LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No Coverage For $183,000 Swindled From Insured By Independent Contractor

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on July 7 found that there is no commercial crime coverage for a shipping company's loss of $183,000 caused by the theft of an independent contractor, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Network F.O.B. Inc. v. Great American Insurance Company of New York, No. 13-00500, D. Minn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91498).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lago Agrio Plaintiffs: Ruling Should Be Reversed, Chevron Cannot Show Misconduct

NEW YORK - The attorney and the law firm representing Ecuadorian plaintiffs who sued Chevron Corp. alleging environmental contamination filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 2, contending that the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that approved a settlement between some of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' former attorneys and Chevron should be reversed and vacated because Chevron cannot show that misconduct occurred when an Ecuadorian court awarded the plaintiffs damages of $18.5 billion (Chevron Corporation v. Hugo Gerardo Camacho Naranjo, No. 14-832, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Approves Consent Decree Between Government, IBM For Cleanup Costs

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on July 2 approved a consent decree between the federal government and International Business Machine Corp. (IBM) in which the company would reimburse the government for $225,000 it has spent to remediate contamination from a site in East Fishkill, N.Y., ruling that the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable (United States of America v. International Business Machine Corp., No. 14-CV-396, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91750).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Divided New York Court Affirms 2 Asbestos Verdicts, Replacement Parts Liability

NEW YORK - The majority of a divided New York appeals court on July 3 affirmed millions of dollars awarded in two consolidated asbestos trials, the jury's liability findings and Crane Co.'s responsibility for replacement parts (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 190196/10 190134/10 11500, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Affirms Plan's Withdrawal Liability Determination

NEW YORK - An arbitrator did not err in determining that an employer did not withdraw from a multi-employer benefit plan until the date that the employer received a letter from the union disclaiming interest, even though that date was 11 years after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 1 (666 Drug, Inc. v. The Trustee of 1199 SEIU Health Care Employees Pension Fund, No. 13-3280, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12366).

Mealey's Insurance - Insolvent Insurer Granted Removal Of $8M Trust From Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on July 3 granted an insolvent insurer's motion that the court must withdraw from bankruptcy court the reference of an adversary proceeding involving ownership of an $8 million trust (Ames Department Stores, Inc. v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company, No. 12-cv-08365, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91070).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Divided New York Court Affirms 2 Asbestos Verdicts, Replacement Parts Liability

NEW YORK - The majority of a divided New York appeals court on July 3 affirmed millions of dollars awarded in two consolidated asbestos trials, the jury's liability findings and Crane Co.'s responsibility for replacement parts (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 190196/10 190134/10 11500, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Claims There Is No Reinsurance Agreement To Arbitrate

NEW YORK - A reinsurer claiming that there is no reinsurance agreement with an insurer regarding a certain insurance policy asked a federal court in New York on June 30 to enjoin the insurer from instigating an arbitration over the allegedly nonexistent reinsurance (ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, No. 14-cv-04901, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. High Court Declines To Review 2nd Circuit Ruling On Union Bargaining

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on July 1 declined to hear the appeal of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a New York utility company violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it stopped allowing its union members to take company vehicles home at night without first bargaining the change (Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation v. National Labor Relations Board, et al., No. 12-1178, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4682).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Petition To Appoint Arbitration Umpire In Retrocessional Dispute

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 30 noted that each side in an arbitration over certain retrocessional reinsurance had nominated three umpire candidates and therefore did not need court intervention in the umpire selection process (Odyssey Reinsurance Company v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London Syndicate 53, et al., No. 13-cv-09014, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Reinstates Worker's Race, National Origin Bias Claims

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 reinstated a worker's claims that his former employer treated Japanese workers more favorably than American workers during a reduction in force (RIF) but declined to reinstate the worker's claim that the employer violated an implied term of his contract that allegedly promised he would only be terminated for cause (Todd Brown v. Daikin America Inc., et al., No. 12-2955, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12130).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsured Says Reinsurance Contract Is Clear On Reinsurer's Obligations

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An insurer told a federal court in New York on June 26 that a reinsurance contract unambiguously states that a reinsurer must pay for defense expenses (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit: Judge Correctly Denied Motion To Quash Subpoena On Investment Firm

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 27 affirmed a trial court judge's denial of a motion to quash a discovery subpoena served on an investment firm in an underlying legal malpractice suit, holding that the attorney-client privilege argument did not extend to non-attorneys (Richard G. Vento, et al. v. Handler, Thayer & Duggan LLC, et al., No. 12-3899, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12106).

