BOSTON - A disability plan participant's claim challenging the calculation of his benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act is untimely, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held March 4, rejecting the participant's theory that, similar to an installment contract, a new accrual period began with each benefits check (Robert Riley v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 13-2166, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3990).
ERIE, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 5 refused to dismiss an insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, rejecting the insurer's argument that underlying dispute was over business transactions that were not performed in the course of "professional services" as defined in the professional liability errors and omissions insurance policy (Municipal Revenue Service Inc., et al. v. Houston Casualty Co., No. 1:13-cv-151 Erie, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27762).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Faulty workmanship on its own is not an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Kentucky federal judge ruled Feb. 28, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend an insured in an underlying breach of contract action (State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Daniel Bragg d/b/a Bragg Septic & Electric, No. 13-100, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25659).
CHICAGO - A putative class of investors filed a lawsuit against bankrupt Mt. Gox Inc. on Feb. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging fraud, breach of contract and other causes of action related to the loss of 744,000 bitcoins, a digital currency the investors say is valued at $409.2 million (Gregory Greene v. Mt Gox, et al., No. 14-01437, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - After finding that a seafood company had ample notice of a breach of contract action filed against it in England, a New York appeals court on Feb. 25 found that a default ruling issued in favor of an English seafood supplier was enforceable in New York (Landauer Limited v. Joe Monani Fish, No. 27, N.Y. App.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 26 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment and breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, finding that the insured has offered evidence that could potentially establish that the insurer's application of the policy's Named Storm deductible was improper (AFP 104 Corp. v. Columbia Casualty Co., No.: 13-4077 [PGS][LHG], D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24215).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 24 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer breached its contract when it failed to pay an insured's claim seeking coverage for the theft of $354,000 in video game consoles (W.W. Rowland Trucking Co. Inc. v. Max America Insurance Co., No. 13-20341, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3378).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 24 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration, finding that an employee's injury-related negligence and other claims fell within the scope of an arbitration clause in his employment contract (Melvin Gualberto Medina Martinez v. Carnival Corp., a.k.a. Carnival Cruise Lines Inc., No. 12-15164, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3382).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 24 granted a motion filed by two energy companies to seal a consulting firm's petition to confirm an international arbitration award, finding that a confidentiality agreement between the parties weighed in favor of sealing the petition and related documents (The Decapolis Group LLC v. Mangesh Energy Ltd., et al., No. 3:13-cv-1547, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23131).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 19 partially dismissed a dispute related to the payment of health care benefits for the treatment of autism, dismissing claims for legal damages and breach of contract but leaving a claim for equitable remedies (Patrick C. Jarman v. Capital Blue Cross, et al., No. 13-932, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20464).
GREENBELT, Md. - An insured's breach of contract and negligence claims against an insurance agent are precluded by the doctrine of res judicata because the claims arising out of the "Lender Placed Insurance" (LPI) policy placements could have been filed in a previous lawsuit, a Maryland federal judge ruled Feb. 20 (Andrea Jackson Cannon v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-1324, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20943).
RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Court of Appeals on Feb. 18 overturned summary judgment and remanded a construction contract dispute to the trial court for a determination of total damages in a case involving allegedly faulty roads built in a subdivision (J.T. Russell & Sons Inc. v. Silver Birch Pond LLC, No. COA13-662, N.C. App.; 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 217).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Feb. 18 dismissed claims against insurance agents for fraud and breach of contract with regard to the financing and purchasing of an insurance agency because the agents made no alleged factual misrepresentation (Archway Insurance Services LLC, et al. v. James Harris, et al., No. 11-1173, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20455).
SAN FRANCISCO - After an eight-day trial, a California federal jury on Feb. 13 found that an insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying long-term disability (LTD) coverage to a woman diagnosed with lupus, awarding her more than $873,622 in unpaid benefits and compensatory damages (Cassaundra Ellena v. Standard Insurance Co., et al., No. 3:12-cv-05401, N.D. Calif.).
HARTFORD, Conn. - Insurance brokers' alleged hindering conduct occurred before the existence of a contract between the brokers and an insured, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed Feb. 18, also finding that a trial judge properly determined that the insured's claim under the prevention doctrine failed as a matter of law (Blumberg Associates Worldwide Inc. v. Brown and Brown of Connecticut Inc., et al., No. SC 18911, Conn. Sup.; 2014 Conn. LEXIS 16).
RENO, Nev. - Rejecting an insurer's argument that an insurance policy's securities exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit, a Nevada federal judge on Feb. 13 refused to dismiss an insured's breach of contract claims against the insurer (International Game Technology, Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 3:13-cv-00026-RCJ-WGC, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18364).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A unanimous 13th District Texas Court of Appeals panel overturned a trial court interpretation of a contract between the owner of oil and natural gas wells and a drilling company in connection with recovering costs for responding to a blowout; evidence before the trial court should have been interpreted to deny summary judgment, the panel ruled Feb. 13 (ZK Drilling Co. v. Lavaca River Operating Co., No. 12-688, Texas App. 13th Dist.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc. on Feb. 12 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to the company's proposed assignment of executory contracts and Fisker's proposed cure amount of $0 for defaults under a retail contract between the parties (In Re: Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc., No. 13-13087, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).