MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on June 17 found that a lower court erred when it compelled appraisal of an insured's supplemental Hurricane Wilma claim because the insured did not comply with his post-loss obligations under the policy, reversing and remanding (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Alfredo Hernandez, No. 3D13-2263, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 9215).
CONCORD, N.H. - A federal judge in New Hampshire on June 16 remanded a suit brought by the liquidator of an insolvent insurer against two reinsurers over more than $1.4 million in asbestos and environmental claim reinsurance billings (N.H. Insurance Department, Commissioner v. British Aviation Insurance Company Limited, et al., No. 15-cv-00127, D. N.H.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Amendment of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith complaint against an insurer is warranted, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled June 16, holding that the amendments to the complaint are not futile (Guy F. Militello v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-0240, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77481).
TAMPA, Fla. - A testing exclusion precludes coverage for an insured's alleged negligence in the performance of a roof test on a condominium building, a Florida federal judge ruled June 17 (Driggers Engineering Services Inc. v. CNA Financial Corp. and Valley Forge Insurance Co., No. 14-3155, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78559).
ABINGDON, Va. - A manufacturer's insured two-year delay in notifying its employment practices liability insurer of an underlying employment discrimination claim was a material breach of the insurance policy, a Virginia federal judge ruled June 12, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (E Dillon & Company v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Company of America, No. 14-00070, W.D. Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76295).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice announced June 16 that a Florida-based skilled nursing facility, its former president and executive director and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay $17 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute by improperly paying doctors for their referrals of Medicare patients to the defendants' facilities (United States of America, ex. rel. Stephen M. Beaujon v. Hebrew Homes Health Network Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-20951, S.D. Fla.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 16 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment after finding that a fungi and bacteria exclusion clearly precludes coverage for an underlying suit filed by residents of an insured apartment complex and alleging injuries as a result of exposure to mold and other toxic airborne pathogens (Tower Insurance Company of New York v. Pima Lansing LLC et al., No. 14-02271, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77506).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 16 remanded an insured's coverage dispute regarding an insurer's alleged unreasonable delay of payment for covered losses caused by wind and hailstorm damage (W. Ohio St. Condo Association d/b/a Diamond G. Convenience Store v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-192, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77522).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 16 remanded an insured's fraud lawsuit against his homeowners insurer and insurance adjusters regarding denied coverage for hailstorm damage claims (Michael Garza v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-149, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77525).
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire justice on June 15 approved a $19 million asbestos bodily injury related settlement between a reorganized company's trust and the liquidator of an insolvent insurer (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - There is no professional liability coverage for a claim that attorneys were negligent in their representation of a decedent's relatives in an underlying wrongful death lawsuit, a Louisiana federal judge ruled June 15, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Della Cupps, et al. v. Torus Specialty Insurance CO., et al., No. 14-615, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77750).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice on June 15 announced that Children's National Medical Center Inc., Children's Hospital and its affiliated entities (collectively CNMC) agreed to pay $12.9 million to resolve allegations in a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit that they submitted false cost reports to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Medicare programs in the District of Columbia and Virginia (United States of America, ex rel. James A. Roark Sr. v. Children's Hospital, et al., No. 14-cv-616, D. D.C.).
LAS VEGAS - A federal district court has diversity jurisdiction over an insurance bad faith lawsuit pursuant to Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent, a federal judge in Nevada ruled June 12 in denying an insured's motion to remand the action to state court (Shawn Ruybal v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-0508, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77143).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An insurer told a federal court in New York on June 15 that documents attached to a motion for reconsideration represent secondary authority and not new evidence and, therefore, should not be stricken (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-01178, N.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer did not act in bad faith by failing to settle an underlying construction defects case and did not breach its insurance contract by refusing to defend an insured's surety in the underlying case, a California federal judge ruled June 15 (JDS Builders Group Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 15-00297, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77291).
SAN FRANCISCO - A professional liability insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify underlying claims arising out of an insured's alleged failure to ensure that surety bonds remained effective until construction was complete, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 15, finding that a bond exclusion barred coverage (VierraMoore Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 13-15981, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10045).
CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court on June 12 refused to rule on an appeal regarding a motion to intervene because the trial court stayed the suit until a similar suit was decided and did not have the opportunity to rule on the motion to intervene filed by an underlying plaintiff seeking damages for injuries arising out of the exposure to various chemicals at the insured's facilities (Motorola Solutions Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., Nos. 1-13-1724, 1-13-1725, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1296).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 12 denied an insurer's motion to preclude an insured from offering evidence at trial of any underlying asbestos-related claims for which coverage has not been established after determining that the insured can present sufficient evidence in support of its claims (General Refractories Company v. First State Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:04-cv-3509, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76175).
PHILADELPHIA - Ruling that an "insured cannot skirt the punitive damages to its insurer," a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 12 vacated and remanded an insurance bad faith lawsuit to a federal district court for a new trial (Jared Wolfe v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 12-4450, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9876).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The federal government filed an intervener complaint in Florida federal court on June 12 in a False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute lawsuit brought against an ambulance service company accused of engaging in a 10-year scheme in which it fraudulently billed Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary (United States of America v. Liberty Ambulance Services Inc., No. 15-cv-, M.D. Fla.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A majority of the Texas Supreme Court held June 12 that homeowners in the upper White Oak Bayou watershed area of Texas have demonstrated that a fact question exists as to whether the government entities were substantially certain that their actions in approving new upstream development without properly mitigating it would cause their homes to flood, affirming a lower court's ruling that fact issues preclude summary judgment in an inverse condemnation lawsuit (Harris County Flood Control District and Harris County, Texas v. Edward A. and Norma Kerr, et al., No. 13-0303, Texas Sup.; 2015 Tex. LEXIS 545).
PHILADELPHIA - A reinsurer argued in a federal court in Pennsylvania on June 11 that Pennsylvania is the logical location to hear a dispute, not Connecticut, as argued by its reinsureds (Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation v. Select Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-cv-02522, E.D. Pa.).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on June 12 denied a man's request to vacate his sentence due to the alleged ineffectiveness of his trial counsel, holding that the outcome of the trial would not have been different if the attorney called the witnesses suggested by the defendant and let the defendant testify in his own defense (United States of America v. Patrick Gelin, No. 08-10133-GAO, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76382).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on June 12 reversed in part a lower court's final judgment in favor of homeowners insurer in a coverage dispute over sinkhole damage (David Sanchez, et al. v. Royal Palm Insurance Co., No. 2D13-4852, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 8991).
CHICAGO - Although an insurer had a duty to reimburse an insured for a new roof following damage from a hailstorm, the insurer did not act in bad faith in denying the claim, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 11 (Advance Cable Company LLC and Pinehurst Commercial Investments LLC v. Cincinnati Insurance Co., Nos. 14-2620 & 14-2748, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9805).