PHILADELPHIA - An insurer did not breach its insurance policies by denying coverage to an insurance agency and its agent regarding an underlying negligence and breach of contract lawsuit because the reasonable expectations doctrine does not apply, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 3 (A.P. Pino & Associates Inc., et al. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 11-3962, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91918).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 28 dismissed bad faith and Texas Insurance Code (TIC) violations against an insurer, characterizing them as "dressed-up breach of contract allegation$(s$)" and, as such, duplicative of an existing breach of contract claim (E. Todd Tracy, et al. v. Chubb Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, No. 4:12-cv-00042, N.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89866).
MINNEAPOLIS - An insurance broker and its employees cannot use a notice of related appeal (NORA) to obtain immediate appellate review of a nonappealable order in a breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled June 27 (Aon Corp., et al. v. Paul B. Haskins, et al., No. A12-0495, Minn. App.).
ST. LOUIS - Denying summary judgment, a Missouri federal judge on June 26 rejected a defendant's assertion that a breach of contract claim is preempted by the Copyright Act (Two Palms Software Inc., et al. v. Interstate Logistics LLC, et al., No. 10-1045, E.D. Mo.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A trial court properly granted summary judgment on breach of contract claims against an insurance agency and insurer but erred in granting summary judgment on the negligence claim against the agency regarding its duty to procure, a Minnesota appeals panel held on June 25 (Michael Paul, et al. v. Wayne Holmgren d/b/a Wayne W. Holmgren & Sons, et al., No. A11-1645, Minn. App.; 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 583).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee couple's failure to show that their home repair costs were greater than the payments received from their insurer dooms their claims for breach of contract and bad faith, a Tennessee federal judge ruled June 25 (John and Mary Stiers v. State Farm Insurance, No. 3:11-cv-00437, E.D. Tenn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87591).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An insurer's payments of policyholders' additional living expenses (ALE) for a one-year period was in line with the policy's stipulations, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled June 25, granting the insurer summary judgment on a breach of contract claim (Fred Dameshek, et al. v. Encompass Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 1:11-cv-00018, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87570).
AKRON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on June 26 denied a company's motion to remand its breach of contract action to state court, finding that the dispute between parties relates to a London arbitration clause under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Integrated Aircraft Systems Inc. v. Porvair Filtration Group Ltd., No. 5:12CV493, N.D. Ohio.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88171).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The estate of a pedestrian who was killed in a hit-and-run auto accident is not entitled to uninsured motorist (UM) coverage from the commercial auto insurance policy held by the decedent's business, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled June 22, affirming a grant of summary judgment to the insurer and its agency on breach of contract and bad faith claims against them (Pamela A. Riel, et al. v. Harleysville Worcester Insurance Co., et al. No. 2011-63, R.I. Sup.; 2012 R.I. LEXIS 90).
NEW YORK - In a reversal, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found June 26 that three plaintiffs adequately alleged a contract that included an implied license to pay and that as such, their claim is based on rights that are not equivalent to those protected by the Copyright Act (Forest Park Pictures, et al. v. Universal Television Network Inc., et al., No. 11-2011, 2nd Cir.). Subscribers may view details of the decision available within the full article.
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on June 25 granted a professional liability insurer's motion to dismiss breach of contract, bad faith and negligence counterclaims in a dispute over professional liability coverage for underlying malpractice claims against a law firm insured (OneBeacon Insurance Company v. T. Wade Welch & Associates, et al., No. H-11-3061, S.D. Texas, Houston Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87599).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer did not breach its insurance contract or act in bad faith when denying coverage based on exclusions for faulty workmanship or materials for allegations against an insured arising out of repairs to bridge beams caused by defective concrete forms, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled June 21 (Neshaminy Constructors Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co. and The Chubb Corp., No. 11-7168, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86079).
AKRON, Ohio - A contract liability exclusion within a commercial general liability (CGL) policy excluded coverage for a contractor's equipment that was damaged during an exploratory drilling operation, an Ohio federal magistrate judge found June 21, concluding that a covered contract exception did not apply (M&M Royalty LLC v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Corp., et al., No. 5:11-cv-02454, N.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86147).
MUSKOGEE, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on June 19 held that an insurance policy's ambiguity regarding coverage for certain drugs related to chemotherapy must be resolved in favor of the insured, which means coverage exists for disputed claims at the heart of a breach of contract claim against the insurer (Janice S. Lucas v. Texas International Life Insurance Co., No. 6:11-cv-00163, E.D. Okla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84393).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt law firm Dewey & Leboeuf on June 20 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for authorization to reject certain unexpired leases and contracts (In Re: Dewey & Leboeuf LLP, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A policyholder failed to identify any recklessness or any breached contract language in an insurer's denial of his stolen motorcycle claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled June 13, dismissing breach of contract and bad faith claims against the insurer (Craig Cacciavillano v. Nationwide Insurance Company of America, No. 3:12-cv-00530, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81857).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York appeals panel on June 13 found that an excess professional liability insurer's documentary evidence conclusively disposes of an insured's breach of contract claim, reversing and remitting for a declaration that the insurer was not obligated to further indemnify its insured (Herzl Ragins, etc. v Hospitals Insurance Company Inc., et al., No. 2011-06924, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 2nd Dept.; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4652).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on June 12 ruled on various issues in a longstanding dispute over contracts between a U.S. company and the Ministry of Defense and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, declaring that the company has satisfied a judgment confirming an international arbitration award that was issued in favor of Iran in 1998 (Ministry of Defense and Support for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran v. Cubic Defense Systems Inc., et al., No. 98-CV-1165-B, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81999).
WAUSAU, Wis. - A Wisconsin appeals panel on June 13 overturned summary judgment in a dispute involving allegedly defective concrete used to pour driveways and patios, ruling that the plaintiff's breach of contract claims were viable (United Concrete & Construction Inc. v. Red-D-Mix Concrete Inc., No. 2011AP1566, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2012 Wisc. App. LEXIS 481).
GREENBELT, Md. - A federal judge in Maryland on June 11 granted summary judgment in favor of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) on a third-party complaint filed by a defendant student loan debtor who alleges that her loans are in default as a result of PHEAA's fraud and breach of contract (United States of America v. Cynthia Allen-Williams, No. 11-1001, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80338).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 rejected an insurer's appeal arguing that the damages resulting from the roof repair work performed by its insured constituted a single occurrence under the policy, affirming a lower court's ruling that there was one occurrence in connection with the tarping and two occurrences in relation to the contracted roof repairs (Mid-Continent Casualty Company v. Guitree Basdeo, et al., No. 11-12938, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11864).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A policyholder "fail$(ed$) to state a plausible claim for relief" in his claims for breach of contract and bad faith against his homeowners insurer because he did not establish that the insurer had a duty to pay a disputed claim within 60 days or to pay any related interest amounts, a South Carolina federal judge ruled June 6, granting the insurer's dismissal motion (Brent J. Griffith v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 2:12-cv-00239, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78184).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on June 6 partially granted a motion to dismiss a reimbursement suit brought by an out-of-network provider against an insurer of Medicaid-eligible individuals, saying that a claim for breach of contract as a third-party beneficiary will continue but that the plaintiff failed to support claims for subrogation and violation of the Medicaid statute (Prince George's Hospital Center v. Advantage Healthplan Inc., No. 03-2392, D. D.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78257).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - An insurer breached its contract by failing to defend an underlying negligence lawsuit arising out of dry-rot damages against its insured, a California federal judge held June 6, granting partial summary judgment to the insured (Riverbank Holding Co. LLC v. New Hampshire Insurance Co., No. 11-2681, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78781).
NEW ORLEANS - A construction contract is ambiguous as to whether a building owner or its contractor was responsible for purchasing property insurance to cover Hurricane Katrina damage to renovation work, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 6, vacating and remanding a lower court's ruling that the building owner bore the duty (WH Holdings, L.L.C., et al. v. ACE American Insurance Company, No. 10-31091, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11410).