COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Sept. 3 granted an insurer's motion to stay proceedings pending the outcome of an arbitration process in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims against the insurer are subject to the policy's arbitration provision (Joan Kirkland, et al. v. Pan-American Life Insurance Co., No. 14-2536, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117827).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment (ICSID) on Sept. 4 constituted a tribunal that will hear an energy charter treaty arbitration commenced by a Swiss company against Romania in relation to the termination of energy delivery contracts (Alpiq AG v. Romania, No. ARB/14/28, ICSID).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 3 granted in part and denied in part motions for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insurer is entitled to summary judgment on the bad faith claim because a third-party beneficiary has failed to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in denying a defense or indemnification to an attorney in a malpractice case (Zhong Zhuang v. The Hanover Insurance Co., No. 15-0481, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118047).
CINCINNATI - Claims by an Employee Retirement Security Income Act plan fiduciary that two corporate defendants are actually the same company, thereby requiring both defendants to adhere to the terms of a union contract, were properly rejected by an Ohio federal judge, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 2 (Board of Trustees of the Local 17 Iron Workers Pension Fund v. Harris Davis Rebar LLC, et al., No. 14-3997, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15571).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Aug. 31 denied a worker's motion for class certification in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract and wage-and-hour violations due to the plaintiff's failure to demonstrate commonality, typicality and adequacy (Michael Troche, et al. v. Bimbo Foods Bakeries Distribution, Inc., f/k/a George Weston Bakeries Distribution, Inc., No. 11-234, W.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115482).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 28 denied a summary judgment motion brought by the lead plaintiff in a suit over a clothing retailer's voiding of promotional gift cards after finding that the plaintiff's legal theory on which she based her breach of contract claim is fatally flawed (GS Tiffany Boundas, et al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 10-4866, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114535).
CHICAGO - A federal district court erred in granting summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether a company had properly pleaded its breach of contract and bad faith claims, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 31 (Life Plans Inc. v. Security Life of Denver Insurance Co., No. 14-1437, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15424).
MILWAUKEE - An insurer filed a notice of removal on Aug. 27 in a Wisconsin federal court on the basis that complete diversity of citizenship exists in the suit filed by its insured alleging that the insurer acted in bad faith and breached its contract by denying coverage for moisture damages (Geneva Lakes Hotel Group LLC v. Westfield Insurance Co., No. 15-1042, E.D. Wis.).
NEW ORLEANS - Permitting experts to testify to a jury of a contractor's conduct, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Aug. 26 that a non-operating interest-holder to an oil well provided sufficient evidence of damages caused by the contractor's alleged breach of contract and negligence (Solstice Oil & Gas I LLC v. OBES Inc., et al., No. 12-2417, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113233).
NEW ORLEANS - A commercial general insurer has no duty to indemnify an underlying award because the "your work" exclusion bars coverage for damages arising out of the insured's preparation of the soil, the foundation and the house itself, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 27, affirming summary judgment to the insurer on claims for breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and violations of the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (James Feaster, et al. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 15-20074, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15310).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 27 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that primary and excess insurers have no duty to defend their insured against the United States' lawsuit arising from the insured's multimillion-dollar contract to upgrade eight U.S. Coast Guard vessels (XL Specialty Insurance Company v. Bollinger Shipyards, Incorporated, et al., No. 14-31283, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15160).
INDIANAPOLIS - No genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether an insurer breached its contract or acted in bad faith, an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 24, because the insurer was not a party to a contract between the insured and a third-party personal property restoration company as part of a homeowners insurance dispute (Thomas Missler, et al. v. State Farm Insurance Co., et al., No. 29A05-1501-PL-30, Ind. App.; 2015 Ind. App. LEXIS 594).
HAGATNA, Guam - A Guam federal judge on Aug. 24 found that a Delaware company did not waive its right to compel arbitration in South Korea of claims asserted by a widow on behalf of her husband who died aboard one of its vessels, but found that former owner of the vessel was not entitled to compel arbitration of the dispute as a nonsignatory to an underlying employment contract (Esther Margarita Lima Suarez Viuda De Yang, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Chang Cheol Yang, et al. v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC, et al., No. 13-00015, D. Guam; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112040).
CHICAGO - A state trial court did not err in granting an insurer's motion to dismiss in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to show that any breach of a homeowners insurance policy existed, an Illinois appellate panel ruled Aug. 21 (Robert Lytle v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1-14-2169, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div.; 2015 Ill App. Unpub. LEXIS 1855).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 18 denied in part an insurer's motion for summary judgment in coverage dispute arising from claims that an insured participated in an alleged scheme to acquire the trade secrets and a confidential marketing "system" developed by a home health franchisor, allowing breach of contract and bad faith claims to proceed (Anthony Nieves, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 14-05536, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110386).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Aug. 18 held that it is up to an arbitration panel to determine which of two arbitration clauses in a reinsurance contract applies to a dispute over, among other things, a commutation value (American United Life Insurance Company v. Travelers Indemnity Company, et al., No. 14-cv-01339, D. Conn.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a second amended class action complaint alleging that Verizon Communications Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by removing retirees from the company's pension plan and funding their benefits through the purchase of a single premium group annuity contract, finding no error in the transfer of benefits (William Lee, et al. v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al., No. 14-10554, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14588).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A state unfair competition law (UCL) claim and portions of a fraud claim will continue against defendants accused of breach of contract for failing to deliver computers or refund the bitcoin used to pay for the merchandise, a federal judge in California ruled Aug. 14 (Pete Morici v. HashFast Technologies, et al., No. 14-87, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107449).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A commercial general liability insurer violated the terms of a defense agreement in failing to defend an additional insured in a construction defects case, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Aug. 14, finding that the insurer breached its contract (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. KB Home, et al., No. 13-831, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107232).
SEATTLE - An insurance policy's three-year limitation clause precludes an insured's breach of contract claim for denial of coverage for earthquake damage, a Washington federal judge held Aug. 9; however, the judge allowed the bad faith claim to proceed (Larry Andrews v. St. Paul Guardian Insurance Co., No. 15-676, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104712).
FRESNO, Calif. - In an unpublished opinion, a California appeals court on Aug. 10 affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction in a suit accusing an independent practice association (IPA) of violating the unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly sending threatening notices and ultimatums to primary care physicians to dissuade them from contracting with another medical group (Saint Agnes Medical Center, et al. v. Sante Community Physicians IPA Medical Group, No. F069510, Calif. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5697).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal district court did not err in dismissing an insured's breach of contract and insurance bad faith claims because his claims were barred by their respective statutes of limitations, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 10 (Ralph Leporace v. New York Life and Annuity, et al., No. 14-3821, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13970).
PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge did not err in rejecting on summary judgment a complaint that sought a declaration of trademark rights, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 11 (Benihana of Tokyo Inc. v. Benihana Inc., No. 14-3683, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14028).