ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Oct. 4 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss insureds' fraud claims in a dispute arising from roof damage caused by Hurricane Charley (Ida L. Cruz, et al. v. American Security Insurance Co., No. 16-1317, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137548).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 3 confirmed two reinsurance arbitration awards, noting that there was no opposition to the confirmation (Nutmeg Insurance Company, et al. v. Employers Insurance of Wausau A Mutual Company, No. 16-cv-00317, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A de novo standard of review should be applied in a disability benefits suit because the plan at issue did not confer discretionary authority to the disability plan administrator, a California federal judge said Oct. 3 (Cathleen Murphy v. California Physicians Service, et al., No. 14-2581, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137159).
TULSA, Okla. - Insureds have offered sufficient facts to support their claim for bad faith against their insurer in a homeowners insurance dispute, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Oct. 4 in denying the insurer's motion to dismiss (Larry W. Thomas, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Co., No. 16-17, N.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137564).
DALLAS - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper because an insured has failed to show that an adjuster is liable for any of the claims against him, a federal judge in Texas ruled Oct. 4 (Ministerio Internacional Lirios del Valle v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 16-1212, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137453).
BOISE, Idaho - An insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in its handling of an insured's claim for water damages, an Idaho federal judge said Sept. 30 after determining that the insured failed to provide any support that the insurer breached its contract (Kim Peck v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 14-500, D. Idaho; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136465).
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal judge on Sept. 30 held that there is a question of fact as to whether an insured could have reasonably foreseen that claims of wrongful acts brought against it by mortgage lenders would result in claims by a title insurer in a dispute arising from the insured's mortgage loan closing services (Fiserv Solutions Inc. v. Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 11-0603, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136938).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 29 granted in part and denied in part dueling motions for summary judgment filed by a glass manufacturer insured, an insurer and a reinsurer in a coverage dispute over property damage and business interruption losses arising from the insured's equipment breakdown (The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., et al. v. International Glass Products LLC, et al., No. 08-1564, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135045).
LONDON, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on Sept. 30 ruled that the wife of a doctor who was found guilty of owning and operating a taxpayer-funded pill mill should have a new trial on charges that she knowingly billed insurance companies for drugs that were dispensed using a pre-signed prescription sheet (United States of America v. James Alvin Chaney, et al., No. 14-37, E.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135190).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Sept. 29 granted summary judgment motions filed by three insurers in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the insured failed to prove the terms of lost policies and failed to provide sufficient evidence regarding the dates of first exposure for the underlying claims (Pacific Employers Insurance Co. v. Troy Belting & Supply Co., et al., No. 11-912, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134224).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 3 denied two alleged judgment creditors' motion to disqualify opposing counsel in a case where the alleged judgment creditors are asking the court to order payment of the confirmation of a reinsurance arbitration award (AmTrust North America, Inc. and Technology Insurance Company, Inc., as judgment creditors of Pacific Re, Inc. on behalf of its protected cell Pac Re 5-AT v. Safebuilt Insurance Services Inc., No. 16-cv-06033, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN DIEGO - Potential conflicts of interests between an insurer and an additional insured do not require the appointment of independent counsel in an underlying construction defects lawsuit, a California federal judge ruled Sept. 29, also granting summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. McMillin Homes Construction Inc., et al., No. 15-1548, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134972).
FRESNO, Calif. - Dismissal of claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit are proper because the claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 30 (April Powell v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 16-1197, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136311).
HOUSTON - Even though an insurer has shown that it was prejudiced as a matter of law by an insured's conduct in declining a settlement in an underlying lawsuit over a faulty flex connector, a question of fact exists as to whether the insured's refusal to settle was reasonable, a Texas federal judge said Sept. 29 in vacating a prior ruling on the issue (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133972).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A majority of the Florida Supreme Court held Sept. 29 that an appellate court misapplied a statutory presumption of correctness and incorrectly found that another statute requires a showing of bad faith for an insured to recover attorney fees, quashing and remanding the appellate court's ruling in a sinkhole coverage dispute (Kathy Johnson v. Omega Insurance Co., No. SC14-2124, Fla. Sup.; 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2148).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Sept. 30 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insured's lawsuit seeking indemnification under a financial institution crime bond is time-barred, rejecting the insured's attempt to apply Section 143.1 of Illinois Insurance Code to toll the bond's 24-month filing requirement (Independent Trust Corp. v. Kansas Bankers Surety Company, No. 1-14-3161, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 670).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Sept. 30 refused to review a mold coverage suit in which a trial court granted an insurer's no-evidence motion for summary judgment because the insureds failed to file a timely and substantive response to the motion (Veronica L. Davis, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds Texas, No. 16-0531, Texas Sup.).
ALBANY, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on Sept. 30 found that an insured did not satisfy a statutory prerequisite demand requirement by failing to provide sufficient notice of a bad faith claim or litigation to its insurer before filing its initial complaint, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment as to the bad faith claim (Foliar Nutrients Inc., et al. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co., No. 14-75, M.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135327).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on Sept. 29 ordered the liquidation of an insolvent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace insurer and terminated a previously ordered rehabilitation (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Anne Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company, No. 2016CH09210, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor in an underlying lawsuit seeking to recover the costs of repairing and replacing roofing work installed incorrectly by an insured subcontractor because the costs did not constitute "property damage" under the policy, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 28 (Core Construction Services Southeast Inc., et al. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-10030, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17575).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Sept. 28 found that a contractor and others that had agreed to indemnify an insurer in liquidation were liable to indemnify the insurer for more than $500,000 of losses the insurer paid when the contractor could not to meet its obligations on a brine storage pond project (Castlepoint National Insurance Company v. Addicks Services, Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-00462, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134761).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana appeals panel on Sept. 28 partially reversed and partially affirmed a ruling in a carbon monoxide poisoning case and determined that the insurer for a staffing company did not owe a duty to defend to the general contractor who had organized the project where two workers sustained their injuries (William F. Spencer v. Chevron Corporation, et al., No. 2016-CA-0174, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 1786).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Sept. 28 that it is contemplating moving for dismissal of a complaint that it describes as "a bare notice pleading" (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., No. 16-cv-04874, S.D. N.Y.).
INDIANAPOLIS - Insureds seeking coverage for environmental contamination claims must produce information related to their premium allocation in addition to a list of all of the insureds' global coverage policies, an Indiana federal judge said Sept. 27 (Eli Lilly and Co., et al. v. Arch Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-1770, S.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131855).
HOUSTON - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Sept. 28 that Vibra Healthcare LLC (Vibra), a Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based national hospital chain, has agreed to pay $32.7 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) when billing Medicare for medically unnecessary services (United States of America, ex rel. Daniel v. Vibra Healthcare LLC, No. 10-5099, S.D. Texas).