LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Motion To Strike In Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 18 denied an insurer's motion to strike in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer has failed to state any viable reason for doing so (Mojdeh Hariri-Vijeh v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 15-3195, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20627).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel: Court Erred In Requiring Insurer To Pay For Subsurface Repairs

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 19 held that a lower court erred in ordering an insurer to pay for its insureds' subsurface repairs before the insureds entered into a contract for those repairs and in awarding the insureds prejudgment interest, reversing in part the court's $192,207.20 judgment against the insurer in a sinkhole coverage dispute (Citizens Property Insurance Corporation v. Ariety Amat, et al., No. 2D14-4274, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 2412).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Finds Water Exclusion Bars Insured's Damage From Failed Pipe

HOUSTON - A commercial property insurance policy's water exclusion endorsement precludes coverage for water damage from a failed pipe that does not qualify as personal property, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 19, granting summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Praetorian Insurance Co. v. Arabia Shrine Center Houston, No. 14-3281, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20186).

Mealey's Insurance - Motion To Dismiss In Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit Denied As Moot

LAS VEGAS - A federal judge denied an insurer's motion to dismiss as moot in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that since the parties agreed that the insured would amend her complaint, dismissal is not necessary (Cheri Strandberg v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co., No. 15-2468, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18346).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Denying Defense In Tort Action

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in granting partial summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insurer had no duty to defend its insureds in a tort action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 11 (Michael Zimmerman, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13-57091, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2553).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Hasn't Shown Amount In Controversy Exceeds Statutory Limits

LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on Feb. 11 granted an insured's motion to remand an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court, ruling that the insurer failed to show that the amount in controversy was greater than the statutory limits (Aurelio Bravo-Aguilar v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-2045, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17027).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - New Jersey High Court Affirms Insurer Not Required To Show It Suffered Prejudice

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurer was not required to demonstrate that it suffered prejudice before denying coverage based on the insured's failure to give timely notice of an underlying claim stemming from a failed real estate transaction, finding that the "claims made" policy was "not a contract of adhesion but was agreed to by sophisticated parties" (Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. and Fuente Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No. A-18 September Term 2014, 074572, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 144).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Insured's Motion To Remand Insurance Bad Faith Suit To State Court

LAS VEGAS - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Feb. 12, because an insurer has shown that the amount in controversy will exceed statutory limits (Kenya L. Kelly v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-2169, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17710).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Mobile Consultant May Testify On Secondary Market In Unlawful Business Suit

BALTIMORE - A mobile advisory consultant may testify about the secondary handset market for cell phone devices and the participation of retail resellers in it, a Maryland federal judge ruled Feb. 10; however, the expert may not opine on whether there have been breaches of contract (Sprint Nextel Corp. v. Simple Cell, Inc., No. 13-617, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16017).

Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey High Court Affirms Insurer Not Required To Show It Suffered Prejudice

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurer was not required to demonstrate that it suffered prejudice before denying coverage based on the insured's failure to give timely notice of an underlying claim stemming from a failed real estate transaction, finding that the "claims made" policy was "not a contract of adhesion but was agreed to by sophisticated parties" (Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. and Fuente Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No. A-18 September Term 2014, 074572, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 144).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Metal-Injury Claim About Cervical Spine Device Time-Barred, Judge Says

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 10 dismissed without prejudice a plaintiff's breach of contract claims involving an experimental cervical disc device and metal toxicity (Colleen Jaeger, et al. v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., No. 15-164, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16493).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Subrogated Insurer's Breach Of Contract, Negligence Lawsuit Is Time-Barred

BENTON, Ill. - A four-year statute of limitations precludes a subrogated insurer's negligence and breach of contract lawsuit regarding an allegedly defective sprinkler system, an Illinois federal judge ruled Feb. 9, granting summary judgment to a contractor (Cincinnati Insurance Co., as subrogee of Richland Memorial Hospital, Inc. v. Tri-State Fire Protection, Inc., No. 14-86, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15711).

