LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Reinsurer To Amend Answer To Breach Of Reinsurance Agreement Claim

CONCORD, N.H. - A reinsurer filed an amended complaint after a federal judge in New Hampshire on Nov. 17 granted the reinsurer's motion to amend its complaint to clarify its affirmative defenses in a $2 million reinsurance breach of contract dispute (TIG Insurance Company v. EIFlow Insurance Limited, No. 14-cv-00459, D. N.H.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - English Court Finds ICC Has Jurisdiction Over Oil Contract Dispute

LONDON - An English appeals court on Nov. 17 dismissed an appeal filed by a petroleum corporation and a Pakistan entity of a decision that found that an international arbitration court has jurisdiction to hear a dispute related to contracts for oil exploration and allowed a Mauritius company's appeal to set aside a stay of the case (Sadruddin Hashwani, et al. v. OMV Maurice Energy Limited, No. [2015] EWCA Civ. 1171).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Says Insurer's Claims Were Justiciable, Denies Attorney Fees To Insured

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - A professional liability insurer asserted justiciable claims for declaratory judgment and breach of contract against an insured regarding a dispute arising out of a foundation design error, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Nov. 12, denying a motion for attorney fees (Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Co. v. Clancy & Theys Construction Co., No. 12-636, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153137).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert May Testify On Drafting Provisions In Contract Suit, Judge Says

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - An expert is qualified to testify on the drafting provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) in a breach of contract lawsuit regarding products allegedly made with too much lead content, a Kentucky federal judge ruled Nov. 13 (Hillerich & Bradsby Co. v. Charles Products, Inc., No. 13-00978, W.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154122).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit Finds Trust's Breach Of Contract Claims Are Time-Barred

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 16 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss claims for breach of contract filed by a trust in relation to breaches of representations and warranties, finding that the case was barred by a six-year statute of limitations (Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, solely as trustee of the GSR Mortgage Loan Trust 2007-OA1 v. Quicken Loans Inc., No. 14-3373, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19874).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 11th Circuit Compels Arbitration Of Cruise Line Worker's Injury Claims

ATLANTA - After finding that a former cruise ship worker's injury-related claims fell within the scope of an arbitration agreement in her employment contract, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 10 affirmed a district court's decision to compel arbitration of the dispute (Claudia Ester Sierra v. Cruise Ships Catering and Services International, N.V., et al., No. 14-14940; 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19535).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 11th Circuit Compels Arbitration Of Cruise Line Worker's Injury Claims

ATLANTA - After finding that a former cruise ship worker's injury-related claims fell within the scope of an arbitration agreement in her employment contract, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 10 affirmed a district court's decision to compel arbitration of the dispute (Claudia Ester Sierra v. Cruise Ships Catering and Services International, N.V., et al., No. 14-14940; 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19535).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No Indemnity For Defects Award As Policy Limits Were Not Exhausted

DENVER - An excess insurer has no duty to indemnify an underlying construction defects judgment because its policy limits have not been exhausted, a Colorado federal judge ruled Nov. 9, dismissing third-party breach of contract and bad faith claims against the insurer (The Phoenix Insurance Co., et al. v. Cantex Inc., et al. and Cantex Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co. and Continental Casualty Co., No. 13-00507, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151729).

Mealey's Insurance - Insureds' Bad Faith Claim Subject To Arbitration Clause, Judge Rules

SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on Nov. 6 granted an insurer's motion to compel arbitration in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims are subject to the terms of the arbitration clause contained in their automobile insurance policy (Robert Heredia, et al. v. Allstate Indemnity Co., No. 15-1642, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151175).

Mealey's Insurance - Equitable Subrogation Claim Against U.S. Government Fails, Appeals Panel Says

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An insurer's equitable subrogation claim filed against the U.S. government cannot stand because the insurer never stepped into the shoes of its insured as it had no responsibility for the insured's contract performance with the government, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Nov. 6 (Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Underwriters Inc., et al. v. United States, No. 2015-5036, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19390).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Declines To Dismiss Lawsuit On Coverage For Insured's Poor Workmanship

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 4 refused to dismiss on jurisdiction grounds an insurer's coverage case against its insured regarding the duty to defend and indemnify a breach of contract action for the insured's alleged poor work in a premanufactured home (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Black's Home Sales, No. 15-07, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149838).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Trims Claims In Insurance Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit

WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on Nov. 2 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiff in the action has standing to bring its claims against an insurer (Christiana Care Health Services Inc. v. PMSLIC Insurance Co., No. 14-1420, D. Del.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148048).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Severs Insurance Bad Faith Claim From Amended Complaint

TRENTON, N.J. - An insurer has shown that severing an insurance bad faith claim from an amended complaint pending resolution of an insured's breach of contract claim is proper because the insurer has met the statutory requirements for severing a claim, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Nov. 2 (Bridgewater Wholesalers Inc. v. Pennsylvania Lumbermans Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-3684, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148551).

