RICHMOND, Va. - A disability claimant's suit is barred under the three-year statute of limitations because the claimant knew of the denial of benefits three months before the claim was formally denied by the insurer, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Feb. 6 (Martin Jennings Curry D.C. v. Trustmark Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-1995, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1910).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Feb. 9 held that an underlying complaint alleges a causal connection between an insured's advertising activity and purported trade dress infringement injuries, affirming a lower court's ruling that the insurer has a duty to defend the insured against a competitor's lawsuit involving square-shaped markers (Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast v. Creation Supply Inc., No. 1-14-0152, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 202).
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 6 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Sherry Schnepper, et al. v. Federated Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-0154, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14383).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 5 denied a federal flood insurer's motion to exclude the report, opinions and testimony of a general contractor hired by the insured to inspect property damage caused by Hurricane Isaac, finding that the contractor's estimate is "reliable and relevant" (Ricarlo Alleyne v. Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast, et al., No. 13-5657, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14005).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 6 held that because an insured did not submit a signed, sworn proof of loss with an independent adjustor's report on his supplemental Hurricane Isaac claim, he failed to comply with his federal flood insurance policy's proof of loss requirement (A.C. White v. Allstate Ins. Co., et al., No. 13-5634, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14669).
LOS ANGELES - A water-damage exclusion clearly bars coverage for damages caused to an insured home by a sewer backup, the Second District California Court of Appeal said Feb. 5, rejecting the insureds' proposed narrow reading of the exclusion (Maxim Tselevich, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. B250792, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 839).
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - An insurer owes no coverage to an insured tenant seeking costs associated with the cleanup of a petroleum spill because the policy at issue provides coverage for cleanup costs owed only to a governmental authority and not the owner of the property, a Florida federal judge said Feb. 5 (786 Golden Petroleum Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 13-62641, S. D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13854).
DENVER - Dismissal of breach of contract and insurance bad faith claims against certain defendants is proper because an insured has failed to show that those companies were parties to his homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in Colorado ruled Feb. 6 (Patrick Slavin v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-1839, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14481).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 9 held that although a stock certificate was procured under false pretenses, it is an authentic document and not "counterfeit" under the terms of a financial institution bond, affirming a lower federal court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a dispute over coverage for a bank's alleged loss over defaulted loans (Bank of Brewton v. The Travelers Companies, Inc., et al., No. 14-12472, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1988).
RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge held Feb. 5 that although the district court did not err in awarding prejudgment interest to a power company insured in a dispute over coverage for the destruction of the insured's hydroelectric facility dam, his Dec. 5, 2014, order warrants both clarification and correction (Sierra Pacific Power Co. v. The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co., No. 04-00034, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14491).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding no manifest errors of law or newly discovered evidence in a prior ruling, a Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 4 denied several motions for reconsideration filed by parties to a lawsuit seeking insurance coverage for bodily injuries arising out of Legionnaire's disease (Angela Paternostro, et al. v. Choice Hotel International Services Corp., d/b/a Clarion Inn and Suites, et al., No. 13-0662, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14171).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - No coverage is afforded for costs associated with the recall of contaminated ground beef used in an insured's product because the beef was not an "insured product" and the policy at issue does not provide coverage for recall damages, the majority of a Fourth District California Court of Appeal, Division 2, panel said Feb. 6 (Windsor Food Quality Co. Ltd. v. The Underwriters of Lloyds of London, No. E058324, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 881).
NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court denied an insured's appeal challenging an appeals court's ruling that an insurer's exception of lis pendens was properly sustainedas to five of the insured's claims, according to a Feb. 6 news release (Lionel Harris Sr., et al. v. Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Co., No. 2014-C -2484, La. Sup.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 6 reversed and remanded a lower court decision against the state's insurance guaranty association, citing a recent case in which the appellate court determined the guarantor's obligations based on the statutory definition of ``covered claim'' that stood when the insurer at issue became insolvent (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, Inc. v. Darlene Waters, No. 2D13-4455, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 1585).
SPOKANE, Wash. - An insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify underlying property damage claims because insureds did not provide prompt notice, a Washington federal judge ruled Feb. 6, granting summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims (HB Development LLC, et al. v. Western Pacific Mutual Insurance, et al., No. 13-5050, E.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14796).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - An insured owes deductible payments made toward resolution of Chinese drywall claims made in a multidistrict litigation, a Florida federal judge held Feb. 6, finding that the case will proceed to determine the amount owed and if any damages exist to an insurer resulting from the insured's failure to pay (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Hansen Homes of South Florida Inc., No. 14-35, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14466).
RENO, Nev. - A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend an underlying construction defects case, a Nevada federal judge ruled Feb. 6, finding that a designated work exclusion and a pre-existing damage exclusion do not apply (Gemini Insurance Co. v. North American Capacity Insurance Co., No. 14-00121, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14836).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The universal application of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate cannot preclude a constitutional challenge to the law, a local-level politician argues in a Feb. 4 brief to the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Jeffrey Cutler v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 14-5183, D.C. Cir.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 4 held that a commercial general liability insurer and its footwear company insured have no duty to indemnify Kmart Corp. for an underlying personal injury lawsuit, reversing a lower federal court's ruling in part (Kmart Corp. v. Footstar Inc., et al., Nos. 14-1242, 14-1356 and 14-1359, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1775).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Feb. 3 trimmed a number of claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to properly plead these claims as statutorily required (Country Gold Inc. v. State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-1398, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11761).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 4 denied motions for partial summary judgment filed by an insured in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds failed to show that insurers owed them underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits as a result of an automobile accident (Dee Frye, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-113, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13107).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 3 in an unpublished opinion affirmed a $5.6 million award to a reinsurer and held that the lower court did not err in its decision (Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. v American National Insurance Company, No. 14-2045, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1652).
SALT LAKE CITY - A disability insurer did not act unreasonably in considering a claimant's medical evidence, and the insurer did not impose a requirement that was not in the disability plan, a Utah federal judge said Feb. 4 in denying the claimant's motion for summary judgment (Allen Messick v. McKesson Corp., et al., No. 13-1036, D. Utah; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13534).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel held Feb. 4 that a lower court erred in limiting an insurer's expert's opinion on tire defects in a coverage dispute over the $4,312,681.96 the insurer paid to settle an underlying products liability lawsuit, reversing and remanding (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Tokio Marine and Nichido Fire Insurance Co., et al., Nos. B244899 and B247258, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 103).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted a disability insurer's motion to set aside an entry of default because the insurer did not intentionally fail to file an answer to the complaint and the claimant would not be prejudiced if the entry of default was set aside (Hong-Ngoc T. Dao v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 14-04749, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12793).