PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 9 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal with prejudice of an unjust enrichment claim against an insurer, finding that the complaint fails to allege that the insurer requested a benefit from the plaintiff or misled it in any way (iRecycleNow.com v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co., No. 16-1570, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 333).
NEW YORK - A group of London-based reinsurers told a federal court in New York on Jan. 9 that they do not oppose a reinsured's motion to confirm an asbestos related arbitration award (OneBeacon Insurance Company v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, No. 16-cv-09908, S.D. N.Y.).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Jan. 6 partially granted a motion to compel filed by insureds seeking coverage for a gasoline leak after determining that the insurer is required to produce information related to the insurer's claims handling of other gasoline leak claims (Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Tammy Cooley, et al., No. 16-39, S.D. Miss.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2157).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge dismissed on Jan. 5 an insured's breach of contract claim against its insurer because the insurer has not granted or denied coverage for a claim for water damage to a condominium complex (Mainhouse Homeowners Association v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1457, W.D. Wash.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1663).
CHICAGO - An insurer has no duty to indemnify an insured and no duty to reimburse an additional insured for alleged water damage to an apartment building because there was no covered "occurrence" for the insured's failure to properly cover the building's roof, an Illinois federal judge ruled Jan. 6 (Brit UW Ltd. v. Tripar Inc. and Davis Russell Real Estate and Management LLC, No. 15-5866, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2462).
HAMMOND, Ind. - Insureds seeking coverage for environmental contamination discovered on a property they purchased are not entitled to coverage because the policy bars coverage for known or unknown property damage and for property damage that began before the policy's inception, an Indiana federal judge said Jan. 5 in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. v. Juan and Maria Garcia, No. 15-66, N.D. Ind.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1861).
TAMPA, Fla. - Because insureds have failed to bring a claim for breach of contract, they have failed to state a claim for bad faith and have violated the particularity requirement pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a federal judge in Florida ruled Jan. 9 (Fred Fox, et al. v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co., No. 16-3254, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2678).
CHICAGO - A disability insurer's termination of benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the evidence supported the termination and the insurer minimized any conflict of interest by employing a number of safeguards, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Jan. 6 (Donna Geiger v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 16-2790, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 245).
CHICAGO - A cardiologist who pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud for fraudulently billing Medicare and other insurance companies was ordered by a federal judge in Illinois to turn over three retirement funds valued at $300,738.60 after finding that forfeiture of the funds would not result in an overpayment of the $12 million he owes in restitution (United States of America v. Sushil Sheth, No. 09 CR 69-1, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2281).
ATLANTA - A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 9 that an insurer has no duty to pay an insured's $405,989 in pre-tender legal expenses incurred in defending a copyright infringement lawsuit, affirming a lower court's finding that Florida's claims administration statute (CAS) does not control because the insurer relied on an exclusion and not a coverage defense in its refusal to pay the expenses (EmbroidMe.com, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 14-10616, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 368).
CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurance policy does not cover a roofing subcontractor over faulty work claims that resulted in more than $6.6 million in damages to townhomes, an insurer says in its Jan. 4 complaint to an Illinois federal court (Nautilus Insurance Co. v. Classic Roofing Inc. and Custom Roofing Contracting Ltd., No. 17-45, N.D. Ill.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer told a federal court in New York on Jan. 6 that the issue of whether a workers' compensation claim dispute can be arbitrated and what parties should participate in the arbitration is up to the court and not up to a panel of arbitrators to decide (In the Matter of the Arbitration Between National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-08821, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 5 held that a professional liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify against an underlying complaint alleging that the insureds misrepresented important data that an insurer used to calculate premiums (Westport Insurance Corp. v. M.L. Sullivan Insurance Agency Inc., d/b/a Sullivan & Associates Insurance and Risk Management, et al., No. 15-7294, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1527).
DENVER - A commercial property insurer's voluntary payment of an appraisal award and the insured's acceptance of the payment settled any dispute over the amount of storm loss to the insured's property, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 4, affirming a lower court's decision to vacate an order confirming the appraisal award and a judgment in favor of the insured (In re: Appointment of Umpire for Hayes Family Trust, on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated, Clayton A. Hayes, cotrustee v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 15-6164, 10th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 81).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A reinsurer told a federal court in Alabama on Jan. 2 that its reinsured submitted a reinsurance loss bill under a different agreement than the one listed in the reinsured's complaint (Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 16-cv-00948, M.D. Ala.).
LINCOLN, Neb. - Finding that an insured's post-loss assignment of a property damage claim to a roofing company under a homeowners insurance policy is valid despite the policy's nonassignment clause, the Nebraska Supreme Court on Dec. 30 affirmed a lower court's $5,252.66 judgment against the insurer in a dispute over roof damage (Millard Gutter Co. v. Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. S-15-912, Neb. Sup.; 2016 Neb. LEXIS 187).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Jan. 3 stayed an insurer's suit seeking a declaration that it is responsible for only a portion of a $4 million judgment entered against its insureds in an underlying suit alleging injuries as a result of exposure to lead paint in the insureds' rental property after determining that federal abstention is warranted because a state court suit filed by the underlying plaintiffs against the insurer turns on the same question of law (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Stewart J. Levitas, et al., No. 16-2060, D. Md.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Jan. 3 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify an additional insured against an underlying personal injury lawsuit (Nova Casualty, et al. v Harleysville Worchester Insurance Co., et al., No. 2632, 116359/10, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 1st Dept.; 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 39).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Dec. 29 held that an insurer has a duty to defend the City of New York as an additional insured under policies issued to one of its contractors against four out of five underlying personal injury lawsuits, modifying a lower court's order in part (The City of New York v. Wausau Underwriters Insurance Co., et al., No. 2182, 651283/14, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8786).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Dec. 30 that an insurer's request regarding testimony from its corporate designee is improper because among other reasons, the reinsurer says, it does not have the information the insurer seeks (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-00270, N.D. N.Y.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The term "flood" in a homeowners insurance policy is not ambiguous under South Carolina law and, as a result, an insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying coverage under the policy because it contained a water damage exclusion that precluded coverage for the damages insureds sought, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Dec. 29 in granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Stephen F. Morris, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 16-0880, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179715).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 29 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend or indemnify Target Corp. as an additional insured against an underlying lawsuit brought by a customer who was injured when a fitting room door fell on her (Selective Insurance Company Of South Carolina v. Target Corp., No. 16-1669, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23370).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 3 granted a pair of judgment creditors' motion to register a New York federal court's earlier order in a federal court in California where the party owing a $7.8 million arbitration award allegedly has substantial property (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.).
HOUSTON - Fees awarded under Section 82.002(g) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code are not "damages" covered by a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Texas federal judge ruled Dec. 30, finding that the ruling in Hollybrook Cottonseed Processing, L.L.C. v. Am. Guarantee & Liab. Ins. Co. (772 F.3d 1031 [5th Cir. 2014]) does not affect that conclusion (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180539).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying coverage under a homeowners insurance policy because an insured's claim for coverage was precluded by a flood damage exclusion in the policy, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Dec. 29 in granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Rachel Todd v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 16-0883, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179711).