Mealey's Insurance - Flood Deductible Applies To $5M Delay In Completion Losses, New York Judge Rules

NEW YORK - A New York judge on June 27 held that a builders risk insurance policy limits the amount an insurer must pay for an insured's delay in completion losses to $5 million dollars, further finding that the policy's flood deductible applies to the payment (El-Ad 250 West LLC v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 652964/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2838).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Supreme Court Won't Revive AIG Shareholder Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 declined to revive a shareholder lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) alleging that FRBNY used its control over American International Group Inc. (AIG) in connection with a transaction involving AIG's credit default swap portfolio (Starr International Co. Inc. v. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, et al., No. 13-1316, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer: Reinsurer Has Failed To Pay Its Share Of $35M Asbestos Settlement

NEW YORK - An insurer sued the successor of its original reinsurer in a federal court in New York on June 26, asking the court to order the reinsurer to pay its share of a $35 million asbestos-related settlement (Fireman's Fund Insurance Company v. OneBeacon Insurance Company, No. 14-cv-04718, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: New York's Statute Of Limitations Covers Maritime Insurance Claim

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a lower court on June 26, finding that New York's statute of limitations governs a maritime insurance dispute that began when an insolvent insurer could not pay its portion of a settlement (American Steamship Owners Umtual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. v. Dann Ocean Towing, Inc., et al., No. 13-1495, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12036).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Says It Has Paid Up To Its Limits On 2 Reinsurance Agreements

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on June 25 that its obligation to pay under certain reinsurance agreements are capped and that it has reached that cap (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-01178, N.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Circuit: Asarco's Claim For Contribution To Pay Cleanup Costs Fails

NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 25 affirmed the dismissal of a complaint filed by Asarco LLC that sought contribution from the trustees of the residuary trusts created by the will of John D. Rockefeller Sr., alleging that the remediation costs for the contamination caused by mining activities in Washington state were fairly attributable to the activities of corporations controlled by Rockefeller as owner and operator of the contaminated sites (Asarco LLC v. Neva R. Goodwin, et al., No. 13-3954, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12091).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Split New York High Court: Municipalities May Pass Laws Banning Fracking

ALBANY, N.Y. - A divided New York Court of Appeals on June 30 ruled that local municipalities may pass bans on the oil and gas extraction procedure that uses hydraulic fracturing because the supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt the home rule authority vested in municipalities to regulate land use (Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden, et al., No. APL-2013-00245, N.Y. App.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit Says Nonsettling Defendants Can't Appeal Approval

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 26 dismissed the appeal filed by PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. (PwC) and others of approval of a settlement of a class action brought by investors in "feeder funds" of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, finding that the nonsettling defendants lack standing to appeal (Pasha S. Anwar, et al. v. Fairfield Greenwich Ltd., et al., No. 13-1642, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit Says Nonsettling Defendants Can't Appeal Approval

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 26 dismissed the appeal filed by PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd. (PwC) and others of approval of a settlement of a class action brought by investors in "feeder funds" of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, finding that the nonsettling defendants lack standing to appeal (Pasha S. Anwar, et al. v. Fairfield Greenwich Ltd., et al., No. 13-1642, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Grants Class Counsel's Request For Additional Fees From Settlement Funds

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 23 granted a request from attorneys representing a class of plaintiffs who settled claims against Washington Mutual Inc. (WMI) over prepayment fees associated with mortgages and home equity loans, finding that they could recover the remaining $721,443 from the gross settlement funds (Denise Cassese, et al. v. Washington Mutual Inc., et al., No. 05-cv-2724, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85835).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - New York Court: No Coverage For Investors' Claims Arising From Ponzi Scheme

NEW YORK - A New York appeals court on June 24 affirmed a lower court's ruling that coverage for underlying claims brought against an insured by investors following the aftermath of Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme is barred under a bankers professional liability insurance policy (Associated Community Bancorp, Inc., et al. v St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., No. 12856, 651047/12, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 1st Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4627).

Mealey's Insurance - 'Doubly Clear' That Storm Surge Is Type Of Flood Under Policies, Judge Says

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Finding that a storm surge is a type of flood under insurance policies, a New York federal judge on June 25 entered summary judgment in favor of an insurer one day after ruling that it did not breach a contract or act in bad faith when it limited the insureds' Superstorm Sandy flood coverage to a $1 million flood sublimit (New Sea Crest Healthcare Center, LLC, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No 12 CV 6414, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86585).