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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: Tort, Coverage Actions Not 'Parallel'; Remand Order Was Inappropriate
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer filed a brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 27, arguing that a District Court erred when it remanded an insurance coverage dispute to Pennsylvania state court because the insured's tort action against the insurer cannot be considered "parallel" to the insured's own coverage action seeking to recover a $5 million judgment for the same incident that is the basis for the tort lawsuit (Ronald Kelly, et al. v. Maxum Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 15-3618, 3rd Cir.).

Injured Worker, Insurer Dispute Workers' Comp Preemption In 4th Circuit
RICHMOND, Va. - A workers' compensation provider and a man injured while on the job have filed briefs in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals debating whether a trial court properly dismissed the plaintiff's complaint over denial of his workers' comp claims as preempted by North Carolina's Workers' Compensation Act (WCA) (Juan R. Cervantes v. Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-1263, 4th Cir.).

Oregon High Court To Review Coverage Dispute For Water Damage
SALEM, Ore. - A trial court's handling of a lawsuit alleging breach of a homeowners insurance policy and bad faith is under review by the Oregon Supreme Court, with questions on attorney fees and damages to be decided (Cary Long v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon, No. S063701, Oregon Sup.).

Insured Asks Florida Appeals Court To Find Homeowners Insurer Breached Contract
MIAMI - An insured asked the Third District Florida Court of Appeal to reverse a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit, arguing that the insurer's position that it complied with the policy by initially paying the amount of its independent adjuster's actual cash value estimate wrongfully converts the homeowners insurance policy from one of "replacement cost" to one of "reimbursement" (Juan Chavez v. Tower Hill Signature Insurance Co., No. 15-2483, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).

Parties Seek Clarification Of Policy Endorsement's Definition Of 'Insured'
NEW YORK - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether a federal district court erred in ruling that an endorsement in a commercial general liability insurance policy is ambiguous as to its definition of insured (Certified Multi-Media Solutions Ltd., et al. v. Preferred Contractors Insurance Company Risk Retention Group, No. 16-140, 2nd Cir.).

Filed-Rate Doctrine Bars Claims, Mortgage Servicer, Insurer Argue To 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - A mortgage servicer and an insurer on Sept. 9 answered the insureds' appeal in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that the filed-rate doctrine bars all class action claims alleging that they overcharged force-placed insurance (FPI) premiums as part of a kickback scheme (Pankaj Patel, et al. v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 16-12100, 11th Cir.).

Felon Juror At Heart Of Uninsured Motorist Insurance Appeal
BOSTON - Whether a felon's inclusion on a jury requires a new trial in an uninsured motorist insurance coverage case recently received briefing at the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Brian Faria, et al. v. Harleysville Worchester Insurance Co., No. 16-1060, 1st Cir.).

Auto Insurers Tell 3rd Circuit Declaratory Action Doesn't Divest Federal Authority
PHILADELPHIA - Two automobile insurers on June 20 asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rule, in a case of first impression, that a federal court used the wrong standard in deciding to remand to state court lawsuits by two uninsured/underinsured plaintiffs who make coercive and declaratory claims (Bryan Rarick, et al. v. Federated Service Insurance Company, No. 15-3606, Terry Easterday, et al. v. The Federated Mutual Insurance Company, No. 16-1328, 3rd Cir.).

Insured Says Texas Federal Judge Erred In Finding Cooperation Clause Applies
HOUSTON - An insured argues in an Aug. 9 motion to amend that a Texas federal judge erred in ruling that a cooperation clause applies to the insured's conduct in declining a settlement in an underlying lawsuit over a faulty flex connector (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas).

Florida Appellate Court To Hear Coverage Dispute Sparked By Lot Easement
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida county court properly rejected claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in a case where disputes arose over a title insurance company agent's failure to record an easement because the claimants failed to prove they suffered any damages, the title company argues in a brief to a Florida appeals court (Rachel S. Wray, et al. v. Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund, Nos. 2D15-1144, 2D15-1144, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).

