BOSTON - The presence of a few uninjured members in a class does not prevent certification, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 21, affirming the certification of the class of indirect purchasers of Nexium in a pay-for-delay lawsuit over the heartburn drug (In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, Astrazeneca AB, et al. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Unions and Employers Midwest Health Benefits Fund, et al., Nos. 14-1521 & 14-1522, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 968).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) will pay more than $58 million and accept a one-year ban on rating conduit fusion commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) as part of a settlement agreement reached Jan. 21 with the Securities and Exchange Commission in three separate but related administrative proceedings orders (In the Matter of Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, Nos. 3-16346, 3-16347 and 3-16348, SEC).
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - No coverage exists under the secondary coverage provisions in commercial general liability insurance policies for Chinese drywall claims, a Virginia federal judge ruled Jan. 15, also finding that the insurer and insureds agree that the pollution exclusion bars coverage (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al. v. CG Stony Point Townhomes LLC, et al., No. 10-70, E.D. Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5682).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - An insured's untimely notice of a claim over soil settlement issues prejudiced its commercial general liability insurers, a West Virginia federal judge ruled Jan. 14, granting summary judgment to the insurers (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. National Surety Corp., et al., No. 14-45, N.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4363).
BALTIMORE - A commercial general liability insurer has a partial duty to reimburse repair costs for cracking damage to two buildings, a Maryland federal judge ruled Jan. 13, also dismissing counterclaims for breach of contract, negligence and bad faith (American Home Assurance Co. v. KBE Building Corp., No. 13-1941, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4076).
NEW ORLEANS - A competitor's underlying claims against an insured for fraud, unfair trade practices, antitrust violations and intentional interference with a contract fail to trigger personal and advertising injury coverage under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Jan. 8, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in its declaratory judgment lawsuit (Maxum Indemnity Co. v. Audiology LLC, No. 13-5216, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2170).
COVINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Jan. 9 dismissed claims and counterclaims filed in a commercial general liability insurer's coverage lawsuit regarding its duty to defend and indemnify an underlying construction defects case in favor of the underlying case (Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. The Drees Co., et al., No. 14-169, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2755).
HATTIESBBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Jan. 6 found that an insurer failed to provide sufficient notice that it was canceling a commercial property insurance policy but could not say the insurer did not have an arguable basis for its decision to deny coverage for the alleged $2.6 million tornado damage to a church building (Guideone Elite Insurance Company, et al. v. Mt. Carmel Ministries, et al., No. 2:13-CV-134-KS-MTP, S.D. Miss., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 912).
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin high court on Dec. 30 affirmed that pollution exclusion clauses in commercial general liability insurance policies relieve the insurers of duties to defend and indemnify the operators of a septic service company for contaminating a water well with nitrates by applying septage as a fertilizer on farmland (Tina L. Preisler, et al v. Kuettel's Septic Service, et al., No. 2012AP2521 [consolidated], Wis. Sup.; 2014 Wisc. LEXIS 955).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to continue to defend or indemnify an insured against a $125,051 default judgment in a negligent construction action, an Alabama federal judge ruled Dec. 29, finding that the insured violated the policy by failing to cooperate with the insurer in the defense (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Premiere Restoration Remodeling Inc., et al., No. 13-01530, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177525).
NEW ORLEANS - The Lanham Act prohibits false commercial speech even when that speech makes scientific claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 22 (Eastman Chemical Company v. Plastipure Inc., et al., No.13-51087, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 24236).
DENVER - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend a construction defects lawsuit arising from an insured's alleged negligent work in a home, a Colorado federal judge ruled Dec. 17, finding that there was no "property damage" and, alternatively, that the "your work" exclusion applied (Cool Sunshine Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-1637, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174818).
ORANGEBURG, S.C. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify assignees for alleged water damage sustained to a science building caused by an insured's work, a South Carolina federal judge ruled Dec. 12, declining to alter or amend her judgment (Evanston Insurance Co. v. R&L Development Corporation LLC, et al., No. 12-02750, D. S.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172615).
PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Dec. 11 denied motions for summary judgment between an insurer and an additional insured pending resolution of certified questions to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals regarding the liability a commercial general liability insurer has to its insured for alleged faulty workmanship that led to a road collapse (American Towers LLC v. BPI Inc., et al., No. 12-139, E.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172321).
MISSOULA, Mont. - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend negligence and breach of contract claims arising out of an insured's alleged deficient work, a Montana federal judge ruled Dec. 10 (RQR Development LLC v. Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-118, D. Mont.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171084).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 8 found that a lower federal court did not abuse its discretion in exercising jurisdiction over a declaratory judgment lawsuit, affirming the lower court's ruling that a hay wagon driver's injury is not covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy because the driver is an "employee" under the policy (Western World Insurance Co. v. Burt Hoey, et al., No. 13-2388, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23036).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Finding that a commercial general liability insurance policy's employment-related practices exclusion does not bar coverage for an underlying defamation claim against four doctors, a Florida appeals panel on Dec. 5 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Yazan Khatib, et al. v. Old Dominion Insurance Co., et al., No. 1D13-4652, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 19843).
BOSTON - A commercial general liability insurer owed neither an individual nor her corporation a defense under Maine law against alleged defective construction claims from work on a yacht, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 2, affirming in part and reversing in part (Lyman Morse Boatbuilding Inc. and Cabot Lyman v. Northern Assurance Company of America, Nos. 14-1380 & 14-1438, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 22649).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 26 denied a new trial and upheld a jury's finding that a judgment in an underlying construction defects lawsuit was not covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy (ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co. RRG v. Valley Corp., formerly known as R.J. Haas Corp., et al., No. 10-05533, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165926).
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - Homeowners' allegations of an insured's faulty foundation work for their home do not constitute "property damage" caused by an "occurrence" within the meaning of the policy coverage under a commercial general liability insurance and a commercial liability umbrella policy, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed Nov. 26 (Design Concrete Foundations Inc. f/k/a Design Concrete of Madison County Inc. v. Erie Insurance Property and Casualty Co. a/k/a Erie Insurance Group, No. 5-13-0353, Ill. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2684).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - There is a genuine dispute of fact as to whether a self-insured retention (SIR) was satisfied for purposes of coverage for an additional insured in an underlying construction defects action, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 24, denying partial summary judgment to a commercial general liability insurer (Centex Homes v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 13-00998, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164472).
TACOMA, Wash. - Based upon the abstention doctrine, a Washington federal judge on Nov. 24 dismissed a coverage lawsuit filed by two commercial general liability insurers in favor of the underlying action involving the same issues concerning an insured's improper work on a rehabilitation project (The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. Conway Construction Co., et al., No. 14-5646, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164301).