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Mealey's Insurance - Insured's Suit Against Adjuster In Hurricane Ike Coverage Dispute Is Untimely

GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 5 found that an insured's breach of contract and negligence lawsuit against an adjuster is time-barred by a two-year statute of limitations, granting the adjuster's motion for summary judgment in Hurricane Ike coverage dispute (Gracie Reese v. Aftermath Public Adjusters, Inc., et al., No. 16-273, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199527).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Reverses Hurricane Wilma Coverage Suit For 2nd Time

MIAMI - After previously reversing a lower court's ruling in favor of a homeowner in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, a Florida appeals panel on Oct. 18 reversed the lower court's ruling on remand in favor of the insurer, finding that a genuine issue of material fact remains regarding whether a letter from the insurer constituted a denial of coverage (Haim Michel Ifergane, Appellant, vs. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., No. 3D16-1142, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 14745).

Mealey's IP/Tech - State Farm Defends Motion To Compel Discovery For Computer Fraud Claims

GULFPORT, Miss. - In an Oct. 2 rebuttal brief supporting its motion to compel discovery related to its computer fraud counterclaims in a decade-old false claims suit related to Hurricane Katrina claims, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. calls its discovery requests "straightforward," while arguing that the counterdefendants failed to show that the requests are burdensome or cover privileged material (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).

Mealey's Insurance - State Farm Defends Motion To Compel Discovery For Computer Fraud Claims

GULFPORT, Miss. - In an Oct. 2 rebuttal brief supporting its motion to compel discovery related to its computer fraud counterclaims in a decade-old false claims suit related to Hurricane Katrina claims, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. calls its discovery requests "straightforward," while arguing that the counterdefendants failed to show that the requests are burdensome or cover privileged material (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Suit Seeking Discovery Filed Over Post-Irma Death At Florida Nursing Home

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A man whose mother died in a Florida nursing home after the air conditioning system broke following Hurricane Irma filed suit on Sept. 15 against the home, its owners and administrative staff, seeking a pure bill of discovery and to preclude the home, its staff and owner from destroying evidence that could lead to who is responsible for his mother's death (Francis L. Lopez v. Rehabilitation Center At Hollywood Hills LLC, et al., No. CACE17016659, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir. Broward Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Suit Seeking Discovery Filed Over Post-Irma Death At Florida Nursing Home

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A man whose mother died in a Florida nursing home after the air conditioning system broke following Hurricane Irma filed suit on Sept. 15 against the home, its owners and administrative staff, seeking a pure bill of discovery and to preclude the home, its staff and owner from destroying evidence that could lead to who is responsible for his mother's death (Francis L. Lopez v. Rehabilitation Center At Hollywood Hills LLC, et al., No. CACE17016659, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir. Broward Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Homeowners Sue River Authority For Flooding Days After Hurricane Harvey

HOUSTON - The San Jacinto River Authority mishandled the "controlled release" of water from Lake Conroe following Hurricane Harvey, resulting in the flooding of thousands of homes and businesses, a Harris County, Texas, couple allege in their class complaint filed Sept. 6 in the Harris County District Court (Thomas E. and Beth F. Ross v. San Jacinto River Authority, No. 2017-58385, Texas Dist., Harris Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Recusal Motions In Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene Coverage Dispute

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 30 denied insureds' motions to recuse a judge and a magistrate from their lawsuit seeking recovery for losses arising from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, finding the recusal motions untimely (Robert Jacobsen, et al. v. Hartford Insurance Company Flood & Home, et al., Nos. 14-3094, 13-6910 and 13-7160, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139848).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Recusal Motions In Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene Coverage Dispute

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 30 denied insureds' motions to recuse a judge and a magistrate from their lawsuit seeking recovery for losses arising from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, finding the recusal motions untimely (Robert Jacobsen, et al. v. Hartford Insurance Company Flood & Home, et al., Nos. 14-3094, 13-6910 and 13-7160, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139848).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Affirms Ruling In Hurricane Wilma Coverage Dispute

MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 9 affirmed without discussion a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a lawsuit arising from the insured's alleged property damage caused by Hurricane Wilma (Waterview Condominium Association, Inc. v. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Nos. 3D15-1760 and 3D15-2088, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Says It Lacks Jurisdiction To EntertainAppeal Of Hurricane Wilma Suit

MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on July 26 held that it lacks jurisdiction to hear a homeowners insurer's appeal of a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, dismissing the appeal (Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. David Coley, No. 3D16-885, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 10651).

Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit Affirms Judgment In Favor Of Insurer, Government In Hurricane Ike Suit

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 5 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer and the United States of America in a lawsuit arising from the insurer's cancellation of a federal flood insurance policy following Hurricane Ike (Robert Spong, et al. v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 16- 41165, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12008).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Court Did Not Err In Granting State's Exception Of No Right Of Action

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana appeals panel on June 14 affirmed a lower court's ruling that granted the State of Louisiana's exception of no right of action maintaining that it was not liable for a contractor's alleged negligence in elevating the insureds' home following Hurricane Katrina, rejecting the homeowners insurer's argument that the state's administration of the elevation program sufficiently negated the exception of no right of action (Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., v. LAA Shoring, et al., No. 2016-CA-1136 consolidated with No. 2016-CA-1137, La. App., 4th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel: Insured's Liability Expert Provided No Authority To Support His Opinion

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer and an insurance agency in an insured's negligence and professional malpractice lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irene damage, finding that the insured's liability expert was properly excluded because he offered no authority to support his opinion (Satec Inc., et al. v. The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., et al., No. A-5103-14T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 68).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insured's Liability Expert Provided No Authority To Support His Opinion

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer and an insurance agency in an insured's negligence and professional malpractice lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irene damage, finding that the insured's liability expert was properly excluded because he offered no authority to support his opinion (Satec Inc., et al. v. The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., et al., No. A-5103-14T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 68).

Mealey's Insurance - Claims In Hurricane Irene Dispute Are Time-Barred, 4th Circuit Says In Reversal

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 3 held that a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against a federal flood insurer arising from Hurricane Irene damage is barred by the one-year statute of limitations pursuant to its Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP), reversing a lower court's ruling that awarded the insureds $233,398 for breach of contract, $700,194 for bad faith and $63,962.50 in attorney fees (Gary Woodson, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., Nos. 16-1935 and 16-2018, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7862).

Mealey's Insurance - In Remanded False Claims Act Suit, Discovery Limited To Identified Properties

GULFPORT, Miss. - In a case concerning an insurer's False Claims Act (FCA) violations on Hurricane Katrina claims, a Mississippi federal judge on April 12 granted the parties' motions to reopen the case, which was remanded after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, limiting initial discovery on those purported violations to properties previously identified in a list provided by the insurer (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - In Remanded False Claims Act Suit, Discovery Limited To Identified Properties

GULFPORT, Miss. - In a case concerning an insurer's False Claims Act (FCA) violations on Hurricane Katrina claims, a Mississippi federal judge on April 12 granted the parties' motions to reopen the case, which was remanded after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, limiting initial discovery on those purported violations to properties previously identified in a list provided by the insurer (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Remands Coverage Dispute Over Hurricane Ike Wind Damage

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on April 7 held that a lower court erred when it disregarded a jury's answer to a question in a Hurricane Ike wind coverage dispute and the appeals court erred when it affirmed the trial court's judgment, reversing the court of appeals' judgment and remanding the case for a new trial (USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Gail Menchaca, No. 14-0721, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 361).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Rules On Insurer's Duty To Hurricane Sandy Claims Based On Expert Testimony

TRENTON, N.J. - After finding expert testimony on the scope and value of damages incurred by two supermarkets during Hurricane Sandy to be admissible, a New Jersey federal judge on March 28 granted in part and denied in part summary judgment to an insurer (MD Retail Corp. d/b/a Monmouth Beach Supermarket and MS Retail Corp. d/b/a Sea Bright Supermarket v. AmGuard Insurance Group, No. 14-6589, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44996).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Rules On Insurer's Duty To Hurricane Sandy Claims Based On Expert Testimony

TRENTON, N.J. - After finding expert testimony on the scope and value of damages incurred by two supermarkets during Hurricane Sandy to be admissible, a New Jersey federal judge on March 28 granted in part and denied in part summary judgment to an insurer (MD Retail Corp. d/b/a Monmouth Beach Supermarket and MS Retail Corp. d/b/a Sea Bright Supermarket v. AmGuard Insurance Group, No. 14-6589, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44996).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Decision-Making Authority Does Not 'Arise Out Of' Tangible Property Damage

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on March 23 found that an insurance policy's property damage exclusion does not bar directors and officers and entity liability coverage for at least two underlying claims against a homeowners association insured stemming from Hurricane Ike damage (The Landing Council of Co-Owners v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 15-1902, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42087).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Affirms Court's Refusal To Conduct New Appraisal In Wilma Suit

MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on March 22 held that an insured's post-appraisal submission of increased costs in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute is not a legally sufficient basis to reopen the existing appraisal or conduct a new appraisal (Orlando Noa v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 3D16-1367, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 3787).

Mealey's Insurance - Insureds Failed To Comply With Post-Loss Obligations, Florida Panel Says, Reverses

MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 15 reversed a lower court's ruling compelling appraisal against an insurer in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, finding that the insureds failed to comply with their post-loss duties under their insurance policy (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Jose R. Fernandez and Sandra Fernandez, No. 3D16-1441, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2004).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas Panel Finds Take- Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Coverage Suit Was Proper

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel held Feb. 9 that a take-nothing judgment against insureds is proper because a commercial insurer overpaid the actual cash value of Hurricane Ike property damage by more than $1.5 million based on the jury's findings as to actual cash value (Triyar Companies, LLC, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 14-14-00160, Texas. App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1126).