NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 affirmed a district court's decision to decertify a class of claimants that asserted a claim for breach of contract against lenders in relation to alleged late fees, finding that it had the authority to decertify the class after a jury verdict and that the plaintiffs failed to meet federal requirements for certifying a class (Joseph Mazzei, et al. v. The Money Store, et al., No. 15-2054, 2nd Cir.; 2016 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12994).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 12 determined that an insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith when handling its insureds' claims for water and mold damages because the insurer paid for some of the damages and paid the full amount of the mold sublimit under the policy (Warren and Maryann Andrews v. Merchants Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-5147, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89997).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 12 held that a directors and officers liability insurance policy's professional services exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for claims in an underlying Facebook IPO class action lawsuit but refused to grant summary judgment to the primary D&O insurer on a breach of contract claim involving the advancement of underlying defense costs (Beazley Insurance Co. Inc. v. ACE American Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-5119, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90332).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insured failed to show that an underlying breach of contract action involved the same parties and issues as its insurer's coverage action regarding the duty to defend and indemnify the insured, a Utah federal judge ruled July 8 (Acuity, a mutual insurance company v. McGinnis Homes, LLC, No. 16-58, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88974).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 8 affirmed the decision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to Raven Crest Contracting LLC allowing the company to discharge fill materials, holding that the Corps did not have to consider the effects of surface mining on public health when issuing the permit (Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, No. 14-2129, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12598).
JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on July 1 dismissed an insured's claims for waiver and estoppel and for vicarious liability but allowed breach of contract and bad faith claims to proceed in a homeowners insurance coverage action (Brooke T. Martin v. Shelter Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-675, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86112).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on July 5 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured can no longer bring her claims because the appraisal process has been completed and the insurer timely paid her the appraisal award (Yolanda Aguilar v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 15-565, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87600).
FRESNO, Calif. - Summary judgment is not warranted in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insurer has failed to show that the doctrine of judicial estoppel should be invoked and has failed to show that no genuine issue of material fact exists related to claims made by insureds in suing the insurer, a federal magistrate judge in California ruled July 5 (Halonda Naff, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 15-0515, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86854).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on July 5 denied an insurer's motions for summary judgment and to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds have sufficiently pleaded their claims for relief against their health insurance provider (Lori Patnode, et al. v. HCC Life Insurance Co., d/b/a HCC Medical Insurance Services LLC, No. 15-0824, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86872).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute arising from Hurricane Ike damage to the insured's daycare center and warehouse (Steve Quibodeaux and the Kids Safari Inc., d/b/a Wee Care Childcare and Preschool v. Nautilus Insurance Co., No. 15-40567, 5th Cir.).
PITTSBURGH - Under Pennsylvania law, commercial general liability insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify insureds for a negligent performance of contract claim arising out of alleged faulty workmanship, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled June 30 (Peerless Insurance Co. and Ohio Security Insurance Co. v. Manown Builders, et al., No. 15-281, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85261).
DALLAS - An agricultural transportation expert may testify about the dry green pea transportation market along the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad in a breach of contract lawsuit over the sale of dry green peas, a Texas federal magistrate judge held June 30, finding that the testimony is both reliable and relevant (HostingXtreme Ventures, LLC v. Bespoke Group, LLC, et al., No. 14-1471, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84895).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on June 29 denied a motion to remand an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court, ruling that an insurer has met its burden of showing that the court has jurisdiction by a "preponderance of the evidence" (Steven Daniels, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 16-360, W.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84315).
HONOLULU - A federal judge in Hawaii on June 29 denied Monsanto Co.'s motion to dismiss a lawsuit against it filed by a couple that claims the wife contracted cancer as a result of using the company's herbicide (Christine Sheppard, et al. v. Monsanto Company, No. 16-43, D. Hawaii).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a June 30 verdict, a California jury awarded Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) $3 billion, finding that Oracle Corp. violated its long-running agreement and partnership with HP by ceasing to offer software that was compatible with HP's primary line of microprocessors (Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Oracle Corp., No. 1-11-cv-203163, Calif. Super., Santa Clara Co.).
ST. LOUIS - A federal magistrate judge in Missouri on June 29 remanded to state court a personal injury lawsuit brought by two men who contend that they contracted cancer as a result of exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) manufactured by Monsanto Co., ruling that the federal officer removal statute had been applied to the case improperly (Thomas Kelly, et al. v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 15-01825, E.D. Mo.).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on June 27 found that triable issues of fact require reversal of a lower court's dismissal of a breach of contract claim against an insurer, further holding that the insureds' bad faith and elder abuse claims cannot survive under the genuine dispute doctrine (Clayton D. Paslay, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. B265348, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 511).
CLEVELAND - An insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit against its insured regarding coverage for underlying breach of contract claims may proceed, an Ohio federal judge ruled June 22, declining to dismiss or stay the action pending resolution of the underlying lawsuit (Acuity v. Midwest Curtainwalls, Inc., No. 16-55, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81370).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on June 24 reversed part of a lower court's final judgment that requires an insurer to pay $100,000 for subsurface repairs of sinkhole damage before its insureds execute a contract with a third party for those repairs, also reversing the lower court's award of prejudgment interest on the subsurface damages award (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Edgardo Nunez, et al., No. 2D14-3712, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 9693).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on June 21 substantially dismissed claims brought by insureds in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insurer had no duty to defend the insureds in an underlying insurance dispute (Brian K. Keeley, et al. v. The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-0422, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80798).
PADUCAH, Ky. - A Kentucky senior federal judge on June 20 predicted that the Kentucky Supreme Court would not extend the notice-prejudice rule to a claims-made-and-reported insurance policy that clearly and unambiguously requires an insured to provide timely notice of a claim as a condition precedent to coverage, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment on breach of contract, bad faith and unjust enrichment claims (C.A. Jones Management Group, et al. v. Scottsdale Indemnity Co., No. 13-00173, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80811).
McALLEN, Texas - An insurer's prompt payment of an appraisal award in a homeowners insurance dispute estops the insureds from bringing a claim for breach of contract, and as a result, their extracontractual claims are inactionable under Texas law, a federal judge in Texas ruled June 20 (Daniel Gutierrez, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-430, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79665).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 21 affirmed a lower court order dismissing a complaint alleging that Philip Morris USA Inc. violated the terms of a contract by overcharging military exchanges for cigarettes because the transactions "creating an inference of fraud were publicly disclosed" (United States, Ex Rel. Anthony Oliver v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 15-7049, D.C. Cir.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in a California on June 16 recommend that a commercial general liability insurer's motion for a default judgment be granted and that a judgment be issued declaring that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying breach of contract and negligence lawsuit alleging the insured's pilot car services were performed "in an unworkmanlike manner" (Atain Specialty Insurance Co. v. Richard Szetela d/b/a D&D Pilot Car Services, et al., No. 14-2991, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78855).