DETROIT - Insureds did not submit a standard flood insurance policy's required proof of loss for their two flood claims, a Michigan federal judge ruled Nov. 28, dismissing their breach of contract complaint against their federal flood insurer (David Touchton, et al. v Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Company, No. 10-12965, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168565).
NEW YORK - World Trade Center Properties LLC and its holding companies must establish legally recoverable tort damages exceeding their insurance payments before they can seek recovery of any subrogated insurers' settlement proceeds of the $1.2 billion settlement involving the aviation defendants in a Sept. 11, 2001, coverage dispute, a New York federal judge ruled Nov. 27 (In Re September 11 Litigation, No. 21 MC 101, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN DIEGO - A contractor cannot support its dispute of payments made under a surety agreement with its insurer by citing insurance-based case law, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 26, granting in part the insurer's motion for summary judgment related to indemnification of those payments (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America v. Highland Partnership Inc., et al., No. 3:10-cv-02503, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167458).
WAUSAU, Wis. - An insured did not timely notify its excess insurer of the insured's potential liability for environmental contamination at its arsenic herbicide manufacturing plant and failed to demonstrate that the insurer was not prejudiced by the insured's breach of the notification and cooperation clauses in its excess insurance policies, a Wisconsin appellate court ruled Nov. 27 in affirming summary judgment in favor of the insurer (Ansul Inc., et al. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, et al., No. 2011AP2596, Wis. App., Dist. III; 2012 Wis. App. LEXIS 927).
ST. LOUIS - Excess insurers have no duty to indemnify the Archdiocese of St. Louis and its archbishop for an underlying settlement stemming from a sexual molestation claim against one of its priests, a Missouri federal judge ruled Nov. 27, granting the insurers' joint motion for summary judgment (Chicago Insurance Company v. The Archdiocese of St. Louis, et al., No. 4:09-CV-977 [CEJ], E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167821).
RENO, Nev. - An insured bank has adequately stated a claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against its insurer in a coverage dispute arising from embezzlement by a bank officer, a Nevada federal judge ruled Nov. 26 (The First National Bank of Ely v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 11-00859, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167893).
BOSTON - Employment practices liability coverage for an underlying sexual harassment claim is excluded, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Nov. 27 (Luciano Manganella v. Evanston Insurance Company, et al., No. 12-1137, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24360).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A trial court did not err in denying an insurer's motion for a directed verdict on whether it acted in bad faith in denying an insured's claim based on a racing exclusion, a New Mexico Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 21 (American National Property and Casualty Co. v. Tina Cleveland, et al., No. 30,164, N.M. App.; 2012 N.M. App. LEXIS 129).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - One day after an insured and one of its excess managed care professional liability insurers announced that they entered into a confidential mediated settlement agreement, a Minnesota federal judge on Nov. 27 dismissed all claims asserted by and against the excess insurer in a coverage dispute (UnitedHealth Group Incorporated v. Columbia Casualty Company, et al., No. 05-CV-1289 [PJS/SER], D. Minn.). View related prior history, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148422.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A policyholder failed to show that his insurer's partial denial of a claim based on an "illegal growing of plants" exclusion breached his contract or was in bad faith, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Nov. 23, granting summary judgment to the insurer (Anh Hung Huynh v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 5:12-cv-01574, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167389).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A commercial general and pollution legal liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its iron and metal company insured against an underlying lawsuit alleging claims for trespass, conversion and negligence, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 21 (Alco Iron & Metal Company v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company, No. C 11-5181 CW, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166692).
MISSOULA, Mont. - An injured motorist's bad faith and unfair trade practices claims against the insurers of an at-fault driver and his vehicle were subject to statutes of limitations that expired before the present complaint was filed, a Montana federal judge ruled Nov. 20, granting summary judgment to the insurers (Lucas Nelson, et al. v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, et al., No. 9:11-cv-00162, D. Mont.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165944).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal magistrate judge on Nov. 20 stayed a subcontractor's breach of contract lawsuit against a general contractor and insolvent surety pending the resolution of the liquidation of the surety (United States of America f/b/o D.D.S. Industries Inc. v. C.T.S. Inc. and First Sealord Surety Inc., No. 11-11561, D. Mass.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165607).
