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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®


Insured Argues Florida Statute Constitutes 'Suit' Under Policies To Florida Supreme Court
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A process under Florida Statutes Chapter 558 is a civil proceeding and, therefore, a "suit" under commercial general liability insurance policies, an insured argues in its Jan. 23 reply brief to the Florida Supreme Court because the Chapter 558 process is a required part of construction defect litigation and is "tied directly to any litigation that follows the process" (Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. SC16-1420, Fla. Sup.).

Parties Ask 5th Circuit To Determine Whether Duty To Defend Was Owed
NEW ORLEANS - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals to determine whether a federal district court erred in determining that an insurer owed an additional insured a duty to defend in an underlying construction defects lawsuit (Lyda Swinerton Builders Inc. v. Oklahoma Surety Co., No. 16-20195, 5th Cir.).

Insurer: Claim Barred By Failure To Comply With Warehouse Receipt Provision
CHICAGO - An insurer has asked the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reject an insured assignee's argument that a lower court erred in finding that the failure to obtain a storage agreement or warehouse receipt bars coverage for the contamination of products stored at the insured's warehouse (PQ Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 16-3280, 7th Cir.).

Insurer Has A Duty To Indemnify, Appellants Argue In Brief Filed In 8th Circuit
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reverse a Minnesota federal judge's ruling that a policy's pollution exclusion precludes an insurer's duty to indemnify an underlying personal injury suit arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning because the federal judge's interpretation of the pollution exclusion is contrary to Minnesota law, the appellants argue in a Jan. 25 reply brief (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Christopher A. Klick, et al., No. 16-4000, 8th Cir.).

Parties Ask 4th Circuit To Determine Whether Bad Faith Suit Was Time-Barred
RICHMOND, Va. - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether an insurance breach of contract and bad faith suit was time-barred when filed and whether it met the presuit "claims presentment requirements of the insureds' Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Gary Woodson, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-2018, 4th Cir.).

Reinsurer Seeks To Amend Complaint In Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Parties in a reinsurance dispute recently debated whether a federal judge in the District of Columbia should allow a reinsurer to amend its complaint against the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. (FCIC) (ACE American Insurance Co., et al. v. Federal Crop Insurance Corp., et al., No. 14-1992, D. D.C.).

Insurer And Railroad Dispute Coverage For Accident At Railway Crossing
ATLANTA - An insurer and a railway company recently submitted their arguments to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether coverage was available under a protective liability policy for injuries sustained by a driver who was in a vehicle accident at a railroad crossing (Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 16-14767, 11th Cir.).

Farm Says It Should Have Been Given Information Regarding Criminal Investigation
NEW YORK - An agricultural business has told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that information allegedly withheld by its federal crop insurer should have been divulged before the farm signed a settlement that led to a criminal indictment (POCO, LLC v. Farmer's Crop Insurance Alliance, Inc., No. 16-35310, 9th Cir.).

2nd Circuit 'Must Vacate' Ruling That Insurance Case Is Untimely, Man Says
NEW YORK - A man who was convicted of fraud for lying to an insurance company when he sought to collect a life insurance benefit argues that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals "must vacate" a lower court's ruling and remand his case (Allen Blake v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 16-1383, 2nd Cir.).

Beneficiary Designation Ruling In Insurer's Interpleader Action Disputed
PHILADELPHIA - A niece and a friend of a deceased doctor recently argued to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals about whether the friend should be allowed to change the beneficiary designation on annuities owned by the doctor to herself (New York Life Insurance Company v. Rebecca Legault, et al., No. 16-3259, 3rd Cir.).

Parties Ask Nevada High Court To Determine Insurer's Liability Under State Law
RENO, Nev. - Parties in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract action filed briefing with the Nevada Supreme Court recently, in response to a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals certification order, asking the court to determine an insurer's liability when it has breached its duty to defend but has not acted in bad faith (James Nalder, guardian ad litem on behalf of Cheyanne Nalder, et al. v. United Automobile Insurance Co., No. 70504, Nev. Sup.).

Couple Says Insurer's Abuse Exclusion Clause Was Improperly Applied
SAN FRANCISCO - A doctor and his wife recently told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a federal judge in Arizona erred when awarding summary judgment to their insurer, arguing that they were entitled to coverage for an adverse verdict in a wrongful death suit because the policy's abuse exclusion was not applicable (Carlos F. Verdugo, et al. v. American Family Insurance Company, Nos. 16-15687, 16-5717, 9th Cir.).

Title Insurer: Decision To Bar Evidence As To Exclusion Had 'Devastating' Impact
ST. LOUIS - A title insurer has appealed a lower federal court's judgment against it for more than $9 million in damages, attorney fees and costs for breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay claims against it, arguing that the lower court denied it the right to present its key defense by barring evidence as to a policy exclusion (Captiva Lake Investments LLC v. Fidelity National Title Insurance Co., Nos. 16-1854 and 16-1923, 8th Cir.).

Law Firm Asks 5th Circuit To Find For Excess Coverage Of Improper Billing Claims
NEW ORLEANS - A law firm insured has asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that there is no coverage under an excess professional liability insurance policy for its losses arising from an underlying $46.5 million settlement over claims that it used improper billing practices (John M. O'Quinn, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al., No. 16-20224, 5th Cir.).

Builder Argues Workmanship, Earth Movement Exclusions Don't Apply In Collapse
RICHMOND, Va. - A construction company on Sept. 19 asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review de novo whether a district court properly denied coverage of a building collapse because of defective workmanship or earth movement (Taja Investments LLC, et al. v. Peerless Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-1854, 4th Cir.).

