AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent title insurer and the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association (TTIGA) asked a Texas court on July 22 to set a claims-filing deadline and approve their notification and claims-processing procedures (The State of Texas v. Millennium Closing Services LLC d/b/a Millennium Title, No. D-1-GN-16-000360, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A rent-to-own (RTO) franchisee argues in a July 25 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it was entitled to a defense and indemnity from its insurers in two suits related to its installation of spyware on a couple's computer, asserting that the underlying plaintiffs sufficiently alleged injury from the distribution and publication of private material to trigger coverage (American Economy Insurance Co., et al. v. Aspen Way Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 16-35059, 9th Cir.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on July 22 denied an insured's motion to amend her complaint in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Joan Murphy v. The National Flood Insurance Program, No. 13-6757, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96061).
CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire justice on July 22 approved a $28 million asbestos bodily injury related settlement between the insolvent Home Insurance Co. and Ingersoll-Rand Co. (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A district court did not err in assessing a statutory penalty against a disability plan administrator for failing to provide a requested plan document within 30 days, but the district court must recalculate the penalty to assess the penalty based solely on the failure to timely produce the plan document, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said July 25 (Curtis F. Lee v. ING Groep, N.V., et al., No. 14-15848, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13489).
NEW YORK - A company claiming to be the owner of an insurer being sued by Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London over an arbitration award moved to intervene in the proceedings in a federal court in New York on July 22 (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London Subscribing to Treaty No. 0272/04 v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00323, S.D. N.Y.).
DALLAS - A Texas diagnostic imaging services company agreed to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) when improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid for services that were provided without proper medical supervision, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas announced July 22 (United States of America, ex rel. Tracy Sifuentes v. Preferred Imaging LLC, No. 14-cv-4555, N.D. Texas).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge ruled July 22 that an insurer has a duty to defend its insured against an underlying lawsuit brought by DirecTV LLC, rejecting the insurer's argument that coverage is barred by two "unauthorized access" policy exclusions (Ellicott City Cable LLC, et al. v. Axis Insurance Co., No. 15-02506, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95819).
DULUTH, Minn. - A Minnesota federal judge entered judgment in favor of an insurer on July 25, three days after finding that the insurer's duty to defend or indemnify a food marketing and distribution company insured was never triggered because the insured failed to notify the insurer "as soon as practicable" of an underlying lawsuit brought by the insured's former employee (Food Market Merchandising Inc. v. Scottsdale Indemnity Co., No. 15-2874, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96234).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on July 22 approved the return of nearly $4 million Canadian to the Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co.'s liquidation estate that was held by a Canadian insurer that had been paying certain claims and obligation of Lumbermens' in Canada (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.).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The "Back-Up of Sewers and Drains" coverage provided under an insurance policy is subject to a "concurrent cause" exclusion, a Kentucky appeals panel ruled July 22, affirming summary judgment to an insurer that insureds did not suffer a covered loss from water damage due to flooding (Dr. Caroline I. Hendy, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Co., No. 2015-CA-001030, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 502).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 22 held that an insurer has failed to satisfy its burden of establishing that all claims alleged in underlying class actions are excluded from coverage under a "products/completed operations liability and professional liability" insurance policy's contractual liability exclusion, denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over lawsuits arising from the insured's service of providing consumers with genetic data from saliva testing (Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. v. 23andMe, Inc., No. 14-03286, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96079).
PIERRE, S.D. - A majority of the South Dakota Supreme Court on July 20 reversed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to indemnify its insureds for their loss of 93 cattle during winter storm Atlas, finding that the insurance policy's drowning provision is ambiguous (Richard Papousek v. De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance Company of South Dakota, No. 27658, S.D. Sup.; 2016 S.D. LEXIS 93).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A faulty workmanship exclusion precludes coverage for collapse damages caused by an insured's actions related to the excavation of a basement coupled with the failure to install underpinning to secure the building's foundation, a Virginia federal judge ruled July 21, finding that the ensuing loss exception fails to restore coverage because no independent and covered peril contributed to the collapse other than the insured's excluded conduct (Taja Investments LLC, et al. v. Peerless Insurance Co. a/k/a Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-01647, E.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95760).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An expert did not provide any testimony as to a manufacturing defect to support an insured's motion for interlocutory review, an Indiana federal judge ruled July 19 in an insurer's subrogation lawsuit on claims for design defect and failure to adequately warn (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. a/s/o Jason and Michelle Howard v. Lennox Industries, Inc., No. 14-1731, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93417).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.'s motion for judgment was granted July 21 by a federal judge in Pennsylvania who found that the insurer could deny a man's claim under his automobile policy because he misrepresented that he was a resident of New York rather than Pennsylvania (State Farm Fire and Casualty Company v. Gregory A. Hancle, et al., No. 14-6140, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95084).
DENVER - Because no New Mexico court has addressed the application of the "owned or occupied" exclusion in the context of environmental contamination to sovereign property, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should certify a question regarding the exclusion's application to the New Mexico Supreme Court, an insured maintains in a July 19 motion for certification of a question of state law (Taos Ski Valley Inc. v. Nova Casualty Co., No. 16-2118, 10th Cir.).
CHICAGO - An insurer had no duty to defend an additional insured for construction defects in condominium units because nothing accidental was alleged, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed July 20, finding that the allegations include the additional insured's intentional bad acts or awareness of faulty workmanship (Westfield Insurance Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC and 933 Van Buren Condominium Association, No. 1-14-0862, Ill. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 473).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on July 18 granted three motions in limine filed by an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, precluding an insured from presenting evidence, damages testimony and other testimony to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in conducting an investigation into a claim for coverage under a commercial property insurance policy (JCKP LLC v. Berkley Regional Specialty Insurance Co, et al., No. 14-0117, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93049).
SAN FRANCISCO - Dismissal of a life insurance policy beneficiary's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against an insurer is not proper because the beneficiary has shown that his deceased wife timely completed all necessary paperwork and submitted to her employer as administrator of the policy to port her group life insurance policy into an individual policy, a federal judge in California ruled July 20 (Kent Graham v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 16-3407, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94871).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey panel affirmed July 20 that commercial general liability coverage for an underlying negligence lawsuit against an engineering firm insured is barred by the policy's professional services exclusion (EIC Group LLC v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of America, No. A-2590-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1683).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 21 rejected an insurer's argument that its owes nothing to the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association (USMAA) for tornado damage to a building it leases from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) because others paid for USMAA's loss (Southern Insurance Co. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-60472, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13350).
DENVER - A trial court properly allowed expert testimony on causation in an insurance coverage dispute over injuries suffered in an auto collision, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held July 19, affirming that the insured presented evidence that a reasonable jury could find that his claim for benefits was fairly debatable (Donald L. Etherton v. Owners Insurance Co., No. 14-1164, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13156).
MIAMI - A disability insurer's decision to terminate a claimant's long-term disability benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the insurer reasonably concluded that the claimant was not precluded from working in "any occupation," a Florida federal judge said July 19 (Armando Mercado v. Federal Express Corp., et al., No. 15-21472, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93786).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying coverage for an allegedly stolen skid loader because ample evidence exists to support the insurer's denial of the claim, a federal judge in Utah ruled July 18 in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract lawsuit (Naser Awadh, et al. v. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-0145, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93369).