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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®


Insured Asks Texas High Court To Reverse Take-Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Suit
AUSTIN, Texas - An insured recently asked the Texas Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court's ruling affirming a take-nothing judgment against its commercial insurer in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute (Triyar Companies, LLC, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.,17-0225, Texas Sup.).

4th Circuit Will Hear Arguments On Shorting Property Damage Claims
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on March 20 on whether an insurer's practice of deducting money from property damage claims equal to the percentage of the value of the new parts installed on a damaged vehicle and proportionate to the age of the damaged parts is proper under South Carolina law (Allison Colter, et al. v. Omni Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-1071, 4th Cir.).

Company: Delaware High Court Should Reverse Benefit Denial In Plane Crash Case
DOVER, Del. - A company is asking the Delaware Supreme Court to reverse a state court ruling and hold that an insurance services company is liable for negligence related to the way it procured and serviced an insurance policy in light of its refusal to honor the company's claim following a plane crash that resulted in numerous deaths (The Lima Delta Company, et al. v. Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc., No. 401, 2017 Del. Sup.).

Man Tells 2nd Circuit His Claim Arose During Valid Arbitration Agreement
NEW YORK - A man recently told the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a federal judge in New York erred when granting Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.'s motion to enjoin arbitration of his claim against the insurer, arguing that an arbitration agreement was in effect at the time his claim arose (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. John Bucsek, No. 17-0881-CV, 2nd Cir.).

5th Circuit Weighing Trigger For Law Enforcement Insurance Liability Policy
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is set to decide whether law enforcement liability policies issued to a local Mississippi government in the mid-1980s cover claims by three individuals wrongfully arrested and imprisoned in 1980 and later exonerated in 2010 (The Travelers Indemnity Co., et al. v. Ethel Mitchell, et al., No. 17-60291, 5th Cir.).

Parties Argue Over Who Was Intended Beneficiary Of Fire Hazard Policy
LANCASTER, Pa. - An asset management company and an insurer recently submitted their arguments in a Pennsylvania court over whether the company has an interest pursuant to an insurance policy that was issued on a property it was attempting to foreclose on at the time it was destroyed by a fire, disputing whether summary judgment should be granted in favor of the insurer on claims for declaratory relief and breach of contract (21 Asset Management Holdings LLC v. Foremost Insurance Co Grand Rapids, Michigan, No. 16-06097, Pa. Comm. Pls., Lancaster Co.).

No Evidence That 'Stranger Investors' Procured Policy, Appellant Argues To 6th Circuit
CINCINNATI - The sixth assignee of the ownership rights in a life insurance policy has asked the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that the policy constitutes a stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) scheme, violates public policy and is void ab initio (Conestoga Trust Services v. Sun Life Assurance, 17-5877, 17-5895, 6th Cir.).

Firemen's Relief Association Appeals Fees, Costs Ruling To 10th Circuit
DENVER - A firemen's relief association on Aug. 21 told the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it should get attorney fees under Kansas' bad faith law and that the death benefit insurer that fought against paying the claim for a dead fireman should not get $24,000 in costs (Wichita Firemen's Relief Association v. Kansas City Life Insurance Co., Nos. 17-3047 and 17-3128, 10th Cir.).

Insured: Fraudulent Wire Transfer Triggered Policy's Computer Fraud Provision
NEW YORK - Responding to an insurer's appeal in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an insured argues in a Feb. 27 brief that coverage for its multimillion-dollar loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme exists under the computer fraud provision of its executive protection insurance policy (Medidata Solutions Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 17-2492, 2nd Cir.).

Harvey Weinstein's Insurers Dispute Coverage For 11 Sexual Assault Lawsuits
NEW YORK - In a 37-page complaint filed in a New York court on Feb. 28, insurers of Harvey Weinstein seek a declaration that they owe no coverage for 11 underlying lawsuits alleging that Weinstein committed intentional, egregious sexual predatory behavior that spanned at least 30 years (Federal Insurance Company, et al. v. Harvey Weinstein, No. 650952/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

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.).