PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 dismissed an insured's appeal in an advertising injury coverage dispute after a lower federal court determined on remand that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case (Vogue International, LLC, d.b.a. Vogue International v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-56394, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5011).
DENVER - An excess insurer had no duty to indemnify two insureds for a construction defect case because the primary policy was not yet exhausted, a Colorado federal judge ruled March 20, dismissing a reimbursement lawsuit filed by two other insurers seeking monies for the defect case's settlement (Zurich American Insurance Co. and American Guarantee and Liability Insurance Co. v. Acadia Insurance Co., No. 14-01273, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39579).
PEORIA, Ill. - Because questions of fact exist regarding the cause of the collapse of a building's second floor and the insured's knowledge of the condition of the building, an Illinois federal judge on March 21 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment (WAMFAM5 Inc. v. Nova Casualty Insurance Co., No. 15-1195, C.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40159).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 affirmed a lower federal court's $6,080,568 judgment in favor of an insured in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its excess general liability insurer arising from an underlying patent infringement dispute (Teleflex Medical Incorporated v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-56366, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4996).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 21 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an underlying lawsuit against an insured does not assert a claim that plausibly falls under her professional liability insurance policy, rejecting an appeal by a homeowners insurer seeking reimbursement of underlying defense costs from the professional liability insurer (Madison Mutual Insurance Co. v. Diamond State Ins Co., No. 15-3292, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5006).
ST. LOUIS - An insolvent insurer's suit against the government over its handling of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk corridor and how it offset debts properly belongs before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a federal judge in Iowa said March 17 in finding that she lacked jurisdiction and entering judgment (Nick Gerhart, et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 16-151, S.D. Iowa, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37620).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer asked a federal court in New York on March 17 for permission to file a letter motion asking the court to disqualify certain trial witnesses that were not revealed until after the end of discovery or, in the alternative, allow the reinsurer to depose the witnesses (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, and Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
INDIANAPOLIS - The termination of a claimant's long-term disability benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the claimant was not disabled from "any gainful occupation," an Indiana federal judge said March 17 (Jill A. Stafford v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2032, S.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38564).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on March 17 dismissed without prejudice a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against a professional liability insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the insured's alleged breach of a loan agreement (GemCap Lending, LLC v. Scottsdale Indemnity Co., et al., No. 15-09942, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38931).
NEWARK, N.J. - Finding that there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether an insured complied with a provision of a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) regarding proof of loss, a New Jersey federal judge on March 20 denied a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit stemming from Superstorm Sandy (Thomas Tennis v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-5801, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39244).
MINNEAPOLIS - A benefit plan did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying a participant's claim for short-term disability benefits because substantial evidence supports the plan's finding that the participant was able to return to work, a Minnesota federal judge said March 17 (Jeremy Braden v. AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 3, No. 16-729, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39030).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on March 20 approved an application by an insolvent insurer's special deputy receiver (SDR) and declared the disallowance of a certain house fire claim final (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - A reinsurer asked a federal court in Pennsylvania on March 21 to dismiss an insurer's breach of contract counterclaim because the insurer allegedly never linked an underlying policy to a facultative certificate and, therefore, there is no contract between the parties reinsuring that policy (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A majority of a Florida appeals court on March 20 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer's quarterly supplemental reporting (QUASR) data satisfies the definition of trade secret under state law and is, therefore, exempt from public disclosure (Office of Insurance Regulation v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., No. 1D16-2301, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 3662).
LOS ANGELES - Because a plaintiff can arguably state a claim against an insurance claims adjuster for intentional infliction of emotional distress, the claims adjuster is not a sham defendant and was not fraudulently joined to defeat federal jurisdiction, a California federal judge said March 17 in remanding the insureds' suit seeking additional coverage for mold damage to California state court (Health Pro Dental Corp., et al. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 17-637, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38944).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on March 16 granted in part and denied in part motions for summary judgment by insureds and a homeowners insurer in a class action alleging that the insurer committed breach of contract when it unlawfully applied a policy's $1,000 deductible to an actual cash value (ACV) payment in a hailstorm coverage dispute (Eric Lafollette v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-04147, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37755).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on March 20 that its reinsurer is putting requirements on it that are not universally accepted as necessary under the follow-the-settlements doctrine (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Company v. Century Indemnity Company as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-00170, D. Conn.).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An insurer breached its duty to defend and indemnify an insured for a settlement of underlying claims arising out of a breach of contract dispute on a construction project, an Alaska federal judge ruled March 16; however, the judge held that the insurer did not breach its duty of good faith (KICC-Alcan General, joint venture v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company Inc., No. 15-00255, D. Ala.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37560).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on March 17 dismissed a couple's claim that their insurer engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA) and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) when denying their claim for concrete decay in their basement, finding that the plaintiffs did not show that the company practiced a pattern of denying similar claims (Kenneth T. Courteau, et al. v. Teachers Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-580, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38434).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on March 16 reversed a lower court's denial of a professional liability insurer's motion for summary judgment and its entry of a declaratory judgment in favor of the insured's estate in a coverage dispute erupting from an underlying malpractice claim (Admiral Insurance Co. v. Joseph Banasiak, No. 45A05-1604-PL-859, Ind. App., 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 127).
ATLANTA - A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a third party's proposed jury instructions in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because the proposed instructions were not necessary "to correctly state the law," an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 17 in affirming (Douglas Stalley v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-14816, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4734).
RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia erred in finding that a physical therapist assistant's retaliation claim against his employer should be dismissed, finding that they were not subject to the False Claims Act's (FCA) first-to-file rule, a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled March 16, but affirmed the dismissal of his qui tam claims under the statute (United States of America, ex rel. Patrick Gerard Carson v. Manor Care, Inc., a./k/a Manor Care, Inc., et al., No. 16-1035, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4617).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on March 16 found that an English insurer's removal of a former machinist's asbestos-related claims from a state court was appropriate, finding that the dispute could relate to an underlying arbitration agreement contained in an insurance policy (James Edward O'Connor v. Maritime Management Corp., et al., No. 16-16201, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37798).
MASON, Mich. - A Michigan judge on March 15 granted a rehabilitator's petition and set aside an earlier final order closing a rehabilitation in error and ordered that the rehabilitation proceeding be reopened (Patrick McPharlin, Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services v. Affirmative Insurance Company of Michigan, No. 15-898-CR, Mich. Cir., Ingham Co.).
NEW YORK - The clerk of a federal court in New York on March 16 issued a certificate of default against a holding company that is allegedly responsible for obligations under certain facultative reinsurance contracts (Roger A. Sevigny, the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of New Hampshire, as Liquidator of The Home Insurance Company v. Trygvesta Forsikring A/S, as successor in interest to Skandinavia Insurance Company Ltd., Trygvesta Forsikring A/S v. Cerberus Holding Company, LLC., No. 16-cv-04874, S.D. N.Y.).