PHILADELPHIA - The wife of a man killed in the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train filed suit in federal court on June 29 on her own behalf and on behalf of her husband's estate (Danna Gildersleeve, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 2:15-cv-03626, E.D. Pa.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 found that allegations in an underlying amended counterclaim against a test-preparation provider insured do not potentially include a trade dress infringement claim, affirming a lower federal court's ruling in favor of the insurer in an advertising injury coverage dispute (Test Masters Educational System Inc. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-20473, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11148).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 affirmed that primary and excess commercial general liability insurers' motion to intervene in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit after a $20 million settlement was reached was untimely (CE Design Ltd., et al. v. King Supply Co., LLC, et al., No. 12-2930, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11117).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on June 26 that its reinsurer's motion to stay a $1 million reinsurance billing dispute is an attempt to avoid having to post pre-pleading security that the insurer claims is mandated by Connecticut state law (Select Insurance Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, f/k/a PMA Capital Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-00715, D. Conn.).
CHICAGO - An exception to a faulty workmanship exclusion for "resulting loss or damage caused by [a] Covered Cause of Loss" applies under facts alleged by an insured, an Illinois appeals panel held June 29, affirming the reinstatement of an insurer for its alleged breach of the policy in denying coverage (Moda Furniture LLC v. Chicago Title Land Trust Co., et al., No. 13-L-63001, Ill. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 496).
AUSTIN, Texas - Answering a certified question from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in the affirmative, the majority of the Texas Supreme Court on June 26 ruled that an administrative action initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a "suit" as that term is defined under the insurance policies at issue (McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-0465, Texas Sup.; 2015 Tex. LEXIS 624).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on June 25 refused to enter summary judgment against an insured in an environmental contamination coverage dispute because the definition of "pollutant" in the policies' pollution exclusions is ambiguous and there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the contamination occurred before or after the site at issue was operated as a landfill (St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. et al. v. City of Kokomo et al., No. 13-1573, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82465).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on June 29 granted a joint motion to confirm certain arbitration awards regarding a dispute of agreements going back to the 1960s, '70s and '80s (OneBeacon America Insurance Company, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. 14-cv-12562, D. Mass.).
NEW ORLEANS - A general liability insurance policy's breach of contract exclusion precludes coverage for breach of contract claims asserted by a parish's insurer with regard to a project that allegedly suffered from improper work by various subcontractors, a Louisiana federal judge ruled June 29, granting summary judgment to a subcontractor's insurer (Hanover Insurance Co. v. Plaquemines Parish Government, No. 12-1680, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84056).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to show that an insurer was required to provide defense or indemnification, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 25 (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Richard Pira, et al., No. 13-15991, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10777).
CINCINNATI - A Texas appeals panel on June 25 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an excess insurer has a duty to reimburse the defense costs that its insured incurred in an underlying lawsuit alleging that it failed to fully remit hotel taxes (Illinois Union Insurance Co. v. Sabre Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 02-14-00130-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 6567).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - After ruling on the final legal issues in an environmental contamination coverage dispute, a Michigan federal judge on June 25 adjourned a scheduled trial and said the insured and insurer are in a position to propose a final judgment in the suit (Decker Manufacturing Corp. v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 13-820, W.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82433).
CINCINNATI - Because a disability claimant was unable to perform two-thirds of his regular occupational duties, the claimant was totally disabled, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 24 (Louis Leonor v. Provident Life and Accident Co. et al., Nos. 14-2120, 14-2152, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10647).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A group of reinsurers told a federal court in Connecticut on June 26 that their reinsured's claim regarding certain environmental damage losses should not be counted as a single occurrence (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company v. ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-cv-00275, D. Conn.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A genuine dispute exists over whether a subcontractor caused any delays in a construction project, a Florida magistrate judge found June 26, denying summary judgment to a contractor and its surety (The Davis Group Inc. v. Ace Electric Inc. and The Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-251, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83368).
NEW YORK - A New York federal court properly limited or excluded expert testimony for three defendants convicted of submitting false disability claims to the Long Island Railroad's (LIRR) Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and properly allowed expert testimony by a government witness, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 22 in affirming the convictions (United States of America v. Joseph Rutigliano, et al., Nos. 14-152, 14-759, 14-1339, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10425).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on June 23 denied dueling motions for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from alleged breaches of contractual obligations under two promissory notes and a consulting agreement by the insured and its directors and officers (Intelligent Digital Systems LLC, et al. v. Beazley Insurance Company Inc., No. 12-1209, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82742).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 23 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss an office supply company insured's counterclaim alleging that it is entitled to declaratory relief regarding the insurer's indemnification duties in an underlying lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and civil conspiracy (Sentinel Insurance Co. v. Yorktown Industries Inc., No. 14 CV 4212, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81419).
ELGIN, Ill. - An insurer has no duty to defend an insured against underlying allegations of improper design and implementation of a solution to logistical and supply chain processes, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed June 25 (Century Surety Co. v. Winchester Industrial Controls LLC, No. 2-14-0969, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1403).
NEW YORK - In an electronic order, a federal judge in New York on June 25 unsealed a number of related reinsurance disputes and ordered that a consolidated complaint be filed (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-01165; National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-02939; National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03310 and National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
DENVER - An insured has not shown that his federal bankruptcy court and district court positions in an insurance bad faith lawsuit are clearly inconsistent, a federal judge in Colorado ruled June 23 in denying an insurer's motion for summary judgment in the district court action (Daniel L. Porter v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-3446, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81301).
SAN FRANCISCO - There is a triable issue as to whether an insured's claim for property damage under a commercial general liability insurance policy was precluded by the known-loss provision, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25, reversing the entry of summary judgment to an insurer and remanding (Randy Kaady v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 13-35036, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10754).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A trial court erred in ordering a hospital to produce confidential contracts between it and 37 health insurers, a Florida appeals panel ruled June 22, finding that the scope of the law under which the order was issued did not extend to such documents (Shands Jacksonville Medical Center Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 1D14-2001, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s structure suggests the availability of tax subsidies in the federal exchange, and Congress could not have intended the state insurance market "death spirals" likely to result from barring such subsidies, a divided U.S. Supreme Court held June 25 (David King, et al. v. Sylvia Mathew Burwell, et al., No. 14-114, U.S. Sup.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 23 granted an insured's motion for voluntarily dismissal of his breach of contract lawsuit against his federal flood insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Ernie Giordano v. Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Co., No. 14-0904, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80859).