LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Halloween Merchandise Was Not 'Covered Property' Under Policy, Federal Judge Says

DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 2 held that an insured's claim for $106,000 in Halloween merchandise is not "covered property" under a commercial insurance policy, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment on the insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Crazy Willy's Inc. v. Valley Forge Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-cv-03154, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25494).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer For Defects Coverage

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge applied Alabama law on Feb. 20 to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims against a commercial liability insurer regarding its duty to indemnify a settlement of an underlying construction defects case (MI Windows & Doors LLC f/k/a MI Windows & Doors Inc. and MI Home Products Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-3139, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20544).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Had 'Reasonable Justification' For Denying Coverage, Judge Rules

DAYTON, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 17 granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer had "reasonable justification" for denying coverage and canceling the insured's commercial homeowners insurance policy after a fire (Dion Ross v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 13-401, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18707).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Says Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Bar Insurer's Duty

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty and negligence against an insured encompass some acts that are not excluded from coverage under the professional services exclusion in a commercial general liability insurance policy, a South Dakota federal judge ruled Feb. 13, finding that material issues of fact remain with regard to resolution of the insurer's duty to indemnify (General Casualty Company of Wisconsin v. Nelson Engineering Consulting LLC, No. 13-4075, D. S.D.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17705).

Mealey's Insurance - Indemnity Agreement Not A Part Of Insurance Policy, Illinois Appeals Panel Says

ELGIN, Ill. - An indemnity agreement in a bill of lading was not an insured contract under a commercial general liability insurance policy, an Illinois appeals panel held Feb. 9, reversing a judge's grant of summary judgment in favor of the insured (Bituminous Casualty Corp. v. Plano Molding Co., No. 12-MR-175, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 214).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Failed To Allege Negligence, Breach Of Contract Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer failed to assert third-party claims breach of contract and negligence against insureds in a subrogation action regarding settlement of an underlying construction defects case, a California federal judge ruled Jan. 29 (AIG Commercial Insurance Company of Canada v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-02610, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11386).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Owes Partial Obligation To Reimburse Repair Costs, Judge Says

BALTIMORE - A commercial general liability insurer has a partial duty to reimburse repair costs for cracking damage to two buildings, a Maryland federal judge ruled Jan. 13, also dismissing counterclaims for breach of contract, negligence and bad faith (American Home Assurance Co. v. KBE Building Corp., No. 13-1941, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4076).

Mealey's Insurance - No Coverage For Fraud, Unfair Trade Practices, Antitrust Claims, Judge Rules

NEW ORLEANS - A competitor's underlying claims against an insured for fraud, unfair trade practices, antitrust violations and intentional interference with a contract fail to trigger personal and advertising injury coverage under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Jan. 8, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in its declaratory judgment lawsuit (Maxum Indemnity Co. v. Audiology LLC, No. 13-5216, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2170).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Had No Duty To Defend Negligence, Breach Of Contract Claims

MISSOULA, Mont. - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend negligence and breach of contract claims arising out of an insured's alleged deficient work, a Montana federal judge ruled Dec. 10 (RQR Development LLC v. Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-118, D. Mont.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171084).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Summary Judgment Motions In Insurance Bad Faith Suit

MUSKOGEE, Okla. - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Nov. 20 denied opposing motions for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that questions of fact exist as to whether the insurer's claims administrator ever received the plaintiff's claim for underinsured motorist benefits under his employers' commercial insurance policy (Harold Buffington v. Arch Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-78, E.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163596).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurers' Breach Of Contract Claim Over Appointment Of Counsel

FRESNO, Calif. - Commercial general liability insurers failed to assert declaratory judgment, breach of contract and equitable reimbursement claims against insureds based upon their alleged breach of a cooperation clause concerning appointment of counsel in an underlying construction defects case, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 10 (Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Co., et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. 14-826, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158649).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Professional Services Exclusion Bars Coverage For Insured In Well Blowout

VICTORIA, Texas - A commercial general liability insurance policy's professional services exclusion precludes coverage for breach of contract claims against an additional insured arising out of well blowout, a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 5 (Nicklos Drilling Co. v. Ace American Insurance Co., No. 14-021, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156585).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurers' Claims For Breach Of Contract, Equitable Reimbursement

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 14 dismissed commercial general liability insurers' claims for declaratory judgment, breach of contract and equitable reimbursement in their lawsuit over rights by them and their insured in handling an underlying construction defects case (Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. 14-1235, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146456).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Had No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Repairs Of Faulty Work, Judge Says

