SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 rejected a products liability insurer's argument that interlocutory review of a May 27 order on the issue of rescission is warranted under 28 U.S. Code Section 1292(b) because the order involves a controlling question of law for which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion (Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 13-04863, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140762).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Oct. 13 dismissed claims alleging violations under the Texas Insurance Code against an excess insurer after determining that the plaintiff insurers do not have standing to assert the claims (Starnet Insurance Co., et al., v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 16-664, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141782).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In a coverage dispute over water damage to an insured's kitchen, an insurer was wrongfully denied an opportunity to argue that it could repair the damaged property and that hiring a general contractor was unnecessary, a Florida appeals panel ruled Oct. 13, reversing a trial judge's entry of summary judgment to the insured (Prepared Insurance Co. v. David Gal, No. 4D15-1909, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 15181).
TACOMA, Wash. - An insurer has properly shown that an insured intentionally misrepresented certain material facts in his application for a landlord insurance policy in order to obtain coverage that the insurer otherwise would have not provided, a federal judge in Washington ruled Oct. 11 in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Zach Minor v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-5630, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140802).
LIMA, Ohio - Reversing a lower court in part, an Ohio appeals court on Oct. 11 held that the court erred in finding that an audit request in an underlying copyright infringement dispute was not a "claim" under an insurance policy (Eighth Floor Promotions v. The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, No. 10-15-19, Ohio App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 4119).
PHILADELPHIA - Finding that service of an underlying legal malpractice lawsuit after expiration of a professional liability insurance policy and its automatic extended reporting period does not give rise to a claim, a Pennsylvania judge on Oct. 11 determined that the insurer's duty to defend or indemnify was not triggered (Michael B. Wolf, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 000066, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.; 2016 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 359).
DES MOINES, Iowa - Claims of an insured subcontractor's defective workmanship that caused damages beyond its own work potentially constitute an "accident" that is an "occurrence" covered by a commercial general liability insurance policy, the Iowa Court of Appeals held Oct. 12, finding that the insurer has a duty to defend (Hudson Hardware Plumbing & Heating Inc. v. AMCO Insurance Co., No. 15-1677, Iowa App.; 2016 Iowa App. LEXIS 1097).
NEW ORLEANS - An excess insurer argues in an Oct. 12 brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal judge incorrectly determined that excess policies are triggered by mere exposure to asbestos and said that evidence of actual injury caused by asbestos is necessary to trigger the excess policies (Longhorn Gasket and Supply Co., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-41625, 5th Cir.).
SAN FRANCISCO - In briefs filed Oct. 11 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, two insurers that issued policies to a rent-to-own (RTO) retailer argue that the policies' recording and distribution exclusions barred coverage for two lawsuits relating to the retailer's installation of spyware on a purchased computer, asking the appeals court to affirm coverage and reimbursement rulings in their favor (American Economy Insurance Co., et al. v. Aspen Way Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 16-35059, 9th Cir.).
MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana federal judge on Oct. 11 denied a disability claimant's motion to remand a suit to Montana state court on the basis that jurisdiction in federal court is proper and none of the relevant factors weighs in favor of remanding the suit (Philip Cardan v. New York Life Insurance Co., No. 16-102, D. Mont.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140731).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 12 granted a reinsurer's motion to dismiss in an asbestos coverage suit on the basis that the California federal court lacks jurisdiction over the reinsurer whose headquarters are based in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (The American Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 16-3044, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141467).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 11 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a motion by Acting U.S. Solicitor General Ian Heath Gershengorn to participate in upcoming oral arguments over what the appropriate sanctions are when a private qui tam lawsuit plaintiff violates a seal order under the False Claims Act (FCA) (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al., No. 15-513, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 6149).
DETROIT - A college professor may testify to the cause of damage from winter conditions to two golf courses he examined but not to a third, which he did not, a Michigan federal judge ruled Oct. 11 (Bloomfield Hills Country Club, et al. v. The Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 15-11290, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140449).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The termination of a claimant's long-term disability (LTD) benefits was reasonable based on the evidence considered by the disability plan prior to terminating benefits, an Arkansas federal judge said Oct. 7 (Evelyn Thompson v. ConAgra Foods Inc., et al., No. 14-41, E.D. Ark.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140149).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina appeals panel on Oct. 4 affirmed a man's conviction and sentencing for two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, holding that the state submitted sufficient evidence to show that the defendant intentionally misrepresented that he was seen twice at the same hospital for his injuries (State of North Carolina v. Thornell Chris Bennett, No. COA16-165, N.C. App.; 2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 994).
JACKSON, Miss. - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper because an insurer failed to show that a substantial question of federal law exists, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled Oct. 9 (State of Mississippi, ex. rel. Jim Hood, Attorney General for the State of Mississippi, v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 15-374, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140218).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 6 granted a motion to intervene filed by the U.S. Department of the Navy in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the addition of the Navy as a party to the suit will not prejudice the insurer and will help the court in developing the facts at issue (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139383).
MINNEAPOLIS - A policy's pollution exclusion does not preclude an insurer's duty to defend an underlying personal injury suit arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning but does preclude the insurer's duty to indemnify, a Minnesota federal judge said Oct. 6 in a second amended opinion, noting that the insured failed to prove that the insurer has a duty to indemnify (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Christopher A. Klick, et al., No. 15-2403, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139752).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A subrogation waiver clause included in a heating oil agreement sent to an insured by the heating oil company contravenes public policy because the average consumer does not have the chance to negotiate the provisions in residential heating oil contracts, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 5 in finding that an insurer is not barred from asserting negligence claims, as the subrogee of its insured, against the heating oil company (State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., et al. v. Petroleum Heat & Power Co. Inc., et al., No. 13-6732, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138479).
BILLINGS, Mont. - An insurer has no duty to defend an insured for an underlying suit arising out of the release of hydrocarbon vapors because the policy's oil/gas exclusion clearly precludes coverage for the underlying suit, a Montana federal judge said Oct. 5 (Janson Palmer, et al., v. Northland Casualty Co., et al., No. 15-58, D. Mont.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138556).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Oct. 7 dismissed with prejudice Foo Fighters LLC's breach of contract lawsuit seeking full policy benefits for 11 shows that were canceled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and an injury singer and guitarist Dave Grohl suffered during a performance one day after the band and its insurers and brokers filed a stipulation for dismissal (Foo Fighters LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, et al., No. 16-cv-04208, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel held Oct. 6 that monetary relief for extracontractual harm is legally recoverable under Section 502(a)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, reversing a lower court's ruling that insurers have no duty to defend a managed care company against underlying lawsuits (Health Net, Inc. v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., et al., No. B262716, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7296).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Oct. 5 ordered Foo Fighters LLC to show cause in writing why their breach of contract lawsuit seeking full policy benefits for 11 shows that were canceled in the wake of the terrorist attacks should not be dismissed for lack of prosecution (Foo Fighters LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, et al., No. 16-cv-04208, C.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - Under Pennsylvania law, allegations of an insured's faulty workmanship do not constitute an "occurrence," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 5, finding that a comprehensive business liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an underlying negligent construction lawsuit (State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Kim's Asia Construction, No. 15-6619, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138915).
NEW ORLEANS - Ruling that certain declarations sought in an insured's motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract bad faith lawsuit "seemingly rest upon disputed factual determinations and assessments of witness credibility that remain reserved to the trier of fact - a jury," a federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 4 denied the insured's motion (AMA Discount Inc., et al. v. Seneca Specialty Insurance Co., No. 15-2845, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137349).