SAN DIEGO - A California appeals panel on May 8 vacated a woman's conviction for her alleged role in her husband's filing of a fraudulent insurance claim for the theft of his car, finding that the evidence did not sufficiently establish that she aided or abetted the scheme (California v. Robert Patrick Mejia, et al., No. D073113, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 1st Div., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3121).
LINCOLN, Neb. - A promissory note holder failed to comply with a court order before filing a motion to compel discovery in a dispute over a reinsurer's alleged breach of the promissory note executed pursuant to a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), a Nebraska federal magistrate judge held May 4 (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Top's Personnel Inc., No. 15-90, D. Neb.).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 7 ruled that neither an insurer nor an insured was entitled to summary judgment on an insurance bad faith claim because a reasonable jury could rule in either party's favor on the claim in an automobile insurance dispute (Melissa C. Parisi, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 16-179, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76246).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 7 granted a disability insurer's motion for summary judgment after determining that the claimant does not have standing to bring suit against the insurer because she was actually not a participant in the long-term disability plan (Brenda Spies v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 17-2012, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76987).
ST. LOUIS - Based on a Missouri Court of Appeals' allocation ruling in an asbestos coverage dispute, a Missouri federal judge on May 8 vacated a prior allocation ruling and said that the all-sums method, rather than a pro rata method, is the correct method of allocation (Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Insurance Company of North America, No. 14-1112, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77061).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware Superior Court judge on May 7 found that Verizon Communications Inc. is entitled to more than $40 million plus prejudgment interest from its primary and excess executive and organization liability insurers for its underlying defense costs arising from securities claims (Verizon Communications Inc., et al., v. Illinois National Insurance Company, et al., No. Nl4C-06-048, Del. Super.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey woman on May 4 filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of herself and her son against the state's insurance guaranty association for injuries sustained as pedestrians caused by an unidentified motor vehicle (Marianela Lucero v. New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. ESX-L-003210-18, N.J. Super., Essex Co.).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on May 7 determined that while a coverage ruling regarding an insured's claim for water intrusion damages and investigation costs could not be made at this juncture, the insurer's policy does afford coverage for water intrusion and mold (Market Place North Condominium Association v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., No. 17-625, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76724).
NEW YORK - Harvey Weinstein on May 7 answered his insurers' lawsuit seeking a declaration that they owe no coverage for 11 underlying lawsuits alleging that he committed intentional, egregious sexual predatory behavior that spanned at least 30 years, contending that the insurers misrepresented coverage and/or the nature of their obligations to him (Federal Insurance Company, et al. v. Harvey Weinstein, No. 18-02526, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on May 4 became the latest party to oppose insureds' request for the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer related lawsuits over flood claims resulting from the 2016 and 2017 hurricane seasons in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings (In Re: 2016 and 2017 Hurricane Seasons Flood Litigation, No. 2844, JPMDL).
QUEENS, N.Y. - In a May 4 order, a New York justice refused to dismiss a dispute under reinsurance participation agreements (RPAs) based upon a forum-selection clause because the case has been in litigation for several years now (The Energy Conservation Group LLC, et al. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 710762/2015, N.Y. Sup., Queens Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1555).
CINCINNATI - A homeowners insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in refusing to replace an entire roof of its insureds' home, which suffered damages during a storm, an Ohio federal judge ruled May 7, granting summary judgment to the insurer (Tracy Avery, et al. v. Erie Insurance Co., No. 17-562, S.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76351).
NEW ALBANY, N.Y. - An Indiana federal judge on May 2 partly sustained an insured's objection to a magistrate's decision not to compel certain documents from her long-term disability insurance provider, concluding that information about the insurer's reserves was relevant to contractual claims over termination of benefits (Lanisa Kelly v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., No. 4:15-cv-00126, S.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74741).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on May 4 declined to dismiss a counterclaim against a commercial general liability insurer seeking a declaration on coverage for an underlying construction defect lawsuit (American Southern Insurance Co. v. Affordable Home Improvements, et al., No. 17-02366, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75524).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on May 4 granted a professional liability insurer's motion to dismiss chiropractor insureds' breach of contract complaint seeking coverage for an underlying fraudulent billing lawsuit, finding that the underlying action fails to trigger coverage because it does not allege professional malpractice that caused patient injuries (Philip C. Barron, et al. v. NCMIC Insurance Co., No. 17-11969, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75512).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 3 affirmed a man's 90-month sentence for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, holding that the judge properly applied an upward variance of 12 months based on the seriousness of the defendant's conduct, as well as his criminal history (United States v. Yosbel Marimon, No. 17-13020, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11756).
NEW YORK - Plaintiffs filed an amended class action complaint in a New York federal court on May 1 accusing a life insurer and a private investment firm, which acquired the insurer, of breaching their policies by unlawfully increasing the cost of premiums to recoup costs associated with the acquisition (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-01288, S.D. N.Y.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - An insurer and bank on May 1 agreed to settle claims and third-party claims in a dispute filed in a South Carolina federal court over accusations that the bank mishandled reinsurance funds (Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. U.S. Bank National Association v. Redwood Reinsurance Spc. Ltd., et al., No. 15-01300, D. S.C.).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on May 3 dismissed an insured's suit seeking coverage from its insurer for asbestos-related liabilities because complete diversity of jurisdiction no longer exists as a result of the intervention of the insured's predecessor in the suit (Hyster-Yale Group Inc. v. Continental Insurance Co., No. 17-2341, N.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75345).
SAN DIEGO - A reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) arbitration clause and delegation provision are unenforceable, a California appeals panel held May 3, affirming a lower court's ruling that declined a reinsurer's motion to compel arbitration (Nielsen Contracting Inc., et al. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. D072393, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1, 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 395).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Eight insurers under 27 insurance policies owe no reimbursement to an aluminum products manufacturer against costs from an underlying settlement over the sale of faulty windows, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 1, finding that the policies do not cover damages caused by the insured's intentional conduct (Sapa Extrusions Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2827, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73162).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 1 determined that a disability claimant is entitled to long-term disability benefits because the claimant provided ample evidence that he suffers from radiculopathy, an exception to the plan's two-year limitation for disabilities caused by neuromuscular, musculoskeletal or soft tissue disorder (David Do v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 16-5097, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73712).
CINCINNATI - A disability claimant's benefits must be reinstated because the disability insurer failed to give sufficient weight to the opinions of the claimant's treating physicians, who stated that the claimant was unable to return to work after a leg injury, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 3 in reversing a district court's judgment in favor of the insurer (Richard Wagner v. American United Life Insurance, No. 17-4072, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11477).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware judge on May 2 found that a directors and officers liability insurer has a duty to defend its extended stay hotel company insured against underlying claims that the insured's employee misappropriated her former employer's electronic information (Woodspring Hotels LLC v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 17-09-274, Del. Super., 2018 Del. Super. LEXIS 186).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on May 1 affirmed a lower court's finding that an insured's material misrepresentation in a professional liability insurance renewal application justified the insurer's denial of coverage for a legal malpractice claim (Ironshore Indemnity Inc. v. Pappas & Wolf, LLC, et al., No A-0959-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1010).