Mealey's Insurance - Water Damage Exclusion Bars Coverage, 5th Circuit Affirms

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurance policy's water damage exclusion bars coverage for an underlying claimant's damages that arose from the intrusion of rainwater, rejecting the insured's contention that the insurer committed breach of contract and bad faith (Mesa Underwriters Specialty Insurance Co. f/k/a Montpelier U.S. Insurance Co. v. LJA Commercial Solutions LLC, et al., No. 15-60360, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Policy's Water Exclusion Precludes Insureds' Damage, Federal Judge Concludes

PHILADELPHIA - An insurance policy's bars coverage for an insureds' water damage because "surface water" includes water from both natural and man-made causes under the exclusion, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 9, dismissing breach of contract and bad faith claims (Citi Gas Convenience, Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-6691, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15503).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Federal Judge: Bad Faith, Breach Of Contract Claims Preempted By ERISA

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Feb. 9 dismissed breach of contract, bad faith and negligence claims asserted against a disability insurer, finding that the claims are clearly preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Marta I. Murphy a/k/a Marta L. Murphy v. First Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 15-820, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15525).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Handling Of Storm Damage Claim

McALLEN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 4 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds failed to show that the insurer breached its contract when it timely paid on the insureds' claim for storm damage coverage (Mark Dizdar, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-402, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13355).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL And Contract Claims Related To Sale Of Restaurants

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 4 partially granted a motion filed by a chain of restaurants and others to dismiss claims against them for breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that a chef could not seek damages under the UCL and that she failed to provide a copy of the underlying agreement that was allegedly breached (Tanya Malch, a/k/a Tanya Petrovna v. Daniel G. Dolan, et al., No. 15-00517, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14542).

Mealey's Insurance - Insured Properly Pleads Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims, Judge Rules

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 4 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured has properly pleaded his claims "and the legal basis for those claims" in his complaint (Nicholas Thanos, M.D. v. Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 15-7902, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14460).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Handling Of Storm Damage Claim

McALLEN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 4 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds failed to show that the insurer breached its contract when it timely paid on the insureds' claim for storm damage coverage (Mark Dizdar, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-402, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13355).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Homeowners Not Part Of Insurance Contract, Can't Sue For Bad Faith

RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Feb. 5 substantially granted an insurer's motion to dismiss an insurance bad faith lawsuit between homeowners and their tortfeasor's insurer, ruling that the homeowners failed to plead their bad faith claims because they were not a party to the insurance contract between the tortfeasor and its insurer (Troy and Paul Burley, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 15-0272, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14248).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Experts To Testify On Damages In Breach Of Contract Suit

BECKLEY, W.Va. - Experts may testify to damages resulting from an alleged breach of a coal purchase and refuse recovery agreement (CPRRA), a West Virginia federal judge ruled Feb. 4, declining to exclude the experts (Covol Fuels No. 4, LLC v. Pinnacle Mining Company, LLC, No. 12-04138, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14151).

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge: Damages From Insured's Alleged Work Did Not Occur In Policy Period

PITTSBURGH - Damages from an insured's alleged faulty construction did not arise during an insurance policy's period and thus did not trigger the insurer's duty to defend, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 5, dismissing the insured's breach of contract and bad faith claims (Reginella Construction Co., Inc. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. and State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 15-989, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14213).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Remands Insurance Dispute Over Water Damage Claim

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 2 remanded for lack of subject matter jurisdiction a breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation lawsuit against an insurer and an insurance adjuster over denied coverage for property damage sustained by a water leak (Be Wicked, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. 16-549, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13106).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Insured Failed To Plead Factual Allegations In Bad Faith Suit

SHERMAN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 4 granted an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insured has failed to state any factual allegations to support her claims (Cathy Broxterman v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-661, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11824).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Extracontractual Claims In Insurance Bad Faith Suit

SHERMAN, Texas - Without providing further detail, a federal judge in Texas on Feb. 2 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss extracontractual claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Cathy Broxterman v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-661, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11824).