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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Insurance Pleadings Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Insurance Pleadings Legal News

Headline Insurance Pleadings Legal News from LexisNexis®


Dispute Over Insurer's Probe Of Wind Damage Claim Before Texas High Court
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court was scheduled to hear oral argument Oct. 11 on an insurer's request to decide whether a trial court properly awarded an insured more than $150,000 after a jury found that the insurer complied with the policy at issue with respect to a hurricane wind damage claim but failed to conduct a reasonable investigation, according to a Sept. 2 order granting review of the case (USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Gail Menchaca, No. 14-0721, Texas Sup.).

Duty To Defend Was Not Triggered, Insurer Argues To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - An employment practices liability insurer has asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling that it had a duty to defend its insured against an underlying class action lawsuit (PHP Insurance Service Inc., et al. v. Greenwich Insurance Co., No. 16-15083, 9th Cir.).

Insurer Claims It Has No Obligation To Reimburse Other Insurer For Defects Case
ATLANTA - An insurer recently told the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it owed no duty to defend a contractor against construction defects allegations and owes no duty to reimburse the contractor's insurer for defending the contractor in a Florida state suit (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Amerisure Insurance Company, No. 16-11227, 11th Cir.).

7th Circuit Hears Validity Of Texas State Judgment Assigning Insurance Rights
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held oral argument on Sept. 19 in a case involving a Texas state judgment assigning rights to an insurance contract and a federal lawsuit in Illinois seeking access to the insurance proceeds (Diane M. Hendricks and Hendricks Holding Company Inc. v. Novae Corporate Underwriting Ltd., No. 16-1712, 7th Cir.).

Company, Insurer Disagree On Coverage For Employee's Workplace Injury
ST. LOUIS - A company that claims that its insurer wrongly denied it coverage in a lawsuit brought by an employee who won $1,547,388.20 in damages for a workplace injury recently filed a brief in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that it is entitled to coverage (American Railcar Industries Inc. v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, No. 16-1900, 8th Cir.).

Parties Debate Proper Judge, Waiver, Jury Instructions In Florida Appellate Briefs
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Parties to a wide-ranging insurance suit involving indemnification of an insured from rescission claims stemming from title problems in a Bahama development project briefed a Florida appeals court recently (First American Title Insurance Co. v. Edward J. Lauth III, Susan N. Lauth, et al., No. 4D15-3009, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).

Insured: Insurer Presents No Evidence How It Was Prejudiced By $25,000 Settlement
NEW ORLEANS - An insured has asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract dispute arising from an underlying motor vehicle accident, contending that the insurer failed to investigate; failed to present any evidence that the settling party had an assets that would give value to any potential subrogation claim against her and failed to present any evidence that it was harmed (Gaspar Gonzalez v. Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co., No. 14-215, 5th Cir.).

Estate Administrator: Insurer's Auto-Withdrawals Created A New Policy Date
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Nov. 4 in an appeal in which the administrator of an insured's estate argues that the insurer's withdrawal of automated payments on a date approximately two weeks after the policy's due date creates a new due date that resulted in a grace period that should have commenced on the date payments were regularly withdrawn (Nicole Moll, Administrator of the Estate of Paul L. Robbins, III v. Pruco Life Insurance Company, No. 16-1614, 3rd Cir.).

Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Underlying Pesticide Suit, Insurer Says
LOS ANGELES - No coverage is owed for an underlying suit filed against an insured and seeking damages for bodily injuries sustained by a minor child as a result of his mother's exposure to pesticides while she was pregnant with the child because coverage is barred by the policies' pollution exclusion, an insurer claims in a complaint filed Oct. 4 in California federal court (Aspen Specialty Insurance Co. v. Ramco Enterprises L.P., No. 16-7422, C.D. Calif.).

Insurers Dispute Coverage For Class Action Claims Arising From Data Breach
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A cancer care service provider's primary and excess insurers filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Sept. 26, seeking a declaration that they have no duty to defend or indemnify their insured against underlying class action lawsuits stemming from a 2015 data breach (The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., et al. v. 21st Century Oncology Investments, No. 16-00732, M.D. Fla.).

Insolvency Fund, Bank Argue Over Attempt To Recoup Workers' Compensation Money
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Insurers Insolvency Fund and a bank argued before the state's high court during oral arguments on Sept. 8 whether the fund can recover from the bank money paid to a bank employee after the bank's workers' compensation insurer was deemed insolvent (Massachusetts Insurers Insolvency Fund v. Berkshire Bank, No. SJC-12019, Mass. Sup.).

7th Circuit Briefed On Whether Insurer's Info Requests Breached Policy
CHICAGO - A life insurance provider and a policy's securities intermediary filed briefs in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing over whether a Wisconsin's anti-wagering law bars policies procured by a third party and whether the insurer's request for information in connection with a claim request constituted a breach or bad faith (Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada v. U.S. Bank National Association, as Securities Intermediary, No. 16-1049, 7th Cir.).

8th Circuit To Consider If Whirlpool v. Ritter Applies In Life Insurance Dispute
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is being asked to consider whether its decision in Whirlpool v. Ritter concerning the retrospective application of Minnesota's revocation-upon-divorce statutes is applicable in a life insurance dispute (Kaye Melin v. Ashley Sveen, et al., No. 16-1172, 8th Cir.).

Insurer Seeks Reversal Of Multiplier Awarded To Insured's Attorneys In Sinkhole Suit
LAKELAND, Fla. - A homeowners insurer has asked a Florida appeals court to reverse a lower court's ruling that applied a 2.0 multiplier to a $111,420.50 attorney fee award in a bad faith lawsuit arising from sinkhole damage (State Farm v. Terry Hunt, No. 15-1016, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).

