OAKLAND, Calif. - Dismissal of a shareholder class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo & Co. for breaching its contract by attempting to redeem on certain trust preferred securities is proper because the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act constituted a capital treatment event under the terms of the securities, a federal judge in California ruled April 12 (Daniel Call v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 11-5215, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on April 16 granted in part a plaintiff's motion to compel discovery in a suit in which the plaintiff, which provided credit card marketing and distribution services to a defendant bank, asserts claims for breach of contract and the covenant of good faith (Marketing Investors Corporation v. New Millennium Bank, No. 11-01696, N.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52998).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on April 13 declined to reconsider her ruling that an insurance broker did not owe a duty to an insured to advise it of the adequacy of insurance coverage for an aircraft damaged during a snowstorm and that the broker did not owe a duty to the insured based on contract or special relationship (SMS Services LLC v. HUB International Northwest LLC, No. 11-00336, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52529).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on April 13 denied summary judgment to an insurer regarding the applicability of an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) exclusion, a contracted persons exclusion and a fungi or bacteria exclusion regarding a homeowner's allegations of insureds' defective work (Capitol Specialty Insurance Corp. v. Yuan Zhang, No. 11-41, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52549).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Court of Appeals on April 12 affirmed a $50,000 award in a construction defects action for breach of contract, disagreeing with the plaintiffs' contention that the jury should have awarded them damages on other claims brought in their complaint (Michael L. Johnson, et al. v. Todd Ford, No. E2011-00486-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 233).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An insurance broker's breach of contract lawsuit against an insurer regarding a program manager agreement is based upon the same cause of action as an arbitration proceeding in which the insurer was awarded a judgment, a Pennsylvania federal judge held April 9 (GGIS Insurance Services Inc. d/b/a Guardian General Insurance Services v. Lincoln General Insurance Co., et al., No. 10-1000, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49348).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on April 10 granted in part a plaintiff bank's motion for summary judgment in a suit in which the bank accuses a law office of breach of contract and other violations arising from a line of credit the bank extended to the firm (Regions Bank v. Law Offices of Sherin Thawer PC, et al., No. 11-01285, N.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50120).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 9 declined to certify a nationwide class of utility meter service workers but conditionally certified a local class of meter workers in a complaint alleging wage-and-hour violations by the employer (Michael McGlone v. Contract Callers, Inc., et al., No. 11-3004, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49702).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - In light of a previous ruling that had defined what portion of an insured's defense costs were "reasonable" and, therefore, reimbursable by its insurer, a Minnesota federal judge on April 4 dismissed the policyholder's breach of contract claim against Arch Specialty Insurance Co. for not paying the "unreasonable" portion of those costs (Ceres Environmental Services Inc. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., No. 0:10-cv-04570, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47633).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on April 4 granted a defendant's motion to dismiss a suit in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Co., as receiver for the failed IndyMac Bank F.S.B., brought breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and state law claims arising from the appraisal of a property that secured a loan (Federal Deposit Insurance Company v. Simon, et al., No. 11-01001, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47407).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on April 5 dismissed an attorney insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking professional liability coverage for an underlying legal malpractice claim (David Band v. Twin City Fire Insurance Company, No. 8:11-cv-02332-EAK-TBM, M.D. Fla.). Subscribers may view the amended order within the full update.
SAN FRANCISCO - A trial court erred in disposing of bad faith and breach of contract claims based on the financial status and assets of a plaintiff estate, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 3, reversing summary judgment granted in favor of the estate's insurer (Fernando Avila, et al. v. Century National Insurance Co., No. 10-16386, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 6630).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on April 3 affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of an environmental-testing firm that was hired to test a property for mold and named as a third-party defendant by Sears Roebuck & Co. in an action seeking damages in relation to faulty installation of siding, finding no evidence that Sears was a party to the contract between its insurer and the testing firm (Sears Roebuck & Co. v. ACM Engineering & Environmental Services, No. 14-11-00363-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 2605).
NEW ORLEANS - Breach of contract policy exclusions do not bar coverage of a copyright infringement claim against insureds, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 4, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling that no coverage existed (Looney Ricks Kiss Architects Incorporated v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, No. 11-30121, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 6730).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on April 3 granted a petition to confirm an arbitration award issued pursuant to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Regulations and Law Arbitration Rules (UNCITRAL) in favor of a restaurant franchise company, finding that a woman who had contracted to operate one of the stores in Greece had previously forfeited her personal jurisdiction defense for improper service (Subway International B.V. v. Panayota Bletas, No. 3:10-cv-01715; D. Conn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46960).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota dismissed on March 30 an insurer's breach of contract lawsuit against reinsurance brokers regarding money allegedly owed to the insurer, finding that the brokers do not owe the insurer an annual fee (Olympus Insurance Co. v. Aon Benfield Inc. and Benfield Inc., No. 11-2607, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44929).
HOUSTON - Despite an insured's failure to send a letter denying its insureds' claim or providing written notification that their claim was closed, a Texas federal judge on March 30 found that the insureds' breach of contract and bad faith claims were barred by the policy's two-year limitations period in light of their knowledge that the claim was denied (David Williams, et al. v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 4:11-cv-00530, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44804).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 2 partially granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit filed against an Indian company and one of its divisions accused of breaching its contracts with its employees and violating California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) (Gopi Vedachalam, et al. v. Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd., et al., No. 06-963, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46429).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Insureds cannot establish causation or damages regarding their commercial general liability insurer's handling of a construction defect claim, a Kentucky federal judge ruled March 30, granting summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Seville Homes Inc., et al. v. Northern Insurance Company of New York, et al., No. 05-477, W.D. Ky.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45252).
WASHINGTON, D.C - DirecTV LLC filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission on April 2, contending that bankrupt Tribune Co. is reneging on its broadcast carriage agreement between the two companies, resulting in millions of DirecTV customers losing access to programming Tribune said it would provide (DirecTV LLC v. Tribune Company, No. N/A, FCC). Subscribers may view the DirecTV complaint within the full update.
SAVANNAH, Ga. - In a case in which a plaintiff sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in its capacity as receiver for a failed bank, asserting fraud, breach of contract and other allegations, a federal judge in Georgia on March 30 denied the plaintiff's motion to remand and granted the FDIC's motion for summary judgment, dismissing the suit (Lokey v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 11-00146, S.D. Ga.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45579).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on March 30 severed and remanded a breach of contract action from the multidistrict litigation court for claims arising from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, after finding that the parties in the suit were not benefitting from the proceedings (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL 2179, Case No. 10-md-2179; Coastal Services Group LLC v. BP Company North America Inc., et al., No. 11-2891, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44604).
DALLAS - A Texas appeals panel on March 28 affirmed a $2.7 million judgment in favor of an insurer and its reinsurer regarding their insurance agent's breach of an agency agreement (Gamma Group Inc. v. Transatlantic Reinsurance Co. and Home State County Mutual Insurance Co., No. 05-10-00705-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 2412).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge ruled March 26 that because a mortgagor did not have a contractual relationship with an insurer that provided mortgage protection to its mortgagee, the mortgagor did not have standing to bring breach of contract or bad faith claims against the insurer for its handling of a claim for damages sustained from Hurricane Ike (Premium Plastics v. Seattle Specialty Insurance Services Inc., et al., No. 4:10-cv-03960, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40784).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that insureds have reiterated the same arguments that were previously rejected, a Louisiana federal judge on March 26 denied their motion to amend a judgment dismissing breach of contract and bad faith claims against their homeowners insurer in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Katrina (McGee, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 11-1686, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40555).