CHICAGO - Allegations that Steak n Shake Inc. infringed the copyrighted television advertisement of a competitor were rejected Aug. 5 by an Illinois federal judge, who deemed the commercials dissimilar (Culver Franchising System Inc. v. Steak n Shake Inc., No. 16-75, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103091).
TRENTON, N.J. - Consequential damages caused by the subcontractors' faulty workmanship constitute "property damage," and water damage from rain flowing into the interior of the property due to that faulty work is an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Aug. 4 (Cypress Point Condominium Association Inc. v. Adria Towers LLC, et al., No. A-13/14, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 847).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 2 certified a question to the Florida Supreme Court regarding whether the notice and repair process set forth in Florida Statutes Chapter 558 constitutes a "suit" within the meaning of commercial general liability insurance policies (Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-12816, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14005).
PASADENA, Calif. - In reversing a lower federal court's no coverage ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found July 27 that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured against an underlying lawsuit because the insured may not have acted with the requisite intent to trigger the policy's "intentional acts" exclusion (Steven J. Berns v. Sentry Select Insurance Co., No. 14-55996, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13684).
SEATTLE - The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 27 affirmed a district court's award of damages to the owner of a commercial property that was sold to a bank, with the exception of a portion that was granted to a bank in a bankruptcy settlement, finding that a retailer breached the underlying agreement by building another store within a restricted area (Cabela's Wholesale Inc. v. Hawks Prairie Investment LLC, No. 14-35157, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13683).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 29 held that a petroleum refiner insured failed to provide any evidence that it would have acted differently had it known that a petroleum distributor's credit account was not secured, affirming a lower court's ruling that there was no "unlawful taking" to trigger commercial crime coverage for the loss of approximately $90 million worth of fuel (Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, L.L.C. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, No. 15-50405, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13838).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on July 18 granted three motions in limine filed by an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, precluding an insured from presenting evidence, damages testimony and other testimony to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in conducting an investigation into a claim for coverage under a commercial property insurance policy (JCKP LLC v. Berkley Regional Specialty Insurance Co, et al., No. 14-0117, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93049).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey panel affirmed July 20 that commercial general liability coverage for an underlying negligence lawsuit against an engineering firm insured is barred by the policy's professional services exclusion (EIC Group LLC v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of America, No. A-2590-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1683).
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of an insured's negligent work that caused a collapse do not constitute covered "property damage" under commercial general liability insurance policies, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed July 15 (New Jersey-American Water Co., Inc. v. Watchung Square Associates, LLC and Fidelity Corp. v. Vollers Excavating & Construction, Inc. and Frank Ferraro v. Salvatore Davino, et al. and Travelers Insurance Co., et al., Nos. A3436-13T1 & A-3445-13T1, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1639).
CHICAGO - In an admiralty case, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on July 14 excluded an expert from testifying that boat captains could have requested that gates again be closed as they were approaching the protection cells (In the matter of the complaint of Ingram Barge Co. as owner of the M/V Dale A. Heller and the IB9525, IN025300, IN085089, IN095041, IN096081, IN107057, and IN117513, petitioning for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-3453 c/w In the matter of American Commercial Lines, LLC, as owner and Inland Marine Service, Inc., as owner pro hac vice of the M/V Loyd Murphy for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-4292, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91411).
AUGUSTA, Ga. - An expert for plaintiffs in a negligence lawsuit is qualified as an expert to testify on most of his opinions concerning commercial premises safety and security, a Georgia federal judge ruled July 8, granting and denying in part a motion to exclude (Tammy Padgett and Joey Padgett v. Kmart Corp. and Colony Mill Enterprises, LLC, No. 15-048, S.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88734).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - To trigger the "on-sale" bar set forth at 35 U.S. Code Section 102(b), a product "must be the subject of a commercial sale or offer for sale," and a commercial sale is "one that bears the general hallmarks of a sale pursuant to Section 2-106 of the Uniform Commercial Code," a unanimous, en banc Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 12 (The Medicines Company v. Hospira Inc., et al., Nos. 14-1469, -1504, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12667).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute arising from Hurricane Ike damage to the insured's daycare center and warehouse (Steve Quibodeaux and the Kids Safari Inc., d/b/a Wee Care Childcare and Preschool v. Nautilus Insurance Co., No. 15-40567, 5th Cir.).
PITTSBURGH - Under Pennsylvania law, commercial general liability insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify insureds for a negligent performance of contract claim arising out of alleged faulty workmanship, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled June 30 (Peerless Insurance Co. and Ohio Security Insurance Co. v. Manown Builders, et al., No. 15-281, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85261).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 17 held that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend its insureds against copyright claims because the underlying complaint fails to allege any unauthorized use of an adult entertainment company's copyrighted advertising materials, slogan or title in the insureds' advertising (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-89, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79535).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on June 21 held that an insured did not "own" its lost earnings stemming from a Ponzi scheme within the meaning of a commercial crime insurance policy (Cooper Industries, Ltd., et al v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh Pa., No. 12-01591, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80342).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in a California on June 16 recommend that a commercial general liability insurer's motion for a default judgment be granted and that a judgment be issued declaring that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying breach of contract and negligence lawsuit alleging the insured's pilot car services were performed "in an unworkmanlike manner" (Atain Specialty Insurance Co. v. Richard Szetela d/b/a D&D Pilot Car Services, et al., No. 14-2991, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78855).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware judge on June 20 denied a commercial general liability insurer's request for certification of interlocutory appeal of a Jan. 27 ruling involving what falls under a policy's $25 million flood sublimit in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Almah LLC, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. N15C-01-237 EMD, Del. Super.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court denied two motions to rehear a commercial general liability coverage dispute arising from faulty flanges that resulted in an underlying $6,345,824 settlement against the insured, according to its June 17 orders pronounced list (U.S. Metals Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., et al., No. 14-0753, Texas Sup.).
SALT LAKE CITY - Homeowners failed to establish evidence that they suffered any property damage as a result of a contractor or subcontractor's work on their home that is covered under two commercial general liability insurance policies, a Utah federal judge ruled June 15, finding that the insurers have no duty to indemnify for underlying judgments (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Timbersmith, Inc., et al. & George Fleming and Janis Fleming v. The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., No. 12-00786, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78748).
DES MOINES, Iowa - An insured's faulty work may constitute an "occurrence" under an excess commercial general liability insurance policy, a majority of the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed June 10, also finding that a trial court did not err in instructing a jury to determine whether damages arose due to an "accident" constituting an "occurrence" by considering the insured's viewpoint and what it intended or should reasonably have expected (National Surety Corp. v. Westlake Investments, LLC, No. 14-1274, Iowa Sup.; 2016 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 71).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 3 determined that a commercial general liability policy's pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage for underlying environmental contamination claims filed against an insured; however, the judge said a potential for coverage exists under the applicable business auto policies (American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Co., et al. v. Technichem Inc., et al., No. 15-03611, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72793).