CHICAGO - A group of plaintiffs with business ties to an insured failed to claim any direct injury by an insurer, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Sept. 20, affirming that they lacked standing to bring breach of contract, bad faith and related claims, despite their status as additional insureds (G&S Holdings LLC, et al. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 11-1813, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19728).
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin's six-year statute of limitations regarding contract disputes does not apply in the reinsurance arena, an insurer argued Sept. 21 in a Wisconsin federal court (Dairyland Insurance Company v. OneBeacon Insurance Company as successor to General Accident Insurance Company of America, No. 12-cv-00391, W.D. Wis.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Sept. 19 adopted a magistrate judge's findings that two employees of a defendant company in a breach of contract case knowingly destroyed evidence before a forensic investigation of their computers and ordered the company to pay an additional $125,000 in sanctions to cover the costs incurred by the computer forensic company (Multifeeder Technology Inc. v. British Confectionary Company Limited, et al., No. 09-1090, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132619).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 17 ruled that a company failed to prove that its insurer breached its contract by denying coverage related to an underlying claim brought by a former employee because the company's loss in defending the employee action did not involve "covered property" (Ventures Corporation v. Sentinel Insurance Company, No. 11-10365, D. Mass.).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge ruled Sept. 17 that the venue is improper for a breach of contract dispute between an insurer and an insurance broker; however, the judge explained that rather than dismissal, the parties should seek a transfer (Imperium Insurance Co. v. Allied Insurance Brokers Inc., No. 12-1373, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132244).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. on Sept. 12 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, contending that it should not be forced to reject a contract with companies that service its digital imaging devices simply because the vendors consider the contract to be without value (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No. 12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscriber may view the brief available within the full article.
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 11 affirmed the dismissal of a suit in which former employees of the failed Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as receiver for WaMu, for payments allegedly owed to them due to a provision in their employment contracts and triggered by a change of ownership in the company (David Williams, et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., No. 11-35812, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19069).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Because a bicycle manufacturer's liability insurance policy clearly stated that coverage was restricted to a particular coverage territory, a California federal judge on Sept. 10 ruled that the insurer did not breach its contract by refusing defend cases filed in the United Kingdom (Diamond State Insurance Co. v. Marin Mountain Bikes Inc., et al., No. 4:11-cv-05193, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128663).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Sept. 10 granted Citibank (South Dakota) NA's motion to dismiss a suit asserting breach of contract, fraud and violations of Connecticut's Creditor Collection Practices Act (CCPA) and Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) arising from a plaintiff's student loans, which are held by the bank (Julie Parola v. Citibank [South Dakota] NA, No.11-01017, D. Conn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128396).
ST. LOUIS - A welfare benefit plan may not enforce its subrogation provision as an implied contract or in equity under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., against a law firm that acknowledged the validity of the provision during its representation of a plan beneficiary in a civil lawsuit but that did not agree to be bound by the provision, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 7 (Treasurer, Trustees of Drury Industries, Inc. Health Care Plan and Trust v. Sean Goding, et al.,, No. 11-2885, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18815).
CHICAGO - A law firm's insurance policy does not provide coverage for a secretary's theft of $880,000 from an attorney's personal bank account, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 5, granting the insurer's motion to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims (Sperling & Slater v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, No. 12 C 761, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125897).
MADISON, Wis. - A reinsurer argued in a Wisconsin federal court on Aug. 31 that its reinsured violated Wisconsin's statute of limitations by not filing its breach of contract suit sooner than six years after first issuing a reinsurance billing to the reinsurer (Dairyland Insurance Company v. OneBeacon Insurance Company as successor to General Accident Insurance Company of America, No. 12-cv-00391, W.D. Wis.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
DETROIT - An insurance agency's agents satisfied their duty to ensure that an insurance contract properly addressed an insured's needs, on the basis of the information that was provided, a Michigan appeals panel ruled Aug. 30, affirming summary disposition on a negligence claim against the agency (Holly Deremo, et al. v. TWC & Associates Inc. d/b/a Winter Insurance, No. 305810, Mich. App.; 2012 Mich. App. LEXIS 1698).
