Mealey's Insurance

  • September 19, 2023

    Trial Court Properly Found Insurer Owes Duty To Defend Against Environmental Claims

    SALEM, Ore. — A trial court properly determined that an insurer has a duty to defend its insured for environmental contamination cleanup cost claims made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because the policy does not limit the insurer’s duty to defend to claims for covered damages, the Oregon Court of Appeals said.

  • September 19, 2023

    Insurer Says Pollution, Lead Exclusions Bar Coverage For Lead Exposure Suit Claims

    BUTTE, Mont. — No coverage is owed to an insured for an underlying third-party complaint alleging that the insured’s negligence in installing a water well contributed to injuries sustained by tenants who consumed the well water because the policies’ exclusions for pollution and lead bar coverage, an insurer says in a complaint filed in Montana federal court.

  • September 19, 2023

    No Coverage For Underlying Environmental Contamination Suits, Illinois Panel Says

    CHICAGO — The First District Illinois Appellate Court affirmed a trial court’s ruling in favor of four insurers after determining that no coverage is afforded for underlying environmental contamination lawsuits filed against an insured because the violation of statutory environmental regulations does not constitute an occurrence under the applicable policies.

  • 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

    Justice Denies Protective Order, Disqualification Bid In Reinsurance Row

    NEW YORK — Addressing two motions relating to an audit agreement, a New York justice denied both a liquidator’s request for a protective order regarding certain previously produced documents and reinsurers’ bid to disqualify the liquidator’s counsel.

  • September 15, 2023

    Insurer Seeks Dismissal Of Tyco’s AFFF Claims Under Brillhart-Wilton Doctrine

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — An insurance company has filed a brief in South Carolina federal court arguing that it should dismiss an amended complaint by Tyco Fire Products LP that seeks insurance coverage for claims arising from injuries associated with the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), arguing that the court should abstain from deciding coverage issues pursuant to the Brillhart-Wilton doctrine.

  • September 14, 2023

    Asbestos Firms Appeal Denial Of Standing To Oppose Bankruptcy Settlement

    NEW ORLEANS — Two asbestos law firms have appealed a Louisiana federal bankruptcy judge’s finding that they lack standing to oppose a $3.5 million settlement between the Chapter 7 trustee for a bankrupt insulation supplier and two asbestos insurers; it is the second insurance settlement appeal the firms have filed in the case.

  • September 13, 2023

    Judge: Insurance-Home Sale Connection Claims Save AI Claims Handling Case

    CHICAGO — The theory that homeowners insurance constitutes a service connected to the sale of a home pushes the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to its boundaries but meshes with precedent, a federal judge in Illinois said in partially denying a motion to dismiss in a case alleging that an insurer’s artificial intelligence disproportionately flags claims by Black policyholders for greater scrutiny.

  • September 12, 2023

    Insured Says Coverage Owed For Contribution To Lead Paint Abatement Fund

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court should affirm a state appellate court’s ruling that an insured’s obligation to contribute to a lead paint abatement fund constitutes damages under applicable insurance policies because the ordinary meaning of the word damages includes the insured’s obligation to contribute to the abatement fund, the insured says in it appellee brief filed in the Ohio Supreme Court.

  • 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

    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.

  • September 08, 2023

    1 Of Insurer’s 4 Suits Seeking Asbestos Settlement Reimbursement Is Dismissed

    OMAHA, Neb. — One suit that National Indemnity Co. (NICO) filed against reinsurers in Nebraska federal court over the insurer’s $157.2 million settlement with Montana regarding alleged asbestos exposures has been dismissed with prejudice because no defendants remain after a wave of stipulations.

  • September 08, 2023

    Kaiser Gypsum, Asbestos Claimant Reps Say Insurer’s Cert Bid Should Be Denied

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is no divide among the federal circuit courts when deciding who is a party in interest with standing to object to a bankruptcy plan, so review of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that the primary insurer of Chapter 11 asbestos debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. lacks standing to challenge the debtors’ reorganization plan is not needed, the debtors tell the U.S. Supreme Court in an opposition brief that was filed at the request of the court.

