LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Health Law - Colorado Federal Judge Declines To Dismiss Health Care Breach Of Contract Suit

DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 25 declined to dismiss a suit in which the plaintiff accused his health insurance company of breach of contract for allegedly wrongfully informing him that the effective date of his coverage was later than it really was, causing the plaintiff to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer later than necessary (Kent Wilson v. Humana Health Plan Inc., No. 14-3259, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22672).

Mealey's Insurance - Statute Of Limitations Bars Insurer's Negligence Contract Claims, Judge Says

WILMINGTON, N.C. - The three-year statute of limitations precludes a subrogated insurer's negligence and breach of contract claims against manufacturers and individuals who allegedly failed to repair a dryer that caused a fire to insureds, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Feb. 25 (State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Lowe's Companies Inc., et al., No. 14-441, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23625).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Transfers Allstate's Suit Against Former Agency To Florida Federal Court

CHICAGO - Allstate Life Insurance Co.'s breach of contract lawsuit against a former life insurance agent and his agency is better suited to Florida federal court, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Feb. 23, explaining that all of the former agent's allegedly fraudulent conduct occurred in Florida (Allstate Life Insurance Company v. Stanley W. Burns Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-7098, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20905).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - U.S. Supreme Court Denies Review Of Ruling Vacating $158 Million Jury Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 23 denied review of an appeals court ruling vacating a $158 million award to three contract workers injured in an explosion at a grain bin (John W. Jentz, et al. v. ConAgra Foods Inc., No. 14-881, U.S. Sup.; Justin Becker, et ux. v. ConAgra Foods Inc., No. 14-899, U.S. Sup.)

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge: Spouse Lacks Standing To Assert Breach Of Contract In ERISA Suit

TRENTON, N.J. - A spouse lacks standing to assert breach of contract claims against his spouse's former employer regarding an alleged failure to timely send notice for health insurance coverage, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Feb. 18 (John Sacchi v. Katheryn J. Luciani, et al., No. 14-3130, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19002).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer For Defects Coverage

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge applied Alabama law on Feb. 20 to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims against a commercial liability insurer regarding its duty to indemnify a settlement of an underlying construction defects case (MI Windows & Doors LLC f/k/a MI Windows & Doors Inc. and MI Home Products Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-3139, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20544).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Had 'Reasonable Justification' For Denying Coverage, Judge Rules

DAYTON, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Feb. 17 granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer had "reasonable justification" for denying coverage and canceling the insured's commercial homeowners insurance policy after a fire (Dion Ross v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 13-401, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18707).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Issues Exist On Whether Insurer Breached Its Contract By Denying Claim

CAMDEN, N.J. - Questions of fact exist as to whether an insurer breached its contract by denying coverage for water damage sustained by homeowners, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Feb. 18; however, the judge granted summary judgment on the homeowners' bad faith claim (Joseph Dooley and Elizabeth Dooley v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 12-1838, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19140).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Boston Scientific Pays $600M To Settle Guidant Contract Suit By Johnson & Johnson

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Boston Scientific Corp. on Feb. 7 announced that it has agreed to pay Johnson & Johnson (J&J) $600 million to settle a nine-year-old lawsuit alleging that Guidant Corp., which is now a Boston Scientific subsidiary, in 2006 interfered with J&J's planned acquisition of Guidant (Johnson & Johnson v. Guidant Corporation, No. 06-7685, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds TILA Does Not Apply, Allows Contract Claims

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 17 found that a condominium owner pleaded sufficient facts to support her breach of contract claim against a bank and mortgage entity but found that her claims for misrepresentations and breach of the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) should be dismissed (Laurel Barrett v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 3:14-CV-3389, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18816).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Boston Scientific Pays $600M To Settle Guidant Contract Suit By Johnson & Johnson

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Boston Scientific Corp. on Feb. 17 announced that it has agreed to pay Johnson & Johnson (J&J) $600 million to settle a nine-year-old lawsuit alleging that Guidant Corp., which is now a Boston Scientific subsidiary, in 2006 interfered with J&J's planned acquisition of Guidant (Johnson & Johnson v. Guidant Corporation, No. 06-7685, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Says Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Bar Insurer's Duty

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty and negligence against an insured encompass some acts that are not excluded from coverage under the professional services exclusion in a commercial general liability insurance policy, a South Dakota federal judge ruled Feb. 13, finding that material issues of fact remain with regard to resolution of the insurer's duty to indemnify (General Casualty Company of Wisconsin v. Nelson Engineering Consulting LLC, No. 13-4075, D. S.D.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17705).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Virginia Man Sues Anthem Over Data Breach, Seeks Consolidation In Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS - Health insurance provider Anthem Inc. was hit with yet another complaint related to its recently announced data breach on Feb. 10, with a Virginia man alleging negligence and breach of contract in Indiana federal court while simultaneously petitioning the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to consolidate his complaint with 16 similar suits filed in federal courts around the country (Michael S. Weinberger v. Anthem Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-00201, S.D. Ind.).

