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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®


Insurer: Texas High Court Should Review Ruling That 'Substantially Rewrites' Law
AUSTIN, Texas - An insurance company is asking the Texas Supreme Court to review an appellate court ruling that awarded a father and daughter damages for breach of contract when the insurer failed to pay for damages allegedly caused by Hurricane Ike. The insurer insists that the appellate decision "completely undermines confidence" in Texas public records and "substantially rewrites" Texas community property law (National Security Fire & Casualty Company v. Rene Lampson, No. 17-0149, Texas Sup.).

Insurer Asks Nevada High Court To Cap Its Liability To Policy Limits
LAS VEGAS - An insurer recently asked the Nevada Supreme Court to expressly hold in answer to a certified question that the liability of an insurer that acted in good faith and did not decline a within-limits settlement opportunity is capped at its contracted-for $1 million policy limit plus any defense costs that were incurred by the insured (Century Surety Co. v. Andrew, No. 73756, Nev. Sup.).

Parties Dispute Affirmation Of Ruling Refusing To Compel Appraisal Under Policy
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A property owner and an insurer recently filed briefs with the Florida Supreme Court, disputing whether a trial court's decision refusing to compel an appraisal of roof replacement to include ordinance and law coverage under the policy should be overturned (Orlando NOA v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Assoc., No. SC17-738, Fla. Sup.).

Insurer At Time Of Injury Liable For Condition Flare Up, Montana Court Told
HELENA, Mont. - An insurer who previously accepted a workers' compensation claim is on the hook for a later aggravation of that condition, even where the employee made a full recovery and the employer changed insurers, the Montana Supreme Court was told in a Dec. 20 brief (Montana State Fund v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. v. Kim Wiard, No. DA 17-0522, Mont. Sup.).

New York High Court To Decide If Coverage Due For Time No Insurance Was Available
ALBANY, N.Y. - After hearing oral arguments on Feb. 6, the New York Court of Appeals is set to decide whether an excess insurer owes coverage to its insured for the time periods when the insured was unable to purchase environmental liability insurance coverage even if the excess insurer's policies specifically stated that coverage is afforded only for damages occurring during the policy period (KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., et al., No. APL-2016-00236, N.Y. App.).

Law Firm Insured Asks 5th Circuit To Find Malpractice Claim Triggered Coverage
NEW ORLEANS - A law firm insured recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling in favor of its professional liability insurer in a coverage dispute arising from an underlying legal malpractice claim (Imperium Insurance Co. v. Shelton & Associates P.A, Nos. 16-60728 and 16-60730, 5th Cir.).

Liberty Mutual Appeals $4.6M Liability Ruling To 7th Circuit
CHICAGO - Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. has asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that it was liable for the full amount of a $4.6 million underlying judgment based on its failure to defend its insured, arguing that the lower court's opinion "upends decades of settled Illinois law" (Shannon Hyland v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 17-2712, 7th Cir.).

Auto Insurer, Man Debate Hit-And-Run Victim's Status Before Delaware High Court
WILMINGTON, Del. - A hit-and-run victim and the company that insured the perpetrator completed briefing on Jan. 29 to Delaware Supreme Court on whether being struck by the vehicle rendered the man an occupant of it for purposes of underinsured motorist benefits purposes (Donald R. Johnson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 450, 2017, Del. Sup.).

Insurer Wants 9th Circuit To Reverse Coverage Ruling For Underlying Injury Case
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer is asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's decision, arguing that it erred in determining that an additional insured endorsement applied solely to vicarious liability and did not apply to all the claims alleged against the defendants in an underlying injury lawsuit (First Mercury Insurance Company v. Great Divide Insurance Company, No. 17-15711, 9th Cir.).

Plan Says High Court Should Deny Review In Coordination- Of-Benefits Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The high court should refuse to review an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel's ruling that an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan can bring a declaratory judgment claim to enforce the plan's coordination-of-benefits provision against a blanket insurer because the decision does not conflict with any other federal or state court opinion, a health plan argues in a Jan. 16 opposition to a petition for writ of certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court (First Agency Inc., et al. v. Dakotas and Western Minnesota Electrical Industry Health and Welfare Fund, No. 17-863, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 183; Dakotas and Western Minnesota Electrical Industry Health and Welfare Fund v. First Agency, Inc., et al., No. 17-1008, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 202).

