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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®


Parties Argue Over Coverage For Damaged Corn Syrup Shipment
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer and a container company recently submitted supplemental arguments before the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether there was any coverage for damage to a shipment of corn syrup under an insurance policy (The Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. USA Container Co., Inc., No. 14-3685, 3rd Cir.).

'Great Weight Of New York Authority' Supports Exclusion's Clarity, Insurer Argues
NEW YORK - A commercial general liability insurer recently argued to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that there is no controlling case law supporting a lower court's conclusion that an "Employers Liability Exclusion" is ambiguous as a matter of law (Hastings Development v. Evanston Insurance Co., Nos. 15-3816 and 14-4085, 2nd Cir.).

Insurers, Industrial Company Argue Over Scope Of Old Settlement Agreement
CINCINNATI - A group of insurers and an industrial company sparred recently in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over the ambiguous or unambiguous meaning of a 1989 settlement agreement regarding environmental cleanup (Employers Insurance of Wausau, et al. v. McGraw Edison Company, No. 16-1264, 6th Cir.).

Federal Court Erred In Finding Claim Was Untimely, Insured Argues To 8th Circuit
ST. LOUIS - The correct application of the law and the doctrine of waiver do not support a lower federal court's ruling that a food marketing and distribution company insured's notice of an underlying lawsuit brought by its former employee was untimely, the insured argued to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Food Market Merchandising Inc. v. Scottsdale Indemnity Co., 16-3427, 8th Cir.).

Excess Insurer's Duty To Additional Insured At Issue Before 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 9 received a reply brief in a case involving the scope of duty an excess insurer owes to an additional insured employee who used her vehicle for work purposes and was involved in an accident with a motorcycle, resulting in a $150,000 coverage gap (Judy Bamberger v. National Union Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-55252, 9th Cir.).

Insurer, Contractors Disagree On Scope Of Construction Defect Coverage
CHICAGO - An insurer and parties involved in the construction of a condominium argued recently in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over what if anything stemming from a construction defect suit is covered by a commercial general liability policy (Westfield Insurance Co. v. National Decorating Service, Inc., et al., No. 16-1439, 7th Cir.).

Attorney Says He Did Not Get Notice That A Court Might Impose Sanctions
ATLANTA - An attorney and an insurance company recently argued in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over whether the attorney received proper notice that a lower court was considering bringing sanctions against him (Kevin C. Ambler v. Landmark American Insurance Company, No. 16-11750, 11th Cir.).

Assignee, Reinsurer Spar Over Timeliness Of Claims Seeking Reinsurance Payments
CHICAGO - The assignee of certain reinsurance receivables rights challenging a lower court's finding that its claims against a reinsurer are untimely and the reinsurer argued recently in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over whether the assignee's claims are time-barred or whether the original reinsured's insolvency affected the claim accrual date (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Banco De Seguros Del Estado, No. 16-3499, 7th Cir.).

Insurer Files Complaint, Seeks Rescission Of Product Contamination Policy
NEW YORK - An insurer claims in a Feb. 10 complaint filed in New York federal court that rescission of its product contamination insurance policy is warranted because the insured failed to disclose its knowledge of a possible contamination of its frozen vegetables (Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co. v. CRF Frozen Foods LLC, et al., No. 17-1030, S.D. N.Y.).

Insured Seeks Coverage For Water Damage Caused By Burst Water Pipe
BISMARCK, N.D. - An insurer acted in bad faith by denying a claim for water damage to an insured apartment building because water damage is listed as a "specified cause of loss" in the policy, an insured claims in a Feb. 7 complaint filed in North Dakota federal court (Spring Glen Apartments LLP v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-28, D. N.D.).

Parties Debate Intent Of Policy Provision Regarding Payment Of Attorney Fees
TALLAHASEE, Fla. - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Florida Supreme Court to determine whether a Florida appeals court erred in affirming a trial court's ruling that an insurer was liable for attorney fees as "costs" under certain policy provisions (Government Employees Insurance Co. v. Macedo, et al., No. SC16-935, Fla. Sup.).

9th Circuit Set To Decide Whether Court Erred In Dismissing Bad Faith Claim
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel will hear oral arguments on March 7 in an appeal of a federal district court ruling granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment on its insured's insurance bad faith claim in which the lower court held that no genuine issue of material fact existed showing that the insurer acted in bad faith in its investigation and handling of the insured's underinsured motorist claim (Chris "Wyatt" Hicks v. Progressive Casualty Insurance, No. 15-55953, 9th Cir.).

Trade Associations File Amicus Brief In Support Of Insurer In Bad Faith Suit
RENO, Nev. - A federal district court did not err in finding that, without bad faith, the liability of an insurer that has breached its duty to defend is not increased beyond the limits of the policy, and the Nevada Supreme Court should answer a question posed by a federal appeals court in the affirmative, a group of trade associations of major property and casualty insurance companies argues in a Jan. 24 amicus brief filed in the Nevada Supreme Court (James Nalder, guardian ad litem on behalf of Cheyanne Nalder, et al. v. United Automobile Insurance Co., No. 70504, Nev. Sup.).

Insurer, Homeowners Debate Coverage For Contractor's Judgment In Texas High Court
AUSTIN, Texas - In briefs filed with the Texas Supreme Court, a couple and their contractor's insurer dispute whether coverage for an underlying construction defects judgment against the insurer is precluded under an adversarial trial rule that an appeals court deemed inapplicable (Great American Insurance Co., et al. v. Glen Hamel, et al., No. 14-1007, Texas Sup.).