VALDOSTA, Ga. - A commercial general liability insurer did not have a duty to defend or indemnify an insured for repairs made to alleged defective workmanship, a Georgia federal judge ruled Sept. 26, granting summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Standard Contractors Inc. v. National Trust Insurance Co., No. 14-66, M.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135651).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Additional Insureds Counterclaims For Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Without a copy of the disputed commercial general liability insurance policy, a California federal judge on Sept. 19 dismissed additional insureds' counterclaims for breach of contract and bad faith based on an insurer's alleged refusal to cooperate in the defense of an underlying construction defects case (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. Shapell Industries Inc., et al., No. 13-05115, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132934).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Breach Of Contract Claim, Federal Judge Says

BECKLEY, W.Va. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured against an underlying breach of contract claim regarding the insured's alleged failure to excavate a site for the construction of a school, a West Virginia federal judge ruled Sept. 18 (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Carpenter Reclamation Inc., No. 13-12818, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130752).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Declines To Dismiss Insurer's Contribution, Equitable Subrogation Claims

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 19 refused to dismiss a commercial general liability insurer's breach of contract, equitable subrogation and contribution claims against a subcontractor regarding alleged faulty deck waterproofing that resulted in water damage to a residential construction project (Amerisure Insurance Co. v. Southern Waterproofing Inc., No. 14-154, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131765).

Mealey's Insurance - No 'Occurrence' From Insured's Breach Of Contract, Panel Finds

WAUSAU, Wis. - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify because there was no "occurrence" arising out of an insured's alleged breach of contract due to failing to work in a workmanlike and timely manner, a Wisconsin appeals panel ruled Sept. 9 (Jennifer Dahl and Collin Dahl, et al. v. Peninsula Builders LLC, et al., No. 2014AP270, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 715).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tugboat Owner Not Entitled To Indemnification For Cost Of Oil Spill Remediation

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 16 affirmed a lower court's decision that the company that owned a tug boat and barge that were responsible for an oil spill in the Mississippi River could not seek indemnification from the companies it contracted with to clean up the spill. Rather, the tug and barge owner was liable to the U.S. government for the payments made from a national oil spill trust fund that were used to cover remediation costs (United States of America v American Commercial Lines LLC v. Environmental Safety & Health Consulting Services Inc., No. 13-30358, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13592).

Mealey's Insurance - Exclusion Bars Insurance For Breach Of Contract Claim, Judge Concludes

MUSKOGEE, Okla. - A contractual liability exclusion under a commercial general liability insurance policy precludes coverage for claims against an insured for breach of contract stemming from problems with a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled June 17 (North Star Mutual Insurance Co. v. Roddy Rose, et al., No. 13-373, E.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82008).

Mealey's Insurance - Construction Defect Claim Did Not Constitute Property Damage Claim, Panel Rules

LOS ANGELES - Finding that a property owner's claim against a subcontractor did not include allegations of property damage, a California appeals panel on May 16 held that a commercial general liability (CGL) insurer did not have any duty to defend the subcontractor, affirming that the insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith (Regional Steel Corp. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp., No. B245961, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3496).

Mealey's Insurance - Appeals Panel: Insurance Broker Did Not Breach Contract Or Act Negligently

LOS ANGELES - An insurance broker established that an insured did not seek from the broker the broadest possibility commercial general liability insurance as alleged by assigned homeowners, a California appeals panel held May 9, affirming the entry of summary judgment to the broker on breach of contract and negligence claims (Gerald V. Hollingsworth Jr., et al. v. JAD Insurance Brokers Inc., No. B246708, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3328).

Mealey's Insurance - Property Damage Exclusions Bar Coverage For Insured's Defense, Appeals Panel Finds

SEATTLE - A commercial general liability insurance policy's exclusions for damage occurring during an insured's work operations preclude coverage for an underlying breach of contract lawsuit, a Washington appeals panel affirmed May 5 (Western National Assurance Co. v. Shelcon Construction Group LLC, No. 70143-6-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1094).

Mealey's Insurance - N.J. Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Claims In Hurricane Floyd Coverage Dispute

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of breach of contract, third-party beneficiary insurance and negligence claims in a lawsuit arising from Hurricane Floyd damage (Thomas and Cheryl Koziol Inc. v. LaSalle National Bank $(as Trustee$); GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., et al., No. A-0849-12T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 949).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Breach Of Contract Jury Verdict

MOBILE, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify an underlying breach of contract jury verdict entered against an insured regarding roof replacement work that allegedly caused leaking based upon a "contractual liability" exclusion, an Alabama federal judge ruled April 25 (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish and Kiker Corp., No. 13-00066, S.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57636).