LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Panel Reverses Ruling Dismissing Contract Claim Against Architect

NEW YORK - A New York appellate court majority on March 3 ruled that a state court judge erred in dismissing the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York's (DASNY) breach of contract claim against an architect accused on negligently overseeing the construction of the foundation of a state-of-the-art forensic biology laboratory, holding that the DASNY sufficiently showed that the City of New York was an intended third-party beneficiary to the contract (Dormitory Authority of the State of New York v. Samson Construction Co., et al., 403436/06, N.Y Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1527).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insured Fails To Prove Causal Relationship Between Windstorm, Property Damage

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 29 held that a church insured has failed to adduce evidence of a causal relationship between a March 1, 2011, windstorm and its alleged property damage, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Olivet Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13 C 1625, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25294).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insured Breached Insurance Policy By Refusing To Submit To Examination

JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Feb. 26 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured's refusal to submit to a second examination under oath (EUO) breached the terms of the insurance agreement, allowing the insurer to decline the insured's claim for coverage (Eddie Gray Holt v. Victoria Fire and Casualty Co., No. 15-077, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23744).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insureds Sufficiently Pleaded Allegations To Support Counterclaims

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Dismissal of counterclaims for insurance breach of contract and bad faith is not proper, a federal judge in California ruled March 1, because insureds have pleaded sufficient allegations to support their claims (Lancer Insurance Co. v. Alpha Dyno Nobel, et al., No. 14-2018, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25450).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Employment Practices Liability Dispute

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over an underlying lawsuit seeking damages for $1.9 million in past due premiums pursuant to a contract between an employee-leasing company insured and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), noting that the underlying suit is a "run of the mill" breach of contract dispute and does not seek damages for the wrongful diversion of funds (Payroll Management, Inc., et al. v. Lexington Insurance Company, No. 15-10314-EE, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3790).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 5th Circuit Finds Wells Fargo Did Not Wrongfully Foreclose On Property

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 26 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a former property owner's claims for breach of contract, violation of Texas law and other claims, finding that a bank properly foreclosed on her property (Zaida Villarreal v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 15-40243, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3481).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Estate's UCL And Breach Of Contract Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding no evidence to support an estate's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and declaratory relief, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 25 affirmed a district court's decision to grant a motion to dismiss the case (Robert Chandler, as representative of the estate of Rosemary S. Chandler, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 14-15069, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3375).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Refuses To Award Summary Judgment To Builder On Contract Claims

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 26 refused to award summary judgment to the builder of a $5 million home in the Hamptons accused of breach of contract, finding that a conflict between the terms of a limited warranty and a supplemental rider provided to the plaintiff home buyer created a genuine issue of material fact (Gerald Sprayregen v. A. Gugliotta Development Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-5264, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23952).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Estate's UCL And Breach Of Contract Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - After finding no evidence to support an estate's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and declaratory relief, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 25 affirmed a district court's decision to grant a motion to dismiss the case (Robert Chandler, as representative of the estate of Rosemary S. Chandler, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 14-15069, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3375).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Has Proper Information To Answer Complaint In Bad Faith Suit

DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 24 denied an insurer's motion for a more definite statement in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer had proper information to answer the complaint (John Segura v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-0047, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22440).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Bad Faith Allegations Don't Fall Exclusively Within Policy Exclusions

DENVER - An insurer is not entitled to summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the factual allegations provided in the underlying complaint "do not fall solely and exclusively within the boundaries of the policy exclusions," a federal judge in Colorado ruled Feb. 22 (Weldesamuel Gebremedhin, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-2813, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21059).

Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Affirms Court's Rulings In Suit Arising From 2008 California Wildfire

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 23 affirmed a lower federal court's post-trial rulings in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute arising from a 2008 wildfire (Craig Milhouse, et al. v. Travelers Commercial Insurance Co., Nos. 13-56959 and 13-57029, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3145).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Amtrak: 2nd Circuit Should Reject Insurers' 'Inconsistent Treatment' Of Contracts

NEW YORK - Amtrak on Feb. 18 responded to its insurers' opposition to its appeal for the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's ruling that limited it to no more than $125 million in insurance coverage for what it alleges is more than $1 billion in estimated Superstorm Sandy damage (National Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2358, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Amtrak: 2nd Circuit Should Reject Insurers' 'Inconsistent Treatment' Of Contracts

NEW YORK - Amtrak on Feb. 18 responded to its insurers' opposition to its appeal for the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's ruling that limited it to no more than $125 million in insurance coverage for what it alleges is more than $1 billion in estimated Superstorm Sandy damage (National Railroad Passenger Corp. v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2358, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insureds Failed To Plead Issue Of Material Fact In Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

McALLEN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 22 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds have failed to raise an issue of material fact with regard to their breach of contract claim and thus cannot state a claim for relief with regard to their extracontractual claims (Mark Dizdar, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-664, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20871).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Says Damages Expert Allowed To Testify Report In Breach Of Contract Suit

DALLAS - A damages expert may testify on only one of two reports filed in a breach of contract lawsuit between parties involved in the merchants and credit card issuers industry, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 19, finding that the one report was untimely filed (BCC Merchant Solutions, Inc. v. JetPay, LLC, et al., No. 12-5185, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20710).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Motion To Strike In Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 18 denied an insurer's motion to strike in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer has failed to state any viable reason for doing so (Mojdeh Hariri-Vijeh v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 15-3195, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20627).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel: Court Erred In Requiring Insurer To Pay For Subsurface Repairs

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 19 held that a lower court erred in ordering an insurer to pay for its insureds' subsurface repairs before the insureds entered into a contract for those repairs and in awarding the insureds prejudgment interest, reversing in part the court's $192,207.20 judgment against the insurer in a sinkhole coverage dispute (Citizens Property Insurance Corporation v. Ariety Amat, et al., No. 2D14-4274, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 2412).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Finds Water Exclusion Bars Insured's Damage From Failed Pipe

HOUSTON - A commercial property insurance policy's water exclusion endorsement precludes coverage for water damage from a failed pipe that does not qualify as personal property, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 19, granting summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Praetorian Insurance Co. v. Arabia Shrine Center Houston, No. 14-3281, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20186).

Mealey's Insurance - Motion To Dismiss In Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit Denied As Moot

LAS VEGAS - A federal judge denied an insurer's motion to dismiss as moot in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that since the parties agreed that the insured would amend her complaint, dismissal is not necessary (Cheri Strandberg v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co., No. 15-2468, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18346).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Denying Defense In Tort Action

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in granting partial summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because the insurer had no duty to defend its insureds in a tort action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 11 (Michael Zimmerman, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13-57091, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2553).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Hasn't Shown Amount In Controversy Exceeds Statutory Limits

LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on Feb. 11 granted an insured's motion to remand an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court, ruling that the insurer failed to show that the amount in controversy was greater than the statutory limits (Aurelio Bravo-Aguilar v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-2045, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17027).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - New Jersey High Court Affirms Insurer Not Required To Show It Suffered Prejudice

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Feb. 11 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a directors and officers liability insurer was not required to demonstrate that it suffered prejudice before denying coverage based on the insured's failure to give timely notice of an underlying claim stemming from a failed real estate transaction, finding that the "claims made" policy was "not a contract of adhesion but was agreed to by sophisticated parties" (Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. and Fuente Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No. A-18 September Term 2014, 074572, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 144).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Insured's Motion To Remand Insurance Bad Faith Suit To State Court

LAS VEGAS - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Feb. 12, because an insurer has shown that the amount in controversy will exceed statutory limits (Kenya L. Kelly v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-2169, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17710).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Mobile Consultant May Testify On Secondary Market In Unlawful Business Suit

BALTIMORE - A mobile advisory consultant may testify about the secondary handset market for cell phone devices and the participation of retail resellers in it, a Maryland federal judge ruled Feb. 10; however, the expert may not opine on whether there have been breaches of contract (Sprint Nextel Corp. v. Simple Cell, Inc., No. 13-617, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16017).