DENVER - Adopting a magistrate's recommendation, a federal judge in Colorado on May 24 denied insureds' motion for leave to amend their complaint in a dispute over coverage for more than $1.8 million in undelivered fine wine (Malik M. Hasan, M.D., et al. v. AIG Property Casualty Co., No. 16-02963, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77435).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on May 22 found that an insurer has no duty to defend and indemnify its insured against an underlying lawsuit arising from a ski accident that occurred in March 2016, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in its declaratory judgment lawsuit (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Inc., et al., No. 16-02984, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85680).
CHICAGO - A Chicago cab company was not covered by the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund (IIGF) under an insolvent insurer's policy for an underlying personal injury lawsuit because the accident occurred outside the time the subject taxi was covered, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed May 23 (The Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund v. Israel P. Nwidor, et al., No. 1-17-1378, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 301).
CHICAGO - A surgery center failed to sufficiently state a claim against two insurance companies for violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA), a federal judge in Illinois ruled May 24, holding that the insurers' alleged misrepresentations to the center about whether its procedures were covered did not harm the patient population (Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al. v. Southwest Surgery Center LLC, No. 14-cv-8777, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87551).
CAMDEN, N.J. - An insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith when it limited its payment for mold damage within an insured home because the policy at issue included a provision limiting coverage for mold damage, a New Jersey federal judge said May 23 (Charles Hobbs, et al. v. US Coastal Insurance Co., No. 17-3673, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86484).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina Court of Appeals on May 23 reversed a trial judge's dismissal of a dissolved self-insurance trust from a liquidator's declaratory judgment action over an insolvent insurer's coverage obligations for workers' compensation claims because it was not within the judge's discretion to answer the novel question on whether a trust can be sued after it has voluntarily dissolved (Raymond G. Farmer v. CAGC Insurance Co., et al., No. 2016-000192, S.C. App., 2018 S.C. App. LEXIS 36).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Stockholders in a May 21 complaint filed in a Delaware court accuse the directors of a financial company operating in the insurance and reinsurance business of breaching their fiduciary duty by transferring the value of stocks to their benefit (Icahn Partners LP, et al. v. Barry D. Zyskind, et al., No. 2018-0358, Del. Chanc.).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on May 23 affirmed a lower court's ruling that granted the peremptory exception of res judicata filed by an insurer and dismissed with prejudice an underlying lawsuit seeking penalties and damages for an insurer's alleged failure to timely pay medical malpractice insurance settlement proceeds (Oliver Barnett, et al. v. Louisiana Medical Mutual Insurance Company, No. 51,908-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir., 2018 La. App. LEXIS 994).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In a dispute over whether a reinsurer is obligated to pay an insurer's defense expenses arising from a $3.2 million asbestos claims settlement, a New York federal judge on May 23 declined to reconsider an earlier finding of ambiguity in the reinsurance certificate provisions (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., Nos. 12-00196 & 13-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A former National Football League player on May 22 filed suit in New York federal court, alleging that the NFL's retirement plan and its fiduciaries duty violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by refusing to reclassify players' disability benefits as football degenerative (FD) benefits despite evidence showing that the disabilities suffered by players were caused by numerous hits to the head and concussions sustained while playing in the NFL (Christopher Hudson, et al., v. National Football League Management Council, et al., No. 18-4483, S.D. N.Y.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on May 22 held that underlying allegations against an attorney insured are barred by an "intentional acts" exclusion in a professional liability insurance policy, reversing the lower court (Illinois State Bar Association Mutual Insurance Company v. Leighton Legal Group, LLC, et al., No. 4-17-0548, Ill. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Ill. App. LEXIS 304).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 21 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that insureds' bad faith, breach of contract and negligence claims arising from an alleged theft loss are time-barred (Dean Seymour, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Company, No. 17-5529, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13166).
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on May 18 granted in part motions for partial summary judgment filed by a window and door manufacturer seeking recovery of $3 million it paid to resolve five defects lawsuits in Alabama state court, finding that its insurer, Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., could not raise defenses of res judicata, contributory bad faith, comparative bad faith and mitigation (MI Windows & Doors LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-cv-3139-T-23MAP, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83918).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A water exclusion in a homeowners insurance policy is unambiguous and precluded coverage for damages caused when sewage backed up into an insured's basement; as a result, an insurer did not act in bad faith in denying coverage, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled May 21 in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Audrey Sank v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-1620, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84943).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 21 upheld a federal judge in New York's decision to sentence a man who pleaded guilty to fraudulently procuring $13,961 in unemployment insurance benefits from the New York Department of Labor while working as a correctional officer to six months in prison, holding that the judge sufficiently explained that the sentence was based on the brazen nature of the offense (United States v. Andrew Kessler, No. 17-2317-cr, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13088).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 21 found that a lower federal court erred in holding that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify Office Depot Inc. in an underlying qui tam lawsuit, reversing and remanding (Office Depot Inc. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Company, No. 17-55125, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13136).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer had no duty to defend against an underlying class action or the Colorado attorney general's investigation of a law firm insured because the underlying claims arose from billing practices, which are not professional services under the insurance policy (Evanston Insurance Company v. Law Office of Michael P. Medved, et al., No. 16-1464, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 13270).
LOS ANGELES - A homeowner filed a class action complaint on May 17 against a mortgage loan company and financial services company for engaging in an illegal kickback scheme involving reinsurance payments arising out of force-placed hazard insurance policies (Kathleen Angel Eisenberg v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 18-04157, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A stockholder sued General Electric Co. (GE) and its officers and directors in a New York federal court on May 17, alleging that their actions concerning their insurance and reinsurance business resulted in billions of dollars in damages to the company (Edward Tansey v. Jeffrey R. Immelt, et al., No. 18-04408, S.D. N.Y.).
AUSTIN, Texas - Granting a motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Texas on May 17 ruled that an insurer did not intentionally delay paying on a claim for coverage under a homeowners insurance policy and that insureds failed to show that the insurer's delay in payment caused injuries that were independent of their policy claim (Thomas G. Kezar, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-389, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83157).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on May 21 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an underlying consumer class action alleging that a shampoo manufacturer insured falsely advertised its hair products as "organic" does not trigger a covered disparagement claim under its insurance policy (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. Vogue International, LLC, et al., No. A150921, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3467).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on May 18 affirmed a lower court's finding that a man's use of his personal automobile on a private race track falls under an insurance policy exclusion for race-related conduct (Robert Wegmann v. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 2D17-2030, Fla. App., 2nd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 6965).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on May 16 refused to reconsider a denial of summary judgment to an insurer on an insured's bad faith allegation arising out of the handling of an underinsured motorist benefits claim because genuine issues of fact exist as to whether the insurer's conduct was reasonable (Ethel Powell v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 16-2795, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82164).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on May 16 denied an insured's motion to alter a judgment in a products liability suit to include payment of $1.5 million in attorney fees and expenses because the insurer's duty to defend ended when the underlying claim was settled on the insured's behalf (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, et al. v. Donaldson Company Inc., No. 10-4948, D. Minn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82484).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge on May 17 found that Pennsylvania's Act 44, which mandates that the Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association transfer $200 million of its "surplus" funds for deposit into the Commonwealth's General Fund, is unconstitutional, granting summary and declaratory judgment and permanent injunctive relief in favor of the association (Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association v. Tom Wolf, No. 17-2041, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83137).