BALTIMORE - No additional coverage exists under an auto policy for property damages caused when oil was pumped into an incorrect home by the insured because the auto policy's limits were exhausted, the Maryland Special Court of Appeals said Aug. 25 (Griffith Energy Services Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al., No. 923, Md. App.; 2015 Md. App. LEXIS 104).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 26 entered an amended judgment in favor of a disability claimant for more than $711,000 in accordance with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that the claimant was totally disabled under the disability policies at issue (Louis Leonor v. Provident Life and Accident Co., et al., No. 12-15343, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112865).
SEATTLE - A trial court correctly determined that an insurer had no duty to defend underlying claims arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning because the policy's pollution exclusion clearly precluded coverage; however, issues of genuine fact exist regarding whether the insurer violated Washington's insurance code and consumer protection act, the state's Division I Court of Appeals said Aug. 24 (Zhaoyun Xia, et al. v. ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 71951-3-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 2026).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware state judge on Aug. 21 determined that an insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying asbestos suits, but deferred ruling on whether the insured provided timely notice of the underlying claims (CNH Industrial America LLC v. American Casualty Company of Pennsylvania et al., No. N12C-07-108, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 418; Del. Super. LEXIS 419; Del. Super. LEXIS 420).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal judge in Louisiana on Aug. 24 denied an insurance company's motion for summary judgment in a suit in which it seeks an order declaring a general commercial policy void ab initio, after finding that an insurance agent's completion of an application containing alleged misrepresentations creates a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant intended to deceive the company (Century Surety Company v. Bassam Nafel, No. 14-101-JWD-RLB, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111575).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a third party's insurance bad faith claim against an insurer because the third party's bad faith claim was not brought within the one-year statute of limitations, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 21 (Michael L. Belanger v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 15-30018, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14793).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 24 dismissed a disability insurer's appeal for lack of jurisdiction after determining that a district court's remand of the disability suit to the plan administrator was not a final appealable order (Joseph Stevens v. Santander Holdings USA Inc. Self Insured Short Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 14-1481, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14838).
BOSTON - A plaintiff was denied judgment on the pleadings Aug. 21 by a Massachusetts federal judge, who instead agreed with an insurer that a "broad" intellectual property (IP) exclusion in a general liability insurance policy precludes coverage in an underlying copyright lawsuit (PTC Inc. v. Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, No. 14-14056, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111398).
NEW ALBANY, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Aug. 24 denied a hospital's motion to dismiss it from a former emergency room doctor's False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit, after finding that the plaintiff's allegation that he was subject to retaliatory termination as a result of his complaints that the hospital was fraudulently billing Medicare are not subject to the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) (James Thomas, M.D. v. EmCare Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-00130-SEB-TAB, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111514).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Aug. 20 denied an insured's motion to remand an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that remand is not proper because the insured has "failed to articulate a proper challenge to removal" (Joe Gladney v. American Western Home Insurance Co., No. 15-1559, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110131).
CHICAGO - A state trial court did not err in granting an insurer's motion to dismiss in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to show that any breach of a homeowners insurance policy existed, an Illinois appellate panel ruled Aug. 21 (Robert Lytle v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1-14-2169, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div.; 2015 Ill App. Unpub. LEXIS 1855).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on Aug. 20 awarded a mattress maker more than $1.5 million after calculating pre- and post-judgment interest and attorney fees owed on a jury's $400,000 award for coverage owed to the insured for an underlying action in which consumers alleged that mattresses developed mold (Select Comfort Corp. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., et al., No. 13-2975, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111070).
EL DORADO, Ark. - Remand of an insurance bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper because an insured has shown that the amount in controversy is less than $75,000, a federal judge in Arkansas ruled Aug. 21 (Tina L. Boone v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-1047, W.D. Ark.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110887).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 19 consolidated for oral argument motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in two adversary cases that ask the same question: whether the protective injunction in W.R. Grace & Co.'s Chapter 11 case bars asbestos personal injury claimants in Libby, Mont., from pursuing negligence and bad faith claims against the former debtors' insurers (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139 [Continental Casualty Company, et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766], [Ralph Hutt and Carl Osborn v. Maryland Casualty Company, No. 14-50867], D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on Aug. 19 ordered an insolvent insurer out of rehabilitation and into liquidation and named the state's acting director of insurance as liquidator (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Andrew Boron, Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Interstate Bankers Casualty Co., No. 14 CH 6395, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 17 dismissed an insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying counterclaims against its enterprise software services provider insured, finding that venue is not proper (Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 15-02378, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109075).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 18 denied in part an insurer's motion for summary judgment in coverage dispute arising from claims that an insured participated in an alleged scheme to acquire the trade secrets and a confidential marketing "system" developed by a home health franchisor, allowing breach of contract and bad faith claims to proceed (Anthony Nieves, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 14-05536, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110386).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 19 dismissed an insurer's coverage lawsuit because there is an underlying parallel lawsuit involving the same parties and issues with regard to an insured's alleged negligent construction work that caused water damage in an apartment complex (American Home Assurance Co. v. Global Construction Company LLC, et al., No. 14-07319, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110378).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Allegations of an insured subcontractor's construction defects triggered an insurer's duty to defend a general contractor as an additional insured, an Oregon appeals panel affirmed Aug. 19, finding that the insurer breached its duty to defend (West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., et al., No. 381, Ore. App.; 2015 Ore. App. LEXIS 993).
MEDFORD, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Aug. 20 awarded $1,029,814 in attorney fees against an insurer in an executive and organization liability insurance coverage dispute (Daryl J. Kollman, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 04-3106, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109966).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Aug. 18 held that it is up to an arbitration panel to determine which of two arbitration clauses in a reinsurance contract applies to a dispute over, among other things, a commutation value (American United Life Insurance Company v. Travelers Indemnity Company, et al., No. 14-cv-01339, D. Conn.).
ATLANTA - Because no employment relationship existed between a health insurance provider and a security firm, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 17 found that the security firm's employment practices liability (EPL) policy did not provide coverage for the settlement of an underlying data-theft class action lawsuit (Carolina Casualty Insurance Co., et al. v. Red Coats Inc., d/b/a Admiral Security Services Inc., No. 14-12002, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14421).
JACKSON, Tenn. - An insurer has a duty to defend its insured in an underlying suit alleging bodily injuries as a result of mold in a rented home because an exception to the mold exclusion provides that the exclusion does not apply to fungi contained in a good or product intended for human consumption, a Tennessee federal judge said Aug. 19 (Acuity, a mutual insurance company v. Reed & Associates of Tennessee LLC et al., No. 15-2140, W.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109412).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on Aug. 17 held that insurers do not have to contribute to a law enforcement liability insurer's $5 million settlement of an underlying civil rights lawsuit against the City of Elkhart, Ind., stemming from a wrongful arrest and prosecution, granting their motions for judgment on the pleadings (TIG Insurance Co. v. City of Elkhart, et al., No. 13-902 c/w No. 13-992, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107807).
FRESNO, Calif. - Since a proposed class action in which purchasers asserting violations of California's unfair competition law in relation to allegedly defective styling irons is still in the pre-class stage, a California federal judge on Aug. 17 denied the plaintiffs' motion to compel additional discovery on the irons (Delia Wilson, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, v. Conair Corp., No. 1:14-cv-00894, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109030).