MADISON, Wis. - A professional services exclusion precludes coverage for a negligence claim because the claim alleges that an insured was negligent in approving the project design, but not in actual project construction, a Wisconsin appeals panel affirmed Sept. 20 (Andrew Oemig and Gina Oemig v. Town of Lowell, et al., No. 2011AP1454, Wis. App., Dist. 4; 2012 Wisc. App. LEXIS 747).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - An insurer owes no coverage to its insured for damages caused by water and sewage backup because the damages occurred after the policy had expired, a West Virginia federal judge said Sept. 24 (Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Co. v. Charles Null et al., No. 11-0745, S.D. W. Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136048).
ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals court on Sept. 21 found that a trial court properly entered summary judgment in favor of an insurer, finding that coverage was excluded and that the insurer had no duty to defend a poultry-packaging company in relation to a civil contempt motion filed against it in a trademark and patent dispute (TNI Packaging Inc. v. Hanover Insurance Company, No. 2-12-0145, Ill. App., 2nd. Dist.; 2012 IL App. [2d] 120145U).
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin's six-year statute of limitations regarding contract disputes does not apply in the reinsurance arena, an insurer argued Sept. 21 in a Wisconsin federal court (Dairyland Insurance Company v. OneBeacon Insurance Company as successor to General Accident Insurance Company of America, No. 12-cv-00391, W.D. Wis.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Questions exist as to whether insureds' sports cards were personal property and not used mainly for their business purposes and, thus, covered against theft or loss under their homeowners insurance policy, an Indiana federal judge found Sept. 20, denying summary judgment to the insurer (Jeremy Bachman and Debra Bachman v. AMCO Insurance Co., No. 10-461, N.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134660).
BOSTON - A 2-1 panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 reversed the dismissal of a class action lawsuit brought against Bank of America N.A. over the lender's ability to require borrowers to increase the amount of flood insurance they carry on their homes after finding that there is ambiguity in a paragraph of the mortgage agreement on the topic of hazard insurance (Stanley Kolbe v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., et al., No. 11-2030, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19935).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois granted summary judgment to an insurer on Sept. 19, finding that a follow-the-settlements clause of a reinsurance agreement covered an insurer's settlement of an underlying dispute (Arrowood Indemnity Company, et al v. Assurecare Corporation, No. 11-cv-05206, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134368).
ATLANTA - Four months after receiving answers that it had certified to the Florida Supreme Court, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 20 issued judgment in accord with the high court's ruling, reversing in part a trial court's judgment against an insurer related to bad faith claims arising from Hurricane Wilma damages (Chalfonte Condominium Apartment Association Inc. v. QBE Insurance Corp., No. 08-10009, 08-10783 and 08-11337, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19814).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 affirmed that an insurer owes no coverage for an underlying personal injury suit because the policy's hazardous materials endorsement clearly bars coverage (Century Surety Co. v. Johnny Joe Varis, et al., Nos. 11-11858 and 11-12142, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19648).
NEW YORK - A New York state court appeals panel on Sept. 18 reversed a lower court's duty-to-defend ruling, saying that a hotel company failed to timely report an $18 million claim against it that began 10 months before (Executive Risk Indemnity, Inc. v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., et al., No. 7086 601693/07, N.Y. Sup. App. Div., 1st Dept.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
SHREVEPORT, La. - An insurance agency breached its duty to procure full flood insurance for an insured's property, a Louisiana appeals panel affirmed Sept. 19 (Sitaram Inc. v. Bryan Insurance Agency Inc., No. 47,337-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir.; 2012 La. App. LEXIS 1149).
SEATTLE - An insurance company acted in bad faith and breached its duty to defend when it denied coverage to an insured for an underlying construction defect action, a Washington federal judge ruled Sept. 19, finding the insurer liable to a condominium association for an underlying stipulated judgment of $5 million (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. AF Evans Co., et al., No. 10-1110, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134189).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurance company has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured against underlying claims for negligent supervision, management, direction and control of roofing work at a hotel, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 18 (Evanston Insurance Co. v. Douglas D. Heeder and James Kotsopoulos, No. 11-15266, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19567).
