MADISON, Wis. - A reinsurer told a Wisconsin federal court on Oct. 9 that it has adequately made a claim upon which relief can be granted in its complaint asking the court to disqualify an insurer's counsel from representing it in an arbitration (National Casualty Company v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 12-cv-00657, W.D. Wis.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Oct. 5 modified in part his stay in a coverage action filed by insurers regarding construction defects claims against their insured to compel limited discovery in the case (American Home Assurance Co., et al. v. Perini Building Co. Inc., No. 11-1218, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144339).
DENVER - Concluding that an insurance company's claim against its former agent under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) qualified as advertising injury, a Colorado federal judge on Oct. 4 ruled that the insurer owed the agent a duty to defend under a business owners policy (BOP) that he had purchased while still an employee (Barry G. Gustafson v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1:11-cv-01303, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144494).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on Oct. 5 declined to dismiss a certified public accountant and her accounting firm in a receiver's lawsuit alleging that they negligently performed auditing services on a now-insolvent insurer (State of Oklahoma, ex rel., John Doak, insurance commissioner, as receiver for Pegasus Insurance Co. Inc. v. Estate of William D. Thornell, et al., No. 12-0708, W.D. Okla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144333).
JACKSON, Miss. - In light of the damages sought and evidence submitted in an underlying case surrounding an auto accident, a panel in the Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 4 upheld a lower court's finding that a primary insurer's settlement in that case was reasonable (Indemnity Insurance Company of North America v. Guidant Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2011-CA-00168-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2012 Miss. LEXIS 487).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A bankruptcy judge in Delaware on Oct. 4 dismissed an insurance claims breach of contract case, saying the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the dispute (In re Washington Mutual Inc., et al., No. 08-12229, D. Del. Bkcy.; 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 4673).
JACKSON, Miss. - A commercial general liability insurance policy's "earth movement" endorsement precludes coverage for "property damage" suffered by an insured, a majority of the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Oct. 4 (Kaye Hankins v. Maryland Casualty Co. and Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 2011-CA-01093-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2012 Miss. LEXIS 491).
DETROIT - A trial court did not err in granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment because the insureds, who are seeking coverage for living expenses and environmental cleaning expenses caused by the use of an anti-microbial agent, failed to file suit within a year after the loss occurred, the Michigan Court of Appeals said Oct. 4 (Jeff Brittingham et al., v Michigan Insurance Co., et al., No. 305173, Mich. App.; 2012 Mich. App. LEXIS 1920).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Because an insured reasonably expected that an environmental cost-cap policy accurately listed the agreed-upon starting date and term length, an insurer cannot deny a claim that occurred after the agreed-upon starting date but before the effective date incorrectly listed on the policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 5 (Austin James Associates Inc., v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., No. 12-1125, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144449).
OMAHA, Neb. - Two railworkers' joint federal asbestos action will proceed in Nebraska until discovery reveals evidence warranting separate trials or a different venue, a federal magistrate judge held Oct. 5 (Gary L. Blessing, Conrad E. Lindquist v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., No. 12-251, D. Neb.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144367).
HOUSTON - An offshore well operator's failure to procure the correct amount of operator's extra expense (OEE) insurance coverage did not substantially impair the other owners' interests to justify no payment from the other owners for damages sustained to the well as a result of Hurricane Ike, a Texas federal judge said Oct.5 (SM Energy Co. v. Smacko Ltd. et al., No. 11-3028, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144533).
SEATTLE - An all-risks clause in a standard shipbuilder's risk insurance policy does not cover the cost of repairing an insured's faulty welds in barges, a Washington federal judge ruled Oct. 3, finding that insurance companies did not breach their policy or act in bad faith (Alaska Village Electric Cooperative Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., et al., No. 11-1375, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144003).
HARTFORD, Conn. - A trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a plaintiff's post-verdict motion to amend his complaint to add counts for bad faith and related claims against his insurer in an underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage dispute, a Connecticut appeals panel ruled Oct. 2 (Mario Fiallo v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 32766, Conn. App.; 2012 Conn. App. LEXIS 436).
