Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Illinois Appeals Panel Drops Part Of Judgment In Construction Contract Case

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - The Fifth District Illinois Appellate Court on April 15 ruled that a woman named as a defendant in a construction contract dispute was not responsible for interest and attorney fees because she did not sign the contract (Ed Wolfe Construction Inc. v. Richard Knight, et al., No. 5-13-0115, Ill. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 744).

Mealey's Insurance - Ohio Appeals Court Reverses Defense Judgment In Subrogation Case

CLEVELAND - An Ohio appeals court on April 10 reversed a summary judgment decision in favor of the defendant in a health insurance subrogation case, saying that the contract at issue was ambiguous and that the defendant did not show that its interpretation of the policy was the only reasonable interpretation (Philip Laboy, et al. v. Grange Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 100116, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 1460).

Mealey's Insurance - Dismissal Of Disparagement Claims Extinguished Duty To Defend, Judge Finds

INDIANAPOLIS - Because the advertising injury claims that would have triggered an insurer's duty to defend were abandoned by an underlying plaintiff, an Oklahoma federal judge on April 7 granted the insurer's motion to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims against it for withdrawing a defense in the underlying case (Dave's Detailing Inc., et al. v. XL Specialty Insurance Co., No. 1:11-cv-01585, S.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47585).

Mealey's Insurance - Indiana High Court: Statute Bars Negligence Claim Against Insurance Agent

INDIANAPOLIS - A two-year statute of limitations precludes insureds' negligence and breach of contract claims against their insurer and its insurance agent, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed April 3, finding that the statute began to run no later than the first policy renewal (Christopher Groce and Tracey Groce v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. and Michael A. Meek, No. 48S02-1307-CT-472, Ind. Sup.; 2014 Ind. LEXIS 262).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Concludes Insurance Agency Did Not Breach Any Contract, Fiduciary Duty

WORCESTER, Mass. - An insurance agency did not breach any contract or fiduciary duty to a former employee over payment in the sale of its business to another agency with regard to his book of business, a Massachusetts federal judge determined March 28 (Peter Coyle v. Kittredge Insurance Agency Inc., et al., No. 12-40014, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42067).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge: Failure To Acquire Insurer's Consent To $4.9M Settlement Bars Coverage

ATLANTA - The lack of an excess insurer's consent to a $4.9 million settlement of an underlying securities fraud lawsuit precludes coverage for the settlement, a Georgia federal judge ruled March 28, dismissing the insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Piedmont Office Realty Trust Inc. v. XL Specialty Insurance Co., No. 1:13-cv-02128-WSD, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42575).

Mealey's Insurance - Louisiana Federal Judge Leaves Federal And State Claims In Reimbursement Dispute

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Marcy 27 partially dismissed a health care reimbursement dispute brought by the provider of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction medical services against an insurance company, leaving claims brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and state law claims for detrimental reliance, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract (Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, et al. v. Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, et al., No. 10-4346, E. D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41134).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Louisiana Federal Judge Leaves Federal And State Claims In Reimbursement Dispute

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Marcy 27 partially dismissed a health care reimbursement dispute brought by the provider of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction medical services against an insurance company, leaving claims brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and state law claims for detrimental reliance, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract (Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, et al. v. Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, et al., No. 10-4346, E. D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41134).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Adopts Magistrate's Recommendation To Impose Evidentiary Sanctions

DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on March 27 adopted a magistrate judge's decision to impose evidentiary and monetary sanctions against a plaintiff company in a breach of contract case, after finding no error in his report and recommendation (A PDX Pro Company Inc. v. Dish Network Service LLC, No. 12-cv-01699-RBJ-CBS, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42196).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims In Employment Practices Suit

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island federal judge on March 27 dismissed breach of contract and bad faith claims in an insured's lawsuit seeking employment practices liability coverage for claims arising from the insured's termination of two employees (The Beacon Mutual Insurance Co. v. The St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., No. 11-cv-559-M, D. R.I.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42562).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Hear Appeal Of Prevailing Wages Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 31 denied a petition for writ of certiorari in a lawsuit challenging the validity of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in Grochowski v. Phoenix Construction (318 F.3d 80 $(2003$)) where the appellate panel concluded that the Davis-Bacon Act bars third-party private contract actions brought under state law and aimed at enforcing the act's prevailing wage schedules (Jose E. Carrion v. Agfa Construction, Inc., No. 13-689, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 2262).