DENVER - An excess insurance company has no duty to defend its insured against two lawsuits brought by a general contractor seeking indemnification against construction defect claims, a Colorado federal judge found Sept. 19 (First Mercury Insurance Co. v. Stephenson Construction Inc., No. 12-0862, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133771).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals majority on Sept. 17 affirmed a lower court decision and concluded that under Minnesota law, oral or written publication of material that violates a person's right of privacy covers a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) 47 U.S.C.S. § 227, claim regarding the sending of unsolicited fax advertisements (Owners Insurance Company, et al. v. European Auto Works, Inc., doing business as Autopia, et al., 11-3068, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19458).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Sept. 14 dismissed a lawsuit filed by an asbestos personal injury trust seeking insurance policy proceeds from two insurers after the parties notified the court that they had settled the dispute (Brauer Supply Co. 542(g) Asbestos Personal Injury Trust v. Atlanta International Insurance Co., No. 09-1640, E.D. Mo.).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge ruled Sept. 17 that the venue is improper for a breach of contract dispute between an insurer and an insurance broker; however, the judge explained that rather than dismissal, the parties should seek a transfer (Imperium Insurance Co. v. Allied Insurance Brokers Inc., No. 12-1373, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132244).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 17 ruled that a company failed to prove that its insurer breached its contract by denying coverage related to an underlying claim brought by a former employee because the company's loss in defending the employee action did not involve "covered property" (Ventures Corporation v. Sentinel Insurance Company, No. 11-10365, D. Mass.).
HOUSTON - There is no evidence that the conduct of insurance brokers caused the damages awarded to insureds, the 14th District Texas Court of Appeals held Sept. 13, reversing and rendering a judgment that the insureds take nothing (George E. Guidry and Dwight W. Andrus Insurance Inc. v. Environmental Procedures Inc. and Advanced Wirecloth Inc., No. 14-11-00090-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 7834).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A professional liability insurance policy provides a $1 million per-claim limit to cover an underlying settlement regarding an insured's negligence in tax preparations because the underlying complaint asserts only one claim, a Florida federal judge ruled Sept. 13 (Camico Mutual Insurance Co. v. Abraham Rogozinski, et al., 10-762, M.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130648).
LOS ANGELES - The two-year statute of limitations precludes an insured's action alleging professional negligence against insurance brokers in procuring a disability policy that resulted in the policy being rescinded, a California appeals panel affirmed Sept. 13 (Lusine Boyajyan v. Gabrielian and Associates Insurance Services, et al., No. B231802, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6666).
TUCSON, Ariz. - An Arizona federal judge on Sept. 14 granted a motion for final judgment and dismissal filed by insurers, finding that the claims asserted against them for indemnity in relation to an allegedly defective heater must be heard in Switzerland under an insurance policy (Raymond Greenwood, et al. v. Mepamsa SA, et al., No. 11-8040, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131224).
SAN FRANCISCO - A settlement agreement between London Market Insurers and BP America Inc. (BPA) included a release of environmental insurance policies issued to BPA's subsidiary, Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO), even though ARCO was not mentioned by name in the agreement, the California First District Court of Appeal said Sept. 13 (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London v. BP America Inc. et al., No. A132298, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6682).
PHILADELPHIA - Concluding that a construction worker's injuries arose out of "a task necessary" to his job, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 12 ruled that a subcontractor's insurer had a duty in an underlying liability lawsuit to defend and indemnify a contractor that was named as an additional insured on the subcontractor's policy (Mega Construction Corp., et al. v. Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 2:09-cv-01728, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129899).
MADISON, Wis. - A reinsurer and its administrator argued in a Wisconsin federal court on Sept. 14 that there has been no lapse in arbitration umpire selection and that the court has no authority to appoint an umpire because there is a method for umpire selection outlined in a number of reinsurance agreements at issue (Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, et al. v. Arrowood Indemnity Company, No. 12-cv-00283, W.D. Wis.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.