Insured Asks 7th Circuit To Reverse No Coverage Ruling For $5M Theft Claim
CHICAGO - A telecommunications company insured has asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's dismissal of its breach of contract and bad faith claims in a coverage dispute arising from an alleged $5 million theft of property and inventory (Telamon Corp. v. The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1205, 7th Cir.).

Brokers Seek To Dismiss Foo Fighters' Breach Of Contract Suit Over Canceled Shows
LOS ANGELES - Insurance brokers on Aug. 8 moved a California federal court to dismiss Foo Fighters LLC's breach of contract lawsuit seeking full policy benefits for 11 shows that were canceled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and an injury singer and guitarist Dave Grohl suffered during a performance (Foo Fighters LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, et al., No. 16-cv-04208, C.D. Calif.).

1st Circuit To Hear Coverage Claim Over Lawyer's Conduct
BOSTON - Oral argument is scheduled to begin Sept. 9 in a case in which the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is asked to decide whether a trial court erred in ruling that a professional liability insurance policy issued by American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co. (AGLIC) provided no coverage to a lawyer who misrepresented facts in a Massachusetts land deal (American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co. v. John F. Lamond, et al., No. 16-1375, 1st Cir.).

Insurer, Aircraft Owner Debate Policy Restrictions In 4th Circuit Briefing
RICHMOND, Va. - An aircraft owner and his insurer recently briefed the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals over whether Virginia law prohibited a contract limiting coverage only to approved users of the vehicle (John Corradi v. Old United Casualty Co., No. 16-1150, 4th Cir.).

Judgment On Denial Of Homeowner's Damage Claim Debated In 6th Circuit
CINCINNATI - A federal court's summary judgment finding that an insurer properly denied a claim for a water-damaged home and personal property due to the insured's "repeated misrepresentations of material fact" should have been left for a jury to decide because there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the insured submitted a fraudulent claim, the insured argues to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Nahid Rizka v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, No. 16-1055, 6th Cir.).

8th Circuit To Hear Case Involving Damage Appraisal Dispute
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is set to schedule oral arguments in a case in which homeowners and an insurer dispute an award of damages based on a finding by an appraisal panel and whether the statute of limitations in Minnesota's arbitration act applies to appraisal challenges (Mark Herll, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 16-1889, 8th Cir.).

11th Circuit Set To Hear Bad Faith Claims Against GEICO In Accident Case
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has been asked to determine whether a federal judge erred in granting GEICO General Insurance Co. summary judgment in a case in which it offered to pay $14,104 to an accident victim who brought a bad faith action against the insurer for failing to pay the full uninsured motorist (UM) benefit in her insurance policy (Ethel Cousin v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 16-10113, 11th Cir.).

ExxonMobil Argues It Is An Additional Insured Under Contractor's Policy
NEW ORLEANS - A contractor's general liability policy extends to ExxonMobil Corp. and covers a settlement reached by ExxonMobil after a subcontractor was injured on ExxonMobil's site, and Exxon is owed attorney fees incurred during post-trial briefing after prevailing on its breach of contract claim against its contractor, ExxonMobil tells the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a recent appellee brief (ExxonMobil Corporation v. Electrical Reliability Services, Inc., et al., No. 15-20751, 5th Cir.).

Carrier Moves To Disqualify Insured's Counsel In Suit Related To Lead Operations
ST. LOUIS - Counsel for an insured should be disqualified in an insurer's declaratory judgment suit filed in Missouri federal court because the insured's counsel violated a protective order entered in a related suit and used protected information in a counterclaim filed in the insurer's federal suit, the insurer argues in an Aug. 10 motion to disqualify the insured's counsel (Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Fluor Corp., et. al., No. 16-429, E.D. Mo.).

