LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey Judge: Sandy Storm Surge Losses Not Subject To Policies' Flood Sublimits

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on March 23 found that "all risks" property insurance policies' flood sublimits do not apply to a publicly traded diversified energy company insured's losses caused by storm surge resulting from Superstorm Sandy (Public Service Enterprise Group, et al. v. ACE American Ins. Co., et al., No. ESX-L4951-13, N.J. Super., Law Div., Essex Co.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 620).

Mealey's Insurance - Adjuster Lacks Standing To Bring False Claims Suit Against Insurers, Judge Finds

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 29 held that an insurance adjuster lacked standing to bring claims that a number of insurance companies violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by preparing and submitting inflated claims on flood insurance policies backed by the Federal Insurance Administration's (FIA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), while reducing claims paid on privately backed wind insurance policies, finding that his allegations were based on publicly disclosed information (United States of America, ex rel. Kermith Sonnier v. The Standard Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. H-12-1065, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10006).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - U.S. High Court Declines Petition In Arbitration Agreement Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 20 declined to hear the appeal of a ruling by the California Supreme Court that an arbitration agreement requiring an employee as a condition of employment to give up the right to bring a representative action under the California Labor Code's Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) in any forum is contrary to public policy (CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC v. Arshavir Iskanian, No. 14-341, U.S. Sup.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 735).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Denies Rehearing Of 'StreetSurfer' Trademark Coverage Dispute

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 refused to reconsider its ruling that an insurance policy's prior publication exclusion bars coverage for underlying claims that the insured infringed on the claimant's use of the "StreetSurfer" trademark to market his skateboards (Street Surfing LLC v. Great American E&S Insurance Co., No. 12-55351, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Denies Rehearing Of 'StreetSurfer' Trademark Coverage Dispute

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 refused to reconsider its ruling that an insurance policy's prior publication exclusion bars coverage for underlying claims that the insured infringed on the claimant's use of the "StreetSurfer" trademark to market his skateboards (Street Surfing LLC v. Great American E&S Insurance Co., No. 12-55351, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - No Coverage For $16.9M Taxpayer Suit Against Former City Officer, Judge Rules

RULTAND, Vt. - An underlying municipal taxpayer lawsuit against the former chief administrative officer of the City of Burlington, Vt., fails to allege a "covered" loss under a public entity management liability protection (PEMLP) policy, a Vermont federal judge ruled Nov. 4, further finding that the policy's insured vs. insured exclusion also bars coverage (St. Paul Guardian Insurance Co., et al. v. Jonathan Leopold, No. 14-00040, D. Vt.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pneumo Abex Urges California Top Court To Reject Take-Home Liability

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For legal and public policy reasons, California should side with the majority of other states and reject liability for take-home asbestos exposures, Pneumo Abex LLC told the California Supreme Court on Oct. 17 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda, No. S219534, Calif. Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pneumo Abex Urges California Top Court To Reject Take-Home Liability

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For legal and public policy reasons, California should side with the majority of other states and reject liability for take-home asbestos exposures, Pneumo Abex LLC told the California Supreme Court on Oct. 17 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda, No. S219534, Calif. Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pneumo Abex Urges California Top Court To Reject Take-Home Liability

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For legal and public policy reasons, California should side with the majority of other states and reject liability for take-home asbestos exposures, Pneumo Abex LLC told the California Supreme Court on Oct. 17 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda, No. S219534, Calif. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pneumo Abex Urges California Top Court To Reject Take-Home Liability

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For legal and public policy reasons, California should side with the majority of other states and reject liability for take-home asbestos exposures, Pneumo Abex LLC told the California Supreme Court on Oct. 17 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda, No. S219534, Calif. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Asbestos MDL Judge Finds No Duty In Pennsylvania For Take-Home Exposures

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania would not burden employers with a duty to protect against take-home asbestos exposures given the weight the state gives public policy considerations, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Aug. 27 (Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-3118, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Asbestos MDL Judge Finds No Duty In Pennsylvania For Take-Home Exposures

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania would not burden employers with a duty to protect against take-home asbestos exposures given the weight the state gives public policy considerations, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Aug. 27 (Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-3118, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Asbestos MDL Judge Finds No Duty In Pennsylvania For Take-Home Exposures

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania would not burden employers with a duty to protect against take-home asbestos exposures given the weight the state gives public policy considerations, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Aug. 27 (Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-3118, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Asbestos MDL Judge Finds No Duty In Pennsylvania For Take-Home Exposures

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania would not burden employers with a duty to protect against take-home asbestos exposures given the weight the state gives public policy considerations, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Aug. 27 (Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-3118, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Majority Refuses To Rehear Forum-Selection Dispute Arising From Hurricane Claim

