LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Rejects Suit Seeking Additional Coverage For Hurricane Irene Damage

RALEIGH, N.C. - Finding that an insured failed to submit a timely and properly documented amended proof of loss for additional Hurricane Irene damage, a North Carolina federal judge on Nov. 26 granted summary judgment in favor of a federal flood insurer on the insured's breach of contract claim (Gladys Greene v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 13-255, E.D. N.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165951).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Insured Not Entitled To Full Payment For Hurricane Isaac Claim

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 17 found that an insured has failed to demonstrate that it submitted a properly documented proof of loss as required under its Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP), granting a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac damage (Construction Funding, LLC v. Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-5630, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161414).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Hurricane Irene Flood Dispute For Insufficient Proof Of Loss

RUTLAND, Vt. - A Vermont federal judge on Nov. 13 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's lawsuit seeking additional coverage for flood damage caused by Hurricane Irene (Abend Family Limited Partnership v. NGM Insurance Co., No. 5:13-cv-8, D. Vt.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160574).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Hurricane Irene Suit For Insured's Failure To Comply With Policy

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Finding that an insured did not comply with the terms of his standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) because he failed to submit a signed and notarized proof of loss for all of his claimed Hurricane Irene flood damages, a Connecticut federal judge on Nov. 12 granted the insurer's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the insured's breach of contract lawsuit (Moshe Azoulay v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 3:12-cv-1693, D. Conn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159177).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Subcontractor's Scope Of Work Was Not But-For Cause Of Flash Fire Injuries

NEW ORLEANS - An agreement between a contractor and a subcontractor did not obligate the subcontractor to test the liquid propane (LP) detector in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers delivered and installed after hurricanes Katrina and Rita; therefore, neither the agreement nor any act or omission on the part of the subcontractor was a but-for cause of flash fire injuries, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 11 in an indemnification dispute between two insurers (Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 13-30541, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Insurer Underpaid Building Damage In Hurricane Isaac Dispute

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 4 found that a federal flood insurer underpaid its insured's building damage by $14,341.02, ordering the insurer to pay the amount in a coverage dispute over Hurricane Isaac damage (Everage Tuircuit III v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 13-6268, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156386).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Compliance With Appraisal Process Does Not Prove Bad Faith, Judge Says

NEW ORLEANS - Sums that were subject to appraisal in a Hurricane Isaac coverage dispute were genuinely disputed; therefore, an insurer's compliance with a contractual appraisal process does not provide evidence of bad faith, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Oct. 31, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Island Concepts LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, No. 13-6725, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155494).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Grants Injunction; City May Not Enforce Ordinance Against Landfill Operator

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Oct. 29 partially granted and partially denied a motion for an injunction sought by the operator of a landfill that is being sued by the City of Hurricane, W.Va., and a county government for allegedly disposing of hazardous chemicals illegally (City of Hurricane, W.Va., et al. v. Disposal Service Incorporated, et al., No. 14-15850, S.D. W.Va.).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas Judge Enters Take- Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Coverage Dispute

GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas judge on Oct. 16 entered a final judgment in favor of an insurer in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute, ordering the insured to take nothing against the insurer and taxing $39,901.95 in court costs against the insured (League City v. TWIA, No. 12-0053, Texas Dist., 10th Jud., Galveston Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Summary Judgment, Daubert Motions Mostly Denied In Hurricane Isaac Bad Faith Suit

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 15 declined to dispose of a homeowner's bad faith claim against her insurer, related to Hurricane Isaac damages, finding that genuine fact disputes exist over matters such as the amount of coverage and cooperation with the claim investigation (Evonthe Hayes v. Southern Fidelity Insurance Co., No. 2:14-cv-00376, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146962)

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Summary Judgment, Daubert Motions Mostly Denied In Hurricane Isaac Bad Faith Suit

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 15 declined to dispose of a homeowner's bad faith claim against her insurer, related to Hurricane Isaac damages, finding that genuine fact disputes exist over matters such as the amount of coverage and cooperation with the claim investigation (Evonthe Hayes v. Southern Fidelity Insurance Co., No. 2:14-cv-00376, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146962)

Mealey's Insurance - Insured Responds To Judge's Order To Show Cause In Superstorm Sandy Dispute

NEWARK, N.J. - Noting a delay in the coordination of scheduling a surveyor to take certain measurements at an insured's property, the insured on Oct. 14 responded to a New Jersey federal judge's order to show cause why a coverage dispute over flood damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute (Patrick Donnelly v. New Jersey Re-Insurance Company, et al., No. 12-07629, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Insureds Owed No Further Payment For Hurricane Isaac Flood Claim

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge held Oct. 14 that insureds are not entitled to further payment under a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) in a breach of contract dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac (Rickey D. Parr, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13-6242, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146372).