PHOENIX - The Arizona Court of Appeals on Nov. 23 affirmed that a notice letter sent to an insured regarding its responsibility for environmental contamination was a "suit" under an insurer's policies because the insurer failed to define "suit" to exclude coercive administrative actions (Nucor Corp. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau et al., Nos. CA-CV 10-0174, CA-CV 10-0454, Ariz. App., Div. 1; 2012 Ariz. App. LEXIS 187).
NORFOLK, Va. - A defective Chinese drywall coverage suit must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction because complete diversity does not exist, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Nov. 20 (Builders Mutual Insurance Co. v. Dragas Management Corp., No. 11-1722, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24120).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Nov. 20 in an unpublished order that welfare plan sponsors did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by amending a post-retirement life insurance plan because the benefits had not vested (John L. Argay, et al. v. National Grid USA Service Company, Inc., et al., No. 11-3698, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24145).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 21 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that two law enforcement liability insurers have no duty to defend the City of Waukegan, Ill., and its current and former employees in an underlying civil rights lawsuit stemming from an alleged wrongful conviction (Northfield Insurance Company, et al. v. City of Waukegan, et al., Nos. 11-1215 and 11-3729, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24014).
NEW YORK - United Continental Holdings Inc. and United Airlines Inc. do not owe a duty of care to the lessee of 7 World Trade Center, a New York federal judge ruled Nov. 21, granting the airline's motion for summary judgment in the lessee's lawsuit seeking recovery for the destruction of Tower 7 during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (In Re September 11 Litigation, Nos. 21 MC 101, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Nov. 16 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer and its claims administrator in a dispute over coverage for medical malpractice claims against a neurosurgeon (Fred Geisler v. Everest National Insurance Company, et al., No. 1-10-3834, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Sixth Div.; 2012 Ill. App. LEXIS 936).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 19 certified two questions to the Georgia Supreme Court regarding whether property damage can constitute an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy where its effects are not felt on "other property" (HDI-Gerling America Insurance Co., successor in interest to Gerling America Insurance Co. v. Morrison Homes Inc. and Taylor Morrison Services Inc. f/k/a Morrison Homes Inc., No. 10-14637, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 23813).
TULSA, Okla. - An insurer has no duty to provide employers liability coverage to its insureds for an underlying personal injury lawsuit arising from a tire explosion, a Oklahoma federal judge ruled Nov. 16, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Company v. Brandon Lechner, et al., No. 12-CV-273-CVE-TLW, N.D. Okla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163828).
ALBANY, N.Y. - Where issues of fact exist as to a request for specific coverage, an insured can maintain a negligence and breach of contract lawsuit against an insurance broker for failure to procure adequate coverage, the New York Court of Appeals held Nov. 19 (American Building Supply Corp. v. Petrocelli Group Inc., No. 188, N.Y. App.; 2012 N.Y. LEXIS 3476).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware state jury on Nov. 15 determined that excess insurers owe coverage to their insured for underlying asbestos bodily injury suits (Viking Pump Inc., et al. v. Century Indemnity Co., et al., No 10C-06-141, Del. Super., New Castle Co.). View related prior history, 2012 Del. Super. LEXIS 473.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Insurers involved in an environmental contamination coverage suit have no duty to defend their insured for underlying suits arising out of the environmental contamination because the policies' pollution exclusions clearly preclude coverage, a South Carolina federal judge reiterated Nov. 15 after denying the insured's motion for reconsideration (Ross Development Corp. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., et al., No. 08-3672, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163841).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 15 granted insurers' motion to amend their complaint in their declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing directors and officers coverage (Allied World National Assurance Company, et al., Plaintiffs, v. SK PM Corp., et al., No.: 1:10-cv-01262 - LJO - JLT, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163642).