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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
NEW YORK - An insurer told a federal court in New York on Oct. 2 that it was amending its asbestos-bodily-injury-related reinsurance breach of contract complaint to update the name of the defendant (TIG Insurance Company v. Randall & Quilter Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-07024, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 2 granted an insurer's motion to transfer an insurance breach of contract and bad faith action to another federal district court because the action could have been brought in the target district court and because transferring the action will be in the best interest for all involved from a convenience and fairness standpoint (Nicholas Thanos, M.D. v. Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 15-3616, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134947).
SALT LAKE CITY - Because water and resulting mold damage occurred over an extensive period of time and were not caused by a sudden and accidental escape of water, an insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying a homeowner's claim, a Utah federal judge said Sept. 29 (Thomas Wheeler v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-193, D. Utah; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131736).
CONCORD, N.H. - A federal judge in New Hampshire on Sept. 29 denied a reinsurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that England's six-year statute of limitations applies and that the reinsured's breach of contract claim is therefore timely (TIG Insurance Company v. EIFlow Insurance Limited, No. 14-cv-00459, D. N.H.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - An additional insured sufficiently asserted counterclaims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against an insurer regarding the appointment of defense counsel in construction defect cases, a California federal judge ruled Sept. 28 (Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut and Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. KB Home North Bay, Inc. and KB Home Sacramento, Inc., No. 15-352 & Travelers Property Casualty Company of America and Fidelity & Guaranty Insurance Co. v. KB Home North Bay, Inc., No. 15-481, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130580).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Insureds sufficiently assert claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against their homeowners insurer for its denial of coverage for damages sustained by cracking in their basement wall, a Connecticut federal judge held Sept. 28 (Raymond G. Gabriel and Kimberly A. Gabriel v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-01435, D. Conn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129952).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Dismissal of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because the insureds violated the fraud and misrepresentation provisions of their automobile insurance policy, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 24 (Ali Almazni, et al. v. United Financial Casualty Co., et al., No. 14-0975, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129562).
FORT WORTH, Texas - Dismissal of claims against an insurance adjuster in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because an insured failed to state a claim for relief, a federal judge in Texas ruled Sept. 28 (Yolanda Aguilar v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 15-565, N.D. Texas; 2-015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130384).
SAN DIEGO - Dismissal of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because an insured is first required to bring his claims to arbitration under the arbitration provision of the insurance policy, a federal judge in California ruled on Sept. 25 (David Peffer v. Philadelphia Indemnity Co., No. 14-2980, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129531).