NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 21 rejected an insurer's argument that its owes nothing to the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association (USMAA) for tornado damage to a building it leases from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) because others paid for USMAA's loss (Southern Insurance Co. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-60472, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13350).
DENVER - A trial court properly allowed expert testimony on causation in an insurance coverage dispute over injuries suffered in an auto collision, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held July 19, affirming that the insured presented evidence that a reasonable jury could find that his claim for benefits was fairly debatable (Donald L. Etherton v. Owners Insurance Co., No. 14-1164, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13156).
MIAMI - A disability insurer's decision to terminate a claimant's long-term disability benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the insurer reasonably concluded that the claimant was not precluded from working in "any occupation," a Florida federal judge said July 19 (Armando Mercado v. Federal Express Corp., et al., No. 15-21472, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93786).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying coverage for an allegedly stolen skid loader because ample evidence exists to support the insurer's denial of the claim, a federal judge in Utah ruled July 18 in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract lawsuit (Naser Awadh, et al. v. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-0145, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93369).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 19 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to show that the district court has subject matter jurisdiction over the action (Florence Hanson v. Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co., No. 15-8882, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93444).
HOUSTON - An insurance policy's "your work" exclusion precludes damages awarded in arbitration to homeowners because the insured contractor's work caused the damages, which did not include damages to the pool or work performed by other subcontractors, a Texas federal judge ruled July 19 (Grier Patton and Camille Patton and David A. Fettner v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 15-1371, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93568).
HOUSTON - A nurse at a Texas home health care services company was found guilty on three counts of health care fraud by a unanimous jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on July 19 for her role in an $8 million scheme that involved submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare (United States of America v. Precious Deshield, et al., No. 15cr319, S.D. Texas).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 18 granted William H. Cosby Jr.'s motion to stay a homeowners and excess insurer's coverage dispute pending resolution of an underlying lawsuit brought by model, actress and TV producer Janice Dickinson but denied the motion to the extent Cosby seeks a stay pending the resolution of a criminal action in Pennsylvania (AIG Property Casualty Co. v. William H. Cosby Jr., et al., No. 15-04842, C.D. Calif.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 15 to approve a settlement between a homeowner and the receivership estate of an insolvent insurer of the homeowner's fire damage claim (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on July 18 terminated as moot a reinsurer's motion to amend its pleadings to withdraw its Bellefonte-based defenses and claims (Munich Reinsurance America Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 15 agreed to adopt a disability claimant's proposed additional findings; however, the judge said the judgment in favor of a disability insurer will stand because the claimant still did not prove that he was continuously disabled under the policy at issue (Stephen Dorf v. Standard Insurance Co., as successor to Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 13-6479, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92538).
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of an insured's negligent work that caused a collapse do not constitute covered "property damage" under commercial general liability insurance policies, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed July 15 (New Jersey-American Water Co., Inc. v. Watchung Square Associates, LLC and Fidelity Corp. v. Vollers Excavating & Construction, Inc. and Frank Ferraro v. Salvatore Davino, et al. and Travelers Insurance Co., et al., Nos. A3436-13T1 & A-3445-13T1, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1639).
TAMPA, Fla. - Window and sliding-glass-door manufacturers may proceed on their "bad-faith failure to settle" and "negligent failure to settle" claims against their insurer for failing to indemnify them for underlying settlements arising out of alleged defective windows, a Florida federal judge ruled July 18 (MI Windows & Doors, LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-3139, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92973).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 held that it does not have appellate jurisdiction over a federal district court's nonfinal order denying confirmation of a $208,445.57 appraisal award in a hailstorm damage coverage dispute (KCOM Inc. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Co., No. 15-1218, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13171).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that a professional liability insurer was entitled to rescind its policy in a dispute over coverage for two underlying medical negligence claims against a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology (Capson Physicians Insurance Co. v. MMIC Insurance Inc., Nos. 15-2459 and 15-2575, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13144).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 14 rejected an attorney insured's argument that a professional liability insurance policy is voidable for failing to comply with the requirements of New Jersey Rule of Court 1:21-1B(a)(4), denying the insured's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over client funds that were allegedly misappropriated by a legal assistant (Jill Cadre, et al. v. ProAssurance Casualty Co., No. 16-0103, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91925).
DENVER - A trial court erred in finding that no coverage is afforded for environmental contamination cleanup costs because the trial court failed to determine if the insurer was prejudiced by the insured's late notice of the claim, the Colorado Court of Appeals said July 14 (MarkWest Energy Partners L.P., v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 15-0770, Colo. App., Div. 1; 2016 Colo. App. LEXIS 956).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York issued a summary order on July 14 ordering a reinsurer to pay its reinsured nearly $1 million in prejudgment interest on a nearly $6 million principal award regarding an asbestos-related settlement agreement between the reinsured and its insured (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., No. 13-1178, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91413).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on July 14 granted an insurer's motion to amend judgment in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract suit, ruling that an insured failed to show that he was entitled to consequential damages (Andrew Cordova v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-1111, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143728).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 15 partially granted a motion for reconsideration on the issue of whether a deductible applies to defense costs in an environmental contamination dispute and said the insurers are free to file a motion to amend their complaint after the underlying suit is adjudicated to allege a claim pertaining to the care, custody or control exclusion in the business auto policies at issue (American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Co., et al. v. Technichem Inc., et al., No. 15-03611, N.D. Calif.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Even though a primary pollution liability policy is not listed as underlying insurance to an umbrella policy, coverage for an underlying environmental contamination suit is still afforded under the umbrella policy, an Oklahoma federal judge said July 15 (BITCO General Insurance Corp. v. Marjo Operating Co. Inc., et al., No. 14-1220, W.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92083).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on July 15 refused to dismiss an insurer's lawsuit against a landlord and the couple that sued the landlord in an underlying lawsuit regarding lead-based paint exposure, ruling that the insurer's declaratory judgment action must continue because the couple had not met the burden of having the case dismissed (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Stanley Rochkind, et al., No. 15-1546, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91087).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 13 to hold a hearing on a contested claim regarding compensation for certain losses of an insured due to a house fire (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on July 15 held that although a lower court denial of insured's motion for attorney fees in a sinkhole coverage dispute was based on two statutory misinterpretations, there is ample basis in the record to affirm (Christopher Shane Miller v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc., et al., No. 2D15-1350, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 10868).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 14 held that the one-year statute of limitations under the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) was triggered on the date an insurer mailed its denial letter and not on the date the insured received the denial letter, finding that the insured filed his claim for Superstorm Sandy damage to his beach house 11 day too late (John Cholankeril Jr. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-3269, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91457).