Mealey's Insurance - Lack Of Proof Of Loss Entitles Insurer To Summary Judgment, Federal Judge Says

NEW ORLEANS - Insureds have failed to support their claim for additional flood damage with a signed and sworn proof of loss, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Oct. 8, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac (Jeremiah Alexander, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13-5295, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143284).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insured Sufficiently States Claim Premised On Unreasonable Delay In Payment

JACKSON, Miss. - An apartment building owner insured has sufficiently alleged a claim premised on an insurer's unreasonable delay in the payment of a Hurricane Isaac claim, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Sept. 23, refusing to dismiss claims for punitive and extracontractual damages against the insurer (Seahorn Investments v. Federal Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:13cv320-HSO-RHW, S.D. Miss., Southern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133522).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Bad Faith, Related Claims In Superstorm Sandy Suits

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Adopting a report and recommendation by a committee of New York federal magistrate judges, a New York federal judge on Sept. 22 dismissed plaintiffs' bad faith and related claims that are unavailable under New York law in suits arising from Superstorm Sandy damage (In Re Hurricane Sandy Cases, Nos. 13-CV-5925, 13-CV-6158, 14-CV-2000, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133724).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer Over Hurricane Flood Damages

SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 5 granted an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds failed to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in denying their homeowners insurance claim for water damage to their basement as a result of Hurricane Irene (David Focht, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 12-1199, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124561).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Remands For Reinstatement Of Bad Faith Suit Arising From Hurricane

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals court on Sept. 3 reversed a lower court's ruling that insureds' bad faith action against their homeowners insurer was not ripe, remanding for reinstatement of the lawsuit that arose from Hurricane Wilma damage (Joseph Cammarata, et al. v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 4D13-185, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 13672).

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 Insurance - None Of Court's Reasons For Granting New Trial Was Proper, Panel Says In Reversal

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 21 demanded that a lower court vacate its order granting insureds' motion for new trial in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute and enter judgment on a jury's verdict awarding $400,000 in damages to the insureds (In Re United Services Automobile Association, No. 01-13-00508-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 9312).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Hurricane Wilma Coverage Dispute

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 20 held that insureds failed to present any evidence rebutting the presumed prejudice their insurer suffered as a result of their untimely proof of loss of their Hurricane Wilma damage, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Lloyd Oliver Hunt, et al. v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 4D13-272, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 12810).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: FEMA Expressly Limited Waiver To $13,888.51 Already Paid To Insureds

NEW ORLEANS - The Federal Emergency Management Agency expressly limited a waiver to the $13,888.51 that it paid to Louisiana insureds for their Hurricane Isaac loss, and the insureds failed to file a timely proof of loss for any additional amounts claimed, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Aug. 15, granting FEMA's motion for summary judgment (Shannon Villemarette, et al. v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, et al., No. 13-5400, SECTION: R(5), E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113667).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Hurricane Isaac Flood Coverage Suit Against Agents, FEMA

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 8 granted insurance agents' motion to dismiss insureds' negligent procurement and negligent misrepresentation claims in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac, further dismissing the insureds' claim against Federal Emergency Management Agency for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Michelle Lopez and Stephen Lopez III v. State Farm General Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-6029, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109803).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds City's Illegal Disposal Suit Exempt From Statute's Notice Requirement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Aug. 6 refused to dismiss a West Virginia city's lawsuit against the owners of a landfill in Hurricane, W.Va., for alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), ruling that the chemicals at issue render the claim exempt from the statute's 90-day notice requirement (City of Hurricane, West Virginia, et al. v. Disposal Service Management Inc., et al., No. 14-15850, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107897).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: West Virginia City's Contamination Case Against Landfill Operators Valid

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Aug. 6 denied a motion to dismiss filed by operators of a landfill, concluding that the City of Hurricane, W.Va., had a valid claim against them for illegal disposal of hazardous chemicals (City of Hurricane, W.Va., et al. v. Disposal Service Incorporated, et al., No. 14-15850, S.D. W.Va.).