PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 15 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that insurers have no duty to defend against three underlying putative class actions alleging that its retailer insured violated state statutes and common-law privacy rights when gathering customers' personal ZIP code information while processing credit card transactions (OneBeacon America Insurance Co. v. Urban Outfitters Inc. and Anthropologie Inc. v. The Hanover Insurance Group, No. 14-2976, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16399).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11 rejected a woman's request to plead no contest to 13 charges of health care fraud for her role in a $16 million Medicare fraud scheme, ruling that accepting the plea would not favor the public interest and that the evidence against the defendant was just as strong as her co-defendants, who have already been convicted (United States of America v. Patricia McGill, No. 12-112-01, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121832).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Sept. 11 stayed an insurer's coverage action because a construction defects case involved the issue of whether an insured's faulty workmanship caused damage to other property (Selective Insurance Company of America v. William H. Dail d/b/a DD Co., et al., No. 14-00103, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121366).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 11 denied a law firm's motion to dismiss an insurance company's policy seeking confirmation of its decision to rescind a professional liability policy issued to the firm, ruling that the insurer adequately alleged that the firm could have made a material misrepresentation on its application for the policy (Wesco Insurance Company v. Luretha M. Stribling LLC, et al., No. 15-3594, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121185).
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire justice on Sept. 8 approved a pair of settlement agreements between an insurer in liquidation and a pair of claimants with common underlying claims (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 10 ordered appraisal in an insurer's coverage action regarding an insured's damages from a hailstorm and issued guidelines for that appraisal (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Summit Park Townhome Association, No. 14-03417, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120714).
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Sept. 10 granted in part and denied in part insurers' motion to exclude the testimony of three of an apartment building owner insured's expert witnesses in a coverage dispute over Hurricane Isaac damage (Seahorn Investments v. Federal Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-320, S.D. Miss., Southern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120662).
WAUKESHA, Wis. - An insurer did not have a duty to defend an insured over claims that its improper installation of a water pump led to the pump coming unthreaded from piping and falling to the bottom of a well because exclusions to the insurance policy preclude coverage, a split Wisconsin Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 9 (Water Well Solutions Service Group Inc. v. Consolidated Insurance Co., No. 2014AP2484, Wis. App., Dist. 2; 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 657).
EL DORADO, Ark. - Exclusions for "cost of making good . . . faulty workmanship" and for "latent defect" do not preclude insurance coverage for business interruption costs sustained as a result of an oil pipeline rupture, an Arkansas federal judge ruled Sept. 10, finding genuine issues of fact, however, as to causation (Lion Oil Co. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al., No. 13-1071, W.D. Ark.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120721).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 10 that there is no genuine dispute regarding whether a dog grooming and daycare facility insured's Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) was a "duplicate" under the meaning of the SFIP, affirming a lower court's ruling that a federal flood insurer did not commit breach of contract when it denied a Superstorm Sandy claim (Fetch NYC Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-3431, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16059).
GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on Sept. 9 dismissed insureds' breach of contract lawsuit against their federal flood insurer, finding that the action arising from Hurricane Ike damage is time-barred (Alfredo Mamani, et al. v. AIG National Insurance Company Inc., No. 11-106, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119692).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Sept. 4 affirmed a lower court's ruling that coverage for insureds' internal water damage caused by heavy rainfall is barred by the commercial insurance policy's water damage exclusion (Chicago Title Land Trust No. 800234943, et al. v. Catlin Specialty Insurance Co., No. 1-14-3576, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1996).
BOSTON - A trial court did not err when finding that it lacked jurisdiction over an insurance company's lawsuit seeking to void a workers' compensation policy based on alleged material misrepresentations, a Massachusetts Appeals Court panel ruled Sept. 9, finding that the company failed to exhaust all administrative procedures before filing the action (Merchants Insurance Group v. Kevin Spicer, et al., No. 14-P-798, Mass. App.; 2015 Mass. App. LEXIS 136).
