CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 15 denied a law enforcement liability insurer's motion to reconsider a Dec. 11, 2014, ruling that the insurer's duty to defend was triggered by an underlying claim that the use of a wrongfully convicted man's coerced confession violated his Fifth Amendment self-incrimination rights (Westport Insurance Corporation v. City of Waukegan, et al., No. 14-cv-419, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5216).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Jan. 14 held that the liquidating agent of an insolvent credit union is not entitled to $5 million in employee dishonesty coverage under a fidelity bond issued to the credit union for losses arising from an employee's alleged fraudulent scheme (National Credit Union Administration Board v. CUMIS Insurance Society Inc., No. 11-1739, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4880).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Jan. 15 that a California hospital has agreed to pay $3.2 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Stark Law and False Claims Act by maintaining financial arrangements with referring physicians.
TRENTON, N.J. - A unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court on Jan. 19 reinstated a man's conviction for second-degree insurance fraud, holding that a person violates the state's insurance fraud statute even if the person's misrepresentation does not result in an insurance carrier's payment on the fraudulent claim (State of New Jersey v. Robert Goodwin, No. A-20 September Term 2014, 074352, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 7).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 15 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that a directors and officers and entity liability insurer has no duty to indemnify the Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Radio and Television Artists (SAG) for $330,000 awarded to an actor and SAG member who filed a class action lawsuit seeking recovery of the class' share of "foreign levy funds" (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 13-56402, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 765).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Jan. 15 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that South Carolina law and equity principles dictate that an imposter's fraudulent misrepresentations on a professional liability insurance application should not void the policy for the imposter's innocent employer and fellow employees (Evanston Insurance Co. v. Agape Senior Primary Care, et al., No. 14-2268, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 703).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 15 reversed a lower federal court's $25,000 award plus interest in favor of an insured in a dispute over contents loss coverage, finding that the insured failed to submit the required signed proof of loss for the claimed damages stemming from Hurricane Isaac (Elvin Cummings v. Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 14-31125, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 723).
CHICAGO - A U.K. company that allegedly assumed the obligations of a reinsurer appealed the remand of a reinsurance dispute to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Transfercom, Ltd., No. 15-cv-8908, N.D. Ill.).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer told a federal court in Pennsylvania on Jan. 13 that the Pennsylvania court is a better venue for a reinsurance dispute than a federal court in Illinois, where its alleged reinsurer filed a parallel suit (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-5528, E.D. Pa.).
DETROIT - A Michigan appeals court on Jan. 12 found that a minor's deposition testimony establishes that he "reasonably should have expected" to injure another minor when he committed sexual misconduct against her, reversing a lower court's ruling that coverage was owed for the underlying lawsuit (Home-Owners Insurance Co., et al. v Kristen Smith, et al., No. 322694, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 56).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court dismissed an insurer's appeal in a dispute over excess coverage for defense costs incurred in an underlying lawsuit alleging that the insured failed to fully remit hotel taxes, according to its Jan. 15 pronouncement (Illinois Union Insurance Co. v. Sabre Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 15-0716, Texas Sup.).
NEW YORK - Insurers have the burden to prove damages, under both the breach of fiduciary duty burden shifting and the wrongdoer rule, against contractors for allegedly submitted fraudulent estimated for repairs to insured home losses, a New York federal judge ruled Jan. 12 (Federal Insurance Co., et al. v. Paul H. Mertz, Jr., et al., No. 12-1597, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4019).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Jan. 13 denied a man's motion to vacate or correct his sentence of 1,647 months in prison after being found guilty of 33 counts of violating federal law for his role in an arson and insurance fraud scheme, holding that 18 U.S. Code Section 844(h) required consecutive sentences for seven counts of using fire to commit fraud (United States of America v. Ali Darwich, No. 15-12243, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4084).
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal judge on Jan. 11 agreed to vacate his judgment in a disability benefits case in order to allow the parties to settle the dispute because a settlement is in the best interests of all parties and conserves judicial resources (Jill M. Lundsten v. Creative Community Living Services Inc., et al,, No. 13-108, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3077).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Jan. 12 granted an insurer's motion to transfer a disability claimant's suit to Virginia federal court because the weight of private and public interest factors warrants transferring the suit (Diane Coffey v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., No. 15-378, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3352).
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Insurers on Jan. 11 moved to dismiss a manufacturer insured's amended counterclaim in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute, arguing that the counterclaim fails because the purported improper conduct concerns their calculation of unpaid premium and not the denial of coverage (Wausau Underwriters Insurance Co. and The First Liberty Insurance Corp. v. Danfoss, LLC, No. 14-14420, S.D. Fla.).
SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah federal judge on Jan. 12 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over claims that the insured failed to properly turn over certain member account data to L.A. Fitness pursuant to an asset purchase agreement, allowing an aspect of the bad faith claim to proceed (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Federal Recovery Services Inc., et al., No. 14-170, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4347).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on Jan. 8 denied an insurer's motion to bifurcate discovery in an insurance dispute, ruling that bifurcation is premature at this stage of the litigation (Hudson Insurance Co. v. James Miller, et al., No. 15-0349, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2967).
DENVER - An insured failed to establish that it suffered water damage to "covered property" at a renovation project under a builders risk policy, a Colorado federal judge ruled Jan. 8, finding that the insurer properly denied coverage and did not breach its contract (Gerald H. Phipps, Inc. d/b/a GH Phipps Construction Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 14-01642, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2939).
PHOENIX - A disability claimant can pursue a wrongful denial of benefits claim and a breach of fiduciary claim because the claims are not "clearly duplicative" and the equitable remedies for each claim are different, an Arizona federal judge said Jan. 11 in denying the plan insurer's motion to dismiss (Cynthia Susan Mullin v. Scottsdale Healthcare Corporation Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 15-01547, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2927).
NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to disturb an appeals court's ruling that sustained a federal flood insurer's exception of lack of subject matter jurisdiction in a Hurricane Isaac coverage dispute, according to a Jan. 8 news release (Louis Rodriguez-Roble And Marisol Soto-Ayala v. American National Property and Casualty Co., No. 2015-C -1953, La. Sup.).
JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi denied a third party's motion to remand an insurance bad faith lawsuit to state court on Jan. 7, ruling that remand is not proper because the third party improperly joined an insurance agent in the action (Michael F. Macke, et al. v. American General Life Insurance Co., formerly d/b/a The Old Line Life Insurance Co. of New York, et al., No. 15-853, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1707).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 8 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against counterclaims in an underlying patent infringement dispute (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. KFx Medical Corporation, No. 13-17301, 9th Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on Jan. 7 approved a plan under which a reinsurer would pay reinsurance proceeds directly to certain of an insolvent insurer's insureds (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A reinsurer's attorney asked a federal court in the District of Columbia on Jan. 8 to reconsider an order denying the attorney's motion that the court allow him to use certain protected documents related to a London arbitration in a case in a different federal court (Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft Aktiengesellschaft in Munchen v. Northrop Grumman Risk Management Inc., No. 10-cv-00551, D. D.C.).