Insureds: 7 Claims Alleged 'Advertising Injury' Triggering Insurer's Duty To Defend
NEW ORLEANS - Insureds recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend them against underlying copyright claims brought by an adult entertainment company, arguing that the underlying complaint triggered the insurer's duty to defend by stating a claim for "advertising injury" (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Giganews Inc., et al., 16-50914, 5th Cir.).

Estate Says Restoration Provision Is Ambiguous, Coverage Denial Vexatious
ST. LOUIS - The estate of a man who purchased a policy from Bankers Life & Casualty Co. is asking the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn a summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer, arguing that the company's denial of benefits under the policy's restoration provision is vexatious (Robert J. Brauer v. Bankers Life & Casualty Company, No. 16-3609, 8th Cir.).

Homeowners, Insurers Spar Over $1.1 Million Negligence Dispute With Builders
NEW YORK - A married couple and two insurers argued in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently over whether the insurers owe the couple for a pair of builders' alleged negligence regarding the aborted building of a home (George Fleming, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-4118, 10th Cir.).

G.M. Sign And Insurer Argue Over Coverage For Blast Fax Claims
ATLANTA- A sign company and an insurer recently submitted their arguments to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether underlying policies provided coverage for unsolicited "blast fax" claims (G.M. Sign Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-14905, 11th Cir.).

Company, Firm Tell 4th Circuit Coverage Limit Is $10M In Legal Malpractice Case
RICHMOND, Va. - A company that filed a malpractice lawsuit against a law firm filed a brief on Nov. 21 in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that "under the plain language" of an insurance policy $10 million in coverage is available for the litigation (Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company v. Protostorm LLC, et al., Nos. 16-1835, 16-1853, 16-1866, 4th Cir.).

Parties Debate Whether Summary Judgment Was Proper In Insurance Dispute
CINCINNATI - Parties in an insurance dispute asked the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently to determine whether a federal district court erred in determining that an insurance broker's agent had no duty to advise an insured of an exclusion added to a policy renewal that was not part of the previous policy (Atic Enterprises Inc. v. Cottingham & Butler Insurance Services Inc., No. 16-6549, 6th Cir.).

Insured Argues Florida Statute Constitutes 'Suit' Under Policies To Florida Supreme Court
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A process under Florida Statutes Chapter 558 is a civil proceeding and, therefore, a "suit" under commercial general liability insurance policies, an insured argues in its Jan. 23 reply brief to the Florida Supreme Court because the Chapter 558 process is a required part of construction defect litigation and is "tied directly to any litigation that follows the process" (Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. SC16-1420, Fla. Sup.).

Parties Ask 5th Circuit To Determine Whether Duty To Defend Was Owed
NEW ORLEANS - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals to determine whether a federal district court erred in determining that an insurer owed an additional insured a duty to defend in an underlying construction defects lawsuit (Lyda Swinerton Builders Inc. v. Oklahoma Surety Co., No. 16-20195, 5th Cir.).

Insurer: Claim Barred By Failure To Comply With Warehouse Receipt Provision
CHICAGO - An insurer has asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reject an insured assignee's argument that a lower court erred in finding that the failure to obtain a storage agreement or warehouse receipt bars coverage for the contamination of products stored at the insured's warehouse (PQ Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 16-3280, 7th Cir.).

Insurer Has A Duty To Indemnify, Appellants Argue In Brief Filed In 8th Circuit
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reverse a Minnesota federal judge's ruling that a policy's pollution exclusion precludes an insurer's duty to indemnify an underlying personal injury suit arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning because the federal judge's interpretation of the pollution exclusion is contrary to Minnesota law, the appellants argue in a Jan. 25 reply brief (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Christopher A. Klick, et al., No. 16-4000, 8th Cir.).

Parties Ask 4th Circuit To Determine Whether Bad Faith Suit Was Time-Barred
RICHMOND, Va. - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether an insurance breach of contract and bad faith suit was time-barred when filed and whether it met the presuit "claims presentment requirements of the insureds' Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Gary Woodson, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-2018, 4th Cir.).

Reinsurer Seeks To Amend Complaint In Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Parties in a reinsurance dispute recently debated whether a federal judge in the District of Columbia should allow a reinsurer to amend its complaint against the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. (FCIC) (ACE American Insurance Co., et al. v. Federal Crop Insurance Corp., et al., No. 14-1992, D. D.C.).

Insurer And Railroad Dispute Coverage For Accident At Railway Crossing
ATLANTA - An insurer and a railway company recently submitted their arguments to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether coverage was available under a protective liability policy for injuries sustained by a driver who was in a vehicle accident at a railroad crossing (Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 16-14767, 11th Cir.).

Farm Says It Should Have Been Given Information Regarding Criminal Investigation
NEW YORK - An agricultural business has told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that information allegedly withheld by its federal crop insurer should have been divulged before the farm signed a settlement that led to a criminal indictment (POCO, LLC v. Farmer's Crop Insurance Alliance, Inc., No. 16-35310, 9th Cir.).

2nd Circuit 'Must Vacate' Ruling That Insurance Case Is Untimely, Man Says
NEW YORK - A man who was convicted of fraud for lying to an insurance company when he sought to collect a life insurance benefit argues that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals "must vacate" a lower court's ruling and remand his case (Allen Blake v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 16-1383, 2nd Cir.).

Beneficiary Designation Ruling In Insurer's Interpleader Action Disputed
PHILADELPHIA - A niece and a friend of a deceased doctor recently argued to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals about whether the friend should be allowed to change the beneficiary designation on annuities owned by the doctor to herself (New York Life Insurance Company v. Rebecca Legault, et al., No. 16-3259, 3rd Cir.).