LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 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: Insured Failed To Cure Pleading Deficiencies In Bad Faith Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO - Dismissal of an insured's first amended complaint in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because the insured failed to cure a number of discrepancies that led to the dismissal of the original complaint, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 16 (Arryanne Moss v. Infinity Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3456, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141311).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Dismisses Portions Of Insurer's Counterclaims

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 16 dismissed an insurer's breach of contract counterclaim on the basis that the insureds did not breach their contract by filing environmental contamination claims they knew would not be covered under the policy because the insurer reserved the right to deny coverage for any noncovered claims (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141305).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Judge Refuses To Compel Arbitration Of UCL And Employment Claims

LOS ANGELES - After finding that certain terms of an arbitration agreement in an employment contract were unconscionable, a California federal judge on Oct. 14 refused to compel arbitration of the claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor laws (Brandyn Ridgeway, et al. v Nabors Completion & Production Services Co., et al., No. 15-03436, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140012).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Refuses To Compel Arbitration Of UCL And Employment Claims

LOS ANGELES - After finding that certain terms of an arbitration agreement in an employment contract were unconscionable, a California federal judge on Oct. 14 refused to compel arbitration of the claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor laws (Brandyn Ridgeway, et al. v Nabors Completion & Production Services Co., et al., No. 15-03436, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140012).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Refuses To Compel Arbitration Of UCL And Employment Claims

LOS ANGELES - After finding that certain terms of an arbitration agreement in an employment contract were unconscionable, a California federal judge on Oct. 14 refused to compel arbitration of the claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor laws (Brandyn Ridgeway, et al. v Nabors Completion & Production Services Co., et al., No. 15-03436, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140012).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Removes $180,000 Breach Of Contract Suit To Illinois Federal Court

CHICAGO - A reinsurer on Oct. 7 removed to Illinois federal court a suit in which the holder of the rights to certain accounts receivables due to an insolvent insurer is suing the reinsurer, alleging that it owes more than $180,000 stemming from 1980s reinsurance agreements (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Transfercom, Ltd., No. 15-cv-8908, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Expert From Testifying To Breach Of Contract Counterclaims

NEW ORLEANS - An expert for Jefferson Parish, La., cannot testify to the parish's breach of contract counterclaims against a waste management facility and its subcontractor because the expert report was untimely, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Oct. 5 (Waste Management of Louisiana, LLC v. Jefferson Parish, No. 13-6764, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135529).

Mealey's Health Law - Medical Providers Are Not Beneficiaries, 7th Circuit Determines

CHICAGO - Because a number of medical providers alleging that an insurer wrongfully reduced payments on health claims are not beneficiaries to an insurance contract, they are not entitled to allege claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Oct. 1 in reversing a district court's ruling in favor of the medical providers (Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association et al. v. Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan Inc., Nos. 14-2322, 14-3174 & 15-1274, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17269).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Bars Testimony, Reports In Insureds' Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 30 excluded testimony and reports to be offered in support of homeowners' breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against their insurer for coverage of damages caused in an electrical fire (Wayne Moore and Kimberly Moore v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-3113, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132211).