Revocation-Upon-Divorce Statute Does Not Violate Contract Clause, Petitioners Say
WASHINTON, D.C. - Two individuals named as contingent beneficiaries of their father's life insurance policy asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 to hold that the application of Minnesota's revocation-upon-divorce statute to the policy, which was signed before the statute's enactment, does not violate the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution (Ashley Sveen, et al. v. Kay Melin, et al., No. 16-1432, U.S. Sup.).

Insurer Asks High Court To Allow Arbitration Of Coverage Suit With School District
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An excess insurer argues in a Dec.21 petition that absent intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court, it will be compelled to litigate in court a coverage dispute that contracting parties agreed to arbitrate and, that, the insurer says, violates the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) (Safety National Casualty Corp. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, No. 17-921, U.S. Sup.)

Waiver Endorsement Does Not Waive Right To Recover, Insurer Argues To High Court
AUSTIN, Texas - A workers' compensation insurer recently asked the Texas Supreme Court to find that a policy's waiver endorsement cannot reasonably be construed to waive its right to recover from a claimant's personal injury settlement with a third party (Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company v. James Wedel And Michelle Wedel, 17-0462, Texas Sup.).

Insurer, Insureds To Debate Uninsured Motorist Coverage In Delaware High Court
WILMINGTON, Del. - Under Delaware law, an insurer has the duty to make a "meaningful offer" to an insured to purchase uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage up to the state's limits of liability coverage, and USAA Casualty Insurance Co. failed to show that it did so, two insureds argue in their Jan. 18 reply brief filed in the Delaware Supreme Court, seeking reformation of their insurance policy (Richard Spivey, et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company, No. 371, 2017, Del. Sup.).

Insurer, Contractor Dispute Coverage For Construction Defects In 3rd Circuit
PHILADELPHIA - A construction company and an insurer recently filed briefs in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether a trial court's decision finding that the insurer had no duty to defend the company in an underlying construction defects action should be affirmed (Lenick Construction Inc. v. Selective Way Ins., 16-1891, 3rd Cir.).

Insured Disputes Court's Interpretation Of 'Inception Of The Loss' Policy Term
DENVER - An insured recently asked the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that his loss occurred when the court in a quiet title action invalidated his trust deed and not when the quiet title lawsuit first arose, further arguing that the title insurance policy indicated that a loss should be actually realized before there is any liability (Kang Sik Park v. First American Title Insurance, No. 17-4125, 10th Cir.).

Insurer Says Reinsurer Breached Contract With Regard To Asbestos Claims
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A reinsurer breached its contract by refusing to pay its share of losses arising out of the settlement of asbestos claims, an insurer says in a Jan. 16 complaint filed in the Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-00087, D. Conn.).

Federal Flood Insurer Seeks Dismissal Of New York Insured's Superstorm Sandy Suit
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Wright National Flood Insurance Co. on Jan. 10 moved for a New York federal court to dismiss an insured's lawsuit alleging that he was wrongfully denied $141,274.50 in insurance proceeds for Superstorm Sandy damage to his Long Beach, N.Y., home, contending that the lawsuit is time-barred (David Clutter v. William B. Long, et al., No. 17-4833, E.D. N.Y.).

Insurer Opposes Reopening Discovery In Reinsurance Case On Class Certification
LINCOLN, Neb. - In a dispute over whether a reinsurer owes $152,616.35 under a promissory note executed pursuant to a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), an insurer argues in its Jan. 24 response that it would be unduly delayed and prejudiced if a Nebraska federal court grants the reinsurer's request for leave to amend an answer and to reopen discovery on a limited basis for class certification (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Top's Personnel Inc., No. 15-90, D. Neb.).

8th Circuit Should Reverse 'Actual Cash Value' Insurance Ruling, Man Says
ST. LOUIS - A man has asked the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's ruling that he was not permitted to testify as to the depreciated value of his home, which had suffered damage in a fire, and instead was limited to recover from his insurer based on "actual cash value" (William Hatcher v. MDOW Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-2410, 8th Cir.).