  • September 07, 2023

    Stay Of Judgment Denied After Insurer Appeals Judgment In Property Damage Dispute

    MOBILE, Ala. — A federal judge in Alabama has denied an insurer’s motion for stay of execution without bond of a judgment issued in the wake of a nearly $170,000 verdict against it in an insurance dispute over the handling of a property damage claim after Hurricane Sally pending its appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • September 01, 2023

    Homeowners Insurer Failed To Show Negligent Installation Cause Of Water Damage

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge denied a homeowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute over water damage in an insured’s home because the insurer failed to show that the parties who installed and serviced a water supply line were negligent in their work and caused the failure of the water supply line.

  • September 01, 2023

    Contractor’s Insurer Appeals Denial Of New Trial In Coverage Suit To 5th Circuit

    NEW ORLEANS — A contractor’s commercial general liability insurer has appealed to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a ruling by federal judge in Louisiana denying its motion for a new trial or reconsideration of his April ruling dismissing its suit against a subcontractor’s insurer to recover damages the contractor’s insurer paid stemming from water damage caused by the subcontractor’s negligence in performing work on a home’s roof.

  • August 28, 2023

    Pollution Liability Insurer Says Bad Faith Suit Must Be Heard In Federal Court

    SEATTLE — An insured’s complaint alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of a commercial general liability and pollution liability insurer’s denial of coverage for underlying bodily injury suits stemming from exposure to chemicals distributed by the insured must be removed to Washington federal court because diversity of citizenship exists and the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000, the insurer says in a notice of removal.

  • August 25, 2023

    Washington Panel Affirms Ruling For Insurer In Shower Leak Coverage Suit

    SEATTLE — A homeowners insurer provided sufficient evidence that rot damage from a leaking shower was caused by construction defects and, therefore, not covered, a Washington appellate panel found in affirming a trial court’s summary judgment ruling and findings of fact and conclusions of law following a bench trial.

  • August 25, 2023

    Reinsurer Wins Permission To Seal 2 Agreements In Cleanup Costs Coverage Row

    PADUCAH, Ky. — A Kentucky federal magistrate judge on Aug. 24 granted a motion to seal a third-party administrative services agreement (ASA) and a reinsurance agreement, saying the entities involved have a compelling interest that “outweighs the public’s interest in accessing” the documents and that redaction would be “impractical.”

  • August 24, 2023

    No Coverage For Underlying Chlorinated Solvents Exposure Suit, Indiana Panel Affirms

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s ruling that no coverage exists for an underlying bodily injury suit arising out of the exposure to chlorinated solvents at an insured’s Taiwan factories because Taiwan is not part of the coverage territory covered under the policies at issue.

  • August 22, 2023

    Judge Partly Dismisses Insurer’s Coverage Suit Against Medical Product Manufacturer

    CONCORD, N.H. —A federal judge in New Hampshire granted a medical product manufacturer insured’s motion to dismiss the portion of commercial general liability insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit pertaining to 10 underlying class action lawsuits alleging that the insured manufactured and marketed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bi-level positive airway pressure devices that were not safe, healthy or effective, finding that the insurer’s coverage claim as to these underlying suits is untimely.

  • August 22, 2023

    8th Circuit Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Kansas City Restaurants’ COVID-19 Suit

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 21 affirmed a Missouri federal court’s judgment in favor of a commercial property insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by the owner of several Kansas City restaurants and bars that were forced to close or reduce their operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that even if the insured discovered the coronavirus at its insured properties, it failed to meet the standard for physicality.

  • August 22, 2023

    Mold Exclusion Bars Coverage For Negligence Suit Filed Against Plumber, Judge Says

    TAMPA, Fla. — An insurer has no duty to defend its insured in an underlying suit alleging that the insured’s negligence in performing plumbing services caused a water leak that resulted in mold growth in the underlying plaintiff’s home because a mold exclusion in the insurer’s policies clearly bars coverage for the underlying suit, a Florida federal judge said.

  • August 22, 2023

    4th Circuit Denies Insurer’s Motion For Rehearing In Silo Collapse Dispute

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc filed by insurers in a coverage dispute arising out of the collapse of the insured’s silo, refusing to reconsider its finding that a district court erred in reducing a jury’s $7.6 million award in favor of the insured based on the conclusion that the district court did not properly calculate the period of restoration pursuant to the policy’s terms.