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).
SCRANTON, Pa. - An insurer must defend a municipality against claims that it violated a developer's rights until the insurer can show that the underlying dispute is predicated on an excluded property rather than due process rights, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Sept. 28 (City of Scranton v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company, No. 3:11-cv-00529, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140083).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A judgment in an insurer's lawsuit against its insured regarding coverage bars the insured from filing a lawsuit against the insurer and an insurance agent over the agent's misrepresentation on the insurance application, the Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 27 (Gerald Farrar v. Michael E. Dyer, et al., No. E2012-00485-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 678).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A group of reinsurers argued in an Ohio federal court on Oct. 1 that an insurer's motion to dismiss the reinsurer's complaint is duplicative of the insurer's motion to change venue of the suit to a Florida federal court (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London Purportedly at Interest v. Stonebridge Casualty Insurance Company, No. 12-cv-00160, S.D. Ohio). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Sept. 28 granted summary judgment to an insurer after finding that the pollution exclusion in its policies protect it from having to defend a lead company in underlying toxic contamination lawsuits (The Doe Run Resources Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 10-1875, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140981).
JAMAICA, N.Y. - A New York justice on Sept. 28 ruled that an insurer was not responsible for providing coverage to an insured facing claims that a student was molested on one of its school buses (Logan Bus Company Inc. v. Discover Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 24525/09, N.Y. Sup., Queens Co.; 2012 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4636).
ST. LOUIS - Workers' compensation law preempts tort claims against a company for its president's alleged recording of female employees using various restrooms, and the "bodily injury" provision in the policy does not require the insurer to defend the claims, a Missouri federal judge held Sept. 27 (Starnet Insurance Co. v. Corporate Cash Flow Solutions, et al., No. 10-1163, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138915).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 invited U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. to file briefs expressing the views of the U.S. government in three related securities class action lawsuits pertaining to losses sustained in R. Allen Stanford's massive Ponzi scheme (Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Samuel Troice, et al., No. 12-79, Willis of Colorado Inc. v. Samuel Troice, et al., No. 12-86, Proskauer Rose LLP v. Samuel Troice, et al., No. 12-88, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 denied certiorari to an insurer that had asked the court to hear its claim that arbitration agreements should be honored in bankruptcy proceedings (Continental Insurance Company v. Thorpe Insulation Company, No. 11-1310, Chapter 11, U.S. Sup.).
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STATESBORO, Ga. - An insured's delay of more than 2-1/2 years before providing notice to its insurer of underlying counterclaims for negligent construction did not constitute notice "as soon as practicable," a Georgia federal judge found Sept. 27, holding that the policy does not cover the counterclaims (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Dabbs-Williams General Contractors LLC, et al., No. 11-013, S.D. Ga.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139560).
DENVER - Insurers are entitled to summary judgment on claims that they are obligated to contribute to the settlement of an attorney fee award entered against their insured in a construction defect case, a Colorado federal judge held Sept. 27 (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. and The Travelers Indemnity Company of America v. The North River Insurance Co. and U.S. Fire Insurance Co. v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. 10-02936, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139248).
DENVER - The products completed operations hazard (PCOH) exclusion precludes coverage for claims of negligence and misrepresentation regarding an insured's product used in artificial turf sports fields, a Colorado federal judge ruled Sept. 26 (Colorado Casualty Insurance Co. v. Brock USA LLC, No. 11-02527, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138184).
NEW ORLEANS - A snow cone maker accused of trademark infringement and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 1961 et seq., failed to persuade a Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 25 that its commercial liability insurer must provide it with a legal defense (Southern Sno Manufacturing Co. Inc. et al. v. SnoWizard Inc. et al., Nos. 06-9170, 09-3394, 10-0791, 11-0880 and 11-1499, E.D. La.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A professional liability policy's customer funds exclusion clearly precluded coverage for two title insurance employees accused of misuse of customer funds, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Sept. 25, granting judgment in the liability insurer's favor on bad faith and breach of contract claims against it (Charles E. Bethel II, et al. v. Darwin Select Insurance, No. 0:11-cv-02242, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136558).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 25 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss but allowed a plaintiff leave to amend her complaint to allege claims that do not fall under the policy's professional services exclusion (Myree D. Rupracht et. al., v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London et. al., No. 11-654, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137098).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 27 granted in part summary judgment to an insurer in a late-notice reinsurance dispute (Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. v. American National Insurance Company, No. 09-cv-06435, D. N.J.).