LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 21 granted an insurer's motion to remand after determining that removal was improper because complete diversity of citizenship may not exist as there is a possibility that several defendants in the construction defects suit, originally filed in California state court, are citizens of California (Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. v. Maison Reeves Homeowners Association, et al., No. 17-1704, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61241).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25 found that an investment solicitation by an insured fell outside a professional liability insurance policy's definition of covered "professional services," affirming a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (Continental Casualty Co. v. Kool Radiators Inc., No. 15-16023, 9th Cir.).
AUSTIN, Texas - In an April 21 brief to the Texas Supreme Court, filed in response to a post-oral argument brief by the real parties in interest in a dispute over the discovery submission form for electronically stored information (ESI) in an insurance coverage lawsuit, an insurer argues that a trial court's requirement that ESI submission be in the form requested by the plaintiffs did not properly balance relevance, needs and burdens under Texas law (In re State Farm Lloyds, No. 15-0903, Texas Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A homeowners insurer filed a declaratory judgment complaint in federal court in New Jersey on April 21 after intervening in a lawsuit alleging that two Rutgers University students, including one football player, sexually assault another student on campus (K.L. v. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, et al., No. 16-9270, D. N.J.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - While the U.S. government contracted to purchase annuities to make future, monthly and periodic lump-sum payments under a settlement agreement, the government did not guarantee that it would make the future payments in the event of an insurer's insolvency, a judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held April 21 (William T. Hendrickson and Patricia Hendrickson v. The United States, No. 15-1406C, Fed. Clms, 2017 U.S. Claims LEXIS 369).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 denied a disability claimant's petition for writ of certiorari, refusing to review the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' decision that that the remand of a disability retirement claim was not an abuse of discretion or a violation of a previous court mandate (Kyle D. Kennard v. Means Industries Inc., No. 16-1117, U.S. Sup.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on April 19 found that a homeowners insurance policy's "business pursuits" and "civic or public activities performed for pay" exclusions bar coverage for underlying defamation and false light claims brought against its insured, declaring that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured (Patricia Beil v. AMCO Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-356, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59757).
DALLAS - A Texas appeals panel on April 20 upheld a trial court judge's decision to revoke a woman's sentence for four years of community supervision and sentence her to 10 years in prison for insurance fraud, ruling that there was sufficient evidence showing that she committed a new offense of theft from an elderly person (Christine Zimmerman Shearer v. State of Texas, No. 05-16-00317-CR, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3584).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that a homeowners insurer did not violate its policy when it depreciated labor costs in determining the actual cash value of an insured's loss following hail and water damage (Margaret Graves v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-3187, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6980).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 reversed a $36 million judgment entered against an insurer in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that an asbestos exclusion is not ambiguous and bars coverage for underlying asbestos-related claims filed against the insured (General Refractories Company v. First State Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3409, 3rd Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - Because an insured failed to prove that heavy rains caused engine damage to a recreational vehicle and because the insured failed to submit a proof of loss for the claim, a Louisiana federal judge on April 19 granted the insurer's motion for summary judgment on the insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Henry Rosenthal v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-13732, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59564).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on April 19 granted an insured's motion for summary judgment after determining that the insured presented sufficient evidence that the insurer's failure to pay a judgment entered in favor of the insured constitutes bad faith (Arika Prince v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 16-563, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59794).
INDIANAPOLIS - An insured failed to show that any manifest error of law or fact exists that would require amendment of three previous orders in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Indiana ruled April 18 in denying the insured's motion for reconsideration of three earlier rulings in the suit (H.E. McGonigal Inc. v. Harleysville Lake States Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-549, S.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58782).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 18 that an insurer is estopped from denying coverage under a professional liability insurance policy for an underlying arbitration brought against an investment advisor insured, affirming a lower court's $931,859.59 judgment in favor of the insured (Brecek & Young Advisors, Inc. v. Lloyds of London Syndicate 2003, No. 16-3245, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6585).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on April 21 adopted an insured's application of a continuous trigger of coverage rather than the insurer's application of a first manifestation trigger of coverage in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that environmental contamination claims are similar to asbestos bodily injury claims, which are subject to a continuous trigger pursuant to precedent established by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Co., v. Johnson Matthey Inc. et al., No. 330 M.D. 2015, Pa. Cmwlth.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on April 18 that a motion for reconsideration of the confirmation of an arbitration award should not be granted because there was no manifest injustice in the confirmation decision (General Re Life Corporation v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-01860, D. Conn.).
UTICA, N.Y. - Dismissal of an insured's pro se lawsuit seeking coverage for water and mold damages is not appropriate because the insured attempted to timely file the suit within the policy's two-year limitations period, a New York federal judge said April 19 (Edmund Sanderson v. First Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 16-644, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59330).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 17 granted a motion filed by two insurers to withdraw an insured's adversary proceeding from bankruptcy court because the bankruptcy court does not have the authority to decide the breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against the insurers in the adversary proceeding (Phillip Michael Scott v. AIG Property Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-1052, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58339).
COVINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on April 17 granted a disability insurer's motion to dismiss the claims alleged against it by a disability claimant after determining that the claimant did not exhaust her administrative remedies because she did not file an administrative appeal within the prescribed 180-day time period (Cheryl Stacy v. Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 16-186, E.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57953).
NEW YORK - An insurer told a federal court in New York on April 19 that it is appealing the court's decision that vacated a reinsurance arbitration award because of the actions of an arbitrator (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00323, S.D. N.Y.).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a home inspector against allegations that an insufficient inspection failed to discover defective conditions prior to a home sale, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 17, finding that the inspector's negligence did not cause any covered "property damage" (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Ralph Gage Contracting Inc., et al., No. 16-15442, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6528).
TAMPA, Fla - An insured's bad faith claim is based on his insurer's alleged breach of its fiduciary duty to him and is, thus, subject to a four-year statute of limitations, a federal judge in Florida ruled April 18 in granting the insurer' motion to dismiss (Waldermar Baranowski v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-301, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5885).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 rejected insureds' argument that an insurer acted in bad faith by unreasonably delaying an appraisal and by failing to conduct an adequate claim investigation, affirming a lower federal court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Hayes Family Trust, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty, No. 15-6231, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6713).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 17 ruled against insurers in a lawsuit seeking indemnification from them for claims stemming from Bear Stearns' settlement of Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) regulatory proceedings and private litigation over claims that it facilitated customers' deceptive market timing and late trading activities (J.P. Morgan Securities, et al. v. Vigilant Insurance, et al., No. 600979/2009, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1381).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A disability claimant is entitled to more than $40,000 in attorney fees because the claimant achieved some success on the merits as her claim for benefits was remanded to the plan administrator, a Connecticut federal judge said April 14 (Jennifer Dwinnell v. Federal Express Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 14-1439, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57828).