LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Alleged Intentional Acts Are Not An 'Occurrence,' Miss. Appeals Court Rules

JACKSON, Miss. - Because an underlying plaintiff only pleaded intentional actions by a construction company and its subcontractors, a Mississippi appeals court on July 30 unanimously affirmed a lower court's finding that there had been no "occurrence" or accident to trigger coverage under a commercial general liability policy related to the underlying breach of contract and negligence lawsuit (W.R. Berkley Corp., et al. v. Rea's Country Lane Construction Inc., No. 2009-CA-01223-COA, Miss. App.; 2013 Miss. App. LEXIS 464).

Louisiana Federal Judge Rules On Motions Seeking Maritime Attachments

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on July 30 issued a ruling on various motions in relation to disputes over payments made under shipping contracts for the purchase and transport of pig iron (Stemcor USA Inc. v. Cia Siderurgica Do Para Cosipar, No. 12-2966, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106549).

1 Claim Remains In Breach Of Health Insurance Contract Dispute

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on July 29 partially granted summary judgment in favor of a health care provider in a breach of contract dispute, leaving only the plaintiff's claim that she is a third-party beneficiary seeking to enforce restrictions on permitted billing of members for services that are not covered (Elizabeth Cates v. Integris Health Inc., No. 12-763, W.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105437).

Guarantor Obligated To Pay On Loan Acquired By City National Bank

ROANOKE, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on July 26 granted summary judgment to City National Bank (CNB), which acquired a $3.2 million loan from a failed bank, holding that the fact that CNB possibly cannot enforce the note against the signer of a promissory note "has no bearing on whether it can enforce the Guaranty, an independent contract" (City National Bank v. Moishe Tress, et al., No.7:11-cv-73, W.D. Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105398).

Federal Judge Dismisses Breach Of Contract Claims Against Insurance Agents

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 25 dismissed breach of contract claims filed against insurance agents relating to their primary obligations under guarantees and with various covenants in the guarantees (Greenlight Reinsurance Ltd., et al. v. Appalachian Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 12-8544, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104605).

Failure To Pay Additional Living Expenses Deemed Breach, Bad Faith By Judge

SEATTLE - Even though a Washington federal judge on July 23 found that an insurer did not breach its contract in its payment of an arbitration award to its insureds, the judge found that the insurer acted in bad faith by ceasing payment of additional living expenses (ALE) prematurely (Randy and Monica Garoutte v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2:12-cv-01787, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103062).

Judge: Use Of Interactive Web Portal Conveys Jurisdiction In Contract Dispute

CHICAGO - A medical imaging firm's Internet activity directed at Illinois and its contractual relationship with an Illinois radiology firm constitute sufficient minimum contacts with the state to establish jurisdiction, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 22, denying a motion to dismiss (Stat Imaging LLC v. Medical Specialists Inc., P.C., et al., No. 1:13-cv-01921, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101758).

Detroit Seeks Termination Of Contracts With Lenders To Save $1.45 Billion

DETROIT - The bankrupt City of Detroit on July 24 moved for bankruptcy court authorization to terminate an agreement with lenders related to what are called swap obligations in an attempt to save $1.45 billion (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).

Broker Was Fraudulently Joined, Must Be Dismissed From Case, Federal Judge Rules

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - An insurance broker was fraudulently joined in a doctor insured's breach of contract and unfair trade practices lawsuit, a West Virginia federal judge ruled July 23, denying the insured's motion to remand to state court (Emmanuel O. Soyoola v. Oceanus Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:13-cv-08907, S.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102519).

Federal Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim In Professional Liability Coverage Dispute

ST. LOUIS - Finding that a law firm insured's bad faith claim against its professional liability insurer is not wholly independent of its breach of contract and vexatious refusal claims, a Missouri federal judge on July 22 granted the insurer's motion to dismiss the bad faith claim (The Hullverson Law Firm P.C., et al. v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., No. 4:12-CV-1994 CAS, E.D. Mo., Eastern Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101640).

3rd Circuit: Title Agency's Recording Fee Did Not Violate RESPA

PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 18 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a title agency after finding that a recording fee it charged a couple when refinancing their loan did not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) but reinstated the plaintiffs' claims that the agency violated state contract laws and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) (Arthur R. Tubbs, et al. v. North American Title Agency Inc., et al., No. 11-4510, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14722).

Federal Judge Denies Request To Send Debt Settlement Suit To Arbitration

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 22 refused to compel arbitration in a suit arising from a consumer's debt settlement contract because the consumer's claims against a payment processor are separate from her claims against a debt settlement company and her contract with the payment processor does not include an arbitration clause (Regina Lomax v. Meracord LLC, No. 13-1945, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101874).

GSK Must Face Mylan's Breach Of Contract Suit For Authorized Generic Paxil

PHILADELPHIA - A federal appeals court on July 22 reversed summary judgment in favor of GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) in a lawsuit in which generic drug maker Mylan Inc. claims that GSK breached a contract to allow Mylan to market a generic version of the antidepressant Paxil by allowing another drug maker to do the same (Mylan Inc., et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 12-1539, 3rd Cir.).