Parties Dispute Coverage Under Crime Insurance Policy In 6th Circuit
CINCINNATI - An insurer and a company that sought coverage related to fraudulent email communications that resulted in payments to criminals recently debated in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals whether a district court's ruling that the policy did not provide coverage should be affirmed (American Tooling Center Inc. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America, 17-2014, 6th Cir.).

Massachusetts Top Court Considers Advertising Injury, Insurance Recoupment Case
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral argument Feb. 6 over whether a lawsuit challenging the propriety of a shoe company's use of a runner's name falls within an insurance policy's provision for advertising injury and whether the insurer is entitled to recoup funds spent defending the suit if it is not (Holyoke Mutual Insurance Co. in Salem, et al. v. Vibram USA Inc., et al., No. SJC-12401, Mass. Sup.).

10th Circuit Will Decide On Uninsured Motorist Coverage Attached To Golf Cart
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments on Feb. 13 on the application of and coverage under an uninsured motorist (UM) policy that was attached to a liability policy for a golf cart (Progressive Northern Insurance Company v. Mark Pippin, No. 17-6182, 10th Cir.).

Cosby Responds To Insurer's Appeal Asking 1st Circuit To Reverse Coverage Ruling
BOSTON - William H. Cosby Jr. on Nov. 27 responded to his homeowners and excess insurer's appeal in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a lower federal court's finding that it has a duty to defend him against underlying defamation lawsuits arising from sexual assault claims, calling the insurer's argument as to the choice of law "disingenuous" (AIG Property Casualty Co. v. Green, et al., No. 17-1505, 1st Cir.).

D&O Policy Coverage Case Fails Because Mediation Clause Is In Effect, Insurer Says
WILMINGTON, Del. - An insurance company is asking the Delaware Superior Court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it on grounds that the plaintiffs have failed to invalidate a provision in an insurance policy that requires legal matters to be submitted for alternative dispute resolution through mediation (Keith Coggin, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. N17C-10-083, Del. Super.).

Insurer Opposes New Trial As Jury Had Evidence For $64M Award Against Reinsurer
UTICA, N.Y. - In response to a reinsurer's motion for a new trial, an insurer argues in a Jan. 12 brief to a New York federal court that a jury had ample evidence in a "dozen witnesses and hundreds of exhibits" before reaching a $64 million verdict against a reinsurer over asbestos claims (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 09-00853, N.D. N.Y.).

Homeowner Says To Court: Reinsurance Scheme Existed With Mortgage Insurance
TRENTON, N.J. - A homeowner argues in his Dec. 4 opposition brief filed in a New Jersey federal court that an insurer and a bank engaged in kickbacks and entered into "riskless captive reinsurance arrangements" for the insurer to "reinsure" property insurance force-placed on borrowers (Mufti Quarashi v. M&T Bank Corp., et al., No. 17-06675, D. N.J.).

Parents Say Government Breached Agreement By Not Covering Insolvent Insurer
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Parents of an injured child argue in a Nov. 17 reply brief to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the U.S. government breached a settlement agreement over medical malpractice claims by failing to guarantee payment under annuities when an insurer became insolvent (Karen L. Shaw, et al. The United States, No. 17-2136, Fed. Cir.).

Insolvent Insurers' Receiver Seeks Panel's Clarification On Trust Law Remedies Ruling
ST. LOUIS - A receiver and state guaranty associations ask in an Oct. 27 reply brief that the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals clarify that its intention was not to limit trust law remedies available to a trial court on remand in a dispute over the mishandling of funds belonging to insolvent funeral insurers (Jo Ann Howard and Associates, P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., Nos. 15-3872 & 15-3878, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15621).

UnitedHealth, Insureds Battle Over Lactation Coverage Requirements In ACA
SAN FRANCISCO - Insureds create standards for lactation support services the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not impose in an attempt to save their suit, an insurance group told a California federal judge on Jan. 5 in support of its motion for summary judgment (Rachel Condry, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 17-183, N.D. Calif.).