DES MOINES, Iowa - An insurance agent did not have a duty to advise insureds regarding the lack of coverage for their son under an umbrella policy after the son was previously excluded under the policy because his license had been suspended, the Iowa Court of Appeals held Oct. 3 (Dennis Langwith and Ben Langwith v. American National General Insurance Co., et al., No. 11-1924, Iowa App.; 2012 Iowa App. LEXIS 835).
TACOMA, Wash. - Because the plaintiffs in an underlying auto accident lawsuit ultimately received full payment of a consent judgment, the judgment was fully satisfied, a Washington appeals panel found Oct. 2, reversing a trial court's ruling that the judgment was only partially satisfied (James and Deborah Sharbono, et al. v. Universal Underwriters Insurance Co., et al., No. 41931-9-II and 41981-5-II, Wash. App. Div. II; 2012 Wash. App. LEXIS 2370).
GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Oct. 3 dismissed a general contractor from a subrogated insurance company's negligence and breach of contract lawsuit in favor of arbitration of the claims against the contractor and stayed proceedings against a subcontractor pending resolution of the arbitration (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Hemingway Homes LLC, et al., No. 12-00744, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143132).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 2 denied an insurer's motion to compel arbitration in an asbestos coverage dispute on the basis that the dispute must be resolved in the court and not by an arbitrator (Mallinckrodt US LLC v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 12-1340, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142217).
ROANOKE, Va. - A homeowners policy provides no coverage for the accidental death of a child that occurred in the course of insureds' home-based child care business, a Virginia federal judge ruled Oct. 1, finding no basis for estopping the insurer from denying coverage (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Teresa Atwood, et al., No. 11-00524, W.D. Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141815).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 2 denied a motion to dismiss a legal malpractice and subrogation lawsuit against a defense law firm that two insurance companies say botched their defense of a police officer's suit against the manufacturer of a ballistic shield (ACE American Insurance Co., et al. v. Sandberg, Phoenix & Von Gontard, et al., No. 3:12-cv-242, S.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141931).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 1 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a petition for certiorari brought by Farmers Insurance Company of Washington, which argued that Washington's common-law presumption of harm to an insured upon a finding of bad faith by an insurer violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment (Farmers Insurance Company of Washington, et al. v. Emily L. Moratti, et al., No. 11-1474, U.S. Sup.; 2012 U.S. LEXIS 7793).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An insurer's coverage action and underlying equitable garnishment actions regarding damages caused by insureds' allegedly faulty work constitute parallel proceedings, a Missouri federal judge ruled Oct. 2, dismissing the coverage action in favor of resolution in the underlying cases (Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co. v. Walton Construction Co. LLC, et al., No. 11-00966, W.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142480).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Personal jurisdiction exists over an employee of two insolvent insurers in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit, a Florida federal bankruptcy judge held Sept. 28, finding that the employee has not shown that exercise of personal jurisdiction over him fails to comport with concepts of fair play and substantial justice (In re: British American Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Robert Fullerton, et al., No. 11-03118, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.; 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 4528).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on Sept. 28 denied prejudgment interest to an insurer following a determination that the evidence in a defective window coverage case supports a jury's finding on a breach of contract claim (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and Employers Insurance of Wausau v. J.T. Walker Industries Inc. f/k/a Metal Industries Inc., et al., No. 08-2043, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141200).
PHOENIX - Insurers involved in a sexual molestation coverage case have a duty to defend and indemnify their insureds in the underlying suits because issues of material fact exist regarding some of the underlying claims, an Arizona federal judge said Sept. 28 (National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford et al., v. Richard Jay Lewis, M.D. et al., No. 11-1220, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139980).
BALTIMORE - Business interruption losses stemming from an explosion at a plant that supplied 30 percent of western Australia's natural gas and halted production at manufacturing facilities at a loss of more than $10 million are covered by the companies' contingent business interruption (CBI) policies, a Maryland federal judge said Sept. 28 (Millennium Inorganic Chemicals Ltd., et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al., No. 1:09-cv-1893, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140257).