DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 2 held that an insured's claim for $106,000 in Halloween merchandise is not "covered property" under a commercial insurance policy, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment on the insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Crazy Willy's Inc. v. Valley Forge Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-cv-03154, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25494).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 4 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion to dismiss a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that dismissal of the bad faith claim is proper because that claim is not recognized in Pennsylvania (Joseph Cicon, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 14-2187, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25780).
PIKEVILLE, Ky. - An insurance policy states that there is no duty to defend or indemnify for underlying claims arising from an insured's faulty workmanship; however, there are factual issues regarding whether the insurer's insurance agent represented that the insurer would have such duties, a Kentucky federal judge ruled March 3 (Essex Insurance Co. v. Ricky Robinson Construction Inc., et al., No. 12-143, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26425).
NEW YORK - A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to indemnify an insured for an underlying judgment arising out of its alleged construction defects on a home, a New York federal judge ruled March 4 (Joseph Uvino and Wendy Uvino v. Harleysville Worcester Insurance Co., et al. v. J. Barrows Inc., No. 13-4004, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26441).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on March 4 affirmed a lower court's ruling that there is no coverage under a businessowner policy for a $300,000 theft at a pharmacy that was facilitated by the pharmacy's former employee (Union Hill Supremo Pharmacy v. Franklin Mutual Insurance Co., No. A-3883-13T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 432).
DALLAS - Third-party beneficiaries did not prove that all damages awarded against an insured in an underlying construction defects lawsuit are covered by the commercial general liability insurance policy, a Texas appeals panel held March 3, reversing a trial judge's judgment and rendering a take-nothing judgment in favor of the insurer (Dallas National Insurance Co. v. Calitex Corp., et al., No. 05-13-01505-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 2002).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Both sides faced critical questioning from Justice Anthony Kennedy during oral arguments March 4 in the case challenging the availability of subsidies in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) federal exchange (David King, et al. v. Sylvia Mathew Burwell, et al., No. 14-114, U.S. Sup.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge found March 3 that an insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured for an underlying arbitration award entered against it because the technology errors and omissions liability insurance policy's warranty exclusion precludes recovery (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Serverlogic Corp., et al., No. 13-2128-SI, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25460).
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Five commercial general liability insurers had a duty to defend and share equally in defense costs in the three underlying construction defect lawsuits against their mutual insured, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Feb. 27 (Harleysville Mutual Insurance Co. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 11-187, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25362).
MEDFORD, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on March 2 granted an executive and organization liability insurer's motion for summary judgment as to a bad faith claim, finding that the insurer's denial of coverage was not unreasonable (Daryl J. Kollman, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 04-3106, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25464).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer owes no duty to an insured to defend or indemnify it against a breach of warranty claim arising from an underlying construction defects lawsuit filed by homeowners, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 3 (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Brighton Exteriors Inc., No. 14-03987, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25712).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts Appeals Court panel on Feb. 27 affirmed in part and reversed in part a state Superior Court ruling dismissing an insured's breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, finding that the insured has failed to state a majority of her claims (Nataly Minkina v. Medical Professional Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-P-1898, Mass. App.; 2015 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 140).
PHILADELPHIA - Finding that the remaining state law claims of conversion and unjust enrichment in a flood coverage dispute do not confer federal question jurisdiction, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 26 remanded the case to state court (Vincent J. Imbrenda Sr., et al. v. Santander Bank N.A., et al., No. 14-6103, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23150).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House of Representatives' role as controller of the purse strings gives it sufficient injury to challenge the administration's alleged misallocation of public funds related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans told a federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 27 (United States House of Representatives v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-1967, D. D.C.).
BOSTON - A New York operator of skilled nursing facilities has entered into an agreement with the United States to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations concerning inflated Medicare claims for rehabilitation therapy, according to a March 2 news release issued by the U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts.
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 25 declined to dismiss a suit in which the plaintiff accused his health insurance company of breach of contract for allegedly wrongfully informing him that the effective date of his coverage was later than it really was, causing the plaintiff to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer later than necessary (Kent Wilson v. Humana Health Plan Inc., No. 14-3259, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22672).
MIAMI - A district court properly sanctioned a nonparty financing firm for providing an expert economist witness in a life insurance fraud trial, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 26, finding that the firm educated the witness to answer questions that were helpful to it but did not instruct him on any questions that might have cast the firm in a bad light (Steven A. Sciarretta v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-12559, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2864).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - An Arkansas federal judge on Feb. 26 denied an employment practices liability insurer's motion to dismiss or stay an insured's bad faith claim in a coverage dispute over an underlying wrongful termination lawsuit (Children's Safety Center Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 14-05274, W.D. Ark.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23963).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 27 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's $166,518.17 judgment in favor of Florida insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute with their homeowners insurer (Severin Hegel, et al. v. The First Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 14-10549, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3024).
CONCORD, N.H. - An insurer told a federal court in New Hampshire on Feb. 27 that its suit against a reinsurer should not be dismissed based on the reinsurer's argument that it was not properly served notice of the suit (TIG Insurance Company v. EIFlow Insurance Limited, No. 14-cv-00459, D. N.H.).
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The three-year statute of limitations precludes a subrogated insurer's negligence and breach of contract claims against manufacturers and individuals who allegedly failed to repair a dryer that caused a fire to insureds, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Feb. 25 (State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Lowe's Companies Inc., et al., No. 14-441, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23625).
CHICAGO - Allstate Life Insurance Co.'s breach of contract lawsuit against a former life insurance agent and his agency is better suited to Florida federal court, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Feb. 23, explaining that all of the former agent's allegedly fraudulent conduct occurred in Florida (Allstate Life Insurance Company v. Stanley W. Burns Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-7098, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20905).
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge ruled Feb. 23 that there is an issue regarding the extent of excess coverage toward a settlement in an underlying construction defects case and whether the insurer acted in bad faith regarding the investigation, evaluation and processing of the claim for a trial to determine (Lexington Insurance Co. v. Scott Homes Multifamily Inc. and Silverbell 290 Limited Partnership, No. 12-02119, D. Ariz.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21205).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insolvent Oklahoma insurer on Feb. 19 asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to lift the stay of an appeal in a case against it, noting that the liquidating Oklahoma court had approved of lifting the stay (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as Receiver for Security Pacific Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., No. 14-56132, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 19 denied an insured's motion to dismiss an insurer's lawsuit disputing coverage for legal fees and costs that the insured incurred in an underlying lawsuit arising from its investment in a guar bean company (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Scopia Windmill Fund LP, et al., No. 14-cv-8002 (JSR), S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20318).