NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Dec. 10 denied a widow's motion to dismiss a government forfeiture action of the proceeds of her husband's life insurance policy, holding that the government sufficiently alleged that the man used unlawfully obtained money from a Ponzi scheme to pay the policy premiums (United States of America v. $465,789.31 Seized From Term Life Insurance Policy No. PJ 108 002 588 in the name of Robert E. Lee Jr. at AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-1353, D. Conn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165472).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 11 denied an insurer's motion to reconsider a previous decision to stay the insurer's asbestos coverage suit until a parallel suit in Wisconsin state court is decided because there are no exceptional circumstances that warrant against staying the Illinois federal suit (Allstate Insurance Co. v. A.O. Smith Corp., No. 15-6574, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165935).
PITTSBURGH - A subrogated insurer untimely submitted a motion offering case law in support of its dismissed professional negligence against a contractor regarding water damage from a faulty fire sprinkler system, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Dec. 8 (Insurance Company of Greater New York, as subrogee of Five Star Hotels, LLC d/b/a Holiday Inn Parkway East v. Fire Fighter Sales & Service Co., No. 11-1078, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164277).
WAUKESHA, Wis.- A majority of the Wisconsin appeals court on Dec. 9 affirmed a lower court's ruling that there is no coverage for an underlying class action complaint alleging that an insured violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and committed conversion (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Easy Pc Solutions LLC, et al., No. 2014AP2657, Wis. App., Dist. 2; 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 855).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 8 declined to remand an insured's lawsuit against its insurer regarding the alleged wrongfully denial of coverage for underlying construction defects cases (Taylor Morrison of California, LLC v. First Specialty Insurance Corp., No. 15-1711, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164607).
PHILADELPHIA - Admitting certain expert testimony on the causation of insureds' damage to their home, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 9 found that issues of fact exist as to the cause of damage to the property (Maria Stochel and Eugene Nowakowsky v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 15-231, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164764).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 rejected Texas insureds' argument that fact issues exist regarding their contractual and extracontractual claims in a hailstorm coverage dispute, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Vincent Stagliano And Peggy Stagliano v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-10137, 5th Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Dec. 9 reversed a lower court's final judgment for "additional living expenses" against an insurer in a Hurricane Jeanne coverage dispute, finding that a hurricane coverage endorsement applied to the insureds' losses (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Richard Moody, et al., Nos. 4D13-3377, 4D14-273 and 4D14-274, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 18405).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 7 granted judgment for an insurer named as a defendant in a third-party action seeking damages for trademark infringement and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that a policy specifically excluded coverage for trademark infringement related to degreaser products (Lewyn Boler, AKA Leon Boler, individually and dba Production Car Care Products v. 3D International, et al., No. 2:14-cv-00658, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163850).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a New Hampshire court on Dec. 4 to approve a $5.5 million settlement agreement regarding four asbestos-related proofs of claim from an insured company (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
SALT LAKE CITY - A commercial general liability insurer is entitled to prejudgment interest from another insurer for costs spent in defending a mutual insured in a construction defects lawsuit, a Utah federal judge ruled Dec. 4 (Chapman Construction LC and United Fire & Casualty Co. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 15-00172, D. Utah; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163068).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An insurer is not entitled to control the defense of its insured in underlying environmental contamination actions because the insurer has a conflict of interest as its lawsuit against the insured alleges a claim of breach of contract, an Indiana federal judge said Dec. 7 (Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal Inc., et al., No. 14-006, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163501).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Allegations of an additional insured's faulty work to a roof do not constitute an "occurrence," a Florida federal judge ruled Dec. 7, finding that a commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify (Core Construction Services Southeast, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-1790, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163695).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 7 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that insurers have no duty to defend their insured against underlying claims that it infringed on privacy rights in violation of the Song-Beverly Act of 1991, California Civil Code Section 1747.08(a)-(b) (Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-56249, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21185).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 7 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in an insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from hailstorm property damage (HM Hotel Properties v. Peerless Indemnity Ins. Co., No. 13-16790, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A Swiss reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Dec. 2 that the court should deny its reinsured's motion to compel arbitration of a reinsurance dispute in London (Infrassure, Ltd. v. First Mutual Transportation Assurance Company, Inc., No. 15-cv-8230, S.D. N.Y.).
ST. LOUIS - A disability insurer was not entitled to rescind its policy because the insurer did not prove that it was harmed by the insured's failure to cancel another disability policy, the majority of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 1 (The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Douglas G. Weiher, No. 14-3098, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 20793).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Dec. 1 denied a disability claimant's motion for reconsideration on the basis that the claimant failed to present any new evidence as to why a prior ruling that a short-term disability plan is not governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act should not stand (Kelly Foster v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., et al., No. 14-1241, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160470).
CHICAGO - Entering judgment in a disability insurer's favor was a manifest error because a question of fact exists regarding whether a disability claimant lost income as a result of his inability to carry a harness-based computer, an Illinois federal judge said Dec, 1 in vacating a judgment entered in the insurer's favor (Stephen Dorf v. Standard Insurance Co., as successor to Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 13-6479, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161054).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Dec. 3 rejected an insured's motion for reconsideration of an earlier ruling granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in a bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the summary judgment standard was not misapplied in the previous ruling (Stephen Bodnar, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-1337, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162169).
AUSTIN, Texas - In response to four questions certified from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court on Dec. 4 found that the terms "physical injury" and "replacement" are not ambiguous as incorporated into the "your product" or "impaired property" exclusions of a commercial general liability insurance policy and the installation of faulty flanges alone did not physically injure diesel units in a coverage dispute arising from the defective flanges (U.S. Metals, Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group, Incorporated, et al., No. 14-0753, Texas Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Texas did not err when delivering a divided jury with an instruction pursuant to Allen v. United States (164 U.S. 492 ) that allowed them to forgo their differences and come to a unanimous decision, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 3 in affirming a verdict finding the defendant guilty of one count of health care fraud (United States of America v. Ebolose Eghobor, R.N., No. 14-11354, 5th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The State of Vermont and an insurer squared off before the U.S. Supreme Court Dec. 2 in oral arguments over whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), preempts state level collection of health insurance data (Alfred Gobeille, in his official capacity as chair of the Vermont Green Mountain Care Board v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-181, U.S. Sup.).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer moved in a New Hampshire court on Dec. 4 for approval of a $450,000 settlement with an insured over certain environmental and asbestos-related claims (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
MARSHALL, Texas - An umbrella insurer on Dec. 4 filed a notice of appeal to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, seeking review of a Texas federal judge's finding that it owes more than $2 million in attorney fees and costs to another insurer to cover defense costs incurred in defending an insured in underlying asbestos suits (LSG Technologies Inc., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 07-399, S.D. Texas).