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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 Debate Continuous Trigger, Policy Language At Ohio Supreme Court
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court heard oral arguments June 20 in a case involving a dispute over whether a commercial general liability policy is triggered by damage that was caused by a contractor who was unaware of it at the time he installed a manufactured home. The parties also debated whether the circumstances of the case met the conditions for a continuous trigger of the policy (Lightning Road Mutual Insurance Co. v. Robert Southworth, et al., No. 2016-1116, Ohio Sup.).

Insured Seeks Attorney Fees For The 2nd Time Following UIM Verdict
HELENA, Mont. - An insured is entitled to attorney fees following a verdict in her favor on an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim, the insured argues in her May 2 appellant reply brief filed in the Montana Supreme Court, claiming that the high court, in her previous appeal, already established that UIM claims are subject to the insurance exception to the American Rule (Tanya L. Mlekush v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. 16-0670, Mont. Sup.).

Wine/Liquor Theft Barred By Dishonest Acts Exclusion, Insurer Argues To 2nd Circuit
NEW YORK - An insurer has asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that a carrier exception to an insurance policy's dishonest acts exclusion applies to allow coverage for an insured's $1,155,480 claim arising from 4,095 cases of allegedly stolen wine and liquor (Warehouse Wines & Spirits v. Travelers Property Casualty Co., 16-2611, 2nd Cir.).

Legal Malpractice Plaintiff Says Case Involved More Than 1 Claim Under Policy
PHILADELPHIA - The victorious plaintiff in a legal malpractice case on Feb. 3 asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rule that his case contains more than one claim in order to avoid the near-depletion of the defendant's malpractice insurance coverage (Westport Insurance Co. v. Anastasios Papadopoulos, No. 16-3705, 3rd Cir.).

Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage, Insured Tells 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - An insured has asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that coverage for an underlying qui tam action brought against it under the False Claims Act (FCA) is barred because the claims arose out of its professional services (HotChalk Inc. v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. 16-17287, 9th Cir.).

Insurers Dispute Coverage For Settlement Of Shooting Death In 8th Circuit
ST. LOUIS - An insurer on Feb. 22 argued in a brief to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the indemnity provision in a management agreement between an apartment complex owner and its manager does not control insurance priority in a dispute over coverage of a wrongful death settlement (Federal Ins. Co v. Great American Ins. Co., 16-4045, 8th Cir.).

Appellant Asks 6th Circuit To Reverse Summary Judgment Ruling In Favor Of FDIC
CINCINNATI - An executor of a promissory note argued to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Dec. 6 brief that, at a minimum, there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding the purpose for which the note was delivered to a now failed bank, and, as a result, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) should not have been granted summary judgment in its lawsuit alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment against the executor (Federal Deposit Insurance Co. v. James Ashmore, 15-6299, 6th Cir.).

Appellant Says Oklahoma Law Should Be Applied In Personal Injury Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - An insured's assignee whose lungs were damaged by the inhalation of an excess amount of chlorine in a hotel's hot tub argues in a May 25 reply brief, filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, that a Texas federal court erred in applying Texas law rather than Oklahoma law and by not allowing the assignee to conduct of choice-of-law analysis before granting the insurer's motion to dismiss (Wesley Howard v. Maxum Indemnity Co., No. 16-11746, 5th Cir.).

Defendants Oppose Request For Discovery Of Tax Returns, Bank Records As To Reinsurer
ATLANTA - In a case over fraudulent transfers of reinsurance funds, various individual defendants in a May 18 brief oppose a request by insurers for a Georgia federal court to compel them to provide tax returns and bank account records pertaining to a reinsurer because the motion is premature (Canal Insurance Co. and Canal Indemnity Co. v. Golden Isles Reinsurance Company Ltd, et al., No. 15-cv-03331, N.D. Ga.).

Brazilian Reinsurer Says No Duty To Indemnify $5M Under Arbitration Award
NEW YORK - A Brazilian reinsurer on June 14 argued that a New York federal court should deny an insurer's request for $5 million under an arbitration award in order to pay a settlement it reached with a steelmaker because the settlement does not require reinsurance coverage (National Indemnity Co. v. IRB Brasil Resseguros S.A., No. 15-3975, S.D. N.Y.).

