Prosecutors Claim Mississippi Attorney Willfully Violated Injunction

Since first reporting on the filing of criminal contempt charges against prominent Mississippi attorney Richard F. Scruggs ( USA v. Scruggs , N.D. Ala., No. 07-325), special prosecutors have filed a reply to the attorney's response to show cause order and claim that Scruggs willfully violated a judge's...

Scruggs, Four Others Indicted For Attempt To Bribe State Judge

Prominent Mississippi attorney Richard Scruggs has made news headlines again. This time, the headlines are focused on an indictment handed down yesterday by a federal grand jury, alleging that he and four others attempted to bribe a state judge assigned to hear an attorney fee dispute stemming from a...

Insurers "Adversarial"? Bloomberg Report "Intellectually Shabby"? Insurance Scrawler Marc Mayerson Weighs In

Lawyer and blogger Marc Mayerson generated a good bit of comment, and some useful links, in his post on the back-and-forth between Bloomberg and the insurance industry. Bloomberg reporters wrote that “when there's a disaster, the companies homeowners count on to protect them from financial...

Louisiana Judge Reluctantly Dismisses U.S. Army Corps From Katrina Suit

While insurance coverage cases are normally the focus of the Hurricane Katrina litigation that I follow, an important non-insurance ruling in the Katrina Canal Breaches litigation is worth noting here. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr., for the Eastern District of Louisiana, dismissed...

March is "Hurricane Katrina and Catastrophic Loss Month" (more or less) on the Insurance Law Center

We’re going to try something a little different in an effort to enrich your experience when you visit the insurance law center. With the assistance of that eclectic group known as the Insurance Law Center Advisory Board (two coverage attorneys, a couple of insurance law professors and a former...

Reforming the Insurance Industry to Better Compensate Victims of Catastrophe

A plenary session at the ICLC Annual Meeting on February 28 was entitled “Confronting Catastrophe: Pandemics, Hurricanes, Terrorists – Oh My!” The program noted that “ The extreme ruin caused by Hurricane Katrina would pale in comparison to a nationwide calamity, such as a flu...

SNR Denton on Earthquake Insurance Coverage: Then and Now

While earthquakes and earthquake insurance are primarily matters of concern in California, there have been earthquakes in 46 states since 1975 and insurers underwrite earthquake policies in all 50 states. The California experience with earthquake insurance is therefore potentially important well beyond...

Catastrophe Insurance: Do it right or not at all

This forum focuses on legal issues and my background is in underwriting, specifically commercial property insurance, so I’m hoping to bring a different perspective to the table. Public policy debates on catastrophe insurance plans have been a hot topic lately so I thought this would be a relevant...

Earthquake Insurance Coverage

Here on the east coast, most people probably don't know or don't care that their property insurance policies -- both commercial and personal lines policies -- exclude coverage for losses due to earthquakes . The HO-3 (10/00 edition) , for example, provides: SECTION I – EXCLUSIONS ...

Preparing Your Business for the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, though peak activity usually occurs in August and September. With the beginning of tropical storm activity just around the corner, now is the time to prepare your company and review your insurance coverage for what may lie ahead...

Beware the Benign Hurricane Forecast

The 2009 hurricane season is expected to be moderate, but that’s no reason to let your defenses down. In setting your expectations for the coming months, it pays to consider severity as well as frequency. Most major forecasts address the number of storms anticipated — but they don’t...

Chinese Drywall: Testimony of David Kodama on Behalf of PCI Before Catastrophic Insurance Working Group

TESTIMONY OF DAVID KODAMA ON BEHALF OF THE PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURERS ASSOCIATION OF BEFORE THE CATASTROPHE INSURANCE WORKING GROUP OF THE PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMMITTEE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INSURANCE COMMISSIONERS PUBLIC HEARING ON THE IMPLICATIONS TO REGULATORS AND INSURERS REGARDING...

Army Corps of Engineers Held Liable in the "MRGO" Katrina-Related Litigation

Recently, Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr. of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers liable for damages resulting from Hurricane Katrina-related flooding that occurred in certain areas outside of New Orleans. In re Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated...

Insurance and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

By Michael Kotula , Partner, Rivkin Radler, LLP. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon platform and rupture of an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, and the ensuing oil spill, is likely to result in significant liability exposures for a number of companies. Here is what is currently known about the...

Emerging Legal and Insurance Issues from the Gulf Oil Spill

By John L. Watkins, Shareholder, Chorey, Taylor & Feil Last week, courtesy of my friends at LEXIS, I attended the HB Litigation Conference in Atlanta on litigation and insurance coverage issues arising from the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The presenters included extremely well...

Thoughts From The HB Litigation Conference On BP Oil Spill, Developing Legal, Insurance Issues

By John L. Watkins, Shareholder, Chorey, Taylor & Feil Last week, courtesy of my friends at LEXIS, I attended the HB Litigation Conference in Atlanta on litigation and insurance coverage issues arising from the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The presenters included extremely...

5th Circuit Panel Unable To Resolve Dispute Over Hurricane Post-Loss Assignments

NEW ORLEANS - (Mealey's) In light of the Louisiana Supreme Court's May 10 answer to a certified question regarding post-loss assignments, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 28 found that it is unable to resolve an appeal by more than 200 insurers challenging approximately 151,000...

Jury: Insured Incurred $4 Million In Covered Hurricane Wilma Damages Under Excess Policy

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - (Mealey's) A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Jan. 30 found that a Florida property manager insured incurred $4 million in covered losses from Hurricane Wilma, rendering a verdict against the excess insurer following a 10-day trial (...

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Insurer's Motion To Stay Reinstated $92.9 Million Judgment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 31 denied an insurer's motion to stay pending the filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari of a $92.9 million judgment that was reinstated against it in a class action lawsuit arising from hurricanes Katrina and...

5th Circuit: United States Not Immune From Liability For Katrina Flood Damage

NEW ORLEANS - (Mealey's) The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 affirmed a lower court's ruling that the United States is not immune from liability for certain plaintiffs' Hurricane Katrina flood damage under Section 702c of the Flood Control Act of 1928 and under the discretionary...

Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Insurer's Appeal Of Reinstated $92.9 Million Judgment

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 25 denied an insurer's petition for a writ of certiorari challenging the Louisiana Supreme Court's finding that every member of a class of more than 18,000 insureds was entitled to recover the maximum $5,000 civil penalty based...

Judge: World Trade Center Properties Cannot Recover Against Aviation Defendants

NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) World Trade Center Properties LLC and its holding companies’ $4.09 billion insurance recovery stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks corresponds to and offsets their maximum potential tort damages recovery of $2.8 billion, a New York federal judge...

Judge: World Trade Center Properties Cannot Recover Against Aviation Defendants

NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) World Trade Center Properties LLC and its holding companies’ $4.09 billion insurance recovery stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks corresponds to and offsets their maximum potential tort damages recovery of $2.8 billion, a New York federal judge...

2nd Circuit: $5M Contingent Payment Pursuant To Sept. 11 Settlement Not Triggered

NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 9 found that a lower federal court erred in ordering the WTC Captive Insurance Co. Inc. to make a $5 million first contingent payment pursuant to the settlement of personal injury claims filed against the City of New York...

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Saudi Arabia’s Appeal Disputing Reopening Of 9/11 Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 refused to hear the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s appeal of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that a lower federal court erred in denying insurers’ motion to reopen a judgment that dismissed sovereign...