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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®


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.).

Insurer: Texas High Court Should Hear Fraud Case Involving Restitution Lien
AUSTIN, Texas - An insurance company is asking the Texas Supreme Court to hear a case in which the insurer argues that it was damaged by a fraudulent transfer scheme in which a woman converted sales proceeds from her home in Texas and sent that money to a friend in another state for safe keeping because the homeowner knew that her property was encumbered by a federal restitution lien (Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, a subrogee of Chitra Chandrasekaran v. Robin W. Goldsmith, No. 17-0245, Texas Sup.).

Blind Dairy Worker Says Judge Had Authority To Review Claim Denial
LAS VEGAS - A dairy worker who claims that he went blind after being exposed to toxic chemicals while on the job in 2014 asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Sept. 28 to order a trial court judge to review an appeals officer's decision finding that there was insufficient medical evidence to support his workers' compensation claim, arguing that the judge has the authority to reverse the decision (Kenneth J. Olson v. Anderson Dairy Inc., et al., No. 72457, Nev. Sup.).

Reinsurer Questions Supreme Court On Arbitration Clause In Reinsurance Agreement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A reinsurer on Nov. 9 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether "an argument that applies equally" to an arbitration clause under a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) "as a whole is sufficient to specifically challenge a delegation provision" under Rent-A-Ctr., W., Inc. v. Jackson, 561 U.S. 63, 70 (2010) (Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company Inc. v. Minnieland Private Day School Inc., No. 17-717, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 4426).

Parties Argue In Montana High Court Whether Insurers Could Reduce Settlement
HELENA, Mont. - An insured and insurers recently submitted arguments before the Montana Supreme Court, disputing whether a trial court's decision that the insurers were not wrong in taking a collateral source reduction against the insured's underlying vehicle accident settlement should be overturned (Marcia Marshall v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, et al., DA 17-0384, Mont. Sup.).

Insurer Tells 7th Circuit That Appeal Over Settlement Enforcement Is Untimely
CHICAGO - A disability insurance company told the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 28 that a man's appeal of an order denying his motion for a rehearing on the enforcement of a settlement agreement should be dismissed because it was untimely (Clifford Sam Gibbons v. MONY Life Insurance Company and Disability Management Co., Nos. 17-1785, 17-3365, 7th Cir.).

Consumer Class Action Alleges Covered Disparagement Claim, Insured Argues
SAN FRANCISCO - A shampoo manufacturer insured has asked a California appeals court to find that an underlying consumer class action alleging that it falsely advertised its hair products as "organic" triggers a coverage claim for disparagement under its insurance policy (Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. Vogue International, LLC, et al., No. A150921, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).

Coverage Row Over Unlawful Disclosure Claims Against Doctor Argued In 1st Circuit
BOSTON - A federal court correctly determined that, based on terms in a professional liability policy, an insurer has no duty to defend an insured doctor against claims by his ex-wife that he unlawfully disclosed her confidential health care information, the insurer tells the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Nov. 22 response brief (Medical Mutual Insurance Company of Maine, Inc. v. Douglas Burka, 17-1872, 1st Cir.).

Office Depot: AIG Owes Duty To Defend, Indemnify In Underlying Qui Tam Case
SAN FRANCISCO - Office Depot Inc. is asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a ruling in which a district court held that AIG Specialty Insurance Co. does not have a duty to defend or indemnify the company in an underlying qui tam lawsuit (Office Depot Inc. v. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Company, No. 17-55125, 9th Cir.).

Flood Sublimit Applies To $25M 'Time Element Losses,' Insurer Argues To 6th Circuit
CINCINNATI - An insurer argued to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that there are "multiple, reinforcing provisions" in an insurance policy that unambiguously make clear that a high hazard flood sublimit applies to all coverage for losses caused by a flood, including an insured's alleged $25 million "time element losses" arising from a flood in Thailand (Federal-Mogul Corp. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, Nos. 17-1649 and 17-1716, 6th Cir.).

Delivery Driver, Estate Seek Accident Coverage Under Furniture Company's Policy
RICHMOND, Va. - A furniture delivery driver working as an independent contractor and the estate of his passenger are set to present oral arguments to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 seeking underinsured insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage from the furniture company's insurer (Bruce Levine, et al. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, et al., Nos. 17-1342 and 17-1432, 4th Cir.).