PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 31 allowed an errors and omissions insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit to proceed on whether coverage for underlying claims for federal antitrust violations are precluded by the policy's related claim and/or prior litigation exclusions (Allied World Specialty Insurance Company, formally known as Darwin National Assurance Company v. Independence Blue Cross, No.17-1463, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179962).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 27 reiterated that a section of Pennsylvania's motor vehicle statute "regulates insurance" and is therefore saved from preemption under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act but said that the plaintiffs' claim for breach of fiduciary duty based on a disability insurer's misrepresentations must be dismissed because it is not clear that the insurer misrepresented the terms of the plan at issue (Eric Yost, et al. v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 3:16-cv-00079, M.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178883).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith when denying coverage under an automobile insurance policy for an insured who was injured in an automobile accident while traveling in a work vehicle because the accident was subject to a "regular use exception" in the policy, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Oct. 30 in granting the insurer's summary judgment motion (Douglas Reeves v. The Travelers Companies, No. 16-6448, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179720).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Oct. 27 affirmed a man's sentence of nine to 23 months in prison for insurance fraud and receiving stolen goods and allowed the man's attorney to withdraw from the case (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Tracy Martin, No. 3789 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 4013).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 26 accepted a certified question from the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals under which it will decide whether manufacturers can be held liable for asbestos-containing parts they neither manufactured nor supplied and what standard determines liability if such a duty exists (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No VI) Crane Co., No. 110EM 2017, Pa. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 25 sent a class complaint accusing Santander Bank N.A. of overcharging Pennsylvania residents for private mortgage insurance back to state court, finding it implausible that the class could recover more than $5 million (Drew Kalberg, et al. v. Santander Bank, N.A., No. 17-3561, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176557).
PHILADELPHIA - A couple on Oct. 18 asked a federal court in Pennsylvania to dismiss its case so that they can appeal judgment for a company that allegedly installed asbestos-containing insulation on U.S. Navy ships (Carol Decourcey, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 14-6337, E.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - More than 2,000 asbestos claimants from a decades-old consolidated Texas litigation will share up to $178.5 million from the asbestos trust established in the Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) bankruptcy case, according to a notice and settlement filed Oct. 18 in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Reinsurance facultative certificates covered defense expenses in excess of a liability cap, a Pennsylvania appeals panel ruled Oct. 17, affirming that insurers were entitled to interest on certain proofs of loss for asbestos claims issued before 2013 (Century Indemnity Co. v. OneBeacon Insurance Co., No. 1280 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 806).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 12 remanded an insured's suit alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an auto insurer and the insured's insurance agent after determining that the agent was not fraudulently joined to defeat jurisdiction (Melinda Bradley-Williams v. Agency Insurance Company of Maryland Inc., et al., No. 17-3755, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169264).
PHILADELPHIA - A jury in Pennsylvania state court on Oct. 17 awarded a couple $15.5 million against a man who was negligent by driving a truck under the influence of alcohol and against the company he contracted for after finding that it was negligent for contracting with the driver (Isaac Espinoza, et al. v. J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., et al. No. 2656, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - An auto insurer failed to prove that it will be prejudiced if an insured's bad faith claim is tried at the same time as the insured's breach of contract claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 11 in denying the insurer's motion to sever and stay the claim (Sandra Mulgrew v. Government Employees Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-2217, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167770).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss with prejudice a breach of contract class claim brought by a Pennsylvania resident who claimed that an energy company violated its service contract by raising the rates each month (John D. Orange, et al. v. Starion Energy PA, Inc., et al., No. 16-1949, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19939).
SCRANTON, Pa. - An insured seeking uninsured motorist benefits for injuries sustained in a hit-and-run accident provided sufficient evidence in support of claims for bad faith against the auto insurer, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 10 in denying the insurer's motion to dismiss (Thomas Meyers et al., v. Protective Insurance Co., No. 16-1821, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166955).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - In an unpublished opinion issued Oct. 10, a panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a decision to deny summary judgment to a company that owns an apartment complex after finding that a woman who injured herself after falling down a set of stairs raised genuine issues as to whether the owner had a duty to warn and protect her from the danger (Berwind Row LLC v. Tina M. Teeter, No. 1706 WDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3736).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania trial court judge did not err in awarding $67,420.25 in damages to a property owner for water intrusion caused by improperly installed windows, a state appeals panel ruled Oct. 10, holding that expert testimony supported the finding that replacing the windows rather than repairing them was the most appropriate remedy (700 EBA, LLC v. Weaver's Glass & Building Specialties, Inc., No. 1868 MDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3728).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on Sept. 29 recommended that an auto insurer's motion to dismiss be denied because the insureds sufficiently stated facts in support of their claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Linda L. Winschell, et al. v. Encompass Home and Auto Insurance Co., No. 17-522, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162384).
PHILADELPHIA - A commercial general liability insurer did not breach its insurance contract nor did it act in bad faith in denying a claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 29 because "deleterious substances" exclusion precluded coverage for grout dust from construction work that led to property damage (Collin R. Ginther v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group LLC, No. 16-686, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161720).
PHILADELPHIA - A couple who prevailed on their claims that their home builder was liable for defects in the construction of their home that caused water intrusion and property damage and for violation of Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practice and Consumer Protection Law (UPTCPL) are entitled to a greater award of attorney fees, a Pennsylvania appeals panel ruled Oct. 2, after finding that the trial court judge erred when reducing the amount based on a contingency agreement the plaintiffs had with their attorney (Arun Krishnan, et al. v. The Cutler Group, Inc., Nos. 2614 EDA 2016, 2745 EDA 2016, 2613 EDA 2016, 2828 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 766).