NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 17 granted a Brazilian insurer's motion to stay enforcement of the confirmation of a number of reinsurance arbitration awards while the confirmations are pending appeal (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on May 17 issued a report and recommendation in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, recommending that the district court deny an insurer's motion to dismiss so that it may file a motion for summary judgment and recommending that the insured in the action file a more definite statement regarding her bad faith claim (Sarah Long v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-2428, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65575).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 18 denied a motion to dismiss State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.'s amended lawsuit accusing a medical practice of submitting fraudulent bills, holding that the company need not prove that it justifiably relied on the bills (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Leonard Stavropolskiy, P.T., D.C., et al., No. 15-cv-5929, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65234).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no commercial insurance coverage for surface water damage to a leather goods retailer insured's merchandise following a rainstorm (Lucky Leather, Inc. v. Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, et al., No. 14-55019, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9018)
CHICAGO - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer told an Illinois court on May 16 that she disallowed a school board's construction delay claim because the schools in question were in use before the period in which the board says the delays took place (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Andrew Boron, Director of Insurance of the state of Illinois v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-24227, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire federal judge on May 16 granted an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings after determining that the claimant failed to show how he was prejudiced by not receiving requested information from the insurer in a timely manner (Gary Hopper v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 14-450, D. N.H.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64630).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on May 17 found that an errors and omissions insurer breached its duty to defend its life insurance company insured against an underlying lawsuit alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, unjust enrichment, "money had and received" and violations of the Texas Insurance Code (Columbus Life Insurance Co. v. Arch Insurance Co., No. 14-01659, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64449).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Dismissal of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because insureds failed to show that an insurer lacked a reasonable basis for denying their underinsured motorist coverage claims, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled May 16 (Steven Kiss, et al. v. State Farm Insurance Co., No. 15-6572, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64572).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because plaintiffs failed to show that the insurer refused to settle the claim, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 16 (Matthew Grayson, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 14-55959, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8946).
DENVER - Improper maintenance contributed to a roof's collapse, and an insurer preserved its right to rely on the improper-maintenance exclusion by raising the issue in its reservation-of-rights letter, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 16, affirming summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Eugene Gallegos and Diane Gallegos v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 15-1238, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9094).
SAN FRANCISCO - Because there is a genuine dispute of fact as to whether an insurer has a duty to defend its insureds against underlying environmental contamination claims arising out of their operation of a dry cleaning business, an insurer was not entitled to summary judgment in its favor, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 17 (Hollyway Cleaners & Laundry Co., et al. v. Central National Insurance Company of Omaha Inc., No. 15-55973, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9022).
TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on May 16 denied a third-party defendant's motion to dismiss a suit seeking indemnification and contribution from its procurement of allegedly ineligible workers' compensation insurance, finding that a forum-selection clause cannot be enforced because New Jersey has a strong interest in the litigation (Liberty Insurance Corporation v. Bulk Express Logistics Inc., et al., No. 13-5941, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64611).
ST. LOUIS - A federal district court did not err in denying an insurer's post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insured provided sufficient evidence to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in its handling of an insurance claim, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 13 (Bamford Inc. v. Regent Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-1968, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8787).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to indemnify the $34.9 million awarded against its insureds in two underlying lawsuits because the insureds' liability was based upon the sale of counterfeit Fendi products and not upon an "advertising injury" pursuant to the policies (United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Fendi Adele, et al., Nos. 14-3435 and 14-3474, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8973).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer on May 16 asked a federal court in New York to order a foreign insurer to post a bond to cover a $5 million settlement with an underlying insured, certain attorney fees and costs while an appeal of the court's confirmation of a number of arbitration awards is pending (National Indemnity Company v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-cv-03975, S.D. N.Y.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal magistrate judge on May 16 denied a motion for protective order filed by insurers in an environmental liabilities coverage suit after determining that the insurers are required to produce reinsurance agreements that relate to policies for which the insured is seeking monetary damages (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 14-04717, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64088).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 13 denied a woman's motion for acquittal following her conviction on four counts of health care fraud, ruling that the government sufficiently showed that Medicare is a health care benefit program that affects commerce (United States of America v. Patricia McGill, No. 12-112-01, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63950).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no coverage under the "employee benefits liability provision" of a business owners insurance policy for underlying claims that two law firms and their principals breached an employment agreement (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, et al., No. 15-3417, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8921).
NEW ORLEANS - An insurance company on May 12 asked a Louisiana federal bankruptcy judge to order Chapter 11 debtor Eagle Inc. to share discovery documents produced in the case to other insurers and asbestos claimants; the request followed an order by the bankruptcy judge a week earlier granting in part another insurer's motion to compel discovery related to the debtor's corporate ownership (In re: Eagle, Inc., No. 15-12437, E.D. La. Bkcy.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - An insured's expert may not testify on his regulatory or legislative experience regarding procurement of insurance, a Florida federal judge ruled May 11 (American K-9 Detection Services, Inc. and American K-9 Detection Services LLC v. Rutherford International, Inc. and Sara Payne, No. 14-1988, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62279).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on May 13 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend against underlying wrongful death and negligence claims arising from a fatal highway accident, rejecting the plaintiff's argument that the insurer is estopped from denying coverage (FHP Tectonics Corporation v. American Home Assurance Co., et al., No. 1-13-0291, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 936).
RICHMOND, Va. - An insurer has a duty to defend insureds in an underlying negligence action filed by homeowners related to construction work performed on a duplex, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed May 11 (Builders Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ali Ergul, et al., No. 15-1867, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 8647).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on May 11 determined that a lower court erred in ruling that a conflict of interest required an insurer to hire an insured's counsel of choice to defend against an underlying discrimination lawsuit, further finding that the insurer's decision not to pay for independent counsel was neither vexatious nor unreasonable (Maceo Rainey v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 1-15-0862, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 916).
SAN DIEGO - A California appellate panel on May 12 ruled that a trial court judge did not err when denying a man's request to reduce his convictions for making false statements in connection with a workers' compensation claim from felonies to misdemeanors, holding that the defendant had a prior history of criminal activity and that he did not show remorse for what he did (People v. Chany Lopez, No. D068570, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3510).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court on May 12 found that a commercial liability insurance policy's abuse or molestation exclusion precludes coverage for an award of damages based on an insured's vicarious liability for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED) arising from its employee's physical abuse of a minor while in the insured's care and custody, further finding that the policy does not provide coverage for an attorney fees award and post-judgment interest (World Harvest Church v. Grange Mutual Casualty Co., No. 2014-1161, Ohio Sup.; 2016 Ohio LEXIS 1306).