Mealey's Health Law - Louisiana Federal Judge Leaves Federal And State Claims In Reimbursement Dispute

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Marcy 27 partially dismissed a health care reimbursement dispute brought by the provider of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction medical services against an insurance company, leaving claims brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and state law claims for detrimental reliance, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract (Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, et al. v. Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, et al., No. 10-4346, E. D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41134).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Georgia Appeals Panel: Arbitration Unenforceable In Wrongful Death Action

ATLANTA - The Georgia Court of Appeals on March 26 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny a motion to compel arbitration in a medical malpractice action brought against a nursing home and its employees, concluding that an arbitration agreement in a contract between the parties was not enforceable (Sunbridge Retirement Care Associates, et al. v. Vickie Smith, No. A13A2129, Ga. App.; 2014 Ga. App. LEXIS 232).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Fact Issues Exist On Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Against Agents

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - Genuine issues of fact exist regarding an insurer's claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, negligence and negligent supervision against insurance agents, an Iowa federal magistrate judge held March 25, denying summary judgment to the insurer (Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Agency One Insurance Inc. and Pamela A. Siroky, No. 12-4050, N.D. Iowa; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38818).

Mealey's Insurance - Insured's Reimbursement Costs Not 'Occurrence' Under Policies, Appeals Panel Rules

TROY, Mich. - Reimbursement costs sought by an insured for repainting defective steel components do not constitute an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Michigan appeals panel affirmed March 25, dismissing the insured's breach of contract lawsuit (Dave Cole Decorators Inc. v. Westfield Insurance Co., No. 313641, Mich. App.; 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 518).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Borrower Failed To State Claims Against Loan Servicer, Federal Judge Rules

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A borrower who alleged that a loan servicer breached the terms of a trial payment plan by foreclosing on his home was unable to state claims against the company because the plan was not an enforceable contract, a federal judge in Texas ruled March 25 in awarding judgment to the defendant (Felipe Sauceda v. Select Portfolio Servicing Inc., No. 13-CV-397, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38766).

Mealey's Insurance - Louisiana Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal Of Breach Of Contract Case

EAST BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana appeals court on March 20 reversed the dismissal of a breach of health insurance contract, saying a state statute related to peremption periods did not extend to insurance companies (Laura E. Sibley v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Nos. 2013 CA 0924, 2013 CA 0925, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2014 La. App. LEXIS 721).

Mealey's Insurance - Retrocessional Reinsurer Ordered To Pay Reinsurer $228,766

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on March 20 ordered a retrocessional reinsurer to pay a reinsurer $228,766.49 regarding contracts covering the late 1970s (Republic Insurance Company v. Banco De Seguros Del Estado, et al., No. 10-cv-05039, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36513).

Mealey's Health Law - Louisiana Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal Of Breach Of Contract Case

EAST BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana appeals court on March 20 reversed the dismissal of a breach of health insurance contract, saying a state statute related to peremption periods did not extend to insurance companies (Laura E. Sibley v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Nos. 2013 CA 0924, 2013 CA 0925, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2014 La. App. LEXIS 721).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - New York Federal Judge Dismisses Dispute Over Payment Of Health Care Services

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 19 denied a plaintiff's motion to remand a breach of contract dispute over payment for home health care services and instead dismissed the suit, saying that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempted the plaintiff's claim, which really was for "right of payment" and not "amount of payment" (Star Multi Care Services Inc. v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, et al., No. 13-1138, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36287).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Federal Judge Dismisses Dispute Over Payment Of Health Care Services

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 19 denied a plaintiff's motion to remand a breach of contract dispute over payment for home health care services and instead dismissed the suit, saying that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempted the plaintiff's claim, which really was for "right of payment" and not "amount of payment" (Star Multi Care Services Inc. v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, et al., No. 13-1138, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36287).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurance Agent Denied Relief On Fraud, Contract Claims Against Former Employer

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 20 denied relief to an insurance agent with regard to a summary judgment order entered in favor of his former employer on the agent's claims for fraud and breach of contract (Steven H. Sedell v. Wells Fargo of California Insurance Services Inc., et al., No. 10-4043, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37613).

Mealey's Health Law - New York Federal Judge Dismisses Dispute Over Payment Of Health Care Services

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 19 denied a plaintiff's motion to remand a breach of contract dispute over payment for home health care services and instead dismissed the suit, saying that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempted the plaintiff's claim, which really was for "right of payment" and not "amount of payment" (Star Multi Care Services Inc. v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, et al., No. 13-1138, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36287).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Directs Court To Stay Sinkhole Suit Pending Completion Of Neutral Evaluation

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on March 19 found that a lower court erred in denying an insurer's request for an automatic stay of a breach of contract lawsuit pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 627.7074(10) (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Rebecca Hanos, No. 2D13-3872, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 3970).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds No Bad Faith In Insurer's Actions To Recoup Overpayment

EUGENE, Ore. - A disability insurer acted within its rights by withholding benefits payments to an insured to offset an overpayment amount that he was obligated to pay, an Oregon federal judge ruled March 19, dismissing breach of contract and declaratory relief claims against the insurer (Unum Life Insurance Company of America v. Jack E. Martin, No. 6:13-cv-00158, D. Ore.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36483).