LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Insurance - Legal Conclusions Out, Rest Of Testimony In, Judge Says In Coverage Row

    MOBILE, Ala. - The legal nature of the opinions of one expert witness for an insurer in a coverage dispute over underlying trademark infringement claims precludes the expert from testifying about such opinions, but the expert's other opinions, and those of a second expert for the insurer, are admissible under Daubert, an Alabama federal judge held May 12 (Hibbett Patient Care, LLC, et al. v. Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-0231, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72786).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurer: Government Misinterprets Law In ACA Risk-Corridor Spat

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The government attempts to muddle how its obligations form in attempting to dispel a case alleging underpayment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk-corridor program, an insurer told a federal judge May 15 (Health Republic Insurance Co. v. The United States of America, No. 16-259, Fed. Clms.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Seeks Discovery On Post-Complaint Documents Relating To Coverage Issues

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In an asbestos coverage dispute, a reinsurer on May 15 asked a New York federal court to reconsider a discovery ruling and to compel an insurer to produce all post-complaint, internal documents involving coverage issues relating to primary and umbrella policies (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-cv-270, N.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Refuses To Compel Insurer To Produce Discovery In Coverage Dispute

    WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 12 denied a modular home builder insured's motions to compel discovery and for sanctions in a commercial general liability insurer's declaratory judgment action disputing coverage for underlying faulty workmanship claims against the insured (Westfield Insurance Co. v. Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes and Icon Legacy, No. 15-00539, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72624).

    Mealey's Insurance - State Sufficiently Proved Venue In Insurance Fraud Suit, Appeals Court Finds

    LIMA, Ohio - An Ohio Court of Appeals panel on May 15 ruled that man was properly convicted of one count of insurance fraud, finding that the prosecution provided sufficient evidence regarding the location of the incident (State of Ohio v. Timothy Jon McVety, No. 8-16-19, Ohio App., 3rd Dist., Logan Co., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 1848).

    Mealey's Insurance - Alabama Federal Judge Says No Coverage Provided For Pollution Incident

    MOBILE, Ala. - Because a third-party claimant seeking coverage for an environmental contamination lawsuit failed to prove that the environmental damages were unintended, no coverage is afforded under a policy's subsection that provides coverage for unintended pollution incidents caused by transportation activities, an Alabama federal judge said May 15 (Heartland Catfish Co. Inc., et al. v. Navigators Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-368, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73795).

    Mealey's Insurance - Prior Acts Exclusion Bars Coverage For Fraudulent Transfer Claims, Panel Affirms

    ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 held that a directors and officers liability insurance policy's prior acts exclusion bars coverage for an underlying $15 million settlement arising from claims that a financial corporation's former executive officers breached their fiduciary duties (Clifford Zucker v. U.S. Specialty Insurance Co., 11th Cir., 15-10987, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8585).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Green-Lights Expert Opinions In Bad Faith Insurance Action

    TAMPA, Fla. - Experts for both a driver injured in a crash and an insurance company accused of acting in bad faith in not settling the driver's claim can offer their opposing opinions based on their qualifications and sound methodology, as long as the opinions are not legal in nature, a Florida federal judge held May 12 (Nicky B. Dudash v. Southern-Owners Insurance Co., No. 8:16-cv-290, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73002).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claims As Untimely In Dispute Over $15.1M Judgment

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on May 11 dismissed insureds' bad faith claims as untimely against two insurers in the insureds' lawsuit seeking indemnification for an underlying $15,150,000 judgment that arose from a fatal car accident involving intoxicated minors (Ibrahim Sabbah v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-1772, N.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71726).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Must Pay For Remediation Services Rendered On Behalf Of Its Insured

    OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on May 12 entered judgment against an insurer after determining that the insurer is required to pay for remediation services rendered on behalf of its insured and may seek reimbursement from its insured if it believes the services are not covered under the policy at issue (Environmental Cleanup Inc. v. Ruiz Transport LLC, et al., No. 15-867, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72707).

    Mealey's Insurance - California Appellate Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Bad Faith Suit As Time-Barred

    LOS ANGELES - A state trial court's dismissal of an insured's breach of contract and bad faith claims in a homeowners insurance dispute was proper because the insured's claims were filed after the claims' one-year statute of limitations had run, a California appellate panel ruled in affirming on May 12 (Heather A. Smillie v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. B268353, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8, 2017 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3252).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Affirms Ruling Finding Conflict Between Fraud Defendant And Attorney

    BUFFALO, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on May 12 upheld a magistrate judge's decision finding that an attorney representing a man accused of health care fraud should be removed as his counsel due to a conflict of interest because the government intends to call him as a witness (United States of America v. Eugene Gosy, No. 16-cr-46-FPG, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72989).

    Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Says Disability Claimant Failed To Provide Objective Medical Findings

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on May 11 affirmed a district court's ruling after determining that a long-term disability (LTD) claim was properly denied because the claimant failed to provide any objective medical findings in support of the claim for benefits (Tricia Z. Cooper v. Intel Corporation Long Term Disability Plan, No. 14-35745, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8380).

    Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Partially Lifts Stay In Insurers' Declaratory Judgment Suit

    GULFPORT, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on May 11 agreed to partially lift a stay in a suit filed by insurers seeking a declaration as to whether they have a duty to defend their insureds for an underlying suit filed against the insureds by a subcontractor seeking damages for unjust enrichment (Greenwich Insurance Co., et al. v. Capsco Industries Inc., et al., No. 14-297, S.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71928).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Acted Vexatioulsy, Unreasonably In Denying Coverage, Illinois Panel Affirms

    ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on May 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that held that an insurer acted vexatiously and unreasonably in failing to defend its pet motel insured against an underlying negligence lawsuit that resulted in a $45,000 consent judgment (Sabas Soto v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 2-16-0720, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 943).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim In Class Action Suit Against Automobile Insurer

    SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 10 granted an automobile insurer's motion to dismiss bad faith and other claims in a class action brought by a woman claiming that she was wrongfully denied medical benefits coverage following an automobile accident, but allowed claims brought under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) to proceed (Sayles v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-1534, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71760).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Claims Seeking Coverage For Alleged Bullying, Harassment Are Timely

    CHICAGO - An Illinois panel on May 10 held that insureds' counterclaim and third-party complaint against a homeowners insurer and an insurance agent are timely in a coverage dispute arising from underlying bullying and harassment claims, reversing a lower court (American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Walter Krop, et al., No. 1-16-1071, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 310).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Cession Statement Is Not Necessary To Establish Reinsurance Agreement

    PHILADELPHIA - An insurer adequately alleged a relationship between an insurance policy and a reinsurance contract, even without reference to a cession statement, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 12, denying the reinsurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings on the insurer's breach of contract counterclaim (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72964).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel Orders FIGA To Pay Actual Repair Costs Up To Combined Statutory Cap

    LAKELAND, Fla. - On remand, a trial judge should enter a corrected judgment to show that an insured must contract for repairs within damages awarded by a jury and that the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) is required to pay actual repair costs to the contractors up to the combined statutory cap, a Florida appeals panel ruled May 12 (Maria Pupo v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 2D15-3901, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 6775).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Bars Testimony In Reinsurance Risk Company's Breach Of Contract Case

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge excluded on May 10 lay opinion testimony by a reinsurance risk management company's chief financial officer in a breach of contract lawsuit about funds that were improperly withdrawn from bank accounts (Les Fields/C.C.H.I. Insurance Services v. Stuart M. Hines, et al., No. 15-03728, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71620).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Liquidator Seeks Additional $362,788 Claim Against Reinsurer

    NEW YORK - In a dispute over reinsurance proceeds allegedly owed to the estate of The Home Insurance Co., the liquidator on May 11 requested a pre-motion conference in a New York federal court to address an amendment to his complaint against a reinsurer to assert an additional claim of $362,787.84 (Roger A. Sevigny, the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of New Hampshire, as Liquidator of The Home Insurance Company v. Trygvesta Forsikring A/S, as successor in interest to Skandinavia Insurance Company Ltd., Trygvesta Forsikring A/S v. Cerberus Holding Company, LLC., No. 16-cv-04874, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Denies Motions To Reconsider In Construction Defects Suit

    TACOMA, Wash. - A Washington federal judge on May 9 denied motions for reconsideration filed by insurers involved in a construction defects coverage suit after determining that the insurers failed to raise any issues that warrant reconsideration (Eagle Harbour Condominium Association v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-5312, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70793).

    Mealey's Insurance - 8th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Class Action Challenging Insurance Practices

    ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 11 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of a class action alleging that an insurer sold policies with benefits below the statutory minimum required by Minnesota law (Andrea L. Dammann, et al. v. Progressive Direct Insurance Co., No. 16-3591, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8340).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Partly Grants Motion To Compel Discovery In Dispute Over Employee Fraud

    CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on May 9 granted in part insurers' motion to compel discovery in a dispute over fidelity bond coverage for the alleged fraudulent conduct of a bank insured's former loan officer (Fifth Third Bancorp, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al., No. 14-869, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70639).

    Mealey's Insurance - Florida Appeals Panel Finds Insurer's Subrogation Suit Is Not Time-Barred

    MIAMI - The Third District Florida Court of Appeal on May 10 reversed a trial court's dismissal of an insurer's complaint after determining that the trial court erred in finding that the complaint was time-barred because the insurer filed the suit within four years of the actual date of loss (Companion Property and Casualty Group v. Built Tops Building Services Inc., No. 3D16-2044, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 6584).