SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a coverage dispute between various insurers over their responsibility toward an underlying construction defects settlement, a California federal judge on March 7 addressed four summary judgment motions on multiple key issues from the duty to defend to the number of occurrences (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 15-02744, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32551).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Following the final distribution of an insolvent insurer's assets, a Pennsylvania judge on March 8 released the state's insurance commissioner of her duties regarding the liquidation estate (In re: Commonwealth Insurance Co., No. 1 CIC 2014, Pa. Cmwlth.).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 7 granted a law firm insured's motion to compel a professional liability insurer to produce underwriting materials but found that the insured failed to satisfy the heightened relevancy standard applicable to its discovery request for personnel files of three of the insurer's employees (Westport Insurance Corp. v. Hippo Fleming & Pertile Law Offices, et al., No. 15-251, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31659).
PITTSBURGH - An insured has failed to show that his insurer's offer to settle his homeowners insurance claim "lacked a reasonable basis" or that the settlement offer "was not supported by a thorough and even-handed investigation," a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled March 2 in granting the insurer's motion to dismiss with prejudice (Randy Gowton v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 15-1164, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29390).
PHILADELPHIA - A reference to asbestos in what appears to be an internal hospital document is not sufficient to put a couple on notice of a potential cause of his lung cancer, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held March 8 (Joseph Conneen and Kathleen Conneen v. Amatek Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 15-1063, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29787).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on March 1 ordered the liquidation of an insolvent insurer that had been in rehabilitation since 2009 (In Re: Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company in Rehabilitation, No. 1 PEN 2009, Pa. Cmwlth.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania General Assembly on Feb. 28 referred to committee a bill that would give power to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to appropriate money to provide safe drinking water by testing public water systems for lead.
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Feb. 28 affirmed a $10 million medical malpractice verdict against the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) after finding that none of the hospital's claims of error had merit in a case where a woman claimed that the hospital failed to properly diagnose and treat her son, leading to his brain damage (Shantice Tillery v. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, et al., No. 1508 EDA 2016, Pa. Super, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 134).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 24 granted final approval of a $300,000 settlement to be paid by a suburban Philadelphia restaurant to end class claims by its tipped employees who alleged that the pub failed to pay them for all compensable time and required them to purchase employer-mandated uniforms in violation of federal and state wage laws (Victoria Graudins v. KOP Kilt, LLC, d/b/a The Tilted Kilt Pub, et al., No. 14-2589, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25926).
PHILADELPHIA - In a Feb.27 filing in Pennsylvania federal court, Andrea Constand, who has accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, opposes a former Pennsylvania district attorney's motion to compel production of documents from her 2005 suit against Cosby, asserting that the documents are irrelevant to her present defamation/false light claim against the former DA (Andrea Constand v. Bruce Castor, No. 2:15-cv-05799, E.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of the insolvent Reliance Insurance Co. asked a Pennsylvania court on Feb. 23 to approve an agreement under which a policyholder would receive direct payments from one of Reliance's reinsurers (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Feb. 17 ordered a new trial on liability and damages in a construction defects case after learning that the judge who presided over the suit had retired and that no other judge could prepare a supplemental opinion explaining his rulings (Leo J. Dolan v. Hurd Millwork Company Inc., et al., No. 2951 EDA 2015 Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 691).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 15 dismissed two of four Wyndham divisions in a class complaint alleging fraud via hidden hotel charges, finding that those two divisions were not provided fair notice (Thomas Luca, Jr. v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., et al., No. 16-746, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21433).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Because more than 31 percent of an insured condominium development's common areas were in use at the time a loss for water damage occurred, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 10 that an insurance policy's "Vacancy Provision" does not apply to exclude coverage for the insured's claim (Village Heights Condominium Association v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co., No. 16-554, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19425).
PHILADELPHIA - A judge in Pennsylvania federal court sentenced a former podiatrist to 97 months in prison and ordered him to pay $4.9 million in restitution after pleading guilty to health care fraud for submitting bills to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for procedures that were not performed or medically unnecessary, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced Feb. 7 (United States of America v. Stephen A. Monaco, No. 16cr255, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - In a Feb. 3 ruling, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate concluded that compelling Google Inc. to comply with warrants requiring production of data stored in foreign-based servers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation "does not constitute an unlawful extraterritorial application of the" Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google, No. 2:16-mj-00960 and In re Search Warrant No. 16-1061-M to Google, No. 2:16-mj-01061, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15232).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania in a reinsurance dispute over asbestos-related claims granted on Feb. 2 an insurer's unopposed motion for the issuance of a protective order regarding confidential information (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - Although insureds have failed to plead their claim for breach of contract against their insurer, they have shown that the insurer's delay in taking part in a mandatory appraisal process was in bad faith, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Jan. 30 in granting in part and denying in part the insurer's motion to dismiss (Charles Dagit, et al .v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-3843, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12124).
PHILADELPHIA - A "free and clear" sale of assets in a bankruptcy court auction precludes holding the purchaser liable for pre-purchase take-home asbestos exposures, a Pennsylvania appeals court held Jan. 26 (Jacqueline S. Wagner and Thomas H. Wagner v. Standard Steel LLC, et al., No. 850 EDA 2016, Pa. Super.).
PITTSBURGH - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper because the parties are sufficiently diverse and the plaintiffs' bad faith claim seeks damages in excess of the statutory limits, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Jan. 30 in denying the plaintiffs' motion to remand and an insurer's motion to dismiss (Deborah A. Marks, et al. v. Utica First Insurance Co., No. 16-1671, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12096).