LOS ANGELES - Commercially available insulation, and not the working prototype of a U.S. Navy nuclear propulsion system on which it was applied, is the focus of a widow's case, a federal judge in California held Aug. 21 in reversing course and remanding an asbestos case originally removed under the government contractor statute (Wayne Yocum, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 17-1061, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133418).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 15 granted an insured's motion to dismiss its commercial insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for alleged storm damage to the insured's motel, finding that the majority of the factors in Brillhart v. Excess Ins. Co. of Am., 316 U.S. 491, 495, 62 S. Ct. 1173, 86 L. Ed. 1620 (1942), weigh in favor of dismissal (GuideOne National Insurance Company v. Bhav Harri, LLC, No. 16-00740, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129473).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Aug. 3 granted an insured's motion for partial summary judgment by declaring that it is entitled to independent counsel in an underlying trademark infringement lawsuit insofar as the underlying action involves claims for punitive damages, denying a commercial general liability insurer's motion to dismiss the insured's breach of contract suit (Med-Plus, Inc. v. American Casualty Company of Reading, PA, No. 16-2985, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123553).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 4 denied a motion to dismiss filed by an insurance agency accused of selling fraudulent commercial general liability policies to a framing contractor, finding that the court has personal jurisdiction over the lawsuit (Rankin Construction National Builders LLC v. Frank H. Reis, Inc., No. 17-CV-530-A, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123096).
PHOENIX - A lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company and certain of its current and former executive officers has failed to show that a majority of the defendants' alleged misrepresentations concealing their involvement in an illegal kickback scheme with doctors were actionable and that seven of 10 alleged corrective disclosures had any causal connection to the alleged fraud, a federal judge in Arizona ruled Aug. 1 in granting in part and denying in part the defendants' motion to dismiss (Richard Di Donato, et al. v. Insys Therapeutics Inc., et al., No.16-0302, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120983).
MILWAUKEE - A commercial general liability insurance policy's synthetic stucco exclusion precludes coverage in a dispute between a condominium association and the insurer of a general contractor over water damage caused by subcontractors' defective work, a Wisconsin appeals panel affirmed July 31 (Kaitlin Woods Condominium Association Inc. v. Kaitlin Woods LLC, et al., No. 2015AP423, Wis. App., Dist. 1, 2017 Wisc. App. LEXIS 565).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A majority of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on July 27 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurer failed to establish that the policy's assault and battery exclusion barred coverage for an underlying shooting that injured a patron of the insured's restaurant, finding, however, that the judgment against the insurer should be reduced from $100,000 to $74,999.99 (White Pine Insurance Co. v. Howard R. Taylor, No. 493, September Term, 2016, Md. Spec. App., 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 758).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on July 20 granted a commercial excess insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking to recover $306,808.46 in post-judgment interest that was awarded against the insured in an underlying product liability dispute (Key Safety Systems, Inc. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-11974, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112837).
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on July 13 denied insureds' motion to dismiss a commercial general liability insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for an underlying fatal accident that occurred at a haunted house operated by the insureds, finding that it is appropriate to exercise jurisdiction (Mesa Underwriters Specialty Insurance Co. v. Victor R. Marquez, et al., No. 16-213, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108638).
CHICAGO - A condominium association's claim that a painting subcontractor acted negligently is sufficient under Illinois law to constitute an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability policy, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 13 (Westfield Insurance Co. v. National Decorating Service, Inc., et al., No. 16-1439, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12516).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 10 affirmed a lower federal court's conclusion that a commercial general liability insurance policy's "Employers Liability Exclusion" is ambiguous as a matter of law, further finding that the insurer has both a duty to defend and indemnify its insured (Hastings Development LLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., Nos. 15-3816 and 15-4085, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12225).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 10 affirmed a lower federal court's conclusion that a commercial general liability insurance policy's "Employers Liability Exclusion" is ambiguous as a matter of law, further finding that the insurer has a duty to both defend and indemnify its insured (Hastings Development LLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., Nos. 15-3816 and 15-4085, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12225).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a homeowners insurer has no duty to defend its insured against underlying claims of battery, sexual battery, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress (Travelers Commercial Insurance Co. v. Jennifer A., No. 15-15841, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10996).
MUSKOGEE, Okla. - An insured failed to show that material issues of fact exist as to whether his insurer acted in bad faith in denying his claim for coverage under the terms of a commercial property insurance policy and, as a result, is not entitled to punitive damages on the bad faith claim, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled June 20 in granting in part the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Billy Hamilton v. Northfield Insurance Co., No. 16-519, E.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94672).
DENVER - A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend a contractor against claims of defective work on an airport hangar floor, a Colorado federal judge ruled June 12, also staying the case pending resolution of the underlying action (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. High Country Coatings Inc. and Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 16-03196, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90127).
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire federal judge on June 6 granted a commercial general liability insurer's motion for summary judgment in a subcontractor insured's lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying claims that it performed surface preparation work negligently, in an unworkmanlike manner and not in accordance with job specifications (Fletch's Sandblasting and Painting, Inc. v. Colony Insurance Co., No. 15-490, D. N.H., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86488).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 5 denied a commercial general liability insurer's motion for summary judgment in its declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying $2,139,000 judgment against it insured for sending 4,278 unsolicited facsimile transmissions (Zurich American Insurance Co., as successor by merger to Maryland Casualty Co. v. European Tile And Floors, Inc., et al., No. 16-729, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85380).
SAN FRANCISCO - The government contractor defense applies to commercial products, a California appeals court panel affirmed June 6 in refusing to revisit a previous finding in an asbestos case (Jay Wanlass v. Metalclad Insulation Corp., No. A143616, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).