MIAMI - A Florida jury on Nov. 18 awarded a widow $5,635,080 for fatal asbestosis a husband contracted during work as a boilermaker at power plants owned by the lone remaining defendant (Magaly Fernandez, et al. v. Florida Power & Light Co., et al., No. 11-17044, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
CHICAGO - Whether a roofing exclusion applies will determine if an insurer can proceed on its claims for no duty to defend or indemnify an underlying subrogation lawsuit against an insured for negligence and breach of contract, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 14, denying a motion to dismiss (Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. v. Sealtite Roofing & Construction Co. and Erie Insurance Exchange a/s/o Richard Ryser, No. 13-459, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160293).
DENVER - A contractor's duty was limited to installing insulation over a bathroom and did not include responsibilities regarding a wet sprinkler system or pre-existing insulation, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 13, upholding summary judgment to the contractor on a subrogated insurer's breach of contract and negligence claims (Mid-Century Insurance Co. a/s/o The Charter at Beaver Creek Condominium Association v. InsulVail LLC and Fire Sprinkler Services Inc., No. 13-1428, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21617).
BOSTON - After finding that a court failed to give a property owner sufficient notice when it converted a lender's motion to dismiss into a summary judgment motion, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 reversed a decision dismissing breach of contract claims related to the denial of a loan modification (Jonathan Foley v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 13-2527, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21629).
DALLAS - Finding that an attorney insured's three claims against a professional liability insurer "sound only in contract," a Texas federal judge on Nov. 12 dismissed the insured's claims for violations of Texas Insurance Code Section 541, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act (DTPA) and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing (Charla G. Aldous, et al. v. Teresa Lugo and Darwin National Assurance Co., No. 3:13-CV-3310-L, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159684).
MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Nov. 10 found expert witnesses presented by both sides in a barge contract dispute to be unqualified and unhelpful, granting the parties' countermotions to exclude their respective testimonies per Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 589 ) (Natures Way Marine LLC v. Everclear of Ohio Ltd.., et al., No. 1:12-cv-00316, S.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158568).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Finding that an insured did not comply with the terms of his standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) because he failed to submit a signed and notarized proof of loss for all of his claimed Hurricane Irene flood damages, a Connecticut federal judge on Nov. 12 granted the insurer's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the insured's breach of contract lawsuit (Moshe Azoulay v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 3:12-cv-1693, D. Conn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159177).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 10 partially dismissed a putative class action case accusing Apple Inc. of unlawfully marketing its text-messaging service by not telling consumers that the service prevents former iPhone users from receiving certain text messages after they replaced their iPhones with non-Apple devices, leaving a claim brought under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) predicated on a tortious interference with business contract claim but dismissing a UCL claim predicated on a Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) claim (Adrienne Moore v. Apple Inc., No. 14-2269, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158900).
FRESNO, Calif. - Commercial general liability insurers failed to assert declaratory judgment, breach of contract and equitable reimbursement claims against insureds based upon their alleged breach of a cooperation clause concerning appointment of counsel in an underlying construction defects case, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 10 (Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Co., et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. 14-826, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158649).
POCATELLO, Idaho - A federal judge in Idaho on Nov. 7 granted a motion to partially dismiss a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against an insurer, ruling that insureds failed to plead their claims with particularity (Robert Taylor, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al., No. 14-0079, D. Idaho; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158158).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 7 denied summary judgment with regard to an insured's insurance bad faith claim against his insurer for failure to grant a settlement offer in good faith, ruling that the issue at bar is one for a jury to decide (Antonio James Jimenez v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. 10-640, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158031).
TULSA, Okla. - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Nov. 5 dismissed a Medicare false claims case, saying the plaintiff failed to identify any false certification premised upon the requirements of a particular statute, regulation or contract by the defendants (United States of America, ex rel. Mark Troxler v. Warren Clinic Inc., et al., No. 11-808, N.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157377).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ordinary contract interpretation should be applied to a dispute over the life of retiree health benefits and, where the contract is silent, courts should apply the relevant default principles, an attorney representing M&G Polymers USA LLC told the high court on Nov. 10 in a dispute over how long retiree health benefits are promised (M&G Polymers USA, LLC, et al. v. Hobert Freel Tackett, et al., No. 13-1010, U.S. Sup.).
LAFAYETTE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 4 found that it is plausible that an insured reported a "claim" and provided timely "notice of claim" under the terms of a professional liability insurance policy, refusing to dismiss the insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (HealthSmart Benefit Solutions Inc. v. Principia Underwriting, et al., No. 14-776, W.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156102).
EUGENE, Ore. - A federal judge in Oregon on Nov. 3 dismissed a beneficiary's lawsuit against an insurer for negligence, breach of contract and insurance bad faith for denying her life insurance benefits because the insured made several material misrepresentations regarding his mental and physical health condition when he completed his application for coverage (Monika Settlemyer v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Co., No. 14-0356, D. Ore.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155961).
HAMMOND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on Nov. 4 refused to dismiss a subrogated insurer and its insured's negligence and breach of implied warranty of workmanship claims against an architect and a subcontractor regarding damage to a building from frozen pipes following the completion of construction (Great American Insurance Company of New York, subrogee and Serenity Lake Senior LLC v. Superior Contracting Corp. d/b/a American National Insulation, et al., No. 14-00055, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156628).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on Nov. 4 that its reinsurer owes it more than $1.6 million related to the coverage of a suit alleging that the insurer's insured manufactured a vaccine that caused a person to contract polio (Travelers Casualty & Surety Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 14-cv-01651, D. Conn.).
VICTORIA, Texas - A commercial general liability insurance policy's professional services exclusion precludes coverage for breach of contract claims against an additional insured arising out of well blowout, a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 5 (Nicklos Drilling Co. v. Ace American Insurance Co., No. 14-021, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156585).
MILWAUKEE - Genuine disputes of material fact exist as to whether a "clickwrap" agreement's conditions governed the relationship between a customer and an online data storage service provider at the time that the customer's data was deleted, a Wisconsin federal judge found Oct. 31, denying both parties' motions for summary judgment on breach of contract and negligence claims against the data storage firm (WeR1 World Network v. CyberLynk Network Inc., et al., No. 2:11-cvc-00901, E.D. Wis.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154908).
NEW YORK - The statute of limitations bars New York Franchise Sales Act (FSA) claims brought by all but two delivery drivers who are challenging the subscription agreements (SA) they entered into with a delivery-service company, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 4 in a decision in which it also vacated a district court ruling against the drivers on their breach of contract and New York Labor Law (NYLL) claims (Jaroslav Kroshnyi, et al. v. U.S. Pack Courier Services, Inc., et al., Nos. 11-2789 and 11-4368, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21058).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Supreme of Court of Texas on Oct. 31 held that a trial court abused its discretion in ordering a homeowners insurer to produce evidence concerning claims other than those of the insured who filed a breach of contract and bad faith suit, conditionally granting the insurer mandamus relief and ordering the lower court to withdraw its order compelling discovery (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 13-0761, Texas Sup.).