Company: Insurer Owes Coverage For Fraudulent Email That Led To Financial Loss
SAN FRANCISCO - A company that was the victim of fraud by way of email has asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's decision and find that an insurer must provide coverage under the terms of a policy regarding losses by computer fraud (Aqua Star [USA] Corp. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 16-35614, 9th Cir.).

Sewage Is A Pollutant; Coverage Is Barred, Insurer Argues In 11th Circuit Brief
ATLANTA - An Alabama federal judge erred in finding that coverage is provided for two underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from sewage exposure because a total pollution exclusion is not limited to traditional industrial or environmental pollution and bars coverage, an insurer argues in its June 8 reply brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Evanston Insurance Co. v. J&J Cable Construction LLC, et al., No. 17-11188, 11th Cir.).

Warehouse Owner: Insurer Failed To Establish Personal Jurisdiction In Illinois
CHICAGO - An insurer attempting to prove general jurisdiction must make a prima facie showing under Illinois law and must satisfy federal due process, and it failed to do both, the owner of a Michigan collapsed warehouse claims in its reply brief filed April 26 in the Illinois Supreme Court (Aspen American Insurance Co. v. Interstate Warehousing, Inc., No. 121281, Ill. Sup.).

Insurer: Request For EUO Does Not Violate Kentucky's Motor Vehicle Reparations Act
FRANKFORT, Ky. - An insurer has asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to reverse a lower court's finding that its request for an examination under oath (EUO) was inappropriate because it defeated the purpose of Kentucky's Motor Vehicle Reparations Act (MVRA) (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Roniesha Adams, f/k/a Roniesha Sanders, No. 2015-SC-000366-D, Ky. Sup.).

Insurer Breached Contract When It Denied Death Benefit, Widow Tells 5th Circuit
NEW ORLEANS - A widow who seeks death benefits from an insurance company recently filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that a district court erred when it granted the insurer summary judgment on her breach of contract claim (Gloria Wells v. Minnesota Life Insurance Company, No. 16-20831, 5th Cir.).

Insureds Challenge Choice Of New York Law In Superstorm Sandy Coverage Dispute
PHILADELPHIA - Insureds have asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling that granted an insurer's motion to compel arbitration in their breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from Superstorm Sandy damage, arguing that New Jersey law applies (Fin Associates, et al. v. Hudson Specialty Ins. Co., 16-3541, 3rd Cir.).

Cause Of Roof Collapse At Issue In Insurer's Appeal Of Claims' Dismissal
CINCINNATI - Whether a shopping mall developer should pay damages on an insurer's counterclaims that the developer's breach of its lease with a sporting goods retailer caused the retailer's merchandise to be ruined when a roof failed in a rainstorm was debated recently by the developer and the insurer in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Developers Diversified of Tennessee, Inc. v. Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co., 16-6615, 6th Cir.).

Reinsurer: Insurer Is Not Entitled To Judgment On Reimbursement, Allocation
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In a breach of contract dispute over asbestos coverage, a reinsurer opposes in separate briefs filed on May 24 an insurer's request to a New York federal court for summary judgment on reimbursement and allocation issues (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Munich Reinsurance America Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, Munich Reinsurance America Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).

Coverage Barred For Construction Defects Claims, Insurer Says In Complaint
TAMPA, Fla. - No coverage is owed for an underlying suit seeking damages as a result of water intrusion and other construction defects because coverage is barred for the underlying claims by exclusions for mold, pollution and impaired property, an insurer claims in a May 24 complaint filed against its insured in Florida federal court (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Mobley Homes Florida LLC, No. 17-1232, M.D. Fla.).

Insured Says Coverage Owed For Damages Caused By Water Intrusion
SEATTLE - An insured condominium complex is owed coverage for hidden damages caused by water intrusion discovered at a number of its condominium buildings, the insured claims in a May 26 complaint filed in Washington federal court (Milestone Condominium Association v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-832, W.D. Wash.).