DENVER - A plaintiff's toxicologist can testify that connection of a water filtration system to a home's sewer line caused a man to develop Crohn's disease and his son to contract hepatitis A, a federal judge in Colorado held Aug. 31 (Nick and Roxanne Cattaneo v. Aquakleen Products, No. 10-cv-02852-RBJ-MJW, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124063).
DALLAS - A Texas Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 30 affirmed a $37,500 judgment in a construction contract dispute, ruling that there was sufficient evidence that supported the finding that the contractor breached the agreement and did not substantially perform work on the construction project (Aharon Chen v. Parkwood Creek Owner's Association Inc., No. 05-10-01511-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 7347).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The landlord of an individual retail store operated by bankrupt Ritz Camera & Image LLC on Aug. 31 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, objecting to Ritz's motion seeking approval to sell its assets free and clear of liens and seeking to sell executory contracts and unexpired leases at auction (In Re: Ritz Camera & Image LLC, No. 12-11868, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
ELGIN, Ill. - An insurance broker's employment agreements with former employees were unenforceable due to insufficient consideration, an Illinois appeals panel found Aug. 29, affirming the dismissal of the broker's breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets and tortious interference of prospective economic advantage claims (Gallagher Bassett Services Inc. v. Mike Vacala, et al., No. 11-CH-1033, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2125).
INDIANAPOLIS - Even though an Ohio federal court erred in deeming a plaintiff's motion to remand moot, an Indiana federal judge on Aug. 24 determined that the joinder of a defendant insurer's adjuster was fraudulent and made removal of the breach of contract and bad faith case proper (Tommy Lynn Morris, personal representative of the Estate of Thomas Lynn Morris v. Mid-Century Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-00578, S.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120444).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - An Arkansas attorney on Aug. 24 again saw most of his class claims against Google Inc., related to the Internet giant's advertising programs, dismissed by a California federal judge for failure to allege sufficient supporting facts (Rick Woods v. Google Inc., No. 5:11-cv-01263, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120748).
ST. LOUIS - Plaintiffs asserting wrongful death from benzene exposure have six days to overcome the exclusive remedy provision of the California Workers' Compensation Act (CWCA) by filing an amended complaint pleading that a California company knew the decedent had contracted a work-related illness, a Missouri federal judge ordered Aug. 27 (Joan Linton, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 4:12CV00960 AGF, E.D. Mo., Eastern Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121000).
LOS ANGELES - A trial court erred in requiring an entertainment industry expert to provide names and dates to back up his experience-based opinion that it is custom and practice to continue paying commissions to talent managers after a contract is terminated, a Second District California Court of Appeal panel held Aug. 22 in reversing summary judgment for defendant Lisa Kudrow (Howard Entertainment, et al. v. Lisa Kudrow, et al., No. B234962, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 909).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 23 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer breached its contract but did not vexatiously refuse to pay an insured's claim for its $196,575 loss stemming from a forged wire transfer request (Missouri Bank and Trust Company of Kansas City v. OneBeacon Insurance Company, Nos. 11-3498/11-3529, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17863).
WASHINGTON - A decision by a Georgia federal judge that original patent jurisdiction exists over breach of contract claims was erroneous, according to an Aug. 23 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Personalized Media Communications LLC v. TVG-PMC Inc. et al., No. 11-1466, Fed. Cir.).
HAMMOND, Ind. - Because two homeowners "continuously changed" details about a fire to their home and misrepresented certain facts, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on Aug. 21 held that their insurer "had sufficient reason to believe" they committed arson and deny coverage for the fire, leading the judge to grant summary judgment for the insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims against it (Maurice Griffin, et al. v. Allstate Property and Casualty, No. 2:10-cv-00387, N.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117844).