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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®


Insurer Asks 5th Circuit To Reverse Ruling In Professional Liability Coverage Suit
NEW ORLEANS - An insurer recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that it has a duty to defend two underlying malpractice lawsuits filed against its law firm insured, contending that the policy's prior knowledge clause bars coverage (Allied World Specialty Insurance Co. v. McCathern, PLLC, et al., No. 17-10615, 5th Cir.).

Parties Dispute Coverage Related To Unsolicited Fax Litigation In 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - A sign company and an insurer recently submitted arguments in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether a trial court's ruling that a settlement in an underlying lawsuit filed as a result of thousands of unsolicited faxes being sent was not covered under insurance policies covering property damage should be affirmed (G.M. Sign Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., 17-14247, 11th Cir.).

Day Care Owner Appeals Superstorm Sandy Coverage Dispute To U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A day care owner insured on March 9 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower federal court's finding that its insurer fulfilled the requirements of accord and satisfaction when it sent a check representing payment for the insureds' Superstorm Sandy losses (Anna Cranmer, et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, No. 17-1266, U.S. Sup.).

Insurer: Delaware High Court Should Reverse, Rule Texas Law Governs Contract
DOVER, Del. - An insurance company is asking the Delaware Supreme Court to reverse a trial court ruling that held that Wisconsin law applies to an insurance contract dispute regarding who will bear a portion of the costs incurred in defending and settling the underlying asbestos suits. The insurer argues that Texas law should apply (Travelers Indemnity Company v. CNH Industrial America LLC, No. 420, 2017, Del Sup.).

Reinsurer Says Insurer Is Owed No Coverage For Asbestos Claims
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - An insurer is barred from coverage for underlying asbestos claims under reinsurance contracts because it breached conditions in the contracts, including the access to records clause, a reinsurer argues in its March 23 response to a complaint filed in Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-00087, D. Conn.).

Man Tells 7th Circuit Judge Erred When Making Disability Determination
CHICAGO - A man who suffering from invasive basal cell carcinoma in the right ear tells the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 19 brief that a federal judge in Illinois erred when finding that he was not entitled to total disability benefits from his insurer because he cannot complete the duties that his work requires (Henry Fiorentini v. Paul Revere Life Insurance Co., No. 17-3137, 7th Cir.).

8th Circuit Considers Judicial Review In Missouri Workers' Compensation Case
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on April 11 over whether the failure to appeal a Missouri workers' compensation ruling requires dismissal of the insurer's tort action seeking to recover the resulting shortfall (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Jet Midwest Technik Inc., No. 17-2628, 8th Cir.).

Damages Caused By Marijuana- Growing Tenants Should Be Covered, Landlord Says
CINCINNATI - The landlord of 10 units that sustained more than $500,000 in damage as a result of the tenants' use of the space to operate a medical marijuana-growing facility in Michigan tells the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 23 brief that a federal judge erred when finding that the insurer properly denied coverage, explaining that the modifications constituted vandalism (K.V.G. Properties Inc. v. Westfield Insurance Co., No. 17-2421, 6th Cir.).

Dead Student's Mother Seeks Duty-To-Defend Declaration Against Insurer
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on March 21 from the mother of a dead college student who asked the appellate panel to find that the insurer of homeowners and excess coverage policies issued to the parents of the student convicted of killing her daughter has a duty to defend or indemnify in a wrongful death suit (Sharon D. Love v. Chartis Property Casualty Company, No. 17-1467, 4th Cir.).

Note Holder To Nebraska Federal Court: Reinsurer Breached Promissory Note
LINCOLN, Neb. - A reinsurer breached its promissory note executed pursuant to a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), the note holder argues in its March 13 reply brief with a Nebraska federal court (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Top's Personnel Inc., No. 15-90, D. Neb.).

