PITTSBURGH - Under Pennsylvania law, commercial general liability insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify insureds for a negligent performance of contract claim arising out of alleged faulty workmanship, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled June 30 (Peerless Insurance Co. and Ohio Security Insurance Co. v. Manown Builders, et al., No. 15-281, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85261).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on June 29 denied a disability insurer's motion for summary judgment after determining that a genuine issue of material fact exists regarding whether the insurer received the claimant's letter appealing the termination of disability benefits (Cheryl Hitt v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 15-1790, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84119).
NEW YORK - A party to a reinsurance treaty removed a petition asking for vacatur of an arbitration award to a federal court in New York on July 5 (Yosemite Insurance Company v. Nationwide Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-05290, S.D. N.Y.).
ATLANTA - A disability insurer's decision to terminate a claimant's long-term disability benefits was not de novo wrong, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 1, noting that the insurer's decision was supported by the evidence (Rassekh Sobh v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 15-15586, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12144).
MADISON, Wis. - A majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court on June 30 affirmed that a professional liability errors and omissions insurance policy's business enterprise exclusion bars coverage for six underlying lawsuits against a professional trustee insured, finding that the insured relied on a "stunted strand of law" in arguing that the insurer has a duty to defend (David M. Marks v. Houston Casualty Co., et al., No. 2013AP2756, Wis. Sup.; 2016 Wisc. LEXIS 162).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on June 30 found that an insurer breached the policy when it refused to cover the physical loss to an insured's roof that was caused by a wind event, affirming a jury's award of $12,878 for damages and $70,000 for attorney fees (State Farm Lloyds v. Ginger Hanson, No. 14-15-00093, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6937).
TRENTON, N.J. - While recognizing that "the question of who a customer 'belongs to' may not be immediately clear," a New Jersey federal judge on June 30 nonetheless denied a copyright infringement plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction in its dispute with a competitor in the professional insurance market (Jorgensen & Company v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85498).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on June 29 denied a motion to remand an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court, ruling that an insurer has met its burden of showing that the court has jurisdiction by a "preponderance of the evidence" (Steven Daniels, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 16-360, W.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84315).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana appeals panel found on June 29 that a lower court erred when it dismissed an insured's claims against an insurance agency and its employee in a coverage dispute arising from vandalism and theft (Dr. William W. Alden, et al. v. Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Co., et al., No. 2016-CA-0044, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 1311).
BRONX, N.Y. - A New York judge on June 28 found that an insured breached the conditions of its insurance policy by failing to provide its insurer with prompt notice of a property damage claim and by failing to preserve the purported damaged property for inspection (TV Realty LLC v. Tower Insurance Company of New York, No. 306589/2013, N.Y. Sup., Bronx Co.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a government agency did not act arbitrarily or capriciously when it rejected a peanut farmer's crop insurance claim (Spring Creek Farming Co. v. Federal Crop Insurance Corp., et al., No. 15-14818, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11844).
TRENTON, N.J. - A flood insurer is required to pay for some of the damages associated with an oil leak from an abandoned underground oil tank because the flooding during Superstorm Sandy clearly caused residual oil to leak from the tank, a New Jersey federal judge said June 29 (Philip and Renee Weisbecker v. Janet Szalkowski, et al., No. 14-55, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84128).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on June 28 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss in a third-party insurance dispute with a for-profit hospital, ruling that the hospital has properly pleaded all but two of its claims, which it conceded required dismissal (Texas General Hospital LP, et al. v. United Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 15-2096, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84082).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 reversed a lower federal court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer on its duty to indemnify its engineering firm insured and the firm's employee against five underlying lawsuits arising from a fatal accident at a nuclear-powered energy plant (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., et al v. DP Engineering L.L.C., et al., No. 15-10443, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11951).
CHICAGO - The assignee of certain reinsurance recoverables asked a federal court in Illinois on June 28 to amend and correct its judgment and allow for the filing of an amended complaint adding certain missing elements of its claims against a Brazilian reinsurer (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Banco De Seguros Del Estado, No. 12-cv-06357, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70462).
DENVER - A federal district court did not err in finding that an insured brought her claim for uninsured motorist benefits within the statute of limitations because she brought the claim within the three-year statute of limitations, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 24 (Gladys Jones v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Nos. 15-1007 and 15-1007, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11661).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 28 affirmed that an insurance policy's "authorized representative" exclusion bars coverage for an insured's claim seeking reimbursement of $100,000 in losses arising from computer fraud (Southern California Counseling Center v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 14-56169, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11825).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After finding that various arguments under California's unfair competition law (UCL) made by an insurer failed, a California federal judge on June 27 granted a motion filed by the owners of self-storage units to file a cross-complaint against it for indemnity (John Deleon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated and on behalf of the general public, Elite Self Storage Management LLC, No. 2:15-cv-02087, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83308).
CHICAGO - In a late notice asbestos-related reinsurance case, a reinsurer asked a federal court in Illinois on June 27 to strike a reinsured's affirmative defenses because they are allegedly unsupported by sufficient facts (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - The liquidator of an insolvent New Hampshire insurer told a federal court in New York on June 23 that a reinsurer owes the liquidation estate nearly $225,000 in unpaid reinsurance billings (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., No. 16-cv-04874, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - The Sixth Division of the First District Illinois Appellate Court on June 24 determined that an excess insurer is not entitled to collect a $1 million self-insured retention (SIR) from its insureds for claims paid in an underlying environmental contamination suit because the primary policy must be exhausted before the insured is required to reimburse the excess insurer for the SIR (Greenwich Insurance Co., et al. v. John Sexton Sand and Gravel Corp. et al., No. 1-15-1606, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals panel on June 27 affirmed that an insurer did not waive an insurance policy's appraisal condition and that the appraisal condition can be applied to preclude underlying claims arising from windstorm damage to a mobile home (Gordon Blackwell v. Foremost Insurance Co., No. H042263, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4749).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on June 27 found that triable issues of fact require reversal of a lower court's dismissal of a breach of contract claim against an insurer, further holding that the insureds' bad faith and elder abuse claims cannot survive under the genuine dispute doctrine (Clayton D. Paslay, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. B265348, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 511).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge granted judgment in favor of an insurer on June 27 in a lawsuit seeking recovery of more than $5 million in missing bank cash (Known Litigation Holdings, LLC v. Navigators Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-269, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82675).
CLEVELAND - An insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit against its insured regarding coverage for underlying breach of contract claims may proceed, an Ohio federal judge ruled June 22, declining to dismiss or stay the action pending resolution of the underlying lawsuit (Acuity v. Midwest Curtainwalls, Inc., No. 16-55, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81370).