BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York justice on April 3 denied insurers' motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment claim brought by car dealership insureds in a Hurricane Sandy coverage dispute but granted the insurers' motion to dismiss the insureds' claims for bad faith, unfair claim settlement practices, punitive damages and attorney fees (Kings Infiniti Inc., et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., et al., No. 501914/2013, N.Y. Sup., Kings Co.; 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1480).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on April 2 affirmed a trial judge's order that an appraisal panel should determine the amount of loss under an insolvent insurance company's policy sustained by an insured for ordinance or law coverage regarding reconstruction following Hurricane Wilma (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. Coral Palms Village Homeowner's Association Inc., No. 4D13-856, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 4737).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 26 found that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) continues to provide jurisdiction over 58 subrogation lawsuits arising from hurricanes Katrina and Rita notwithstanding their severance from the class, reversing a federal court's ruling that remanded the lawsuits to state court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (State of Louisiana v. American National Property & Casualty Co., et al., Nos. 14- 30071 consolidated with No. 14-30072, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5577).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on March 26 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling refusing to award reasonable attorney fees and costs to an insurer in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, finding that the insurer did not act in bad faith (State Farm Insurance Co. v. Hermina and Oscar Reyes, No. 3D12-2838, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 4410).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that insureds failed to submit the required sworn proof of loss (POL) for their Hurricane Isaac claim, a Louisiana federal judge granted the federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment on March 10 and dismissed bad faith and negligence claims against the insurer (Karon Morin, et al. v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, et al., No. 13-5972, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31341).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Insureds have failed to provide a timely proof of loss for their $204,000 additional claim for damage to the foundation and floor system of their premises that sustained flood damage caused by Hurricane Irene, a New York federal judge ruled March 6, granting a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment (Christine Zuk, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 12-CV-4186 $(SJF$)$(AKT$), E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30005).
NEW ORLEANS - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether an insurer acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by attributing a building's roof damage to tarps installed after it was damaged by a hurricane, a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 7, denying summary judgment on a bad faith claim against the building's insurers (Cedar Ridge LLC v. Landmark American Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-672, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29602).
NEW ORLEANS - The installation of tarps and the use of adhesives following water damage caused by a hurricane constitute repairs and workmanship for purposes of interpreting an insurance policy's faulty workmanship exclusion, a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 5, granting partial summary judgment to insurers (Cedar Ridge LLC v. Landmark American Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-672, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28183).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 26 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment and breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, finding that the insured has offered evidence that could potentially establish that the insurer's application of the policy's Named Storm deductible was improper (AFP 104 Corp. v. Columbia Casualty Co., No.: 13-4077 [PGS][LHG], D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24215).
GALVESTON, Texas - Texas insureds' foundation damages are not covered under a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP), a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 25, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a dispute arising from Hurricane Ike damage (Mike Armstrong, et al. v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. G-10-202, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23508).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board properly rejected two inventors' application for a patent covering a "tropical hurricane control system," the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 25 (In re: Eugene Hoffmann et al., No. 13-1657, Fed. Cir.).
GULFPORT, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Feb. 21 denied State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.'s renewed motion for judgment and, alternatively, for a new trial challenging a jury finding that it defrauded the U.S. government out of $250,000 by submitting a fraudulent Hurricane Katrina flood insurance claim. In a separate order, the judge ordered State Farm to pay $750,000 in trebled damages, plus a $8,250 civil penalty (United States of America ex rel. Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby v. State Farm, et al., No. 06-433, S.D. Miss., Southern Div.).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 determined that a jury did not err in finding that damages sustained as a result of an oil spill in the wake of Hurricane Katrina were sudden and accidental as required by the policy at issue (Cox Operating LLC v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Co., No. 07-2724, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15455).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that no additional discovery will change the fact that an insured failed to submit a complete, sworn proof of loss in support of a supplemental claim for Hurricane Isaac damage, a Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 7 granted a motion by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to dismiss the insured's breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit (Richard H. Clark, Sr., et al. v. FEMA, et al., No. 13-5232, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15871).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 5 found that an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking additional coverage for Hurricane Wilma damage was timely filed and not barred by a Florida five-year statute of limitations, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Angela M. Rizo v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 3D12-3088, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 30 denied insureds' motion to set aside an appraisal award in a dispute over coverage for Hurricane Ike damage (United Neurology, et al. v. Hartford Lloyd's Insurance Co., No. 10-4248. S.D. Texas, Houston Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11664).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 24 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's $1.3 million judgment against an excess insurer in a Florida property manager's lawsuit seeking excess coverage for Hurricane Wilma damage, finding that Florida's insurable interest statute bars recovery beyond the property manager's revenue stream from the damaged property (Banta Properties Inc. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., No. 12-14186, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1419).
NEW ORLEANS - Contending that their claims of flood damage from the Army Corps of Engineers' alleged negligent dredging of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) are not foreclosed, plaintiffs on Jan. 14 appealed a federal district court's ruling in favor of the United States in a Hurricane Katrina dispute (In re: Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Litigation, No. 05-4182, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180464).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal judge found Jan. 13 that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether a "special relationship" existed between an insurance broker and a condominium association insured, denying the broker's renewed motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit arising from damage caused by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne (Tiara Condominium Association Inc. v. Marsh USA Inc., No. 08-80254, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3677).
GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on Jan. 9 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Ike damage, dismissing all claims against the insurer with prejudice (Christina Melinder v. Texas Farmers Insurance Co., et al., No. G-10-516, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2596).
GALVESTON, Texas - A federal magistrate judge on Jan. 7 entered final judgment in favor of a federal flood insurer in a coverage dispute over Hurricane Ike damage, finding that the insured violated the policy by swearing to false statements in the proof of loss (Peter Charnock v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. G-10-cv-450, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1491).
TRENTON - An insurer's reformation of two of a condominium association insured's four Standard Flood Insurance Policies (SFIPs) was mandated by federal law, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Dec. 4, dismissing with prejudice the insured's breach of contract claim based on those two policies (The Residences at Bay Point Condominium Association Inc. v. The Standard Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-02380 (FLW)(LHG), D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170811).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Dec. 3 found that plaintiffs' breach of contract claims are not properly joined in a lawsuit seeking federal flood coverage for damage caused by Superstorm Sandy (Linda Salle, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13 CV 6020 (SJF)(GRB), E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171026).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an excess public entity insurer has a duty to defend its state parish government insured against damages it allegedly caused in condemning and demolishing properties deemed unsafe after Hurricane Katrina (Lexington Insurance Co. v. St. Bernard Parish Government, No. 13-30300, 5th Cir.).