CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 21 denied insurers' motion to reconsider an earlier ruling that a professional services exclusion does not apply to bar coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that a consulting company insured conspired with a competitor's former employee to use the competitor's copyrighted material and other confidential information (Caveo, LLC v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, Inc., et al., No. 15-6200, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95432).
SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 20 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that an insured's motion to remand be denied because complete diversity of citizenship exists as the insured's complaint does not specifically allege any claims against the insurer's adjuster, who also is a resident of Texas (Max Wang v. Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana et al., No. 17-158, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94255).
NEW YORK - An insurer argues in a June 21 reply brief filed in a New York federal court that a Brazilian reinsurer is obligated to pay $5 million under an arbitration award so that the insurer can pay a settlement it reached with a steel maker in a related dispute (National Indemnity Co. v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-3975, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A pollution exclusion precludes coverage for an environmental damage claim with an insolvent insurer, the First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division affirmed June 22 (In re Midland Insurance Co.; ASARCO LLC, v. The Superintendent of Financial Services of the State of New York, in her capacity as liquidator of Midland Insurance Co., No. 41294/86, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5065).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment on an insured's claim for insurance bad faith because the insured failed to plead any genuine issues of material facts to support the claim, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 19 in affirming (Jesse Kalberer v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-17220, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10779).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a homeowners insurer has no duty to defend its insured against underlying claims of battery, sexual battery, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress (Travelers Commercial Insurance Co. v. Jennifer A., No. 15-15841, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10996).
BOSTON - In a dispute over environmental claims, an insurer argues in a June 21 brief filed in a Massachusetts federal court that it should not be forced to accept an umpire proposed by a group of insurance syndicates in arbitration because of "shenanigans" in the appointment process (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London v. Transport Insurance Co., No. 17-10618, D. Mass.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 21 found that a lower court erred in dismissing insurance claims in a dispute over coverage for a maritime collision in the Gulf of Mexico, vacating the lower court in part and remanding for the court to review the insurance policies and determine their scope (International Marine, L.L.C., et al. v. Integrity Fisheries, Incorporated, et al., No. 16-30456, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11041).
UTICA, N.Y. - After an insurer opposed a previous request to move a trial date in a reinsurance late-notice dispute, a reinsurer on June 19 asked a New York federal court to push back the date, this time to after Nov. 10, explaining that all witnesses will be available after that date (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 09-cv-00853, N.D. N.Y.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on June 19 recommended that a claim seeking a declaration that long-term disability (LTD) benefits are owed be dismissed because the disability claimant did not file a claim for LTD benefits and did not exhaust all her administrative remedies related to the claim for such benefits (Jamie R. Nagy v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 17-80198, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94819).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurer and insurer have resolved their $6.2 million reinsurance dispute involving a settlement of underlying asbestos claims, according to a June 20 status report filed in a Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. v. Century Indemnity Co. as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-170, D. Conn.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on June 20 awarded a disability claimant more than $38,000 in attorney fees after finding that the claimant is entitled to attorney fees for achieving some success on the merits of his claim (Jeff Schuman v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-1006, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94557).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on June 20 granted an insurance broker's motion to dismiss an insured's third-party fraud and suppression claims but refused to dismiss the breach of contract claim against it in a coverage dispute over a fatal explosion at the insured's Owens, Ala., plant (James River Insurance Co. v. Ultratec Special Effects, Inc., et al., No. 16-00949, N.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94319).
DETROIT - A disability insurer did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying a claim for disability benefits because the medical evidence supports the denial of benefits and the claimant failed to provide any evidence to rebut the insurer's evidence, a Michigan federal judge said June 20 (Philip J. Holmes v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-11538, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94258).
MUSKOGEE, Okla. - An insured failed to show that material issues of fact exist as to whether his insurer acted in bad faith in denying his claim for coverage under the terms of a commercial property insurance policy and, as a result, is not entitled to punitive damages on the bad faith claim, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled June 20 in granting in part the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Billy Hamilton v. Northfield Insurance Co., No. 16-519, E.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94672).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 21 affirmed a lower court's finding that an insurance policy's insured vs. insured exclusion bars directors and officers liability coverage for underlying counterclaims involving the insured's officers (Michael Abboud v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. A-3434-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 80).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 16 denied a request filed by a group of development companies to substitute an insurer as a defendant in an action seeking coverage in an underlying construction defects case, finding that the substitution would not advance the litigation and refusing to remand the case (Toll CA, L.P., et al. v. American Safety Indemnity Company, et al., No. 16-cv-1523, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94107).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The Fourth District California Court of Appeal on June 19 reversed a summary judgment ruling entered in favor of an insurer after determining that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the insurer's refusal to cover an insured's epidural injections for injuries sustained in an automobile accident was reasonable (Carmen Zubillaga v. Allstate Indemnity Co., No. G052603, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3, 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 562).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer's loan was not a fraudulent conveyance because a loan advance, regardless of the size of the collateral pledged, is "fair consideration" for the pledge, the First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled June 20 (Stillwater Liquidating LLC v. Partner Reinsurance Company Ltd., et al., No. 4339 652451/15, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4965).
ATLANTA - An insured's breach of contract claim against its insurance broker must be dismissed because the insured, seeking coverage for underlying suits arising out of exposure to hepatitis A from food purchased from the insured, failed to show that a valid contract existed between the parties, a Georgia federal judge said June 16 (Sentinel Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Tropical Smoothie Cafe LLC, et al., No. 16-4162, N.D. Ga.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 19 determined that a disability insurer's denial of long-term disability (LTD) benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the policy included a pre-existing condition exclusion that clearly precluded coverage to the claimant (Yvonne Hilbert v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., 15-471, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93424).
SCRANTON, Pa. - An insured's presence destroys complete diversity jurisdiction in a negligence lawsuit also involving its subrogated insurer and reinsurer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled June 20, dismissing the lawsuit because it cannot proceed without the insured (RAD Manufacturing LLC f/k/a RAD Wood Work Co., et al. v. Advanced Fabrication Services Inc. t/d/b/a AFS Energy Systems, No. 16-2138, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94575).
CINCINNATI - A majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 20 held that a management liability insurance policy's "insured-versus-insured" exclusion bars coverage for a liquidation trustee's $18.8 million breach of fiduciary lawsuit against officers of the bankrupt holding company (Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. Clifford Zucker, et al., Nos. 16-1695, 16-1697 and 16-1698, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10821, 6th Cir.).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - An appeals court panel in New York on June 16 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling denying a man's motion to withdraw a plea of guilty to one count of insurance fraud, finding that his attorney properly advised him about the risk of deportation associated with the decision (People of the State of New York v. Rayon L. Wong, No. 799 KA 11-00094, N.Y. App., 4th Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4919).
PASADENA, Calif. - A federal district court did not err in denying an insurer's motion for judgment as a matter of law on an insurance bad faith claim because a reasonable jury could have determined that the insurer had a reasonable opportunity to settle the claims against its insured, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 15 in affirming (Carlos Madrigal, et al. v. Allstate Indemnity Co., Nos. 16-55839 and 16-55863, 9th Cir.).