Insured's Assignees Appeal Ruling In Directors, Officers Liability Dispute
NEW YORK - An insured's assignees have asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's ruling in a coverage dispute arising from alleged breaches of contractual obligations under two promissory notes and a consulting agreement by the insured and its directors and officers (Intelligent Digital Systems v. Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., No. 16-3548, 2nd Cir.).

Company Says SEC's Investigation Warrants Coverage Of Legal Costs
DENVER - A plaintiff company has told the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a federal judge in Colorado erred in entering summary judgment in favor of its insurer, contending that an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a claim under its directors and officers liability policy that warrants coverage for $3 million in legal fees (MusclePharm Corporation v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc., No. 16-1462, 10th Cir.).

Insurer Seeks Reversal Of Ruling In Professional Liability Coverage Suit
CINCINNATI - A district court abused its discretion by decertifying a defendant class and by dismissing an insurer's suit seeking a declaration that no coverage is owed under professional liability policies issued to a doctor and his company for hundreds of underlying suits filed against the insureds, the insurer argues in a May 16 reply brief filed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (The Medical Protective Co. v. Center for Advanced Spine Technologies Inc., et al., No. 16-4341, 6th Cir.).

Investors: District Court's Ruling On Insurance Policy Limit Was In Error
SAN FRANCISCO - A company that contends that a federal judge in Montana wrongly dismissed its case against an insurance company recently filed an appeal brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the judge erred in determining that interrelated claims constituted a legal issue rather than a factual one (Sauerbier Ranches Inc., et al. v. Catlin Specialty Insurance Company, No. 16-35280, 9th Cir.).

Insured Says Ohio Supreme Court Should Refuse To Review Asbestos Occurrence Ruling
CINCINNATI - The Ohio Supreme Court should refuse to review an appellate court's ruling that an insured's liability for underlying asbestos claims arose from multiple occurrences because the appellate court correctly determined that each individual's exposure to asbestos constitutes an occurrence, an insured maintains in an April 24 response to an insurer's petition for review (The William Powell Co. v. OneBeacon Insurance Co., et al., No. 2017-0411, Ohio Sup.).

Appellant: Disability Policies' Benefits Should Continue Until Death
NEW ORLEANS - A jury should be allowed to determine whether an insured deemed permanently disabled after an accident is entitled to lifetime benefits under two disability income policies, the insured argues in his appellant reply brief filed April 21 in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (David M. Cox v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, No. 16-60831, 5th Cir.).

Parties Dispute Coverage For Stolen Pharmaceuticals Before 3rd Circuit
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer and transportation-related companies recently submitted their arguments before the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals as to whether the insurer was entitled to damages for the theft of a shipment of stolen pharmaceuticals under the Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act (ICSA) (AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance v. Great American Lines et al., 16-3668, 3rd Cir.).

Appellant Says 11th Circuit Should Reverse Ruling On Force-Placed Insurance
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reverse and remand a district court's ruling that the filed-rate doctrine bars claims by mortgagors alleging that their mortgage servicer wrongfully took rebates from force-placed insurers because the filed-rate doctrine does not apply to force-placed insurance policies in Florida, the appellants maintain in a May 26 reply brief (Richard Fowler, et al. v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 16-16585, 11th Cir.).

Magistrate Judge Allows In Part Documents On Asbestos Losses In Reinsurance Dispute
BOSTON - Granting in part a reinsurer's request for documents relating to an insurer's allocation of an insured's asbestos losses to its reinsurers, a Massachusetts federal magistrate judge on May 26 ordered the insurer to produce facultative certificates for a few similarly situated reinsurers (Lamorak Insurance Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., No. 15-cv-13425, D. Mass.).

Insurer Amends Complaint Adding Defendant In Dispute Over Fraudulent Tax Returns
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. - A businessowners liability insurer on May 22 amended its complaint to add another defendant in its declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for seven lawsuits alleging that the insured's employee filed fraudulent tax returns (Ohio Security Insurance Co. v. K R Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 15-16264, S.D. W.Va.).