LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A commercial general liability insurance policy does not extend basic coverage for a claim of breach of contract, a majority of the Arkansas Supreme Court held April 28, finding that there is no coverage and considering certified questions moot (Columbia Insurance Group Inc. and Columbia Mutual Insurance Co. Inc. v. Cenark Project Management Services, Inc., et al., No. CV-15-804, Ark. Sup.; 2016 Ark. LEXIS 153).
ALBANY, N.Y. - In answering certified questions from the Delaware Supreme Court in an asbestos coverage suit, the New York State Court of Appeals on May 3 determined that the language in the insurance policies at issue require an all sums method of allocation and vertical exhaustion of the policies at issue (Viking Pump Inc. v. Century Indemnity Co., et al. Warren Pumps LLC v. Century Indemnity Co., et al., Viking Pump Inc. v. John Crane Inc., Houdaille Industries Inc., No. 59, N.Y. App.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 2 that the entire $102 million that an insured paid to settle two underlying class action lawsuits is precluded from coverage by an excess insurance policy's "Professional Services Charge Exception," reversing a lower federal court's ruling that approximately $30 million of the $102 million was recoverable under the policy (The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., et al. v. Houston Casualty Co., et al., Nos. 15-1656, 15-1717, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7883).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 2 found that because an insurance policy's declarations certificate was facially ambiguous as to which entities were insured, a federal district court should have considered extrinsic evidence when ruling on whether the insurer had a duty to defend against an underlying trademark dispute, reversing and remanding (Premier Pools Management Corp. v. Colony Insurance Corp., No. 14-15902, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7916).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments May 2 in a suit in which an insurer contends that an Oregon federal judge incorrectly ruled that a notice letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency related to the insured's liability for a Superfund site constitutes a suit under the insured's policies (Ash Grove Cement Co. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., Nos. 13-35900, 13-35905, 14-35298; 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - An underlying lawsuit alleging claims against an insured as a result of an oil spill is potentially covered and does not fall within any exclusions in any of the insurers' policies, the insured argues in an April 27 reply brief filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Petroterminal De Panama S.A. v. Houston Casualty Co., et al., No. 15-2941, 2nd Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A commercial general liability insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit with regard to an underlying construction defect case should be dismissed on the basis that the case lacks ripeness and jurisdiction, a federal magistrate judge in Texas recommended April 28 (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Christians Development Company, Inc. and Aquarena Plaza, LLC, No. 16-31, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56973).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on April 29 found that allegations that an insured engaged in intentional torts and unfair business practices were insufficient to trigger coverage under a policy's "Optometrists Professional Liability-Illinois" endorsement, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Peerless Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Richard Surowiak, et al., No. 1-14-3170, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 841).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge held April 26 that an insurer owes coverage under the technology and professional services liability and content liability provisions of an insurance policy for underlying claims against the insured involving an online teaching program (Educational Impact, et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 15-04510, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55653).
CLEVELAND - An insured filed a notice of appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27, challenging a number of rulings entered in favor of its insurer in a dispute arising out of coverage for environmental cleanup costs incurred by the insured at a Superfund site in Texas (Arrowood Indemnity Company v. Lubrizol Corporation, No. 1:10-cv-02871-SO, N.D. Ohio).
TRENTON, N.J. - Summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because insureds' claims are barred pursuant to the anti-concurrent causation clause in their homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled April 27 (Jerome Keelen, et al. v. QBE Insurance Corp., No. 13-6941, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55895).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on April 29 reversed a lower court's final judgment in favor of insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute to the extent that it awarded money damages for subsurface repairs without requiring the insureds to enter into a contract for those repairs, further reversing the court's prejudgment interest award (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Migdalia Cabrera, et al., No. 2D14-4337, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 6529).
BALTIMORE - Aa fact finder could conclude that insureds did not discover or know the facts underlying their bad faith claim until much later than the settlement and judgment resolving underlying construction defect claims, an Arizona federal judge ruled April 25, finding that the bad faith claim is not time-barred under a two-year statute of limitations (D.R. Horton Inc., et al. v. Maryland Casualty Co., et al., No. 14-02507, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55443).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on April 27 ordered directors and officers liability insurers to immediately reimburse and advance legal costs to a former official of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in connection with his indictment, extradition and defense in an underlying criminal action (Eduardo Li v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al., No. 15-06099, E.D. N.Y.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on April 26 vacated a default judgment against an insured subcontractor in an insurer's declaratory judgment action, citing the involvement of multiple defendant parties also named in an underlying construction defect case (Southern Owners Insurance Co. v. Gallo Building Services, Inc., et al., No. 15-01440, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55572).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 25 granted a group of excess insurers' motions to compel arbitration of a coverage dispute in Hong Kong (China MediaExpress Holdings, Inc., by Karl P. Barth as Receiver v. Nexus Executive Risks, Ltd., et al., No. 15-cv-8429, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A Brazilian insurer told a federal court in New York on April 22 that its reinsurer's request that the court enforce a judgment confirming a number of arbitration awards is premature and should be dismissed or stayed pending the insurer's appeal of the judgment (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 22 determined that a disability insurer's denial of a claim for long-term disability benefits was not supported by the medical evidence and overturned the insurer's denial of benefits on the basis that the claimant was totally disabled from performing the duties of his own occupation (Dave Nagy v. Group Long Term Disability Plan for Employees of Oracle America Inc., et al., No. 14-38, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54354).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Because a disability plan does not require that all administrative remedies be exhausted prior to filing a civil suit, a California federal judge on April 22 rejected the defendants' argument that a claimant's suit must be dismissed because he failed to exhaust all administrative remedies before filing suit against the defendants (Steve Lin v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2126, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55006).
DAYTON, Ohio - Because actions taken by a disability plan administrator suggest that a denial of benefits was arbitrary and capricious, an Ohio federal magistrate judge on April 25 remanded the claim to the plan administrator for further proceedings (Stacie Groth v. CenturyLink Disability Plan, No. 13-1238, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54803).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A New York justice on April 21 granted in part and denied in part an insured's motion seeking to compel its private equity professional liability insurer to produce complete and unredacted copies of documents that, according to the insured, were improperly withheld as privileged (Fox Paine & Company LLC and Saul A. Fox v. Houston Casualty Company and Equity Risk Partners Inc., No. 52607/2014, N.Y. Sup., Westchester Co.; 2016 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1485).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 22 granted a default judgment to an insurer against its insured and various parties involved in a construction defects lawsuit regarding its duty to defend and indemnify the underlying lawsuit (Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. v. Rentom Corp., et al., No. 14-8685, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54642).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 21 remanded a suit regarding the alleged overpayment of reinsurance premiums, holding that an employee of a reinsurance broker who is a citizen of Pennsylvania was not fraudulently joined to the suit (Boomerang Recoveries, LLC v. Guy Carpenter & Company LLC, et al., No. 16-cv-00222, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53795).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 25 granted an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment after determining that an insured seeking coverage for water damages failed to prove that the insurer acted in bad faith in investigating and handling her claim (Lisa Whalen v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 15-2200, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54628).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 found that a lower court erred in holding that recovery for embezzled client funds under a fidelity bond policy would violate California Insurance Code Section 533, concluding that policy endorsements created a surety relationship that is exempt from Section 533 (Thomas A. Dillon, as court appointed receiver for Vesta Strategies LLC and Excalibur 1031 Group v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 14-15802, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7350).