Allstate To 4th Circuit: No Attorney Fees Because There Was No Breach
RICHMOND, Va. - A South Carolina federal judge incorrectly awarded insureds attorney fees after erroneously finding that the insurer breached its policy, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. argues in a July 13 appellant reply brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company v. Joseph and Amanda Simpson, No. 16-1360, 4th Cir.).

Contingency Fee Spat Between Insurer, Plaintiff Awaits 5th Circuit Decision
NEW ORLEANS - The insurer of the manufacturer of a defective machine and a doomed a cottonseed processing company briefed the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently over whether Louisiana law requires full payment of attorney fees earned under a contingency fee agreement (Hollybrook Cottonseed Processing LLC v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., No. 15-31090, 5th Cir.).

Parties Dispute Coverage Levels For Tornado Damage In 5th Circuit
NEW ORLEANS - Parties involved in an action over insurance coverage for tornado damage to a property recently filed their arguments on appeal with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing a trial court's decision to grant judgment in favor of an insurer (Edward and Rebecca Briggs v. State Farm, No. 16-60098, 5th Cir.).

Insurer Asks 11th Circuit To Reverse Decision Regarding Reservation Of Rights
ATLANTA - An insurer tells the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a July 8 filing that a lower court ruling that it is estopped from contesting coverage should be reversed because it had not reserved its rights for an allegedly noncovered claim in a timely manner (Canal Indemnity Company v. Ronald Richardson, et al., No. 16-11525, 11th Cir.).

Woman Says Progressive Owes Coverage For Injuries Caused By Rental Truck
DENVER - A woman who sustained injuries after she was struck by a Budget rental truck tells the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a June 17 brief that a federal judge erred in awarding summary judgment to the man's insurer and finding that it did not need to provide coverage under the man's policy (Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company v. Brenda Handshumaker, et al., No. 16-3045, 10th Cir.).

6th Circuit To Hear Another Appeal Over Arbitration Provision
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is set to try to end a three-year debate regarding whether an arbitration provision in a reinsurance contract is valid under Nebraska law (Milan Express Co. Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Co. Inc., No. 16-5270, 6th Cir.).

Insurer: Tort, Coverage Actions Not 'Parallel'; Remand Order Was Inappropriate
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 27, arguing that a District Court erred when it remanded an insurance coverage dispute to Pennsylvania state court because the insured's tort action against the insurer cannot be considered "parallel" to the insured's own coverage action seeking to recover a $5 million judgment for the same incident that is the basis for the tort lawsuit (Ronald Kelly, et al. v. Maxum Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 15-3618, 3rd Cir.).

Injured Worker, Insurer Dispute Workers' Comp Preemption In 4th Circuit
RICHMOND, Va. - A workers' compensation provider and a man injured while on the job have filed briefs in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals debating whether a trial court properly dismissed the plaintiff's complaint over denial of his workers' comp claims as preempted by North Carolina's Workers' Compensation Act (WCA) (Juan R. Cervantes v. Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-1263, 4th Cir.).

Oregon High Court To Review Coverage Dispute For Water Damage
SALEM, Ore. - A trial court's handling of a lawsuit alleging breach of a homeowners insurance policy and bad faith is under review by the Oregon Supreme Court, with questions on attorney fees and damages to be decided (Cary Long v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon, No. S063701, Oregon Sup.).

Insured Asks Florida Appeals Court To Find Homeowners Insurer Breached Contract
MIAMI - An insured asked the Third District Florida Court of Appeal to reverse a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit, arguing that the insurer's position that it complied with the policy by initially paying the amount of its independent adjuster's actual cash value estimate wrongfully converts the homeowners insurance policy from one of "replacement cost" to one of "reimbursement" (Juan Chavez v. Tower Hill Signature Insurance Co., No. 15-2483, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).

Parties Seek Clarification Of Policy Endorsement's Definition Of 'Insured'
NEW YORK - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether a federal district court erred in ruling that an endorsement in a commercial general liability insurance policy is ambiguous as to its definition of insured (Certified Multi-Media Solutions Ltd., et al. v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group, No. 16-140, 2nd Cir.).

Filed-Rate Doctrine Bars Claims, Mortgage Servicer, Insurer Argue To 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - A mortgage servicer and an insurer on Sept. 9 answered the insureds' appeal in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that the filed-rate doctrine bars all class action claims alleging that they overcharged force-placed insurance (FPI) premiums as part of a kickback scheme (Pankaj Patel, et al. v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 16-12100, 11th Cir.).

Felon Juror At Heart Of Uninsured Motorist Insurance Appeal
BOSTON - Whether a felon's inclusion on a jury requires a new trial in an uninsured motorist insurance coverage case recently received briefing at the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Brian Faria, et al. v. Harleysville Worchester Insurance Co., No. 16-1060, 1st Cir.).

Auto Insurers Tell 3rd Circuit Declaratory Action Doesn't Divest Federal Authority
PHILADELPHIA - Two automobile insurers on June 20 asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rule, in a case of first impression, that a federal court used the wrong standard in deciding to remand to state court lawsuits by two uninsured/underinsured plaintiffs who make coercive and declaratory claims (Bryan Rarick, et al. v. Federated Service Insurance Company, No. 15-3606, Terry Easterday, et al. v. The Federated Mutual Insurance Company, No. 16-1328, 3rd Cir.).

Insured Says Texas Federal Judge Erred In Finding Cooperation Clause Applies
HOUSTON - An insured argues in an Aug. 9 motion to amend that a Texas federal judge erred in ruling that a cooperation clause applies to the insured's conduct in declining a settlement in an underlying lawsuit over a faulty flex connector (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas).