California Panel Affirms Stay Of NFL's Coverage Suit Over Player's Brain Injuries

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on May 28 affirmed a lower court's order staying a commercial general liability coverage dispute brought by the National Football League and NFL Properties LLC (collectively, NFL) pending the outcome of parallel New York actions (National Football League, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., et al., No. B245619, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 414).

Federal Judge Stays Insurer's Coverage Action In Favor Of Insured's State Court Action

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A commercial general liability insurer's lawsuit regarding coverage for a construction defects action is stayed pending the outcome of a South Carolina state court action filed by the parties involved in the construction defects action concerning insurance coverage, a North Carolina federal judge ruled May 23 (Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co. v. Tripple J Framing Inc., No. 12-61, W.D. N.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73198).

Federal Judge: Coverage Is Barred By CGL Policy's Professional Services Exclusion

LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on May 20 ruled that a commercial general liability insurer properly denied coverage pursuant to a professional services exclusion, granting the CGL's insurer's motion for summary judgment in a professional liability insurer's lawsuit seeking equitable contribution for lawsuits arising from a three-vehicle accident that was allegedly caused by a defective median (Beazley Insurance Co. v. American Economy Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:12-CV-01720-JCM-VCF; D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71699).

Federal Judge Awards Default Judgment To Consumer In Debt-Collection Action

TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on May 21 entered a $2,000 default judgment in favor of a consumer, finding that she sufficiently alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) (Jessica R. Martinez v. Commercial Recovery Systems Inc., No. 13-0391, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71765).

Panel Rejects Insurer's Attempt To Recover Allegedly Unreasonable Defense Costs

SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer does not have a quasi-contractual right rooted in common law to maintain a direct suit against independent counsel representing certain cross-defendants in an underlying lawsuit for reimbursement of allegedly unreasonable or unnecessary defense costs, a California appeals panel held May 17, affirming a lower court's ruling against the insurer (J.R. Marketing LLC, et al. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. A133750, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3505).

Alabama High Court Reverses, Remands After Insurer Moves For Rehearing

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on May 17 withdrew a Jan. 11 opinion against a commercial general liability insurer, finding that a lower court erred in ruling that the insurer was liable for an underlying judgment entered against two officers of a national fraternity insured's local chapter (Admiral Insurance Company v. Ryan Price-Williams, No. 1110993, Ala. Sup.; 2013 Ala. LEXIS 49).

Louisiana Appeals Panel: Defendants Not Responsible For Water-Damaged Building

NEW ORLEANS - The Fourth Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal on May 15 affirmed decisions for the defendants in a defective roofing action, agreeing that a roofing contractor did not breach its warranty or commit any negligence that caused water damage to a commercial building (Loconte Partners LLC v. Montgomery and Associates Inc., et al., No. 2012-CA-0691, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2013 La. App. LEXIS 983).

9th Circuit Reverses No-Coverage Ruling In Suit Prompted By Employee Conduct

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's finding that ambulance service provider insureds are not entitled to excess commercial umbrella liability insurance coverage for bodily injury damages caused by their employee's alleged conduct (American Medical Response Northwest Inc., et al. v. Ace American Insurance Company, et al., No. 11-35956, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 9774).

Montana Majority Reverses $1.2M Attorney Fee Award In Suit Arising From Suicide

HELENA, Mont. - A majority of the Montana Supreme Court on May 7 reversed a lower court's $1,188,399.45 attorney fee award against a commercial general liability insurer and an excess insurer in a coverage dispute arising from a teen suicide but affirmed the lower court's finding that the insurers breached their duty to defend and were liable for the underlying $3 million judgment (Judith Newman v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, et al., No. 12-0200, Mont. Sup.; 2013 Mont. LEXIS 146).

Panel: Scuba Center Presents No Misrepresentation Claim Against Insurance Broker

SAN FRANCISCO - A scuba center failed to allege an actionable misrepresentation against a surplus lines insurer and an insurance broker regarding commercial general liability insurance, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed May 3 (Kauai Scuba Center Inc. v. Padi Americas Inc., et al., No. 11-56346, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 9086).

Post-Settlement Attempts To Assert Bad Faith Constitute A Breach, Judge Rules

NEW ORLEANS - The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) breached a 2009 settlement agreement with its commercial liability insurer by seeking to reassert claims for defense costs and bad faith penalties in an underlying case after compromising its right to make any such claims, a Louisiana federal judge ruled May 2 (Republic Insurance Co. v. Housing Authority of New Orleans, No. 2:08-cv-04748, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64386).

Federal Judge Denies Insurer's Summary Judgment Motion Regarding Defense, Indemnity

ORLANDO, Fla. - A commercial general liability insurer's summary judgment motion regarding its duty to defend and indemnify an underlying construction case is premature, a Florida federal judge ruled May 1 (North Pointe Insurance Co. v. Global Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., et al., No. 12-476, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62196).

Residential Exclusion Bars Insurance Coverage For Defect Case, Judge Holds

SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured or an additional insured for an underlying construction defect case, a California federal judge ruled April 30, finding that the total residential exclusion precludes coverage for residential projects (Atain Specialty Insurance Co. v. North Bay Waterproofing Inc., et al., No. 12-03339, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62493).

Insurer Found Liable For Harm To Contractor's Reputation Due To Its Bad Faith

TACOMA, Wash. - A contractor demonstrated that it suffered harm to its business relationship due to a commercial general liability (CGL) insurer's bad faith failure to defend it in an underlying lawsuit, a Washington federal judge found April 25, ruling that the contractor would be permitted to seek compensation accordingly (Tim Ryan Construction Inc. v. Burlington Insurance Co., No. 3:12-cv-05770, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59560).

Federal Judge Stays Loan Default Suit Pending Nevada Supreme Court Rulings

RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on April 25 granted a motion to stay a suit filed to recover on commercial loans issued by a bank that failed, finding that the Nevada Supreme Court's upcoming rulings on certain issues may be dispositive of the claims and counterclaims in the instant case (Eagle SPE NV I Inc. v. Kiley Ranch Communities, et al., No. 12-0245, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60067).

Damage Caused By Insured's Defective Work Is Not An 'Occurrence,' Panel Affirms

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Damage to air conditioning units caused by an insured's faulty work does not involve "property damage" caused by an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, an Ohio appeals panel affirmed April 23 (Allied Roofing Inc. v. Western Reserve Group, et al., No. 12AP-575, Ohio App., 10th Dist.; 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 1521).

Federal Judge: Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Claimant In Suit By Former Employer

CONCORD, N.H. - A claimant has failed to establish that his alleged disparaging conduct was in his capacity as an insured, a New Hampshire federal judge ruled April 22, denying the claimant's motion for partial summary judgment in a breach of contract suit against a commercial general liability insurer (Mark A. Hansen v. Sentry Insurance Co., No. 12-cv-466-JD, D. N.H.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57275).

Policy's Owned Property Exclusion Bars Coverage, 8th Circuit Affirms

ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurance policy's owned property exclusion bars coverage of the loss incurred by an insured for the stabilization and demolition of its building after a severe windstorm (Clarinet LLC v. Essex Insurance Co., No. 12-1416, 8th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7922).

Allegations Against Insured Do Not Fall Under EIFS Exclusion, Judge Concludes

SAN ANTONIO - Underlying allegations against an insured do not unambiguously fall within a commercial general liability insurance policy's exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) exclusion, a Texas federal judge ruled April 18, denying default judgment to an insurer (Catlin Specialty Insurance Co. v. Montelongo Inc. d/b/a Montelongo Homes & Remodeling, et al., No. 12-711, W.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55496).

Idaho High Court: Insurer Not Liable For Damages, Must Pay Defense Costs

BOISE, Idaho - A commercial general liability (CGL) insurer had no duty to indemnify a construction company for damages awarded in connection with a claim that sounded in contract, an Idaho Supreme Court majority found April 19, affirming a lower court's ruling (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. David Donnelly, et al., No. 38623, 2013 Opinion No. 51, Idaho Sup.; 2013 Ida. LEXIS 125).

Judge Dismisses Antitrust Class Action Against Inflight Internet Provider

SAN FRANCISCO - Three airline travelers have failed to show that "there has been a substantial foreclosure of competition in the relevant market" of providers of Internet connectivity on domestic commercial aircraft, a California federal judge found April 10, granting a motion to dismiss by Gogo Inc. (James Stewart, et al. v. Gogo Inc., No. 3:12-cv-05164, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51895).

Questions Of Fact Exist On Insurer's Rescission Claim, Judge Concludes

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Questions of fact exist as to an insurer's rescission claim regarding potential coverage under a commercial general liability insurance policy for an underlying construction defect judgment against its insureds, a California federal judge ruled April 9 (ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co. RRG v. Valley Corp. et al., No. 10-05533, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51159).

Judge Denies Dismissal Of Insurer's Equitable Contribution Claim

LAS VEGAS - A commercial general liability insurer sufficiently asserts claims for equitable contribution and subrogation against another insurer regarding reimbursement of costs incurred in the defense of construction defect cases, a Nevada federal judge ruled April 2 (North American Specialty Insurance Co. and North American Capacity Insurance Co. v. National Fire and Marine Insurance Co., No. 10-01859, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47573).

Judge: Insurer Had Duty To Defend Insureds Against Construction Defect Cases

DENVER - A commercial general liability (CGL) insurer had a duty to defend two construction defect cases, a Colorado federal judge ruled March 31; however, the judge declined to rule on the insurer's duty to indemnify pending a trial (Greystone Construction Inc., et al. v. National Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 07-00066, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46707).

Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Arbitration Award, Judge Concludes

ALBANY, N.Y. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify an arbitration award, a New York federal judge ruled March 29, finding that property damage caused by an insured's faulty workmanship does not constitute an "occurrence" (Rosewood Home Builders LLC as successor in interest to Rosewood Home Builders Inc. v. National Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 11-1421, N.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45374).