SAN FRANCISCO - Fact issues exist on whether an insured knew about the allegedly defective product it installed at a natural gas production project and whether corrosion damage was the "continuation, change, or resumption" of that known product, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 9, reversing and remanding the entry of summary judgment to an insurer (Ameron International Corp., et al. v. Greenwich Insurance Co., No. 13-55838, Ameron International Corp., et al. v. American Home Assurance Co., No. 13-55850, Ameron International Corp., et al. v. American Home Assurance Co., No. 13-56105, Ameron International Corp., et al. v. American Home Assurance Co., No. 13-56106, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16026).
DENVER - An insurer did not breach its contract with an insured or act in bad faith in delaying payment of underinsured motorist benefits resulting from an automobile accident because it was not provided with the evidence necessary to process the claim until after the insured filed her lawsuit, a federal judge in Colorado ruled Sept. 9 (Wendy L. Peden v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 14-0982, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119978).
NEW YORK - An insurer told a federal court in New York on Sept. 4 that a pair of reinsurers owe it more than $800,000 under reinsurance agreements dating from the 1980s (TIG Insurance Company v. Randall & Quilter Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-07024, S.D. N.Y.).
DENVER - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to the correct date of loss for hail damage to a condominium building and whether the insurer's refusal to pay replacement cost value (RCV) benefits under the policy rendered the insured financially unable to complete repairs on the damaged roofs and if repair or replacement has occurred, a Colorado federal magistrate judge found Sept. 8 (Madison Park Townhouses Homeowners Association v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-01915, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119090).
CHICAGO - An Illinois physician on Sept. 8 pleaded guilty in federal court to claims that he wrongfully certified Medicare patients as confined to their homes to allow health care agencies to submit unnecessary claims for in-home treatment (United States of America v. Arthur Davida, No. 15 CR 534, N.D. Ill.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Sept. 3 granted an insurer's motion to stay proceedings pending the outcome of an arbitration process in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims against the insurer are subject to the policy's arbitration provision (Joan Kirkland, et al. v. Pan-American Life Insurance Co., No. 14-2536, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117827).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Sept. 4 denied a woman's motion for summary judgment in a suit accusing her and her husband of purposefully failing to disclose on a homeowners insurance policy application that the husband had been twice convicted of a felony, finding that genuine issues exist as to whether the woman read the application before signing it and whether she intentionally made the misrepresentation (American National Property and Casualty Company v. Paul Moore, et al., No. 14-cv-10340, S.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118186).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge granted summary judgment on Sept. 8 to the City of Minneapolis on insurers' claims for trespass, federal and state law takings and violation of the equal protection clause regarding insurance payments made for water damage to a condominium building and units (American Family Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance v. City of Minneapolis, No. 14-1428, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119060).
VALDOSTA, Ga. - An insurance policy's volunteer endorsement precludes coverage for an underlying personal injury lawsuit, a Georgia federal judge ruled Sept. 4, excluding an expert's testimony that the endorsement provides coverage (GuideOne Mutual Insurance Co. v. Timothy J. Daniel, II, et al., No. 13-126, M.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118199).
CHICAGO - Sears Holdings Corp. improperly withheld certain documents during discovery and failed to disclose a key witness, an Illinois federal magistrate judge found in a Sept. 3 report and recommendation, holding that the insurer, the plaintiff in a dispute over claims regarding a home fire attributed to a clothes dryer, is entitled to sanctions for Sears' misconduct (MemberSelect Insurance Co. v. Electrolux Home Products Inc., et al., No. 1:13-cv-04097, N.D. Ill).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Sept. 3 held that an insurer has a duty to provide employee dishonesty coverage for a law firm insured's loss arising from $157,268.75 that a paralegal allegedly embezzled from a trust account (Cumberland & Erly, LLC v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-2399, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117881).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held on Sept. 4 that a marine excess insurance policy's "platform exclusion" precludes coverage for an underlying injury dispute, reversing and remanding a lower federal court's ruling that ordered the insurer to reimburse the insured the $400,000 it paid toward a settlement (Michael Cash v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., No. 14-31072, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15902).