Appeals Panel Dismisses Breach Of Contract Suit Against Insurance Agent

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York appeals panel on July 19 dismissed a breach of contract and negligence lawsuit against an insurance agent regarding the agent's alleged failure to inform a successor company of the previous insured's balance of $12,000 on insurance premiums owed (5 Awnings Plus Inc., f/k/a Portage House Motel Inc. v. Moses Insurance Group Inc., No. 12-02300, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept.; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5324).

Magistrate Compels Arbitration Of Claims Related To Seaside Mexican Development

MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal magistrate judge on July 18 stayed a case filed by the purchaser of a unit in a condominium development in Mexico that was never built, finding that his claims were subject to an arbitration clause in the parties' underlying contract (Robert W. Felland v. Patrick Clifton, et al., No. 10-cv-664, W.D. Wis.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100197).

Judgment On Breach Claim Continued Pending Evidence Of Policyholder's Death

FRESNO, Calif. - Although a California federal judge found that the claimants of life insurance proceeds had not submitted sufficiently admissible proof of the policyholder's death, he continued judgment on their breach of contract claim to permit them an opportunity to resubmit evidence (Frisco Honnevk, et al. v. Farmers New World Live Insurance Co., No. 1:11-cv-01531, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98576).

Wisconsin High Court Affirms In Part Judgment On Dispute Over Alleged Faulty Concrete

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Supreme Court on July 12 affirmed and reversed in part summary judgment in a dispute involving allegedly defective concrete used to pour driveways and patios, ruling that a contractor's breach of contract claims were viable (United Concrete & Construction Inc. v. Red-D-Mix Concrete Inc., Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and Allied Insurance Co., No. 2011AP1566, Wis. Sup.; 2013 Wisc. LEXIS 281).

11th Circuit Affirms Order Compelling Arbitration Of Claims Against Cruise Line

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 12 affirmed a decision to compel arbitration of a cruise line worker's clams against Carnival Corp., finding that an arbitration agreement in his contract applied and that the dispute was governed by the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Jose Alvaro Dolmo Montero v. Carnival Corp., No. 12-15525, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14141).

N.J. High Court Finds Restaurant.com Certificates To Be 'Consumer Contracts'

TRENTON, N.J. - Answering questions posed to it by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals related to a putative consumer fraud class action, the New Jersey Supreme Court on July 9 determined restaurant certificates bought at www.restaurant.com to be "consumer contracts" and, as such, subject to the regulations of New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warrant and Notice Act (TCCWNA) (Larissa Shelton, et al. v. Restaurant.com Inc., No. A-123-10, N.J. Sup.; 2013 N.J. LEXIS 726).

N.J. High Court Finds Restaurant.com Certificates To Be 'Consumer Contracts'

TRENTON, N.J. - Answering questions posed to it by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals related to a putative consumer fraud class action, the New Jersey Supreme Court on July 9 determined restaurant certificates bought at www.restaurant.com to be "consumer contracts" and, as such, subject to the regulations of New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warrant and Notice Act (TCCWNA) (Larissa Shelton, et al. v. Restaurant.com Inc., No. A-123-10, N.J. Sup.; 2013 N.J. LEXIS 726).

Insurer Did Not Breach Contract In Defense Of Defect Case, Judge Says

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Insureds failed to allege that an insurer breached its contract or breached its implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in appointing counsel not allegedly independent for the defense of an underlying construction defect case, a California federal judge ruled July 10 (Park Townsend LLC and GKB Development Co. LLC v. Clarendon America Insurance Co. and DOES 1-500, No. 12-04412, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96412).

Magistrate: Failure To Submit Proof Of Loss Is Fatal To Breach Of Contract Claim

GALVESTON, Texas - Texas insureds' failure to submit a proof of loss for their alleged $193,000 in additional flood damage losses is fatal to their breach of contract claim against their federal flood insurer, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled July 3, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment and dismissing the insureds' lawsuit (Cynthia Turner, et al. v. Texas Farmers Insurance Co., No. G-12-082, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93144).

U.S. Postal Service, Supplier Are Immune From Antitrust Suit, Federal Judge Rules

DENVER - The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and its authorized supplier of blank label rolls were not subject to antitrust liability based on USPS's requiring contract postal units (CPUs), which provide postal services to the public pursuant to contracts with USPS, to purchase the label rolls from the supplier because such conduct fell outside the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act's (PAEA) waiver of immunity, a federal judge in Colorado ruled July 3 (TOG, Inc., et al. v. United States Postal Service, et al., No. 1:12-cv-01946, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93598).

Judge Finds Elimination Of Uninsured Motorist Coverage Was Not Clear, Conspicuous

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Even though an insurer sent a nonrenewal notice to its insureds informing them that the uninsured/underinsured (UM) motorist coverage was being eliminated from their umbrella insurance policy, a California federal judge on July 2 held that because the notice was not "conspicuous, plain and clear," the insureds' breach of contract and bad faith claims against the insurer survived dismissal (Pascual Trujillo, et al. v. Nationwide Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 2:12-cv-02958, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93117).

On Reconsideration, Judge Again Dismisses Car Dealer's Claims Against Insurer

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 1 granted an insurer's motion for reconsideration, finding that an exclusion for "completed work" precluded coverage for an underlying wrongful death lawsuit and defeated a car dealership's claims for breach of contract and bad faith against the insurer (El Cajon Luxury Cars Inc. v. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., No. 3:11-cv-01248, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92323).