Mealey's Insurance - No Valid Voluntary Life Insurance Exists In Breach Of Contract Suit, Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - An estate's executor failed to produce evidence of the existence of a valid and paid-for policy of voluntary life insurance with the estate's former employer and insurer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 10, granting summary judgment on breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims (Seth J. Diener, guardian ad litem of Estate of Joseph Thomas Mancuso IV, et al. v. The Renfrew Centers Inc. and Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 11-4404, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16421).

Mealey's Insurance - Damage Resulted From Subsurface Water Pressure, Florida Panel Says In Reversal

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 13 held that damage to insureds' pool deck, rock garden and waterfall resulted directly or indirectly from subsurface water pressure, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of insureds in a breach of contract dispute arising from a tropical storm (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Nigel Martinez, et al., No. 5D13-2683, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 1918).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - No Valid Voluntary Life Insurance Exists In Breach Of Contract Suit, Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - An estate's executor failed to produce evidence of the existence of a valid and paid-for policy of voluntary life insurance with the estate's former employer and insurer, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 10, granting summary judgment on breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims (Seth J. Diener, guardian ad litem of Estate of Joseph Thomas Mancuso IV, et al. v. The Renfrew Centers Inc. and Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 11-4404, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16421).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Virginia Man Sues Anthem Over Data Breach, Seeks Consolidation In Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS - Health insurance provider Anthem Inc. was hit with yet another complaint related to its recently announced data breach on Feb. 10, with a Virginia man alleging negligence and breach of contract in Indiana federal court while simultaneously petitioning the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) to consolidate his complaint with 16 similar suits filed in federal courts around the country (Michael S. Weinberger v. Anthem Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-00201, S.D. Ind.).

Mealey's Insurance - Indemnity Agreement Not A Part Of Insurance Policy, Illinois Appeals Panel Says

ELGIN, Ill. - An indemnity agreement in a bill of lading was not an insured contract under a commercial general liability insurance policy, an Illinois appeals panel held Feb. 9, reversing a judge's grant of summary judgment in favor of the insured (Bituminous Casualty Corp. v. Plano Molding Co., No. 12-MR-175, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 214).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Denies Remand In Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Lawsuit

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 6 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Sherry Schnepper, et al. v. Federated Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-0154, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14383).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Remand In Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Lawsuit

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on Feb. 6 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' claims are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Sherry Schnepper, et al. v. Federated Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-0154, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14383).

Mealey's Health Law - Kentucky Appeals Court: Insurer Breached Contract In Terminating Agreement

STANTON, Ky. - In an unpublished opinion, the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Feb. 6 affirmed that a managed care company that had contracted with the Commonwealth of Kentucky breached its contract to provide Medicaid services to state residents by terminating the contract early (Kentucky Spirit Health Plan Inc. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, et al., Nos. 2014-CA-1050-MR, 2013-CA-1201-MR, Ky. App.; 2015 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 85).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurers Were Not Parties To Homeowners Policy In Bad Faith Suit

DENVER - Dismissal of breach of contract and insurance bad faith claims against certain defendants is proper because an insured has failed to show that those companies were parties to his homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in Colorado ruled Feb. 6 (Patrick Slavin v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-1839, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14481).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Had No Duty To Defend Based Upon Untimely Notice

SPOKANE, Wash. - An insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify underlying property damage claims because insureds did not provide prompt notice, a Washington federal judge ruled Feb. 6, granting summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims (HB Development LLC, et al. v. Western Pacific Mutual Insurance, et al., No. 13-5050, E.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14796).

Mealey's Health Law - New York Federal Judge Leaves Breach Claim In Health Care Billing Dispute

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Feb. 4 declined to dismiss a breach of contract claim but did dismiss claims for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in a dispute between a home health care company and its billing management company over the preparation and submission of claims (Excellent Home Care Services v. FGA Inc., No. 13-5390, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13351).

Mealey's Insurance - Oklahoma Federal Judge Trims Claims In Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Feb. 3 trimmed a number of claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to properly plead these claims as statutorily required (Country Gold Inc. v. State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-1398, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11761).