Mealey's Insurance - Pollution Exclusion Prevents Coverage For Groundwater Contamination, Judge Says

INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on July 7 ruled that a pollution exclusion in a company's insurance policy "unambiguously excluded" it from coverage for groundwater contamination caused by trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals...

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Appeals Court: An Insurer's Claim File Is Generally Not Discoverable

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Quashing a trial court's order compelling a homeowners insurance provider to produce part of its claim file in a sinkhole coverage dispute, a Florida appellate panel on July 3 held that the general rule in Florida is that insurers' claim files are protected by the work product...

Mealey's Insurance - 10th Circuit: Service Of Complaint On Secretary Of Labor Is Improper Under ERISA

DENVER - A disability plan participant improperly served her complaint on the U.S. secretary of labor instead of the plan's designated agent for service of process, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 2 in an unpublished opinion, holding that the designation of "Human Resources"...

Mealey's Insurance - Failure To Produce Insurance Policies, Documents May Merit Sanctions, Judge Rules

SCRANTON, Pa. - A townhouse association's failure to timely provide insurance policies and related documents and its "plainly inadequate" privilege log may merit sanctions and an award of expenses to two plaintiffs suing the association for negligence related to a 2009 explosion, a Pennsylvania...

Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit Finds Court Erred In Deciding Defense Costs Issue In Mold Case

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 partially reversed a summary judgment ruling in relation to defense costs incurred in an underlying coverage action for mold claims, finding that the trial court erred when it failed to consider whether a residential company had met its...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Claim Handler's Actions In Denying Insurance Claim Not Bad Faith

PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on July 3 denied a plaintiff's partial motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit against a workers' compensation claims handler and its handling agent, ruling that the handling agent did not act in bad faith in denying the plaintiff's...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No Coverage For $183,000 Swindled From Insured By Independent Contractor

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on July 7 found that there is no commercial crime coverage for a shipping company's loss of $183,000 caused by the theft of an independent contractor, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Network F.O.B. Inc. v. Great American Insurance Company...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Applies Self-Insured Retention 'Per-Home' Basis For Faulty Work Claims

FRESNO, Calif. - A commercial general liability insurance policy requires that a contractor accused of faulty construction in homes pay a $10,000 self-insured retention (SIR) on a "per-home" basis rather than for each lawsuit, a California federal judge ruled July 8 (Evanston Insurance Co....

Mealey's Insurance - Disputed Issues Preclude Summary Judgment Ruling In Flood Dispute, Judge Says

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Finding that there are disputed issues of material fact as to what loan documentation a federal flood insurer and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had to review, an Arkansas federal judge on July 8 denied motions for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over flood...

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Says It Was Prejudiced By Late Notice Of Asbestos-Related Claims

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on July 8 that it was prejudiced by its reinsured's late notice of certain asbestos-related claims because, had it known, the reinsurer would have planned for the loss (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company...

Mealey's Insurance - Insurers Say Reinsurers Must Be Compelled To End Impasse In Umpire Selection

PHILADELPHIA - A pair of insurers has asked a federal court in Pennsylvania to compel a pair of reinsurers to proceed with umpire selection in an asbestos-related reinsurance arbitration (Ace Property & Casualty Insurance Company, et al. v. Enstar (US) Inc., et al., No. 14-mc-00171, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Breach Of Contract Claim Against Insurer In Isaac Dispute

NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana insureds have failed to state a facially plausible claim against an insurer, a federal judge ruled July 8, granting the insurer's motion to dismiss a breach of contract claim in a coverage dispute over Hurricane Isaac flood damage (Benjamin B. Saunders, et al. v. National...

Mealey's Insurance - Removal Of Claimant's Suit To Federal Court Was Proper, Mich. Federal Judge Says

DETROIT - Removal of a disability claimant's suit to Michigan federal court was proper because the claimant's breach of contract claim is clearly preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a Michigan federal judge said July 3 (Paul Crowley v. Liberty Life Assurance Company...

Mealey's Insurance - Appeals Court Reverses Decision, Says Reimbursement Decision Arbitrary

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In reversing a lower court, a District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on July 8 held that the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) conclusion that a group of long-term care hospitals operating out of buildings previously owned by...

Mealey's Insurance - ACA Birth Control Mandate Violates Belief System, Pro-Life Organization Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate forces insurance coverage for items antithetical to the purpose of one of the nation's oldest pro-life organizations, March for Life alleges in a July 7 complaint (March for Life, Jeanne F. Monahan...

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Suit Challenging Termination Of Medicaid Provider Contract

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on July 7 dismissed a Medicaid vocational training program provider's claims challenging the termination of its Medicaid contract, saying that the plaintiff failed to adequately plead its claims and that amendment would be futile (New Vision...

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Excess Insurer Did Not Breach Any Duties In Suit Arising From False Arrest

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an excess insurer did not have a duty to settle an underlying lawsuit stemming from a false arrest or a duty to disclose potential conflicts of interest because it did not control the defense...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No Private Right Of Action Exists On State-Law Claim In Bad Faith Suit

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 8 granted partial summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that a plaintiff has failed to show that a private right of action exists to support her New Jersey statute claim against an insurer (Mary Smith v. Conseco Life Insurance...

Mealey's Insurance - Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage For Injuries, Texas Federal Judge Says

HOUSTON - An insurer has no duty to defend an insured for an underlying personal injury action because the caustic materials that caused the underlying plaintiff's injuries were not dispersed as required by the terms of the pollution exclusion, a Texas federal judge said July 7 (The Burlington Insurance...

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Vacates Pollution Board's Denial Of Limited Liability Request

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on July 9 vacated the National Pollution Funds Center's (NPFC) ruling denying a request submitted by two insurance companies, its subrogees and assignees for limited liability stemming from an oil spill that occurred in Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal in 2005...

Mealey's Insurance - 3rd Circuit Says It Has No Jurisdiction Over Appeal Of Advertising Injury Dispute

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 10 found that because a stipulation of voluntary dismissal between a retailer insured and one of its insurers in an advertising injury dispute was without prejudice and an indemnification claim between the parties remains unresolved, a lower...

Mealey's Insurance - Plaintiff Properly Pleaded Insurance Bad Faith Claim, Federal Judge Rules

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Dismissal of an insured's breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit against her automobile insurance carrier is not warranted, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled July 8, because the insured has shown that the insurer failed to properly and timely pay her for covered injuries...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Rules In Favor Of Directors, Officers In Suit Over Alleged $367M Bank Losses

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Gross negligence claims against former bank officials concerning specific loans are covered by the 2006-07 directors and officers insurance policies, and the rest of the claims involving other borrowers are covered by the 2009-10 policies, a Puerto Rico federal judge ruled July...

Mealey's Insurance - Court Erred In Applying Statute Retroactively, Florida Panel Says In Reversal

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel ruled July 9 that a lower court erred in applying a Florida statute retroactively in finding that an insured failed to timely file her breach of contract lawsuit, further holding that the lower court also erred in dismissing the lawsuit on the basis that...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insureds Provided No Factual Allegations To Support Bad Faith Claim

SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on July 7 dismissed two insureds' insurance bad faith claim, ruling that the insureds failed to provide factual allegations to support their claim as required under state law (Robert Flynn, et al. v. Nationwide Insurance Co. of America, No. 13-2993...