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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 Submit Arguments To 7th Circuit On Duty To Defend In Class Action
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer and a real estate broker recently submitted their arguments in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether an exclusion in the policy precludes coverage in relation to an underlying lawsuit in which class members allege that the broker and individual agents received secret profits while acting as their real estate agents (Hanover Insurance Co. v. Paul M. Zagaris Inc. et al., 17-15477, 9th Cir.).

Company: Insurer Owes It Coverage For Settlement Of Shareholder Derivative Action
NEW ORLEANS - An engineering and applied technology company is asking the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's ruling and find that an insurer has a duty to indemnify the engineering company with respect to a settlement of an underlying shareholder derivative action (Twin City Insurance Company v. Oceaneering International Incorporated, et al., No. 17-20303, 5th Cir.).

Insurer Asks 7th Circuit To Reverse Ruling In Breach Of Contract Suit Over Fire Loss
CHICAGO - An insurer filed an appeal in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to reverse a lower court's denial of its renewed motion for judgment on the evidence after a jury returned an $87,000 verdict in favor of the insured on his breach of contract claim (David Thorne v. Member Select Insurance Co., No. 17-1377, 7th Cir.).

Wine Collector Asks Panel To Reverse No Coverage Ruling For Alleged $18M Wine Fraud
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A high-end wine collector has asked a California appeals court to reverse a lower court's judgment in favor of an insurer in his lawsuit seeking coverage for an alleged multimillion-dollar loss to his wine collection due to fraud (David Doyle v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, No. G054197, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3).

Parties Brief Application Of Umbrella Policy To Automobile Accident
WILMINGTON, Del. - A family on Nov. 3 told a Delaware court that an umbrella policy should cover damages from an automobile accident even where an individual insured through the policy's extension to household members had liability limits lower than those specified by the umbrella policy (Marie Saint Hilaire, et al. v. Martha Irene Gonzalez Lankford, et al., No. K16C-12-026 JJC, Del. Super.).

4 Missouri Farms Appeal Crop Insurance Ruling By Federal Agency
ST. LOUIS - Four Missouri farms have appealed a federal agency's interpretation of their crop insurance policies that resulted in the denial of their claims for indemnity (Bottoms Farms Partnership, et al. v. Sonny Purdue, et al., No. 17-2164, 8th Cir.).

Farming Co-Op Argues Benefits Of Paying To Members Premium Rebates In Reinsurance Years
CINCINNATI - Explaining the financial benefits of an agricultural cooperative to members, a farming cooperative argues in a Nov. 6 reply brief to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it did not lose status as an entity approved to make premium-rebate payments for 2005, 2006 or 2007 reinsurance years after its merger with a nongrandfathered cooperative (Sunrise Cooperative Inc. v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, et al., No. 17-3807, 6th Cir.).

Insurer Opposes Reinsurer's Bid For Exclusion Of Notice Argument, Expert Testimony
UTICA, N.Y. - In a dispute over a $325 million settlement of asbestos claims, an insurer in an Oct. 25 letter asks a New York federal court to deny a reinsurer's request to preclude a constructive notice argument, the use of prior court decisions and settlements and expert testimony (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 09-00853, N.D. N.Y.).

Disney Insurer Responds To Arbitration Request In Suit Arising From 'Pink Slime'
LOS ANGELES - A Walt Disney Co. insurer on Oct. 26 filed an opposition to the insured's motion to compel arbitration in a coverage dispute stemming from "pink slime" defamation claims against Disney's subsidiary, arguing that the motion is too late and in clear violation of the unambiguous policy language (The Walt Disney Company v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-07598, C.D. Calif.).

Insurer Challenges $25M Coverage In New York Court For Claims Over 'Pink Slime'
NEW YORK - An insurer for The Walt Disney Co. filed suit in a New York court on Oct. 26, seeking a declaration that it has no duty to reimburse the full $25 million policy limit to a Disney subsidiary and its employee for an underlying settlement over defamation claims (AIG Specialty Insurance Company, f/k/a Chartis Specialty Insurance Co. v. American Broadcasting Companies, et al., No. 656581/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

High Court Asked To Decide Reach Of Life Insurance Beneficiary Revocation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should resolve a circuit split and decide whether the application of a revocation-upon-divorce statute to a life insurance policy contract signed before the statute's enactment violates the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution, two individuals named as contingent beneficiaries of their father's policy argue in a reply brief filed Oct. 6 in the U.S. Supreme Court (Ashley Sveen, et al. v. Kay Melin, et al., No. 16-1432, U.S. Sup.).

Woman Asks Montana High Court To Reverse, Find Insurer Liable For Medical Costs
HELENA, Mont. - A woman has asked the Montana Supreme Court to reverse a Montana Workers' Compensation Court ruling that an insurer was not obligated to pay the medical expenses of a man who was injured by exposure to asbestos on the job because some of the expenses had already been covered by a medical fund established by the company for which the man worked (Christita Moreau v. Transportation Insurance Co., No. DA 17-0320, Mont. Sup.).

Reinsurer Asks Federal Court To Allow Amendment To Assert Statute Of Limitations Defense
PHILADELPHIA - A reinsurer argues in a Sept. 20 reply brief that a Pennsylvania federal court should allow it leave to amend its answer to an insurer's breach of contract counterclaims so that it can assert a statute of limitations defense and that it did not agree to reinsure an excess umbrella policy (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-1473, E.D. Pa.).

Driver To 8th Circuit: Insurer's UIM Settlement Offer Was In Bad Faith
ST. LOUIS - In an Oct. 12 brief to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a driver who was injured in a 2008 accident faults a trial court for not letting a jury decide her bad faith claim against her auto insurer, which declined to offer the underinsure motorist (UIM) coverage limit of her auto insurance policy (Alexandra Sims v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 17-1333, 8th Cir.).

Appellant: Court's Interpretation Renders Loan Agreement Illusory, Unreasonable
RICHMOND, Va. - An appellant has asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's dismissal of its breach of contract and tortious interference counterclaims against an insurer, arguing the lower court's interpretation of a $500,000 development loan agreement "renders it illusory, commercially unreasonable and inconsistent with the intentions of the parties" (Fidelity & Guaranty Life Ins. v. United Advisory Group, No. 17-1077, 4th Cir.).

Insurer Seeks Reversal Of Finding That Trade Dress Claim Triggered Duty To Defend
SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer recently asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling that it has a duty to defend its garment merchant insured against an underlying lawsuit, arguing that the lower court erred in finding that the insured was potentially liable for alleged damages arising from trade dress infringement in one of its advertisements (Great Lakes Reinsurance [UK] PLC v. In and Out Fashion Inc., 16-56425, 9th Cir.).

Parties Brief Court On Whether Dog's Presence Voided Insurance Policy
WILMINGTON, Del. - An insured obtained a commercial general liability policy by fraudulently misrepresenting that it removed a dog with a history of aggression from the premises, an insurer told a Delaware judge Sept. 25 (Atlantic States Insurance Co. v. A.W. Miller Masonry Inc., No. N16C-08-228 RRC, Del. Super.).

Reinsurer Argues Dispute With Insolvent Insurer Must Be Arbitrated Or Transferred
AUSTIN, Texas - A New Zealand reinsurer argues in a Sept. 12 reply brief that a Texas federal court should transfer venue or compel arbitration of a reinsurance agreement dispute with an insolvent insurer because a breach of contract claim is subject to an arbitration clause (Gramercy Insurance Co. v. Contractor's Bonding Ltd., No. 17-723, W.D. Texas).

Insured Seeks Coverage For $12.9M Asbestos Liability Verdict, Says Coverage Owed
LOS ANGELES - An insured claims in an Aug. 18 complaint filed in California state court that its insurers are required to indemnify it for an underlying $12.9 million jury verdict entered against it in an asbestos bodily injury and wrongful death suit (The Hillshire Brands Co., et al. v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., No. BC672967, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).

Carrier Files Suit, Says No Coverage Owed Based On Total Pollution Exclusion
AUGUSTA, Ga. - An insurer claims in an Oct. 26 complaint filed in Georgia federal court that it has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying wrongful death lawsuit arising out of the release of liquid nitrogen at its insured's plant because the primary policy's total pollution exclusion and the hazardous or toxic materials exclusion clearly preclude coverage (Evanston Insurance Co. v. Xytex Tissue Services LLC, et al., No. 17-140, S.D. Ga.).

ExxonMobil: Texas High Court Should Reverse Ruling On Subrogation Waiver
AUSTIN, Texas - ExxonMobil Corp. has asked the Texas Supreme Court to find that an appellate court misconstrued the Texas standard-form waiver of subrogation endorsement when it found that waiver of the endorsement incorporates an underlying service contract (Exxon Mobil Corporation v. The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 17-0200, Texas Sup.).

Insured Asks Florida Court For Attorney Fees After Uninsured Motorist Verdict
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An insured motorist who successfully sued her insurer for coverage following an accident caused by an uninsured motorist is set to argue for attorney fees before the First District Florida Court of Appeal on Oct. 31 (Dianya Markovits v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 1D17-1623, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).

City Of Phoenix Seeks Ruling That Insurers Are Obliged To Reimburse Expenses
SAN FRANCISCO - The city of Phoenix is asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a district court decision that determined that first-layer policies did not obligate insurers to reimburse the city's defense expenses and the costs of a settlement payment. The city argues that the insurers' nonpayment constituted bad faith (City of Phoenix v. First Place Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-16767, 9th Cir.).

Majority's Answer Did Not Resolve Conflict Of Interest Question, Insured Argues
BOSTON - An insured filed a supplemental brief in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 5 following the answer of the majority of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to certified questions in an employment practices liability coverage dispute (Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co. v. VisionAid Inc., 15-1351, 1st Cir.).

Incontestability Clause Not Valid, Insurer Says; 8th Circuit Should Reverse Ruling
ST. LOUIS - An insurance company is asking the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a decision by a district court and rule that it is not obligated to pay the beneficiary of a life insurance policy the full $150,000 death benefit because the insured misstated his age when he and his wife applied for the policy (Mary G. Yang v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Company, No. 17-1895, 8th Cir.).

Parties Ask 7th Circuit To Review Whether Insured's Notice Of Accident Was Proper
CHICAGO - A business owner and an insurer recently submitted their arguments before the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether the owner's 21-month delay in notifying the insurer of a vehicle accident was justified (State Auto Property & Casualty v. Brumit Services, Inc., et al., 17-1700, 7th Cir.).

Insured Asks 10th Circuit To Reverse No Coverage Ruling In TCPA Coverage Dispute
DENVER - An insured recently appealed to the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a lower federal court's ruling that its insurer has no duty to defend and indemnify it against underlying claims that it made unpermitted telemarketing calls to consumers and potential consumers of its broadcasting products and services (Ace American Insurance Co. v. Dish Network LLC, 17-1140, 10th Cir.).

Reinsurance Executives Say $50M RICO Suit With Insurers Should Be Sent To Arbitration
NEW YORK - Reinsurance executives argue in an Aug. 14 reply brief that a New York federal court should compel arbitration of insurers' $50 million Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case or, alternatively, stay the dispute "in the interests of fairness and judicial economy" (Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Co., et al. v. Moshe M. Feuer, et al., No. 16-7646, S.D. N.Y.).

Mortgagors, Reinsurer Assert 3rd Circuit Law Entitles Them To Judgment On RESPA Claim
PITTSBURGH - Mortgagors and a reinsurer in a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case tell a Pennsylvania federal court in an Oct. 6 reply brief that homeowners fail to offer reasoning as to why the mortgagors and reinsurer are not entitled to judgment on a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claim under Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals law (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa.).

Insurer Removes Suit Seeking Coverage For Water Damages To Federal Court
MIAMI - An insured's suit seeking a declaration that coverage is owed for water damage to his home was removed to Florida federal court on Aug. 14 by the insurer on the basis that the amount in controversy satisfies the federal jurisdictional amount in controversy (Romeo Alcantara v. American Security Insurance Co., No. 17-23077, S.D. Fla.).