SAN FRANCISCO - A federal agency did not act in breach of contract or misrepresent itself to a reinsured agricultural business by declining to divulge information about an investigation against a federal crop insurer before the farm signed a settlement that led to criminal charges, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 23 (POCO LLC v. Farmer's Crop Insurance Alliance Inc., No. 16-35310, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20853).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 19 ruling, a California federal judge granted a motion by a group of Seagate Technology LLC employees to preliminarily approve an agreement settling contract and negligence claims against the company stemming from a 2016 phishing incident that exposed the personally identifiable information (PII) of thousands of employees (Everett Castillo, et al. v. Seagate Technology LLC, No. 3:16-cv-01958, N.D. Calif.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - An insurer is entitled to summary judgment on its insured's breach of contract claim arising out of a coverage dispute for water and mold damages because the breach of contract claim is barred by the policy's two-year limitations period, a Kentucky federal magistrate judge said Oct. 18 (Richard Lackey, et al. v. Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford, No. 15-238, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172067).
OXFORD, Miss. - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper because an insured has shown that the amount in controversy in the action will not exceed statutory limits, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled Oct. 17 in granting the insured's motion to remand (Strawberry Missionary Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation Inc., No. 17-155, N.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171545).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 12 remanded an insured's suit alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an auto insurer and the insured's insurance agent after determining that the agent was not fraudulently joined to defeat jurisdiction (Melinda Bradley-Williams v. Agency Insurance Company of Maryland Inc., et al., No. 17-3755, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169264).
PHILADELPHIA - A jury in Pennsylvania state court on Oct. 17 awarded a couple $15.5 million against a man who was negligent by driving a truck under the influence of alcohol and against the company he contracted for after finding that it was negligent for contracting with the driver (Isaac Espinoza, et al. v. J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., et al. No. 2656, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - An auto insurer failed to prove that it will be prejudiced if an insured's bad faith claim is tried at the same time as the insured's breach of contract claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 11 in denying the insurer's motion to sever and stay the claim (Sandra Mulgrew v. Government Employees Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-2217, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167770).
EL PASO, Texas - In a lawsuit alleging a scheme to take control over a dealership and to decline selling vehicle-protection products that are reinsured by the reinsurers, defendants argue in their Oct. 11 reply brief to a Texas federal court for dismissal in favor of a state probate court action (Richard C. Poe II, et al. v. Anthony E. Bock, et al., No. 17-00232, W.D. Texas).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss with prejudice a breach of contract class claim brought by a Pennsylvania resident who claimed that an energy company violated its service contract by raising the rates each month (John D. Orange, et al. v. Starion Energy PA, Inc., et al., No. 16-1949, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19939).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Oct. 11 dismissed an insured's claim for bad faith alleged against an insurer in an auto coverage dispute after finding that the bad faith claim is not ripe for adjudication and will not be ripe for adjudication until after the insured's breach of contract claim is decided (Gordon McBride v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-1639, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167901).
CHICAGO - A company has failed to show that its trade secrets misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner are plausible on their face and, thus, dismissal of those claims is warranted, the former business partner argues in an Oct. 10 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Mighty Deer Lick Inc., d/b/a Mighty Deer Lick Sweet Apple Inc., v. Morton Salt Inc., No. 17-5875, N.D. Ill.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 10 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims for discrimination and breach of contract asserted by a borrower in relation to an alleged loan modification, finding that a lender and loan servicer never offered a modification (Angela Molina v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-17401, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19744).
EL PASO, Texas - A shareholder of car dealerships and his reinsurance companies on Oct. 4 filed an opposition in Texas federal court to dismissal of their complaint alleging a scheme to take control over the dealership and to decline selling vehicle-protection products that are reinsured by the reinsurers (Richard C. Poe II, et al. v. Anthony E. Bock, et al., No. 17-00232, W.D. Texas).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 6 granted a homeowners insurer's petition for a writ of mandamus seeking a venue transfer of the insured's breach of contract lawsuit arising from hail damage, vacating the lower court's denial of the insurer's motion to transfer venue and remanding (In re: Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-3243, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19535).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 5 order, a California federal judge denied a motion to dismiss breach of contract allegations levied by Yahoo! Inc. in favor of an earlier-filed patent infringement action pending in Texas federal court (Yahoo! Inc. v. MyMail Ltd., No. 16-7044, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165642).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts judge on Oct. 2 dismissed a retailer insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its management liability insurer after finding that the underlying claims made against the insured are barred from coverage because they are directly tied to, or a natural outgrowth of, the insured's employment and labor practices (The Talbots Inc. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-11107, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161619).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After finding that an emergency services provider failed to plead sufficient facts to show that an insurer violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) or whether its claims were preempted under the Medicare Act, a California federal judge on Sept. 29 dismissed the provider's claims related to an alleged payment scheme with leave to amend (Prime Healthcare Services-SHASTA LLC v. United Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-01773, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162863).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on Sept. 29 recommended that an auto insurer's motion to dismiss be denied because the insureds sufficiently stated facts in support of their claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Linda L. Winschell, et al. v. Encompass Home and Auto Insurance Co., No. 17-522, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162384).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 29 determined that only one of two plaintiffs can proceed with a breach of contract claim against an insurer that issued long-term care policies because Florida law banning the use of a hospital confinement provision includes the policy issued to only one of the plaintiffs (Maybelle Z. Smith v. Continental Casualty Co., d/b/a CNA Insurance, No. 16-616, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161558).
PHILADELPHIA - A commercial general liability insurer did not breach its insurance contract nor did it act in bad faith in denying a claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 29 because "deleterious substances" exclusion precluded coverage for grout dust from construction work that led to property damage (Collin R. Ginther v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group LLC, No. 16-686, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161720).
SAN DIEGO - Granting a business owners liability insurer's motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a California federal judge on Sept. 29 found that a third-party complaint against an insured arising from a patent infringement lawsuit failed to trigger coverage (WAWGD, Inc., doing business as Foresight Sports v. Sentinel Insurance Company, No. 16-2917, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161361).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on Sept. 29 rejected a motion seeking reargument and declined a man's request for leave to further appeal a decision that a contract governing the construction of coke oven batteries involves materials, work and labor rather than a product for product liability purposes (In the matter of the Eighth Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, Donald J. Terwilliger, et al. v. Beazer East Inc., et al., No. 85 CA 16-00947, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dist., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6836).