Parties Dispute Whether Foreign Insurer Received Proper Notice Of Complaint
HELENA, Mont. - A reservation operations center and an insurer and brokers recently submitted arguments before the Montana Supreme Court, disputing whether the foreign insurer was properly served with a complaint and jury demand filed by the center in relation to a coverage dispute and whether a default ruling entered against the insurer should be vacated (Reservation Operations Center v. Scottsdale Insurance Company, et al., No. 17-0580, Mont. Sup.).

3rd Circuit Considering Reasonable Care Provision In Home Insurance Policy
PHILADELPHIA - The question of whether a couple reasonably ensured that a home was properly heated during a month-long absence during which a pipe froze and broke, pouring water into the home, now sits before the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Joseph Jugan, et al. v. Economy Premier Assurance Co., No. 17-2410, 3rd Cir.).

Insurer Appeals Denial Of Appeal Fees In Copyright Settlement Dispute
ATLANTA - An insurer recently appealed to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the denial of appellate fees in a dispute with its insured (Highland Holdings, Inc., v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, No. 17-14455-AA, 11th Cir.).

Insured Asks 6th Circuit To Find Policy Covers $306,808 Postjudgment Interest
CINCINNATI - An insured recently asked the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to a reverse a lower federal court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a commercial excess insurer in its breach of contract lawsuit seeking to recover $306,808.46 in post-judgment interest that was awarded against it in an underlying product liability dispute (Key Safety Systems Inc. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., 17-1934, 6th Cir.).

Insurer Appeals $945,265 Breach Of Contract Judgment, Discovery Ruling In 2nd Circuit
NEW YORK - An insurer recently asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's $945,265.11 breach of contract judgment against it and an earlier discovery ruling in a dispute over coverage stemming from underlying sexual misconduct cases brought against its diocese insured (The Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. v. Interstate Fire & Casualty Company, Nos. 16-2999 and 17-2484, 2nd Cir.).

4th Circuit Holds Insurance Notice Case Pending Supreme Court Decision
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 8 held in abeyance an appeal questioning whether a bar provided its insurer proper notice of a claim that eventually resulted in a $5 million default judgment so that the U.S. Supreme Court can resolve a case involving the proper standard for appellate jurisdiction (Founders Insurance Co. v. Richard Ruth's Bar & Grill LLC, et al., George Giannras, et al. v. Founders Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1282(L), 17-1284, 17-1344, 17-1348, 4th Cir.).

Man: 10th Circuit Should Reverse Ruling On Insurer's 'Ambiguous Disclosure'
DENVER - A man who was injured in a car accident has asked the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a district court ruling and find that "an ambiguous disclosure" in an automobile policy was misleading despite the fact that it was accompanied by a disclaimer (Jeffrey Allen v. United Services Automobile Association, No. 17-1282, 10th Cir.).

Insurers Argue Michigan Law Should Be Applied In Asbestos Coverage Dispute
WILMINGTON, Del. - Two insurers involved in an asbestos coverage dispute maintain in their Feb. 22 reply brief to the Delaware Supreme Court that Michigan law, rather than Delaware law, should be applied to their policies and that the high court should find that each asbestos claim at issue constitutes a separate occurrence under their policies (Motors Liquidation Co. DIP Lenders Trust v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 381, 2017, Del. Sup.).

Relators In Katrina Qui Tam Suit Say State Farm Withheld, Spoliated Documents
GULFPORT, Miss. - The relators in a 12-year-old qui tam suit accusing State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. of filing false flood insurance after Hurricane Katrina ask a California federal court in a March 12 reply brief to compel the insurer to produce documents it improperly withheld as privileged (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).

Reinsurer Argues Against Ruling On $18M Arbitration Award To 2nd Circuit
NEW YORK - Appealing a decision requiring a reinsurer to pay up to an additional $18 million in reinsurance proceeds to an insurer pursuant to an arbitration award, the reinsurer argues in a Feb. 28 reply brief to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial judge "has made arbitration a less attractive option because there is no guarantee of finality" (General Re Life Corp. v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., No. 17-2496, 2nd Cir.).

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.).