GULFPORT, Miss. - An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a pharmacist, his pharmacy and pharmacy employees against underlying civil lawsuits alleging that they improperly dispensed prescription medication that was ingested and resulted in drug overdose, death or addiction, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Aug. 20, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (State Farm Fire and Casualty Company v. Nick C. Tran, et al., No. 1:10CV469-LG-RHW, S.D. Miss., Southern Div.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Aug. 20 dismissed a lawsuit filed by the shareholder of an insolvent insurer against insurance regulatory groups alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 1961 et seq. based upon the fraudulent delay of the shareholder's claim payment (Petrosurance Inc. v. National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds Inc., No. 11-6931, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118204).
LOS ANGELES - Even though an insurer's complaint against a disability insurance policyholder was declaratory and no damages were sought by either party, a California appeals panel on Aug. 20 found that this did not make the matter equitable in nature, reversing a trial court's dismissal of the insured's bad faith counterclaim without a jury trial (Allen M. Entin v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles Co., et al., No. B239642, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 892).
CLEVELAND - The maximum amount available to a church insured is the $100,000 Each Claim Limit under its policy's "Sexual Misconduct" coverage, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 20, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute stemming from underlying sexual abuse allegations against a church volunteer (Church Mutual Insurance Company v. First United Pentecostal Church of Parma, et al., No. 1:11CV2201, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117607).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Even though an Ohio federal judge on Aug. 20 found that material questions about a house fire's origin prevented an insurer from denying payment under a policy's "intentional acts" exclusion, he ruled that the policyholder's failure to identify "numerous" judgments and liens against him constituted violation of a "concealment or fraud" exclusion, precluding coverage (Richard K. Rose v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 2:10-cv-00874, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117066).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Filene's Basement LLC, on Aug. 22 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, objecting to Filene's second amended plan of reorganization (In Re: Filene's Basement LLC, No. 11-13511, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Aug. 20 granted a third insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's lawsuit seeking public officials liability coverage arising from underlying employment discrimination claims, six weeks after granting summary judgment in favor of two other insurers (City of Maplewood, Missouri v. Northland Casualty Co., et al., No. 4:11CV564 RWS, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116705).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Directors and officers coverage for an underlying class action lawsuit against Uni-Marts LLC is barred by the policy's contract exclusion, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 17, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Federal Insurance Company v. KDW Restructuring and Liquidation Services LLC, No. 07-01357, M.D. Pa.). Subscribers may view the memorandum available within the full article.
NEW ORLEANS - Because an insurer's denial of coverage for an accident was based on clearly stated policy exclusions for intoxication and illegal activities, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 21 held that the insurer had not acted in bad faith (Connie R. King, et al. v. Freedom Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 11-60862, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17660).
EL PASO, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 20 remanded an insured's lawsuit against an insurance agent alleging that the agent negligently recommended homeowners insurance for property that sustained water damage (Margarita Banuelos v. Allstate Texas Lloyd's, et al., No. 12-00232, W.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116756).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An insurer's timely response to its insured's claims, as well as its willingness to reinspect and re-evaluate the claims, defeat the insured's bad faith claim against it, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled Aug. 21, granting the insurer's motion for partial summary judgment (Emmanuel Baptist Church v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 5:11-cv-00594, W.D. Okla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118053).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on Aug. 17 found no evidence that a commercial general liability provider submitted its nominees to fill a spot on an arbitration panel in bad faith or had knowledge of any bias on the nominees' parts (Lexington Insurance Co., et al. v. Southern Energy Homes Inc., No. 1091617, Ala. Sup.; 2012 Ala. LEXIS 102).
HONOLULU - It was neither unknowable nor unexpected that professional liability insurance would not cover an insured's personal business activities, a Hawaii appeals panel found Aug. 16, affirming a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer in a coverage dispute arising from a real estate transaction (Robert E. Keown v. Tudor Insurance Company, No. 29695, Hawaii App.; 2012 Haw. App. LEXIS 796).
ATLANTA - A pollution exclusion bars coverage for an underlying wrongful death suit arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning because under Georgia law, carbon monoxide is a pollutant, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 20 (Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Richard Pursley, et al., No. 11-12808, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17437).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on Aug. 17 stayed the indemnity issue in a commercial general liability insurer's coverage lawsuit as premature but refused to dismiss or stay the duty-to-defend issue (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Jarrett Walker Construction Inc., et al., No. 11-04042, N.D. Ala.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116107).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A workers' compensation insurer did not breach an agency agreement with an insurance agency when it terminated the parties' contract, and there was nothing to suggest that the insurer owed a fiduciary duty to the agency, a Louisiana appeals panel affirmed Aug. 16 (Northshore Insurance Agency LLC v. Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corp., No. 2011 CA 2069, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2012 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 529).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 16 denied an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings in a coverage dispute arising out of the BP oil spill because there is sufficient evidence showing that the insurer owes coverage for the insured's liability related to the oil spill and that the policy's "other insurance" clause has been satisfied (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010 applies to: 12-311, Cameron International Corp. v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., MDL No. 2179, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115463).
CHICAGO - An excess law enforcement liability insurance policy provides coverage for $1,773,824.60 in attorney fees awarded in an underlying lawsuit stemming from a false arrest, an Illinois federal judge ruled Aug. 15, further finding that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the excess insurer acted in bad faith (Kevin Fox and Melissa Fox v. Will County, et al., No. 04 C 7309, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115255).
ATLANTA - Saying that a life insurance provider issued payment to a policy's named beneficiary, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 upheld a lower court's finding that the insurer did not breach the contract or act in bad faith, despite a dispute in benefits from the estate's executor (John Courembis v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 12-11176, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17025).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 16 dismissed an insured's lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying advertising injury claims over images of Marilyn Monroe after the parties reached a settlement agreement (Tom Kelley Studios, Inc. v. State Farm General Insurance Company, et al., No. 09-04018, C.D. Calif.) View related prior history, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 25590.
CONCORD, N.H. - An insured is entitled to coverage for damages sustained as a result of a septic system failure because the policy's water damage provision clearly provides coverage and the earth movement exclusion, which contradicts the water damage provision, cannot be applied to preclude coverage, the New Hampshire Supreme Court said Aug. 17 (The Barking Dog Ltd. v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, No. 2011-693, N.H. Sup.; 2012 N.H. LEXIS 109).
SAN FRANCISCO - A policy's ambiguity over the term "occupies" created the possibility of coverage and a resulting duty to defend by an insurer, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority ruled Aug. 14, reversing in part a lower court's judgment in the insurer's favor (Wanda A. Sell v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 11-15492, 9th Cir; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16991).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 15 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of an insured's complaint that an insurer acted in bad faith in handling its Hurricane Wilma claim, finding that it was prematurely filed (Lime Bay Condominium Inc. v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 4D11-3421, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 13563).
SAN ANTONIO - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 15 modified its April 25 opinion to affirm the portion of a lower court's judgment awarding an insured statutory interest under Chapter 542 of the Texas Insurance Code on the $5 million insurance proceeds paid by the primary insurer regarding the insured's hailstorm damage (United States Fire Insurance Company v. The Lynd Company, No. 04-11-00347-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 6770).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit seeking homeowners insurance coverage for losses sustained in the Madoff-Ponzi scheme (Robert and Harlene Horowitz v. American International Group Inc., et al., No. 10-4408-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17055).