Woman Tells 5th Circuit She Complied With Policy's Cooperation Clause
NEW ORLEANS - A woman whose home is still uninhabitable after damage sustained by a fire and Hurricane Isaac on April 5 told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a federal judge in Louisiana erred in awarding summary judgment to GeoVera Specialty Insurance Co. because she complied with the terms of a cooperation clause in her insurance policy by submitting hundreds of photographs of the damage to the insurer (Noreen Johnson v. GeoVera Specialty Insurance Company, No. 15-30803, 5th Cir.).

Authority For LTD Plan Eligibility Determinations Debated In 1st Circuit
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has been asked to decide whether a federal court erred in determining that an insurer in Puerto Rico was delegated with discretionary authority to make eligibility determinations for long-term disability benefits and whether the trial court used the correct standard of review in granting the insurer summary judgment on a woman's claims that her benefits were halted improperly (Nilda Rodriguez-Lopez v. Triple-S Vida, Inc., No. 15-2413, 1st Cir.).

Insurer, Contractor Spar In 4th Circuit Over Coverage For Damage Reimbursement
RICHMOND, Va. - Whether a general contractor was in privity of contracts of a joint venture such that an insurer was obligated to pay the contractor $1.7 million in unreimbursed costs to repair defects in a student housing project will be decided by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; the insurer has asked the court to overturn a federal court's grant of summary judgment to the contractor on its breach of contract claims (Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company v. Clancy & Theys Construction Company, No. 15-2299, 4th Cir.).

11th Circuit To Consider If Claimed Damages Fall Within Policy's Coverage
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is being asked to consider whether a court erred in concluding that a complaint alleging roof damage due to defective construction at a Florida condominium complex does not contain allegations that fall within insurance contracts issued by Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co. (Core Construction Services Southeast Inc., et al. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-10030, 11th Cir.).

Professional Liability Insurer Seeks To Dismiss Coverage Suit Over Malpractice Claim
NEWARK, N.J. - A lawyers professional liability insurer on July 6 moved to dismiss an insured's lawsuit seeking defense and indemnification for an underlying legal malpractice action, arguing that the prior knowledge exclusion bars coverage (Nagel Rice, LLP v. Allied World Insurance Co., No. 16-3888, D. N.J.).

Insured Files Reply Brief, Says Insurer Failed To Show Rescission Ruling Was Proper
PITTSBURGH - In a reply brief filed July 27 in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal, an insured reiterates that a Pennsylvania federal judge incorrectly found that an insurer's rescission of a product contamination insurance policy was warranted and maintains that the insurer failed to prove that the judge's ruling was supported by the evidence (H.J. Heinz Co. v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co., No. 16-1447, 3rd Cir.).

8th Circuit To Decide Coverage Dispute For Student Athlete's Injury
ST. LOUIS - An insurer of student athletes in a coverage dispute with an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan over which has primary coverage for an injured athlete's medical expenses has asked the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to decide whether a trial court erred in finding that it has jurisdiction under ERISA and that the insurer is primarily responsible for the bills (Dakotas and Western Minnesota Electrical Industry Health and Welfare Fund v. First Agency, Inc., et al., No. 16-1846, 8th Cir.)

Labor Secretary Urges 2nd Circuit To Find Claim Was Properly 'Deemed Denied'
NEW YORK - In a June 9 amicus curiae brief, the U.S. secretary of Labor urged the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold a district court's ruling that a disability claim was properly "deemed denied," noting that reversing the ruling could significantly undermine the secretary's regulations governing benefit claims (Janet Solnin v. Sun Life and Health Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3921, 2nd Cir.).

Allstate Removes Suit Over Denied Coverage, Cites Class Action Fairness Act
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Allstate Insurance Co. on July 25 removed a class action lawsuit brought by a woman claiming that she was wrongfully denied medical benefits coverage following an automobile accident, arguing that the case does not belong in state court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) because the proposed class would contain more than 100 people and seeks damages in excess of $5 million (Samantha Sayles, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, No. CV-16-1534, M.D. Pa.).