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Mealey's Insurance - Pregnancy Centers Say Abortion Law Compels Speech, Fails Strict Scrutiny

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California law governing abortion-related disclosures focuses on content-based noncommercial speech, subjecting it to a strict scrutiny standard the state cannot reach, an advocacy group tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Jan. 8 opening brief (NIFLA, et al. v. Xavier Becerra, et al...

Mealey's Insurance - Change For Disability Plans' Claims Procedures To Be Effective April 1

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Jan. 5 announced that a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements for employee disability benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act will go into effect on April 1.

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms Ending Of Benefits Paid By Insurance Guaranty Association

BATON ROUGE, La. - In a workers' compensation case, a Louisiana appeals panel on Jan. 8 upheld the termination of indemnity and medical benefits paid by the Kentucky Insurance Guaranty Association (KIGA) because there was no connection between an employee's multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis and...

Mealey's Insurance - Bankruptcy Federal Judge Approves Insolvent Mortgage Insurer's Reorganization

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 9 confirmed an insolvent mortgage insurer's Chapter 11 reorganization over objections from the Office of the U.S. Trustee and Illinois regulators (In re: Triad Guaranty Inc., Chapter 11, No. 13-11452, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - 3rd Circuit Panel Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling In Bad Faith Lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA - A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insurer paid full coverage limits for mold remediation under the terms of a homeowners insurance policy and, thus, could not have...

Mealey's Insurance - Disability Plan Administrator Did Not Err In Terminating Claimant's Benefits

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A disability plan administrator did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in terminating a claimant's short-term disability (STD) benefits because the medical evidence supports the plan administrator's decision, an Alabama federal magistrate judge said Jan. 9, noting that the...

Mealey's Insurance - Insured's Stucco Damage Barred From Coverage, Insurer Says In Federal Court

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A commercial general liability insurance policy excludes coverage for an insured's underlying construction defects lawsuits arising out of stucco damage, the insurer says in a Jan. 10 complaint filed in a Florida federal court (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Kis Construction LLC...

Mealey's Insurance - 3rd Circuit Vacates Order Saying GEICO Need Not Pay $2.1M In Pending Claims

PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 10 reversed a federal judge in New Jersey's ruling that allowed the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) to withhold payment on $2.1 million in pending personal injury protection (PIP) claims submitted by a neurology and rehabilitation...

Mealey's Insurance - Amici Praise Pregnancy Centers' Efforts, Bemoan Abortion Disclosure Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Women helped by crisis pregnancy centers and 23 such centers based in Illinois sang the praises of the volunteer organizations in amicus curiae briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 11 in an effort to bolster a Jan. 8 opening brief challenging a California law requiring...

Mealey's Insurance - Claims In Bad Faith Suit Found To Be Preempted By Federal Law

SAN FRANCISCO - Insureds' claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit over coverage under a homeowners insurance and a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) are preempted by federal law, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 10 in granting the insurer's motion to dismiss...

Mealey's Insurance - SEC Settles With Reinsurance Executive On $2.5 Fraudulent Scheme Against Investors

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurance executive accused of engaging in a $2.5 million fraudulent scheme settled claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 11 after the SEC filed a complaint in Connecticut federal court (Securities and Exchange Commission v. David S. Haddad, et al., No...

Mealey's Insurance - 4th Circuit Vacates Arbitral Award For Penske In Withdrawal Liability Case

RICHMOND, Va. - After determining that an arbitrator applied the wrong burden in determining whether a principle purpose of a company's sale of stock was to avoid the withdrawal liability, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 10 vacated a court's order to enforce the award (Penske...

Mealey's Insurance - Appeals Court: Perjury, Workers' Compensation Fraud Sentences Were Authorized

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court panel on Jan. 11 found that a man found guilty of workers' compensation fraud should serve three years because the sentence is allowed by the California Insurance Code and because the defendant did not object to the sentence to the trial court judge (People...

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge Denies Protection On Reinsurance Participation Agreement

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In two putative class actions, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 12 that insurers are not entitled to a protective order regarding submission of a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., Nos. 16-00158...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Abstains From Workers' Compensation Coverage Dispute

CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Jan. 11 granted a construction company's motion to reconsider a ruling denying its motion to dismiss, finding that the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission (SCWCC) should determine if an insurance policy issued to the company...

Mealey's Insurance - Class, Health Insurer Reach $7M Settlement Over Mental Health Coverage

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Health insurer Blue Shield of California and a class of people who claim that the company improperly denied coverage for mental health services reached a $7 million agreement resolving the case on Jan. 15 (Charles Des Roches, et al. v. California Physicians' Service, et al., No...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurer's Dispute Over Defense Owed For Construction Defects Cases

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Citing overlapping issues with an underlying state court declaratory judgment action, a North Carolina federal judge on Jan. 12 dismissed a coverage dispute between commercial general liability insurers with regard to a duty to defend a mutual insured and additional insureds in construction...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Indictment Sufficiently Alleges Scheme To Defraud Insurer, Government

BILLINGS, Mont. - A federal judge in Montana on Jan. 16 denied a motion to dismiss a 14-count indictment filed by a transportation company and its owner accused of concealing from their insurer that they were transporting explosives, finding that the allegations in the indictment sufficiently support...

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Says Reinsurer Breached Contract With Regard To Asbestos Claims

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A reinsurer breached its contract by refusing to pay its share of losses arising out of the settlement of asbestos claims, an insurer says in a Jan. 16 complaint filed in the Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-00087, D. Conn...

Mealey's Insurance - North Carolina Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurers' Favor In Superstorm Sandy Suit

RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina appeals panel on Jan. 16 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of insurers in their declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for underlying property damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, finding that the insured's interpretation of the examination under...

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Reverses Ruling, Says Questions Of Fact Exist On Insured's Bad Faith Claim

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 16 vacated and remanded a district court's judgment in favor of an insurer on the basis that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to pay the full uninsured motorist (UM) benefit to the...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Remand Fraud Suit For Improper Service To Defendant Doctor

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 12 denied a motion to remand filed by Aetna Inc. and Aetna Health Management LLC, finding that their attempt to provide service to a defendant doctor accused of conspiring to submit claims for an opioid-based pain medication for cancer patients was...

Mealey's Insurance - Out-Of-State Insurer Wants Emergency Care Provider's California Suit Dismissed

LOS ANGELES - An emergency health services provider relies on "phantom allegations" and evidence outside the complaint in opposing dismissal of implied-in-fact contract and quantum meruit claims, a South Carolina insurer told a California federal judge on Jan. 17 (Long Beach Memorial Medical...

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurers Breached Their Contract By Failing To Pay Share Of Loss, Insurer Says

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - With regard to settlements of underlying asbestos claims, two reinsurers breached their contract by failing to pay their share of losses, an insurer says in its Jan. 16 complaint filed in Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co...

Mealey's Insurance Insurer Opposes New Trial As Jury Had Evidence For $64M Award Against Reinsurer

UTICA, N.Y. - In response to a reinsurer's motion for a new trial, an insurer argues in a Jan. 12 brief to a New York federal court that a jury had ample evidence in a "dozen witnesses and hundreds of exhibits" before reaching a $64 million verdict against a reinsurer over asbestos claims...