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana Supreme Court majority on Aug. 25 refused to reconsider its ruling that forum-selection clauses are not violative of Louisiana public policy, standing by its reversal of a lower court's finding that overruled an exception of improper venue in a dispute over a consulting firm's evaluation of hurricane damage (Shelter Mutual Insurance Co. v. Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. of Louisiana, et al., No. 2013-CC-1977, La. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania High Court Won't Extend Habitability Claims To Subsequent Purchasers

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Aug. 18 refused to allow subsequent purchasers of a newly constructed home to pursue claims for breach of implied warranty of habitability against the builder, ruling that the parties' arguments were predominantly grounded in public policy rather than contract law (Michael Conway, et al. v. Cutler Group Inc., d/b/a The David Cutler Group Inc., No. 80 MAP 2013, Pa. Sup.; 2014 Pa. LEXIS 2084).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Forum Selection Clause Does Not Violate Public Policy, Louisiana Majority Rules

NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled July 1 that forum selection clauses are not violative of Louisiana public policy, reversing a lower court's finding that overruled a consulting firm's exception of improper venue in a dispute over the firm's evaluation of underlying hurricane damage (Shelter Mutual Insurance Co. v. Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. of Louisiana, et al., No. 2013-CC-1977, La. Sup.; 2014 La. LEXIS 1568).

Mealey's Insurance - Forum Selection Clause Does Not Violate Public Policy, Louisiana Majority Rules

NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled July 1 that forum selection clauses are not violative of Louisiana public policy, reversing a lower court's finding that overruled a consulting firm's exception of improper venue in a dispute over the firm's evaluation of underlying hurricane damage (Shelter Mutual Insurance Co. v. Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. of Louisiana, et al., No. 2013-CC-1977, La. Sup.; 2014 La. LEXIS 1568).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit: Prior Publication Exclusion Bars Coverage Of 'StreetSurfer' Dispute

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 10 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurance policy's prior publication exclusion bars coverage for underlying claims that the insured infringed on the claimant's use of the "StreetSurfer" trademark to market his skateboards (Street Surfing LLC v. Great American E&S Insurance Co., No. 12-55351, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10737).

Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit: Prior Publication Exclusion Bars Coverage Of 'StreetSurfer' Dispute

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 10 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurance policy's prior publication exclusion bars coverage for underlying claims that the insured infringed on the claimant's use of the "StreetSurfer" trademark to market his skateboards (Street Surfing LLC v. Great American E&S Insurance Co., No. 12-55351, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10737).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Orders Parties To File Supplemental Briefing As To Punitive Damages Issue

HAMMOND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on May 6 ordered primary and excess insurers and their insured to file supplemental briefing predicting how the Indiana Supreme Court would decide whether Indiana's public policy prohibits the insurability of punitive damages award assessed directly against a corporation on a gross negligence theory and whether the question should be certified to the high court (Auto-Owners Insurance Co., et al., Plaintiffs, v. Lake Erie Land Company, et al., No. 2:12-CV-184 JD, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62339).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Orders Parties To File Supplemental Briefing As To Punitive Damages Issue

HAMMOND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on May 6 ordered primary and excess insurers and their insured to file supplemental briefing predicting how the Indiana Supreme Court would decide whether Indiana's public policy prohibits the insurability of punitive damages awards assessed directly against a corporation on a gross negligence theory and whether the question should be certified to the high court (Auto-Owners Insurance Co., et al., Plaintiffs, v. Lake Erie Land Company, et al., No. 2:12-CV-184 JD, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62339).

Mealey's Insurance - S.D. High Court: Insurer's Exclusion For Unknown Continuous Injury Is Not Void

PIERRE, S.D. - A commercial general liability insurance policy's exclusion for an unknown progressive or continuous injury or damage that occurred before the inception date is not void by public policy, the South Dakota Supreme Court held April 16, affirming summary judgment to an insurer regarding claims for shared defense costs of a mutual insured in an underlying construction defect case (AMCO Insurance Co. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Co. d/b/a EMC Insurance Cos., No. 26797, S.D. Sup.; 2014 S.D. LEXIS 23).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Lets Building Damages Claim Proceed In Hurricane Isaac Coverage Suit

NEW ORLEANS - Insureds' proof-of-loss forms coupled with a public adjuster's estimate of their building damage caused by Hurricane Isaac constitute a complete proof of loss that complies with their federal flood insurance policy, a Louisiana federal judge ruled April 15, denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment in part (Alice Young, et al. v. Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 13-5246 SECTION: "S" $(5$), E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51863).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - N.Y. Justice: Insurers Cannot Rely On Dishonest Acts, Public Policy Exclusions

NEW YORK - A New York justice on Feb. 28 severed and dismissed professional liability insurers' affirmative defenses based upon dishonest acts and public policy exclusions in a dispute seeking coverage for an insured's monetary settlement of underlying administrative proceedings by the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) arising from claims of illegal mutual-fund-trading practices (J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., et al. v. Vigilant Insurance Co., et al., No. 600979/09, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 796).