The Legal Professions’ Curious Under-Use Of 2nd Opinions

    As conscientious professionals who are required to address problems with notoriously elusive dimensions, lawyers should consider securing second opinions in a much wider array of circumstances than has been the norm, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a neutrual with JAMS and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

    InterContinental Unit Sues Zurich For Privacy Case Coverage

    An InterContinental Hotels Group PLC unit hit Zurich American Insurance Co. with a complaint on Monday in California federal court, demanding coverage under two insurance policies for any potential losses that might result from a pending class action accusing the hotel company of illegally recording customer service phone calls in California.

    Optum Nabs Rival Alere Health In $600M Deal

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. health services unit Optum will snap up Alere Inc.’s rival health management unit Alere Health in a $600 million deal, the companies jointly announced on Tuesday.

    Apollo To Pay $395M For Italian Bank’s Insurance Units

    Italy’s Banca Carige SpA said Tuesday that it will sell its two insurance units to Apollo Management Holdings LP for €310 million ($395 million) in an effort to cover a €813.4 million capital shortfall that European regulators identified at the beleaguered bank this week.

    Judge Says UK Co. Must Face Asbestos Claims Despite Ch. 11

    A Rhode Island state judge has denied defunct British manufacturing company Turner & Newall an early win in two asbestos-related worker wrongful death suits, finding the company’s insurance coverage hadn’t been exhausted, so a bankruptcy plan doesn’t prevent the cases from moving forward.

    FCPA Risks Abound For PE Firms And Their Insurers

    The government’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act claim against Alcoa Inc. should raise red flags for private equity firms since many of the indicia of agency noted are often components of the traditional private equity investment model. Although no firm has been subjected to parent-subsidiary liability for a portfolio company’s conduct, it is likely only a matter of time, says Elan Kandel of Cozen O'Connor.

    Detroit's Ch. 9 Trial Ends, Judge To Rule Nov. 7

    Detroit has crafted a fair and feasible plan to exit bankruptcy, an attorney for the city told a Michigan bankruptcy judge Monday, as the confirmation trial for its plan to erase more than $7 billion in debt and reinvest $1.7 billion in essential services came to an end. 

    Fla. High Court Upholds Insurer's Family Vehicle Exclusion

    The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the family vehicle exclusion in an automobile insurance policy doesn't conflict with Florida's uninsured motorist law and said that uninsured motorist benefits are not stackable in a dispute with Travelers Commercial Insurance Co. over a car crash.

    Touchstone, AIG Get $56M For Seattle Office Project

    Touchstone Corp. and AIG Global Investment Group have scored a $56.4 million construction loan for their Seattle-area office development project, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which arranged the financing, announced on Monday.

    Insurer Off Hook For $8.9M Monsanto Seed Patent Verdict

    The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled Farmland Mutual Insurance Co. doesn’t have to pay for an $8.9 million verdict against Mitchell Scruggs, a farmer accused of planting Monsanto Co.-patented seeds without authorization, finding Scruggs’ actions amounted to intentional misconduct not covered by his policy.

    Aetna Attacks Antitrust, RICO Claims In Reimbursement Row

    Aetna Inc. affiliates on Monday tried to sink antitrust and racketeering claims in a consolidated class action complaint in New Jersey accusing the health insurer of using rigged price schedules from Ingenix Inc. to provide inadequate reimbursements for out-of-network services.

    Embattled Fla. Judge Wants Case Against Her Tossed

    Florida Judge Laura Watson, who is being investigated over her involvement as an attorney in a $14.5 million settlement with an insurer, asked the state Supreme Court Monday to dismiss the Judicial Qualifications Commission's case against her, arguing that her actions did not violate the judicial code of conduct.

    Fla. AG Asks To Keep Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Place

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Friday told a federal court that the state should continue to enforce its ban on same-sex marriage while state and federal appeals courts take up the issue, arguing that it's in the public's best interest to wait.

    Insurer Looks To Duck Deutsche Bank's Costs In WTC Suit

    Select Insurance Co. on Monday urged a New York judge to find it doesn’t have to cover defense costs of Deutsche Bank AG units sued by cleanup workers who claim debris from the bank's buildings near Ground Zero made them sick, saying there’s no evidence it owes the lender anything.

    Blue Cross Rips Honigman's 'Dual Role' In Antitrust Suit

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said Thursday that Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP should be disqualified from representing three health insurers in a suit alleging Blue Cross violated antitrust laws in its contracts with hospitals, saying the firm took on “overlapping and conflicting” roles.

    NJ High Court Will Review $3.2M National Union Decision

    The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed Friday to review a state appeals court’s decision finding that National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh didn’t have to cover a $3.2 million settlement on behalf of a policyholder that allegedly mishandled a church and day care center’s real estate loan.

    Kan. Justices Rule Broker's Omissions Can't Block Coverage

    The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday than an insurance broker acted as an agent when he submitted an application omitting key elements of an applicant’s medical history, finding an insurance company couldn’t later deny medically necessary treatment on the basis of failing to disclose a pre-existing condition.

    FCA Whistleblower Wants Humana Suit Restrictions Lifted

    A whistleblower accusing Humana Inc. of Medicare Advantage fraud urged a Florida federal judge to reconsider his order dismissing her False Claims Act suit, claiming her latest amended complaint contains enough detail to allege a widespread case of fraud.

    NRG Blasts Insurer's 'Scorched Earth' Tactics In CAA Row

    A subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc. has accused Illinois Union Insurance Co. in Louisiana federal court of pursuing a “scorched earth” strategy in a dispute coverage for a settlement in a Clear Air Act coal pollution suit, characterizing a discovery request from IUI as a “fishing expedition.”

    Homeowners Slam Wells Fargo's $281M Force-Placed Deal

    Disgruntled class members on Thursday challenged a purported $281 million settlement reached by Wells Fargo Bank NA and Assurant Inc. in a suit over their force-placed insurance practices, saying it is unclear how much of the money will actually reach affected homeowners.

    Calif. Appeals Court Revives Farmers 'Good Driver' Suit

    A California appeals court on Thursday revived a class action claiming Farmers Insurance Exchange violated unfair competition law by providing “good driver discounts” to eligible drivers, finding a lower court incorrectly interpreted an earlier remand to mean it could only consider dismissal instead of additional evidence.

    Insurer Wants Gawker Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Feud Trashed

    Nautilus Insurance Co. asked a New York federal judge to call the match early on Thursday in its dispute with Gawker Media LLC over a lawsuit involving the release of a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan, arguing the claims fall outside the scope of coverage Gawker’s policy provides.

    ERISA To The Rescue: Preemption Of State Law Prevails

    The Sixth Circuit’s ruling in Sherfel v. Newson reinforces the existing interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — state law is preempted when it subjects ERISA-governed plans to different legal obligations or requires the plan administrator to pay different benefits than the plan otherwise provides, say attorneys at Baker & McKenzie.

    5th Circ. Told Bad Repairs To Chevron Rig Are Covered

    An oil field services company on Tuesday blasted American Home Assurance Co.’s argument that its $2 million indemnification claim stemming from faulty repairs on a Chevron USA Inc. oil rig wouldn’t be covered under its general liability policy, telling the Fifth Circuit that the insurer is rehashing old arguments.

    San Bernardino Creditors Demand Deadline For Ch. 9 Plan

    A bank and an insurer urged the judge handling San Bernardino, California’s two-year-old bankruptcy case on Wednesday to fix a March 1 deadline for the city to submit a Chapter 9 exit plan, saying that a firm timeline will pressure recalcitrant unions into accepting benefit cuts.