Mealey's Insurance - N.Y. Justice Again Dismisses Breach Of Contract Claim In Superstorm Sandy Dispute

NEW YORK - A New York justice on Oct. 29 granted for the third time a building manager's motion to dismiss a breach of contract claim brought by the building's owner in a coverage dispute over Superstorm Sandy property damage (Orient Overseas Associates v. XL Insurance America, Inc., et al., No. 652292/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICSID Partially Annuls $1.7 Billion Award For Occidental Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc Committee for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Nov. 2 partially upheld an application filed by the Republic of Ecuador to annul a $1,769,625,000 award that was issued in favor of two companies in a bilateral investment treaty dispute over an oil exploration and exploitation contract, reducing the amount of damages awarded to the company (Occidental Petroleum Corp., et al. v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/06/11, ICSID).

Mealey's Insurance - Additional Insureds Failed To Allege Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims, Judge Says

SAN DIEGO - Additional insureds failed to assert counterclaims for declaratory relief, breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against its commercial general liability insurer, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 28, dismissing the counterclaims (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. McMillin Homes Construction, Inc., et al., No. 15-1548, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147082).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses Contract And UCL Claims Against Education Commission

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that the Higher Learning Center Commission (HLC)'s alleged activities related to a joint venture for an online school program did not relate to California, a California federal judge dismissed a university's claims for breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) for lack of jurisdiction (Ivy Bridge University, LLC, f/k/a Ivy Bridge College LLC v. Higher Learning Commission, et al., No. 15-CV-02187, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147056).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Allows MCPA And Contract Claims Against Lender

GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Oct. 26 found that a borrower sufficiently pleaded her claims against a lender for breach of contract and violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) but dismissed her claim for failure to comply with the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) (Therese Palermino v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 14-0522, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145263).

Mealey's Insurance - Claims Adjuster Properly Joined In Bad Faith Action, Federal Judge Rules

WACO, Texas - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith action to state court is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Oct. 27, because an insured has shown that an insurance adjuster was properly joined in the action (SAI Hotel Group Ltd., d/b/a Americas Best Value Inn, v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-263, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145637).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Warranted In Denial Of Claim In Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 21, because an insurer has shown that its denial of insureds' claim for benefits under an automobile insurance policy was warranted due to the existence of a genuine issue as to the insurer's liability (Misty Dawn Reitz, et al. v. Progressive Direct Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-1614, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143303).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Doctor To Testify On Brain Injury In Insured's Bad Faith Lawsuit

DENVER - A neuropsychologist may testify that an insured experienced mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a Colorado federal judge ruled Oct. 21, denying an insurer's motion to exclude in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Robin Dillon v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 14-00246, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143176).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - $5 Million Tobacco Verdict Affirmed By Florida Appellate Court

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Oct. 20 affirmed a $5 million judgment in favor of a former smoker who sued a tobacco company for concealing the dangers of smoking and caused her to contract serious illnesses later in life (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Helen Taylor, No. 1D14-5858, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 15506).

Mealey's Insurance - N.J. Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Superstorm Sandy Dispute

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on Oct. 22 affirmed a lower court's ruling that no reasonable jury could find that an insureds' home had not been flooded by Superstorm Sandy, ruling in favor of a homeowners insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute (Ronald J. Riccio, et al. v. Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co., No. A-4628-13T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2417).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Excludes Part Of Expert Report In HAMP Breach Of Contract Case

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 20 excluded certain portions of an expert report that conflict with prior rulings in a breach of contract lawsuit arising out of temporary payment plan (TPP) contracts and unfulfilled permanent modification in the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) (Lisa and Scott Cave v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 11-4586, William D. Cave v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 12-5366, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142198).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insured's Breach Of Contract Claim In Flood Coverage Lawsuit

HAMMOND, Ind. - An insured failed to sufficiently allege facts to support its breach of contract and bad faith claims against a third-party claims adjuster for denied flood coverage, an Indiana federal judge ruled Oct. 21, dismissing the claims but refusing to dismiss the same claims against an insurer (Family Christian World, Inc. a/k/a Family Christian Center v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-102, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142896).