COLUMBIA, S.C. - An insurer that interpleaded itself into a construction defects lawsuit involving its insureds had no right to remove the case to federal court, a South Carolina federal judge ruled July 28, remanding the case to state court to resolve remaining counterclaims against the insurer for breach of contract and bad faith (The Gates at Williams-Brice Condominium Association and Katherine Swinson v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 16-01001, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98599).
LOS ANGELES - Damage to an insured's mixed-use complex caused by subcontractors' faulty stone flooring work is precluded under a defective workmanship exclusion, a California appeals panel held July 28, affirming summary judgment to seven insurers on breach of contract, bad faith and fraud claims (Olympic and Georgia Partners LLC v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. B264647, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5559).
TULSA, Okla. - Subrogated insurers failed to assert their breach of contract claim before the expiration of a five-year statute of limitations, which began running upon completion of construction, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled July 28, granting in part summary judgment to a general contractor (Lexington Insurance Co., et al. v. Newbern Fabricating, Inc. and Baucom Concrete Construction, Inc., No. 14-0610, N.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98595).
SEATTLE - The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 27 affirmed a district court's award of damages to the owner of a commercial property that was sold to a bank, with the exception of a portion that was granted to a bank in a bankruptcy settlement, finding that a retailer breached the underlying agreement by building another store within a restricted area (Cabela's Wholesale Inc. v. Hawks Prairie Investment LLC, No. 14-35157, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13683).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge did not err in concluding that counterclaims of breach of contract premised upon a purported license to use a disputed patent are not subject to arbitration, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 26 (Verinata Health Inc., et al. v. Ariosa Diagnostics Inc., No. 15-1970, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13557).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on July 18 granted three motions in limine filed by an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, precluding an insured from presenting evidence, damages testimony and other testimony to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in conducting an investigation into a claim for coverage under a commercial property insurance policy (JCKP LLC v. Berkley Regional Specialty Insurance Co, et al., No. 14-0117, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93049).
SAN FRANCISCO - Dismissal of a life insurance policy beneficiary's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against an insurer is not proper because the beneficiary has shown that his deceased wife timely completed all necessary paperwork and submitted to her employer as administrator of the policy to port her group life insurance policy into an individual policy, a federal judge in California ruled July 20 (Kent Graham v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 16-3407, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94871).
PHILADELPHIA - After finding that a borrower's claims for violation of the Homeowners Protection Act (HPA) were not preempted and that she sufficiently pleaded her claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment in relation to her private mortgage insurance (PMI), a Pennsylvania federal judge on July 20 denied a loan servicer's motion to dismiss the complaint (Sue Song, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., No. 16-006, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94362).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying coverage for an allegedly stolen skid loader because ample evidence exists to support the insurer's denial of the claim, a federal judge in Utah ruled July 18 in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract lawsuit (Naser Awadh, et al. v. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-0145, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93369).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 19 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to show that the district court has subject matter jurisdiction over the action (Florence Hanson v. Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co., No. 15-8882, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93444).
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).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on July 14 granted an insurer's motion to amend judgment in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract suit, ruling that an insured failed to show that he was entitled to consequential damages (Andrew Cordova v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-1111, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143728).
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).