LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Issues Preclude Summary Judgment In Insurance Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

SPOKANE, Wash. - A federal judge in Washington on March 30 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the insurer breached the insurance contract and acted in bad faith in its handling of an insured's claim under a professional malpractice policy (Workland & Witherspoon PLLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 14-403, E.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42637).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Plaintiff Not Named Insured To Insurance Contract, Can't Sue For Bad Faith

HAMMOND, Ind. - A federal judge in Indiana on March 31 granted an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiff may not sue the insurer for bad faith because she is a third-party beneficiary and not a named insured pursuant to the insurance contract (Jessica Martinez v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-137, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42956).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Substantially Grants Summary Judgment On Bad Faith Claims

DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on March 29 substantially granted an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that although an insured failed to properly state her claim for common-law bad faith, certain issues preclude complete dismissal of her statutory bad faith claim (Joyce Wahlert v. American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin, No. 14-2744, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41295).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Man Sues Pizza Restaurant After Daughter Contracts E. Coli Infection

OMAHA, Neb. - A Nebraska man on March 29 filed suit in federal court in Nebraska against a pizza restaurant, alleging that his daughter became infected with E. coli after eating there (Tyler Pannier, individually and as parent of L.P., a minor, v. Pizza Ranch Inc., No. 8:16-cv-00136, D. Neb.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Company Denied Rehearing By 4th Circuit In Tainted Groundwater Injury Case

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 29 denied a petition for rehearing en banc filed by a company that had been sued by a North Carolina man who contended that he contracted cancer as a result of groundwater contamination for which the man said the company was liable (Kent Stahle v. CTS Corporation, No. 15-1001, 4th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Refuses To Remand Bad Faith Suit To State Court

LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California denied an insured's motion to remand an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court on March 25, ruling that the insured's failure to properly serve a defendant in the action was voluntary and in bad faith (Richard G. Heller v. American States Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-9771, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39645).

Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Panel Denies Motion For Reconsideration In Bad Faith Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO - Without providing further detail, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 25 denied a motion for rehearing and filed an amended memorandum in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit where the panel previously ruled that a federal district court did not err in granting partial summary judgment in favor of an insurer because the insurer had no duty to defend its insureds in a tort action (Michael Zimmerman, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13-57091, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 5655).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge: Insurers Have Duty To Defend False Advertising Claims Against Fish Seller

HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge held on March 24 that insurers have a duty to defend their fish seller insured against an underlying lawsuit alleging false advertising, further finding that there are genuine issues of material fact that preclude granting the insured's motion for summary judgment regarding its breach of contract counterclaim (The Hanover Insurance Co., et al. v. Anova Food LLC, et al., No. 14-00281, D. Hawaii; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38947).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Permits Some Discovery In Long-Term Disability Claim Suit Under ERISA

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on March 22 held that a plaintiff's breach of contract claim against her disability insurer, which is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), entitled her to take limited discovery from the insurer because there was a potential evaluator/payor conflict of interest (Nicole Myers v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 14-948, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37411).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Permits Some Discovery In Long-Term Disability Claim Suit Under ERISA

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on March 22 held that a plaintiff's breach of contract claim against her disability insurer, which is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), entitled her to take limited discovery from the insurer because there was a potential evaluator/payor conflict of interest (Nicole Myers v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 14-948, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37411).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Permits Some Discovery In Long-Term Disability Claim Suit Under ERISA

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on March 22 held that a plaintiff's breach of contract claim against her disability insurer, which is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), entitled her to take limited discovery from the insurer because there was a potential evaluator/payor conflict of interest (Nicole Myers v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 14-948, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37411).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Faulty Work Claims Do Not Constitute 'Occurrence' Under Insurance Policies

PHILADELPHIA - Allegations of faulty workmanship in performance of a contract do not constitute an "occurrence" under commercial insurance policies and umbrella excess policies, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 23, finding that an insurer has no duty to indemnify pre-tender defense costs and has no duty to provide an ongoing defense (Lenick Construction, Inc. v. Selective Way Insurance Co., No. 14-2701, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38119).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Insurer's Summary Judgment Motion In Bad Faith Lawsuit

DENVER - An insurer in not entitled to partial summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because weighing the insured's testimony against relevant medical records regarding injuries allegedly sustained in an automobile accident is the "province of the jury," a federal judge in Colorado ruled March 22 (Sharolyn Leeper v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-3460, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36104).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Appeals Court Affirms Imposition Of Fine Over Waste Storage

ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appellate panel on March 21 affirmed a ruling by the state's Pollution Control Board (PCB) to impose a $7,500 fine against a contracting company for three violations of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, holding that the evidence presented by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) showed that the company had no plan for disposing of uncovered waste and used tires on its property (Northern Illinois Service Company v. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, No. 2-15-0172, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 157).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Day Care Facility Settles For $1 Million In E. Coli Wrongful Death Suit

GREENWOOD, S.C. - A South Carolina judge on March 21 gave final approval to a $1 million settlement between a day care center and the father of a 2-year-old who died from E. coli he contracted from a teacher who had the infection and was allowed to work while she was sick (Barry Mayfield, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Myles S. Mayfield, deceased minor, v. The Learning Vine, LLC. No. 015-CP-24-00794, S.C. Comm. Pls., 8th Jud. Cir., Greenwood Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Fact Issues On Whether Insured Was Successor To Contract

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on March 18 declined to grant judgment on the pleadings to a contractor on a subrogated insurer's negligence claims because he cannot determine whether a condominium association should be deemed the successor to a contract between the contractor and the property's previous owner (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. a/s/o 1441 Rhode Island Ave Condominium Association v. Lend Lease [U.S.] Construction, Inc., No. 15-765, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35014).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Won't Enter Final Judgment In Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on March 18 declined to grant final judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the issue of defense costs still must be determined at trial (Richard E. Haskins, et al. v. Employers Insurance Of Wausau, et al., No. 14-1671, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35464).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Won't Bifurcate Bitcoin Firm's Bad Faith Claim, Discovery In Insurance Case

ATLANTA - Finding most of the discovery items sought by a bitcoin processor from its insurance provider likely to be relevant to its bad faith and breach of contract claims, a Georgia federal judge on March 17 denied the insurer's motion to bifurcate the claims and to stay discovery on the bad faith claim, citing a potential waste of judicial resources (Bitpay Inc. v. Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co., No. 1:15-cv-03238, N.D. Ga.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Won't Bifurcate Bitcoin Firm's Bad Faith Claim, Discovery In Insurance Case

ATLANTA - Finding most of the discovery items sought by a bitcoin processor from its insurance provider likely to be relevant to its bad faith and breach of contract claims, a Georgia federal judge on March 17 denied the insurer's motion to bifurcate the claims and to stay discovery on the bad faith claim, citing a potential waste of judicial resources (Bitpay Inc. v. Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co., No. 1:15-cv-03238, N.D. Ga.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Fact Issues Preclude Judgment As To Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 17 granted in part and denied in part motions for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over an alleged theft that occurred at an insured business by the business owner's brother (Pacific Marine Center Inc., et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 13-00992, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35503).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Won't Bifurcate Bitcoin Firm's Bad Faith Claim, Discovery In Insurance Case

ATLANTA - Finding most of the discovery items sought by a bitcoin processor from its insurance provider likely to be relevant to its bad faith and breach of contract claims, a Georgia federal judge on March 17 denied the insurer's motion to bifurcate the claims and to stay discovery on the bad faith claim, citing a potential waste of judicial resources (Bitpay Inc. v. Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co., No. 1:15-cv-03238, N.D. Ga.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Bad Faith, Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Are Actionable

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 18 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and bad faith in an insurance dispute, ruling that the claims sound in contract and, thus, are actionable (MONY Life Insurance Co. v. Carol Snyder, f/k/a Carol Eckert, and Pamela Eckert, No. 15-2109, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34371).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Man Files Product Liability Suit Against Pistachio, Almond Seller

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota man on March 17 filed suit in federal court in Minnesota, claiming that he was one of eight people who contracted salmonella after eating pistachios grown and sold by a nut company based in California (Eric D. Abbett v. Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, LLC, No. 0:16-cv-00676. D. Minn.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insured Not Entitled To Coverage Under 'Known Loss' Doctrine

NEW YORK - Summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract lawsuit is proper because an insured was not entitled to coverage for losses under an automobile insurance policy because the insured knew that the accident occurred after the policy had been canceled and before it had been reinstated, a federal judge in New York ruled March 15 (John A. Sefcik v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-1978, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33328).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Clarifies Claims That Remain Against Appraiser In Bad Faith Suit

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on March 15 granted an appraiser's motion for judgment on the pleadings in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that, pursuant to a previous ruling, the only claims surviving against the appraiser are claims for breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud (6111 Ridgeway Group LLC v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2561, W.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32847).