RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appeals panel on June 9 refused to vacate a man's sentence of 24 months of probation after pleading guilty to two counts of making a fraudulent claim for payment of a loss under a contract of insurance, holding that he waived his right to appeal as part of the agreement (People of the State of California v. Ivan Romano, No. E064149, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2016 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4225).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on June 10 quashed a lower court's order that required insureds to disclose their financial information regarding their settlement agreement with their homeowners insurer in a sinkhole coverage dispute (Wayne Allen and Susan Allen v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 2D15-3114, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 8941).
NEW ORLEANS - An excess insurer maintains in a June 8 brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal judge erred by not requiring any actual proof of when underlying individual plaintiffs were exposed to asbestos (Longhorn Gasket and Supply Co., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-41625, 5th Cir.).
BILLINGS, Mont. - A policy exclusion for hazards of the oil and gas industries precludes coverage for an underlying suit alleging injuries as a result of exposure to petroleum vapors while working for an oil field services company, a Montana federal magistrate judge said June 8 in recommending that an insurer's motion for summary judgment be granted (Janson Palmer, et al. v. Northland Casualty Co., et al., No. 15-58, D. Mont.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74829).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 8 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss an insured's claims related to an environmental contamination coverage dispute because it is not clear if the claims alleged against the insurer in a newly filed lawsuit arose after the insured's original 2012 lawsuit was filed against the insurer (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74923).
ABINGDON, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on June 9 denied a man's motion to vacate his 144-month prison sentence for his role in a workers' compensation insurance fraud scheme, holding that his counsel was effective and that the sentence was properly adjusted based on the defendant's criminal history (United States of America v. Carlos Perry, No. 14CR00003, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74977).
PITTSBURGH - An insurer must indemnify a homeowner's total recovery of $174,553.04 for the portion of damages to structural insulated panels (SIPs) that could not be recovered under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), including the homeowner's failure to mitigate damages, a Pennsylvania federal judge held June 9 (Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Jerry Ellis Construction, et al., No. 14-155, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75405).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - An insurer has no duty to defend an insured plumbing company for an underlying suit arising out of the discharge of hazardous chemicals into nearby homes while the insured was refurbishing a sewer system because the policy's pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage, a New York federal judge said June 10 (Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Roy's Plumbing Inc., et al., No. 13-1000, W.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75958).
DES MOINES, Iowa - An insured's faulty work may constitute an "occurrence" under an excess commercial general liability insurance policy, a majority of the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed June 10, also finding that a trial court did not err in instructing a jury to determine whether damages arose due to an "accident" constituting an "occurrence" by considering the insured's viewpoint and what it intended or should reasonably have expected (National Surety Corp. v. Westlake Investments, LLC, No. 14-1274, Iowa Sup.; 2016 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 71).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 7 entered judgment in favor of an insurer one day after granting its motion to dismiss declaratory relief, breach of contract and bad faith claims in a dispute over coverage for underlying employment-related wage disputes (Granite Outlet Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-00575, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74238).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on June 8 denied State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.'s motion to reconsider her Feb. 23 order denying the insurer's motion to dismiss a medical group's counterclaims for fraud, civil conspiracy and violation of the Michigan Unfair Trade Practices Act (MUTPA), holding that the recent decision in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Louis Radden, D.O., et al., (2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20717 [E.D. Mich.]) did not constitute an intervening authority (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Universal Rehab Services Inc., et al., No. 15-10999, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74495).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurance-purchasing group's motion to dismiss Aspen Specialty Insurance Co.'s suit seeking rescission of policies it issued to the company based on material misrepresentations was denied by a federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 9, after the judge found that the insurer sufficiently stated claims for relief (Aspen Specialty Insurance Company v. Hospitality Supportive Systems LLC, No. 16-1133, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75110).
OLYMPIA, Wash. - An insurance policy unambiguously excluded coverage for insureds' water damage immediately upon vacancy, the Washington Supreme Court ruled June 9, affirming an appellate court's reversal of a trial judge's contrary holding that the exclusion would commence only after a 60-day vacancy (Kut Suen Lui and May Far Lui v. Essex Insurance Co., No. 91777-9, Wash. Sup.; 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692).
LOS ANGELES - A disability plan administrator abused its discretion by terminating a claimant's disability benefits without fully considering her work-related restrictions, a California federal judge said June 7 in issuing an amended findings of fact and conclusions of law (Catherine Thornton v. Sedgwick CMS, et al., No. 14-7942, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61930).
PHILADELPHIA - Dismissal of a bad faith claim in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because an insured has provided only conclusory allegations in making her claims against the insurer, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania ruled June 8 (Mary Camp v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., No. 16-1087, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74496).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 9 certified three questions in an employment practices liability coverage dispute to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, noting that the outcome "could affect scores of insurance contracts in Massachusetts" (Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co. v. VisionAid, Inc. f/k/a H.L. Boulton Co. Inc., No. 15-1351, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10464).
NEW YORK - Underlying insurance limits must be exhausted by actual payment before excess liability coverage attaches for three of four policies in dispute between Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and the three insurers that have not settled their coverage disputes with the company, a New York federal bankruptcy judge ruled June 7 (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - An insurer argued in a federal court in Illinois on June 6 that an asbestos-related reinsurance dispute should be heard in California and not in Illinois (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 8 partially granted a disability claimant's request to expand the scope of discovery beyond the administrative record on the basis that the factual allegations of the claimant's complaint show that good cause exists to expand the scope of discovery (Angela Shelton v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 16-1559, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74739).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on June 6 substantially denied an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that although the state does not recognize a claim for breach of fiduciary duty by an insurer, the insured has properly pleaded the remaining claims (Claire A. Hews v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-834, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73486).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on June 3 dismissed fraud and indemnification counterclaims filed by an insurer in a lawsuit over a contract payment dispute between a town's wastewater authority and the insurer (Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. The Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport, No. 15-1319, W.D. Pa.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on June 7 overruled a reinsurer's objections to a magistrate judge's decision that the reinsurer is required to post prepleading security in a $1 million reinsurance billing dispute (Select Insurance Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, f/k/a PMA Capital Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-00715, D. Conn.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurer told a federal court in Connecticut on June 2 that its reinsured has breached its obligations under a pair of facultative certificates by allegedly withholding certain documents from the reinsurer's review (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company v. Century Indemnity Company as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-00170, D. Conn.).
MADISON, Wis. - An insurance company tells a federal court in Wisconsin in a June 3 brief that its reinsurer's evidence about the alleged bias of certain arbitration umpire candidates is improper and urges the court to order the parties to continue with the umpire selection process outlined in their reinsurance agreements (Employers Insurance of Wausau f/d/a Employers Insurance of Wausau a Mutual Company v. Continental Casualty Company, No. 16-cv-00205, W.D. Wis.).
DENVER - In a June 2 complaint filed in Colorado federal court, the owners of the Vitamin Cottage chain of natural food and supplements stores sued their businessowners insurance provider, alleging breach of contract and bad faith for the insurer's failure to provide a defense in a putative lawsuit related to a 2015 data breach (Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc., et al. v. AMCO Insurance Co., No. 1:16-cv-01326, D. Colo.).