LOS ANGELES - Amended complaints from three drug rehabilitation centers contain the same insufficiently broad allegations regarding the formation of contracts and the services provided as a previously dismissed pleading, an insurer told a federal judge in California on Jan. 25 (Casa Bella Recovery International Inc. v. Humana Inc., et al., Nos. 17-1801, 17-1804, 17-1807, C.D. Calif.).
DENVER - Ruling on dueling motions for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute, a Colorado federal judge on Jan. 23 found that a list of stolen property satisfies a retail coin and collectible store owner's obligations under the plain language of a commercial property insurance policy (TBL Collectibles, Inc., d/b/a Colorado Coins, Cards & Comics v. Owners Insurance Co., No. 16-01788, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10538).
In a pair of executive orders issued Jan. 22 and 24, respectively, the governors of Montana and New York each established statewide requirements that government offices contract only with internet service providers (ISPs) that agree to abide by the "free and open internet" principles known collectively as "net neutrality."
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 vacated a trial court's ruling that a class suit over alleged breach of contract by a North Carolina nursing home belongs in state court due a forum-selection clause in residents' contracts and remanded for further factual development on the question of whether all of the defendants are bound by the clause (Jeanne T. Bartels, et al. v. Saber Healthcare Group, LLC, et al., Nos. 16-2247 and 16-2416, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1565).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After finding that no federal claims remained against various lenders and property companies, a California federal judge on Jan. 22 remanded claims asserted by borrowers for breach of contract, fraud and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) to a California state court (John Brooks, et al. v. FCI Lender Services Inc., No. 2:16-cv-02598, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9974).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 19 granted the majority of an insurer's motion for summary judgment as to claims for fraud and declaratory relief asserted against it by an insured who sought coverage for vehicle theft, but allowed part of his claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract to proceed, finding that issues of triable fact exist as to whether the coverage claim was denied based solely on his inability to produce cell phone records that were not available (Christopher T. Monroe v. Geico General Insurance Company, No. 5:14-cv-05174, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9106).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on Jan. 17 bifurcated an insured's breach of contract claim from the insured's bad faith claim in an auto coverage dispute after determining that bifurcation is warranted because under New Mexico law, a finding of breach of contract is necessary for a bad faith claim to survive (Steve P. Shultzaberger v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-1028, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7915).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A lawyer's breach of contract claims arise from his allegation that his employer-provided health plan improperly denied coverage for cancer treatments and is preempted, a federal judge in South Carolina held Jan. 16 while retaining jurisdiction over the remaining claims as well (Daniel E. Speights, et al. v. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, No. 17-594, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6379).
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Court of Appeals on Jan. 16 reversed a trial court's ruling in favor of insurers on fraud and bad faith claims because the insured's claims are based on the behavior of the insurer defendants in a separate breach of contract lawsuit and were not filed in an attempt to impermissibly attack the judgment in the breach of contract lawsuit (Kimberly S. Earl,et al., v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 36A01-1703-CT-542, Ind. App., 2018 Ind. App. LEXIS 9).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - With regard to settlements of underlying asbestos claims, two reinsurers breached their contract by failing to pay their share of losses, an insurer says in its Jan. 16 complaint filed in Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-00088, D. Conn.).
LOS ANGELES - An emergency health services provider relies on "phantom allegations" and evidence outside the complaint in opposing dismissal of implied-in-fact contract and quantum meruit claims, a South Carolina insurer told a California federal judge on Jan. 17 (Long Beach Memorial Medical Center v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina Inc., et al., No. 17-8181, C.D. Calif.).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A reinsurer breached its contract by refusing to pay its share of losses arising out of the settlement of asbestos claims, an insurer says in a Jan. 16 complaint filed in the Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-00087, D. Conn.).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 12 granted a joint motion to dismiss a petition to vacate and a cross-petition to confirm a $18,068,685 international arbitral award issued in a dispute over a contract for the excavation of tunnels as part of a project for the construction of a hydroelectric plant in Guatemala (Cobra Infraestructuras Hidraulicas S.A. v. Societa Esecuzione Lavori Idraulici, S.p.A., et al., No. 17-23664, S.D. Fla.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 12 granted a petition filed by General Electric Co. to confirm a $3,051,817.22 arbitral award issued against Japanese entities in relation to their failure to defend and indemnify GE pursuant to the terms of a manufacturing contract for appliances (General Electric Company v. Sampo Corporation, et al., No. 16-CV-2456, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6017).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Mandatory public-sector agency fees for employees who choose not to join a union where the fees are used to support collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment are constitutionally sound, respondents in an agency fee appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court argue in two separate briefs filed Jan. 12 (Mark Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al., No. 16-1466, U.S. Sup.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A Range Rover owner who alleged that the car marker's contract for buyers barring them from reselling their vehicles overseas violates the Sherman Act and numerous state antitrust and consumer protection laws may not proceed with his class claims because he failed to allege actions that restrained trade or identify a cognizable relevant market, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Jan. 9 (Brian Baar v. Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC, et al., No. 17-4142, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3867).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 11 refused to dismiss for failure to join indispensable parties an insurer's lawsuit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured in a breach of contract case (Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. v. Dover Roofing & General Remodeling Exteriors Unlimited Inc., No. 17-228, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4814).
SAN FRANCISCO - Insureds' claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit over coverage under a homeowners insurance and a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) are preempted by federal law, a federal judge in California ruled Jan. 10 in granting the insurer's motion to dismiss (Alicia Martin, et al. v. CSAA Insurance Exchange, No. 17-4066, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4675).
LOS ANGELES - A building materials supplier accused of selling defective flagstone to a couple's masonry subcontractor cannot obtain attorney fees from the plaintiffs after prevailing on its breach of warranty claim, a California appeals panel ruled Jan. 9, holding that an agreement between the seller and the subcontractor only conferred a right to the parties in the contract to those fees (Jeffrey Prince, et al. v. Thompson Building Materials, No. B280813, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2nd Div., 2018 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 150).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insurer paid full coverage limits for mold remediation under the terms of a homeowners insurance policy and, thus, could not have acted in bad faith, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 10 in affirming (Mary Ann Andrews, et al. v. Merchants Mutual Insurance Co., No. 17-1413, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 637).