SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 6 granted an online marketplace host's motion to dismiss counterclaims asserted against it for violation of California's unfair competition law, breach of contract, fraud and other claims asserted by a user of the marketplace who allegedly failed to pay for or return inventory from the website, but granted the user leave to amend the claims to assert more specific factual allegations (Ouiby Inc. v. Idil Doguoglu Posey, et al., No. 17-cv-03847, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19502).
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 2 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims in a dispute over coverage for earthquake and mold damages after determining that the insureds offered sufficient evidence to support their claims (Larry W. Thomas, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Co., No. 16-17, N.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17418).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 5 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of a business insurer on insureds' claims for breach of contract and bad faith, finding that theft of business merchandise over the course of multiple days is still considered to be one "occurrence" under the insurance policy (Patrick E. Patterson, et al. v. American Economy Insurance Co., No. 16-16445, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2846).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 1 denied a well services company's motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit against it related to groundwater contamination that the company allegedly caused by failing to perform services properly on a hydraulic fracturing well site (EQT Production Company v. Terra Services LLC, No. 14-01053, W.D. Pa.).
BEAUFORT, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Feb. 1 upheld his earlier ruling finding that the state's eight-year statute of repose barred breach of contract and breach of express and implied warranties claims asserted against an architecture firm and contractor accused of construction defects, finding that alleged building code violations did not toll the statute (Hampton Hall LLC v. Chapman Coyle Chapman & Associates Architects AIA Inc., et al., No. 17-1575, D. S.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17795).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on Jan. 31 affirmed a trial court's refusal to compel a breach of contract dispute between clothing makers to arbitration, finding that a U.S. purchaser of the clothing failed to raise its arguments under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards before the lower court (Dongyang Jiutai Clothing Co., Ltd. v Lady Emerald, Inc., No. 2015-09802, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 2nd Div., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 564).
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 an insurer's lawsuit against his flood insurance provider was time-barred since he filed the suit outside the one-year statute of limitations for standard flood insurance policies (SFIP), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 31 in affirming (Anthony Migliaro v. Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 17-1434, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2097).
PHILADELPHIA - Homeowners did not allege "property damage" or an "occurrence" to trigger an insurer's duty to defend claims arising out of the sale of a home, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Jan. 31, granting summary judgment to the insurer on its declaratory judgment claim and an insured's breach of contract claim (Merle Foglia v. Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 17-1216, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15553).
ATLANTA - A Costa Rican company on Jan. 29 filed a reply in its appeal with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing a district court's decision to confirm a $29,290,400 international arbitration award that was issued for Del Monte International GMBH in a dispute over a contract for the sale of pineapples (Inversiones Y Procesadora Tropical Inprotsa, S.A. v. Del Monte International GMBH, No. 1:16-cv-24275, 11th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - In amending his insurance breach of contract and bad faith complaint against his automobile insurance provider, an insured cured the pleading deficiencies that led to a previous dismissal of the bad faith claim, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Jan. 29 in denying the insurer's motion to dismiss (Kevin Irving v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-1124, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14163).
NEW YORK - In a coverage dispute over asbestos litigation costs, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 ordered an insurer and reinsurer to submit briefing concerning how a New York high court ruling applies to a reinsurance contract's per-occurrence liability cap (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co., No. 15-2164, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - Insurers on Jan. 25 filed an objection to a New York federal magistrate judge's recommendation that their claims arising out of reinsurance contracts be denied in a coverage dispute stemming from the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and also challenged the magistrate's calculation of prejudgment interest (In re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, No. 03-MDL-1570, Continental Casualty Co. v. Al Qaeda Islamic Army, No. 04-5970, S.D. N.Y.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Michigan Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 affirmed a trial court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a mold coverage dispute, agreeing with the trial court that the insured failed to prove that the insurer breached its contract and acted negligently in handling the claim (Sherry Horrocks, et al. v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, et al., Nos. 335972, 336480, Mich. App., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 198).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee appeals panel on Jan. 26 reversed a lower court's finding that insureds' policy limits were $200 million in a breach of contract lawsuit arising from a May 2010 Nashville flood, finding that the $50 million sublimit applies because the insured property is partially located within one of the zones listed under the policy's High Hazard Flood Zones (Opry Mills Mall Limited Partnership, et al. v. Arch Insurance Company, et al., No. M2016-01763, Tenn. App., 2018 Tenn. App. LEXIS 40).
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).