2024

    Burger King Franchisee Seeks Summary Judgment In BIPA Violations Coverage Suit

    CHICAGO — A franchisee of the Burger King chain moved for summary judgment in its breach of contract lawsuit asking an Illinois federal judge to declare that an excess insurer has a duty to defend it against an underlying putative class lawsuit alleging that it violated the Illinois Biometric Information Protection Act (BIPA).

  • May 17, 2024

    Federal Judge Denies Trustee’s Motion For Final Judgment In D&O Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on May 16 denied a trustee’s motion to enter final judgment in a directors and officers coverage dispute in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Smith et al. v. Spizzirri et al., rejecting the trustee’s contention that judicial economy would be best serviced by permitting a prompt appeal of the ownership issues as to all claims.

  • May 17, 2024

    Kansas Commissioner Certifies Service Of Interrogatories In Insurer Liquidation

    TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas insurance commissioner, as liquidator of an insolvent medical malpractice insurer, certified that she served her first set of interrogatories in the insurer’s liquidation proceedings.

  • May 16, 2024

    Insurer Owes No Coverage For 3rd Suit Brought By Police Officer, Panel Affirms

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its city insured against a third retaliatory lawsuit brought by a police officer, finding that the underlying action is related to two earlier lawsuits that were filed before coverage began under the policy.

  • May 16, 2024

    Panel Amends Opinion After Insureds Seek Clarification In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 filed an amended memorandum indicating that its reversal of a lower federal court’s denial of leave to amend a claim under an insurance policy’s Crisis Event provision applied to two sets of insureds in a coronavirus coverage dispute.

  • May 15, 2024

    New Jersey High Court: Electric Scooter Rider Not Pedestrian, No PIP Benefits Owed

    TRENTON, N.J. — A unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court on May 14 held that a low-speed electric scooter rider does not fall under the definition of “pedestrian” under the state’s No-Fault Act and that an appellant is not entitled to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, affirming an appeals court’s ruling as modified in favor of a personal automobile insurer.

  • May 15, 2024

    Federal Judge Stays Ghost Gun Coverage Suit Pending Ruling In First-Filed Suit

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri granted a commercial general liability insurer’s motion to stay an insured’s coverage lawsuit pending a New York federal court’s ruling on the insured’s motion to transfer or stay the insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying claims that the insured violated federal, state and local laws when it deliberately sold and shipped ghost gun parts and kits to New York.

  • May 08, 2024

    COMMENTARY: R&W Lessons From Novolex Summary Judgment Decision

    By Syed Ahmad, Patrick McDermott, Veronica Adams and Jae Lynn Huckaba

  • May 14, 2024

    Ohio Panel: No Coverage Owed For Settlement Of Claims Insured Financed Terrorists

    CINCINNATI — An Ohio appeals panel held that a lower court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of insurers in their lawsuit seeking a declaration that they have no duty to indemnify their mutual insured against an underlying settlement of a lawsuit alleging that it illegally financed terrorist groups in the Republic of Colombia.

  • May 14, 2024

    9th Circuit Partly Affirms, Partly Vacates Ruling In Coverage Suit Over Lost Rent

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that unpaid rent, late fees and government fines did not trigger “property damage” coverage under a commercial general liability insurance policy but vacated the lower court’s application of the policy’s leased property exclusion and remanded for consideration of the appellant’s new evidence.

  • May 14, 2024

    Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Bitcoin Theft Suit, 5th Circuit Affirms

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 13 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that insureds conspired to steal bitcoin through a malware attack, finding that the underlying action alleges only intentional acts that are not covered.

  • May 14, 2024

    Multifamily Housing Lessor Seeks Coverage For Antitrust Conspiracy Claims In MDL

    DENVER — A multifamily housing lessor insured sued its primary and excess data protection liability insurers in a Colorado federal court for breach of contract and bad faith, seeking coverage for an underlying multidistrict litigation alleging that it was involved in an antitrust conspiracy when it used a revenue management software to artificially inflate multifamily housing rents above market across the country.

  • May 14, 2024

    Federal Judge Dismisses Lead Insurer From D&O Coverage Dispute Over SEC Subpoena

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge granted a joint motion filed by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and its lead insurer to dismiss the insurer from Freddie Mac’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage for underlying expenses it incurred on behalf of its directors, officers and employees who were subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission during an investigation and subsequent lawsuit.

  • May 08, 2024

    COMMENTARY: Bad Faith As A Substitute For Prejudice In Reinsurance Late Notice Disputes

    By Robert M. Hall

  • May 13, 2024

    Appellant Seeks Rehearing Of No Coverage Ruling In Dispute Over Gold Treasure

    SEATTLE — An appellant on May 10 asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rehear its April 26 opinion that affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an ocean marine general liability insurer in a declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying $7.5 million covenant judgment that resolved claims that the appellant was denied possession and use of the tangible and intangible work product that was created during gold salvage expeditions.

  • May 13, 2024

    U.S. High Court Refuses To Review Suit Alleging State Farm Agents Were Negligent

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 denied insureds’ petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of an automobile liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment and denied the insureds’ motion to certify questions to the Montana Supreme Court in their lawsuit alleging that the insurer’s agents were negligent in failing to explain or offer underinsured motorist coverage when they purchased their automobile liability policies.

  • May 13, 2024

    Delaware Judge Grants Insurers’ Motion To Dismiss D&O Coverage Dispute

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge granted insurers’ motions to dismiss a company and its chief executive officers’ lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that they undersold the value of investors’ shares in the company and its parent company, finding that the “No Action” clause and “prior notice” exclusion in various policies relieve the insurers of their coverage obligations.

  • May 13, 2024

    U.S. High Court Denies Insurer’s Petition Seeking Review Of Remanded Class Action

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 denied an insurer’s petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that a class action challenging its practices fits within the internal affairs and home state controversy exceptions to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

  • May 10, 2024

    Pharmacy Distributor Appeals No Coverage Ruling In Suit Prompted By Opioid Epidemic

    VALDOSTA, Ga. — A pharmacy distributor insured indicated to a Georgia federal court that it is asking the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review the court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of its commercial general liability and umbrella insurers in a coverage dispute arising from the opioid epidemic.

  • May 10, 2024

    3rd Circuit Denies Ralph Lauren’s Motions To Remand Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 denied Ralph Lauren Corp.’s motions seeking to vacate and remand a New Jersey federal court’s ruling in favor of its insurer in a coronavirus coverage dispute.

  • May 09, 2024

    Panel Partly Affirms, Partly Vacates Ruling In Wrongful Death Coverage Suit

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 8 affirmed the part of a lower federal court’s order that determined that a commercial general liability insurance policy’s assault and battery exclusion relieved an insurer of its duty to indemnify against an underlying wrongful death suit brought by the estate of the decedent but found that the insurer lacked standing to pursue its declaratory judgment claim against the estate as to its duty to defend.

  • May 08, 2024

    COMMENTARY: A Primer On PFAS/Forever Chemical Claims: Regulation, Litigation, Large Losses & Insurance Coverage Issues

    By Scott M. Seaman and Gar N. Lauerman

  • May 08, 2024

    Judge Rules New Orleans Cannot Make Insurers Arbitrate Airport Construction Claims

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana found that New Orleans cannot compel arbitration with insurers over coverage stemming from construction damages at a city airport, finding that the insurers did not agree to arbitrate claims asserted by the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB).