BOSTON - Plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation in Massachusetts federal court who claim that Bank of America N.A. failed to permanently modify their home mortgage loans pursuant to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) told the presiding judge on May 21 that the lender has failed to search for and produce any emails or electronically stored information (ESI) from five key employees and information relevant for class certification (In re: Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Contract Litigation, MDL No. 2193, Case No. 10-md-2193, D. Mass.). Subscribers may view the status report available within the full update.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - In a 2-1 decision, a Kentucky Court of Appeals panel on May 18 overturned a judgment in a construction contract dispute, ruling that the trial court was required to address the contract issues presented and assess fault for defects in the building prior to assessing damages (John Mason v. Keith Skillern, No. 2011-CA-000427-MR, Ky. App.; 2012 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 355).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, on May 19 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, contending that under 11 U.S. Code Section 1113, it should be permitted to reject collective bargaining agreements its has with three unions (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full update.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Breach of contract and indemnification claims against insurance agents are barred by the applicable statute of limitations, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 17, also dismissing breach of fiduciary duty claims against the agents (Lincoln General Insurance Co. v. Kingsway America Agency Inc. f/k/a Avalon Risk Management Inc. and Mattoni Insurance Brokerage Inc., No. 11-1127, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69128).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal magistrate judge on May 16 concluded that recent Ohio case law does not require the plaintiffs in a breach of contract and bad faith suit against their insurer to join the insurer's adjuster to maintain their bad faith claim (Scott Elliot Smith LPA, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 2:12-cv-00065, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68181).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an errors and omissions (E&O) insurer owes no coverage to an insured school board for underlying lawsuits initiated against it because the underlying claims arise out of a breach of contract, which is clearly excluded by the policy (North Plainfield Board of Education v. Zurich American Insurance Company, et al., Nos. 11-1961 and 11-2323, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9909).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A policyholder has sufficiently stated her breach of contract claim against her insurer related to an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim, a Missouri federal judge ruled May 14, also finding that permitting her to amend the claim would not be futile (Carol Jameson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 2:11-cv-04272, W.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66829).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a patent case related to mobile device technology, a federal judge in California on May14 denied Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s motion to dismiss several of Apple Inc.'s amended counterclaims, including a claim alleging that Samsung made misrepresentations to standards-setting organizations (SSOs) in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, but the judge granted Samsung's motion to dismiss Apple's counterclaim for promissory estoppel, breach of contract and declaratory judgment (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67102).
HONOLULU - A divided Hawaii Supreme Court on May 11 held that a health maintenance organization cannot appeal the denial of a Medicaid contract awarded by the Department of Human Services (DHS) for the State of Hawaii under a state statute pertaining to procurement contracts but can obtain judicial review of the administrative denial of such matters under the declaratory judgment statute (AlohaCare v. Department Of Human Services, State of Hawaii, No. SCWC-29630, Hawaii Sup.; 2012 Haw. LEXIS 152).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A former employee has shown that an insurance broker breached a noncompete clause in a sale agreement between the parties regarding an insurance product he helped to develop, a Tennessee federal judge held May 10, denying summary judgment to the broker on the employee's breach of contract claim (Gary Carrigan v. Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services Inc., No. 10-1089, M.D. Tenn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65547).
NEW YORK - New York state law does not prohibit as a matter of law resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements, a state appeals court ruled May 8 in affirming the dismissal of an action brought by the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) against Tempur-Pedic International Inc. (People of the State of New York, etc. v. Tempur-Pedic International, Inc., No. 7572, 400837/10, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3528).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on May 10 denied two reinsurers' motion to compel discovery in an asbestos-related reinsurance breach of contract dispute after finding that the discovery requests were not argued with enough specificity (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 11-cv-00063, S.D. Ohio).
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 8 granted an insurer's motion to abate three claims insofar as they relate to alleged bad faith by the insurer pending resolution of claims for declaratory judgment and breach of contract in a dispute over coverage for sexual abuse allegations against a former employee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah (John Doe v. OneBeacon America Insurance Company, No. 1:11cv275-MP-GRJ, N.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64843).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Satellite television provider DirecTV LLC on May 9 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, objecting to bankrupt Capitol Infrastructure's motion seeking authorization to reject certain executory contracts, arguing that to do so would be "senseless" (In Re: Capitol Infrastructure LLC, No. 12-11362, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full update.
NEWARK, N.J. - A magistrate judge in New Jersey on May 7 recommended the denial of summary judgment to an insurance broker regarding negligence, misrepresentation, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims because a release agreement between the broker and an insured claimant is unclear and ambiguous (New Community Corp. v. Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services Inc., et al., No. 10-3208, D. N.J.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64051).
HOUSTON - Although a Texas federal judge on May 3 dismissed breach of contract and prompt payment claims as unripe without a judicial determination of an insurer's liability to pay its policyholders' uninsured motorist (UM) claim, the judge found that case law permitted a bad faith claim to survive prior to a liability determination (Carl and Salena Accardo v. America First Lloyds Insurance Co, et al., No. 4:11-cv-00008, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62181).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An insurer properly pleaded claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty regarding the issuance of custom bonds against insurance agents within the applicable four- and two-year statute of limitations, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 7 (Lincoln General Insurance Co. v. Kingsway America Agency Inc., f/k/a Avalon Risk Management Inc., et al., No. 11-1195, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63761).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurance company has no duty to indemnify a jury's damages award against an insured general contractor regarding a breach of contract claim, an Alabama federal judge found May 3 (Owners Insurance Co. v. Shep Jones Construction Inc., et al., No. 08-514, N.D. Ala.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62095).
VERO BEACH, Fla. - A Florida jury on May 3 found that a primary and excess insurer breached their insurance contracts with a hotel owner in a coverage lawsuit arising from hurricane damages, awarding the insured $2.4 million in additional damages caused by Hurricane Frances and determining that the insured sustained 18 months of business interruption from hurricanes Frances and Jeanne (PIN-PON Corporation v. Landmark American Insurance Company, No. 2009 0320 CA 03 c/w No. 2009 CA 01 2244, Fla. Cir.). Subscribers may view the verdict form available within the full update.
SCRANTON, Pa. - Participants in their employer's health plan failed to demonstrate that the insurer violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by terminating the insurance contract because the employer breached the contract's underwriting requirements, a federal judge ruled May 3 in granting the insurer summary judgment (New Life Homecare, Inc., et al. v. Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, et al., No. 3:06-2485, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61959).
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations of intentional actions by an insured leave no room for possible coverage as an "accident" or "occurrence" under a property liability policy, a California appeals panel ruled May 2, affirming a lower court's dismissal of bad faith and breach of contract claims against an insurer (Chi Kin Hu v. Fire Insurance Exchange, No. A133238, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3305).
PHILADELPHIA - A hospital lacked standing as a participant or a beneficiary to bring a claim for benefits under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a); therefore, the hospital's breach of contract claim against the sponsor and third-party claims administrator of a medical plan for failure to pay for medical services rendered on behalf of a plan participant were not completely preempted, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled May 2 in remanding the case to state court (Tenet Health System Philadelphia, Inc. v. Diversified Administration Corporation, et al., No. 07-4948, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61395).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico federal judge on May 2 declined to set aside an earlier opinion that left only a breach of contract claim in a class action reimbursement suit, saying that the plaintiffs provided no evidence in support of the relief requested (College of Dental Surgeons of Puerto Rico v. Triple S Management Inc., No. 09-1209, D. Puerto Rico; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61462).
CINCINNATI - A freight broker bringing subrogated bad faith and breach of contract claims against its carrier's insurer is bound by the suit limitation clause contained in that policy, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 2, granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Stevens Transport TL Inc. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 1:11-cv-00236, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61160).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana appellate panel on May 2 affirmed a decision for the defendant in a construction contract dispute, finding no error in how the state military department chose a contractor to repair hurricane-damaged facilities (The Lemoine Co. LLC v. Military Department, State of Louisiana, No. 2011 CA 1350, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2012 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 265).