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Mealey's Insurance - Insurer, Reinsurer Submit Briefs On New York High Court Decision's Application

NEW YORK - In a coverage dispute over asbestos litigation costs, a reinsurer and insurer submitted letters on Feb. 9 to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concerning how a New York high court ruling applies to a reinsurance contract's per-occurrence liability cap (Global Reinsurance Corporation...

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Enjoins Hot Sauce Maker From Infringing On Trademarks

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 12 entered a default judgment on claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and trademark infringement asserted by a maker of hot sauce and granted a permanent injunction in its favor, enjoining another hot sauce maker from making...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Breach Of Contract Claim Against Insurer To Proceed To Trial

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After dismissing all claims based on a "collapse" from faulty concrete against one homeowners insurer for not occurring during its policy period, a Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 13 dismissed all but a breach of contract claim against another insurer because a reasonable...

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses ERISA Claim For Failure To Provide Discovery

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on Feb. 12 found that a benefits plan and insurer were not obligated to provide a plan participant with documents in relation to his discovery request because they are not the plan administrators, granting them summary judgment on his claim for violation...

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge: Insurer's Amended Complaint Adequately States RICO Claim

DENVER - A federal magistrate judge in Colorado on Feb. 12 recommended granting an insurance company's motion to file a second amended complaint, finding that it sufficiently alleged that an enterprise exists under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against an insurance adjuster...

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Asks For Relief From Kaiser Gypsum's Stay To Seek Settlement Reimbursement

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. sought relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay Feb. 13 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court so it can pursue $2.8 million in reimbursements from other insurers for settlement payments made to asbestos personal injury...

Mealey's Insurance - Rapid-American Denied Protective Order For Insurers' Subpoenas

NEW YORK - Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and asbestos claimants in its bankruptcy case do not have standing to challenge subpoenas served by insurers to asbestos claims-processing facilities seeking evidence of fraud in the asbestos trust system, and besides, the information sought is relevant...

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insured Cannot 'Swap Horses Midstream' In Appeal Of No Coverage Ruling

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 15 rejected an insured's appeal of a lower court's ruling that it was not owed professional liability coverage for an underlying third-party complaint, finding that the insured's primary argument was never raised in the lower...

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Remodelers' Suit Against Federal Flood Insurer

CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 14 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraudulent inducement and intentional and negligent misrepresentation lawsuit against a federal flood insurer, reiterating that the claims are preempted by...

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Majority Reverses $493,246 Attorney Fee Award In Sinkhole Coverage Suit

LAKELAND, Fla. - A majority of the Second District Florida Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 reversed a lower court's $493,246.50 attorney fees award against an insurer in a sinkhole coverage dispute and remanded for further proceedings (Citizens Property Insurance Corporation v. Meghan Anderson, No. 2D16...

Mealey's Insurance - Insurers Owe Defense For Claims Arising Out Of Negligence, 11th Circuit Says

ATLANTA - Commercial general liability insurers have a duty to defend allegations that an insured improperly constructed on land without taking reasonable steps to implement a workable drainage system, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 13, reversing and remanding the entry of summary judgment...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Declines To Apply 'Fraudulent Misjoinder' Standard In Bad Faith Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is necessary because the Ninth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals has yet to adopt the "fraudulent misjoinder" standard established by the 11th Circuit, which an insurer argues is the basis for the action's...

Mealey's Insurance - Class: Life Insurer, Private Investment Firm Unlawfully Raised Prices In Policies

NEW YORK - A life insurer and a private investment firm, which acquired the insurer, unlawfully increased the cost of premiums to recoup costs associated with the acquisition, among other reasons, plaintiffs allege in a Feb. 13 class action filed in a New York federal court (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix...

Mealey's Insurance - Kaiser Gypsum Debtors Agree To Claim Amount In Insolvent Insurers' Run-Off

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 17 approved in a minute order a settlement between Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. and the joint scheme administrator for two insolvent British insurers, setting claim values for the debtors...

Mealey's Insurance - U.S. High Court Refuses To Review Arbitration Dispute Over Sexual Abuse Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied an excess insurer's petition for writ of certiorari challenging a California appeals court's denial of its motion to compel arbitration of a coverage dispute with a school district over sexual abuse claims (Safety National Casualty Corp...

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge Lifts Stay Against Idaho Insurance Guaranty Association

BOISE, Idaho - An Idaho federal magistrate judge on Feb. 16 lifted a stay against the Idaho Insurance Guaranty Association (IIGA) in a trust bank's coverage dispute but declined to lift a stay and grant a preliminary injunction against an insolvent insurer (Idaho Trust Bank v. BancInsure Inc., et...

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Liquidator Has No Interest To Land, New York Bankruptcy Judge Says

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Reversionary interests in land parcels are property of a reorganized debtor, and an insurer's liquidator is precluded from interfering with those interests, a New York federal bankruptcy judge ruled Feb. 15, ordering transfer of title to the reorganized debtor (In re: Frontier...

Mealey's Insurance - Aetna Says California Investigation Based On 'Out Of Context' Comments

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Lawyers took deposition comments from a medical claims reviewer out of context to create trial and media leverage, Aetna Inc. says in a Feb. 14 response to an announcement that California would investigate the insurer's claims processing.

Mealey's Insurance - 7th Circuit: Sales Manager Waived Untimeliness Argument In LTD Dispute

CHICAGO - An employee seeking long-term disability (LTD) benefits effectively waived his right to challenge the untimeliness of the initial denial of his claim as he chose to pursue an appeal first rather than filing suit, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 14 (John Dragus v. Reliance...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Rules For Insurer In Suit Alleging It Wrongfully Offset Veterans' Benefits

BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Feb. 14 granted summary judgment in favor of a disability insurer in a U.S. Army veteran's class action suit alleging that the insurer wrongfully offset disability benefits payable under its policy by disability benefits received from the U.S. Department...

Mealey's Insurance - 6th Circuit: Pharmacist Used Others' Identifications To Further Fraud Scheme

CINCINNATI - A federal judge in Kentucky erred when dismissing a count from an indictment charging a pharmacist with aggravated identity theft, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 20, finding that the defendant used the identities of a doctor and patient for the purpose of submitting...

Mealey's Insurance - Evidence About Patient Recruiting, Vehicle Purchases Is Relevant, Judge Says

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Evidence concerning the recruitment of patients to a chiropractic clinic that allegedly fraudulently billed Medicare, as well as information showing that participants in the scheme put down large cash payments for expensive automobiles, is relevant, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled...

Mealey's Insurance - Claimants Seek Benefits From New Jersey Insurance Guaranty Association

TRENTON, N.J. - Two claimants allege in a Feb. 16 complaint filed in the New Jersey federal court that they are entitled to benefits from the New Jersey Property Liability Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) for injuries arising from a motor vehicle accident involving an unidentified motor vehicle owner and...

Mealey's Insurance - New York Panel: Armored Car Company's Insurer Is Not Liable For Jewelry Loss

NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Feb. 20 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an armored car company's insurer has no duty to compensate a freight carrier and its insurer for the loss of a gold jewelry shipment that was transported by its insured (AXA Winterthur Insurance Co. v Transvalue...

Mealey's Insurance - High Court Rejects Appeal Of California Commissioner's Denial Of Rate Increase

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied an insurer's petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of the California Insurance commissioner's decision to deny its application to increase its homeowners insurance rates (Mercury Casualty Co., et al. v. Dave Jones, California...