AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on Feb. 2 enjoined certain parties' access to the assets of an insolvent title insurer before the parties were notified that the special deputy receiver (SDR) of the insolvent title insurer had moved for a temporary restraining order (The State of Texas v. Millennium Closing Services LLC d/b/a Millennium Title, No. D-1-GN-16-000360, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer told a California court on Feb. 2 that he had completed the court's instructions regarding the closure of the liquidation and considers himself discharged (Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. HIH America Compensation & Liability Insurance Company, No. CPF-01-320049, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
NEW YORK - An insurer on Feb. 2 removed to a New York federal a suit in which the insurer was sued by its reinsurer for allegedly failing to disclose knowledge that the underlying insured used asbestos in its manufacturing process (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. Allianz Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-00794, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 2 remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation lawsuit against an insurer and an insurance adjuster over denied coverage for property damage sustained by a water leak (Be Wicked, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 16-549, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13106).
SHERMAN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 4 granted an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insured has failed to state any factual allegations to support her claims (Cathy Broxterman v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-661, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11824).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Damages from an insured's defective work that resulted in water intrusion are precluded under a "your work" exclusion, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 3, finding that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify the insured (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Elite Homes, Inc., et al., No. 14-1182, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12910).
MINNEAPOLIS - An insured cannot establish coverage over a $7 million settlement because it followed an occurrence that led to property damage, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Feb. 2, also finding that material fact issues preclude the insured from establishing a right to coverage over all of the repairs as consequential damages flowing from the underlying property damage (Ryan Companies US Inc. v. Everest National Insurance Co., No. 14-3207, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12400).
SAN FRANCISCO - Despite the Washington Supreme Court's definition of collapse being different than one used by a district court, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 3 affirmed the entry of summary judgment to an insurer (Queen Anne Park Homeowners Association v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 12-36021, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge held Feb. 3 that an insurer is liable for the expenses that its insured paid in defending an underlying patent infringement action minus any "additional expenses" that would not have been incurred but for the presence of three other defendants, further finding that once the insured demonstrates prima facie proof of a particular expense, it is the insurer's burden to show that it was an "additional expense" that should be allocated and exempted (High Point Design LLC v. LM Insurance Corp., et al., No. 14-cv-7878, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12690).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Jan. 31 awarded a disability claimant more than $40,000 in attorney fees because the claimant successfully proved that the insurer must reinstate her "own occupation" benefits (Sherry F. Robertson v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 14-1572, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12590).
MINNEAPOLIS - An association and a general contractor did not waive work product protection by providing documents to their testifying expert in an insurance coverage dispute involving allegations of defective construction and management of a housing development project, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Feb. 1 (James River Insurance Co. v. The Interlachen Propertyowners Association and Kuepers Construction, Inc., No. 14-3434, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12318).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether a general contractor qualified as an additional insured under a commercial general liability policy and, if so, whether the contractor satisfied the self-insured retention (SIR) endorsement in an underlying construction defects lawsuit, a Florida federal judge held Feb. 1 (Core Construction Services Southeast, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-1789, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11487).
SHERMAN, Texas - Without providing further detail, a federal judge in Texas on Feb. 2 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss extracontractual claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Cathy Broxterman v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-661, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11824).
NEW ORLEANS - Because a disability claimant failed to prove that he exhausted all administrative remedies after an insurer denied a long-term disability claim, a district court did not err in dismissing the claimant's suit, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Feb. 3 (James L. Moss M.D. v. Unum Provident Group Corp., et al., No. 15-30341, 5th Cir.).
ATLANTA - A Georgia judge on Feb. 1 ordered an insurer into liquidation and appointed the state's insurance commissioner as liquidator (State of Georgia, Ex. Rel., Ralph T. Hudgens, Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Georgia v. Planters & Peoples Mutual Fire Association of Fulton County, No 2016-cv-270705, Ga. Super., Fulton Co.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Because a decision was never made regarding a disability claimant's eligibility for benefits under a plan's "any occupation" standard, a California federal judge on Feb. 1 remanded the claimant's suit to the plan administrator and stayed the suit until the plan makes a decision under the "any occupation" standard (Vlasia Hantakas v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 14-235, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11770).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 2 denied a disability claimant's motion for summary judgment on the basis that the claimant did not meet the plan's definition of total disability as he has the ability to perform a sedentary job for at least 25 hours a week (Yuri Sirko v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 15-21, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11993).
PITTSBURGH - Because there is significant medical evidence supporting a disability plan's denial of a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits related to Lyme disease, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 1 denied the claimant's motion for summary judgment and granted the plan's motion for summary judgment (Elizabeth L. Ryan v. PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 14-1048, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11518).
MADISON, Wis. - Because a disability insurer's decision to deny long-term disability benefits based on the plan's pre-existing condition was not substantially justified, a federal judge in Wisconsin on Jan. 29 denied the insurer's motion for summary judgment and remanded the suit for further administrative proceedings (Robert Kaiser v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., d/b/a Mutual of Omaha, et al., No. 14-762, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10648).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Special Court of Appeals on Feb. 1 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over claims that a nonprofit insured committed criminal acts in prosecuting a lawsuit against the owner of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (The Fund For Animals, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company Of Pittsburgh, PA., No. 2598, Md. App.; 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 13).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Jan. 28 denied a disability insurer's motion to deny class certification after determining that the motion is premature because the complaint does not show that class certification would never be appropriate (Angela DeLeon v. Standard Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-7419, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11639).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 1 granted a disability insurer's motion to strike a claimant's demand for a jury trial because there is no right to a jury trial in a suit filed to recover disability benefits under Section 502(a)(1)(B) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Jodee Weghorst v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 15-560, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11178).
CINCINNATI - A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because insureds failed to provide any evidence that their insurer acted outrageously in its investigation and adjustment of their insurance claim, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 1 (William Cox, et al. v. Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Co., No. 15-5571, 6th Cir.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California court did not err in entering judgment in an excess insurer's favor because the insured was required to obtain the excess insurer's consent prior to settling an underlying environmental contamination suit, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal said Feb. 1 (The Doe Run Resources Corp. v. The Fidelity & Casualty Company of New York, No. G050689, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).
PITTSBURGH - An insurer did not waive its right to rescind a product contamination insurance policy because the insured's misrepresentations on its policy application were intentional and material to the insurer when it issued the policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Feb. 1 in disagreeing with an advisory jury's conclusion that the insurer waived its right to rescind the policy (H.J. Heinz Co. v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co., No. 15-0631, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11737).