HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 9 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for flood damage caused by a May 2015 storm in Houston, finding that the lawsuit is untimely (Ali Ekhlassi v. National Lloyds Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1257, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3568).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 4 upheld a jury award of more than $550,000 for a Georgia apartment complex on its breach of contract claim against an insurer for not paying enough to replace hail-damaged shingles, finding that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion in any of its Daubert rulings (The Grand Reserve of Columbus, LLC v. Property-Owners Insurance Company, No. 17-10264, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 217).
CINCINNATI - An ordinance outlining the city of Cincinnati's requirements for the award of construction contracts for water works jobs is not subject to preemption by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the city was acting as a proprietor rather than a regulator, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Jan. 4 in reversing a district court's ruling (Allied Construction Industries v. City of Cincinnati, Nos. 2016-4248, 2016-4249, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 214).
NEW YORK - In a dispute over reinsurance proceeds allegedly owed to an insolvent insurer, a liquidator on Jan. 2 asserted a breach of contract claim in a New York federal court against a holding company based upon its alleged assumption of facultative reinsurance agreements and subsequent breach of those agreements (Roger A. Sevigny v. Trygvesta Forsikring A/S, Trygvesta Forsikring A/S v. Cerberus Holding Company LLC., No. 16-04874, S.D. N.Y.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 3 affirmed a district court's judgment that a health fund was required to pay excess assets to a new employee welfare trust fund because the payment of the excess funds was required by the contract at issue and not by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as the district court determined (Greenbrier Hotel Corp., et al. v. Unite Here Health, et al., Nos. 16-2116, 17-1720, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 105).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Jan. 5 denied an insured's petition to review a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit arising from a $73,000 appraisal award for the insured's hailstorm damage, according to its orders pronounce list (Floyd Circle Partners LLC v. Republic Lloyds, No. 17-0734, Texas Sup.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 affirmed a federal court's dismissal of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion and declaratory judgment claims against a directors and officers liability insurer, reiterating that the insured's failure to provide the insurer with timely notice of an underlying claim negated coverage (J. Graham Zahoruiko v. Federal Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-965, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 250).
TAMPA, Fla. - Genuine issues of material fact remain as to whether repairs resolved sinkhole activity in an insured home, a Florida federal judge ruled Jan. 2, denying summary judgment to an insurer on a breach of contract claim (Gerald Gagliardi, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3354, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 267).
BOSTON - In a Dec. 29 brief to the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Tom Scholz, who founded the multiplatinum-selling rock band Boston, argues that a former band member's use of the "Boston" trademark to promote his post-Boston musical endeavors breached a previous settlement agreement between them (David Thomas Scholz v. Barry Goudreau, No. 17-1264, 1st Cir.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 29 refused to grant summary judgment on a breach of contract claim asserted by insureds, finding that genuine issues of fact exist on when damage to a property's foundation occurred, but the judge found no evidence to support their claims for violation of Connecticut law or to show that the insurer acted in bad faith (Raymond G. Gabriel v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. No. 3:14-cv-01435, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213202).
NEW ORLEANS - After finding that a disability claimant raised a genuine dispute of material fact as to the cause of his disability, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 29 reversed a district court's ruling against the claimant on a breach of contract claim (David M. Cox v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, No. 16-60831, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 27036).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A Native American tribe lost its bid to pursue claims that its health care plan administrator violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to charge the tribe Medicare-like rates for contracted services at a hospital, when a Michigan federal judge affirmed Dec. 27 that the statute of limitations bars the claims (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan v. Munson Medical Center, No. 5:14-cv-11349, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211418).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Homeowners whose property was damaged in a fire on Dec. 20 sued a contractor and his company in a California court, asserting claims for breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) in relation to repairs that they paid for, which were allegedly never completed (Donna Miranda, et al. v. A's Contractor Inc., et al., No. 30-2017-000962524, Calif. Super., Orange Co.).
SALT LAKE CITY - A Utah federal judge on Dec. 19 dismissed a reinsurer and other related entities from a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit over denied coverage under a professional liability policy because there is no personal jurisdiction (Allegis Investment Services LLC, et al. v. Arthur Gallagher & Co., et al., No. 17-515, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209257).
SAN ANTONIO - A panel of the Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 affirmed judgment in favor of a country club and its contractors because a man who injured himself while golfing signed a contract barring his claims and did not present enough evidence showing that the course and its contractors committed gross negligence (Tom McCloskey v. The Clubs of Cordillera LP, et al., No. 04-17-00234-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11772).
CHICAGO - An aviation maintenance technician's breach of contract class claims filed after his employer eliminated the program under which he was hired, affecting the speed at which he would achieve the top pay he was promised, are preempted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 18, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss (Thomas Ballard, et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 17-2534, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206948).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss a company's claims against two lenders, finding that the lenders never agreed to sell the company a foreclosed-on property and that a contract between the parties did not exist (West Maui Properties LLC, v. Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, et al., No. 17-1112, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25278).
NEW YORK - In a coverage dispute over asbestos litigation costs, the New York Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 ruled that one of its previous rulings did not establish a general rule that a reinsurance contract's total liability cap encompasses both indemnity and defense costs incurred by an insurer (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co., No. CTQ-2016, 0005, N.Y. App., 2017 N.Y. LEXIS 3723).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 12 held that a franchisee's breach of contract, bad faith and unfair business practices in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 17200, claims against a franchisor are untimely, further rejecting the franchisee's argument that the franchisor is estopped from relying on a statute of limitations defense (Power Quality & Electrical Systems, Inc., et al. v. BP West Coast Products LLC, No. 16-04791, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204410).
PITTSBURGH - An insured has failed to show that remand of his insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is necessary since he asserts only claims under state law and, thus, a federal district court lacks jurisdiction over the claims because the insured does not seek a declaratory judgment and because he seeks damages in excess of the statutory limits, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania ruled Dec. 12 in denying the insured's motion (Adam Carney v. GEICO, No. 17-1486, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205042).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that the widow of a borrower, who obtained a reverse mortgage on a property that was later foreclosed on, sufficiently pleaded her claims for elder abuse and breach of contract, a California appeals court on Dec. 11 reversed a trial court's decision dismissing her claims against two lenders (Mary Aden v. OneWest Bank, N.A., et al., No. A146242, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3).
AMARILLO, Texas - A trial court judge in Texas erred when dismissing a couple's construction defects and breach of contract suit against a builder for want of prosecution without providing proper notice, a state appeals court panel ruled Dec. 11 (Patrick Pence, et al. v. S&D Builders LLC, et al., No. 07-16-00005-CV, Texas App., 7th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11501).