10th Circuit To Consider If Coverage Is Barred Under Aircraft Policy
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 18 heard oral arguments from an insurer and the estate of an insured regarding whether a district court correctly found that the policy at issue barred coverage for the total loss of the insured's aircraft (U.S. Specialty Insurance Co. v. Estate of John Charles Earley Jr., No. 16-1291, 10th Cir.).

Eye Health Firm, Insurer Argue In 6th Circuit Over False Advertising Coverage
CINCINNATI - An eye health supplement maker and its insurer recently filed briefs in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing whether a business liability policy provided coverage for false advertising claims brought against the insured by a competitor (Vitamin Health, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No.16-1724, 6th Cir.).

Federal Investigation Is Single Claim; Exclusions Apply, Insurer Tells 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A health care organization's directors and officers liability insurer has responded to an insured's appeal asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse or "at the very least" remand a lower federal court's finding in favor of the insurer in a coverage dispute arising from an underlying investigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (Millennium Laboratories, Inc. v. Allied World Insurance Company [U.S.], Inc., No. 16-55432, 9th Cir.).

Former Professional Hockey Player Claims Fraud After He Repaid Insurance Payout
NEW YORK - A New York federal court erred when it granted summary judgment to an insurer that forced the repayment of a personal permanent total disability (PTD) insurance policy after the insured, a National Hockey League (NHL) player, returned to the ice for several seasons even though there was no repayment obligation in the policy, the former professional hockey player alleges in his reply brief and response to cross-appeal filed Jan. 6 in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York v. Bryan Berard, No. 16-1119, 2nd Cir.).

Insurer Says No Coverage Owed For Contamination Caused By Alabama Landfill
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - No coverage is owed for underlying claims alleging that the operation of a landfill resulted in the contamination of a river in Alabama because the contamination at issue occurred prior to the issuance of the policy at issue and is, therefore, barred from coverage, the insurer argues in a Jan. 5 complaint filed in Alabama federal court (TIG Insurance Co. v. Municipal Utilities Board of Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama, et al., No. 17-31, N.D. Ala.).

Trustees For Shuttered Law Firm, Insurers Dispute Professional Services Exclusion
ATLANTA - Trustees for the bankruptcy estate of the law firm of Ponzi scheme operator Scott Rothstein and two insurers of a bank that was fined for its role in the scheme debated recently in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals whether a federal court correctly dismissed the trustees' breach of contract action against the insurers based on a professional services exclusion in the policies at issue (Michael I. Goldberg, at al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al., No. 15-14716, 11th Cir.).

Engineer Asks 6th Circuit To Grant It Coverage For Wrongful Death Lawsuit
CINCINNATI - An engineer seeking coverage for an underlying wrongful death lawsuit has asked the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that a lower federal court erred in interpreting a commercial general liability insurance policy's additional insured endorsement and by broadly applying the "professional service" exclusion to bar coverage (Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment Inc. v. Phoenix Insurance Co., et al, Nos. 16-1231 and 16-1176, 6th Cir.).

Plan Defendants Maintain They Are Not Required To Adopt SSA's Onset Date
RICHMOND, Va. - A disability plan and its administrator are not required to adopt the disability onset date determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the plan defendants argue in a Dec. 19 reply brief filed in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, maintaining that a district court erred in finding that the plan defendants are bound by the SSA's disability onset date (Jesse Solomon v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, et al., No. 16-1730, 4th Cir.).

Property Owner, Insurer Debate Coverage For Mobile Home Damage In 9th Circuit
SEATTLE - The owner of a mobile home and an insurer recently submitted their arguments to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing whether coverage for damage to a mobile home was available under a comprehensive insurance policy and whether the district court properly interpreted the term "sudden" (Benito Cervantes v. Foremost Insurance Company, 16-35315, 9th Cir.).

4th Circuit Asked To Determine Whether Damages Arose From Single Occurrence
RICHMOND, Va. - Parties in an insurance dispute recently asked the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether third-party damage claims under an insurance policy arose out of a single occurrence or several occurrences based on Pennsylvania law's required application of a "cause test," which focuses on the alleged acts of the insured that led to the liability (Kathryn T. Hollis, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1533, 4th Cir.).

Warehouse Owner Argues For Right To Sue Lessee's Property Insurance Holders
NEW ORLEANS - Under Florida law, the law that should be applied to the present case, a third party may sue a lessee's insurer in a case involving negligence for insufficient insurance or failure to procure requested coverage even if the third-party is not a named party in the policy, a warehouse owner argues in an Oct. 14 appellant brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Emerald Coast Finest Produce Company, Inc. v. Alterra American Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-60471, 5th Cir.).

Citizen: False Claims Act Allegations Are Sufficient To Overcome Dismissal
NEW YORK - A man who brought a False Claims Act (FCA)(31 U.S. Code Section 3729, et seq.) suit against an insurance company told the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in his appellant's reply brief on Nov. 16 that his allegations are sufficient to state a claim and that his suit should not have been dismissed by a lower court (Alex Grabcheski v. American International Group, Inc., No. 16-1516, 2nd Cir.).

Insurer, Shopping Center Dispute Rescission Claim Over Past Violence At Stores
ATLANTA - An insurer and a Georgia shopping center both sought summary judgment in federal court Jan. 3 on the insurer's claims for rescission of a commercial general liability based on alleged representations about a history of crime at the shopping center and for a declaratory judgment that the insurer has no duty to defend a state court suit filed by a man who was shot at the shopping center (Seneca Insurance Company, Inc. v. Safeway Group, Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-174, N.D. Ga.).

Insurer Says No Coverage For Roofing Subcontractor's $6.6M In Faulty Work Damage
CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurance policy does not cover a roofing subcontractor over faulty work claims that resulted in more than $6.6 million in damages to townhomes, an insurer says in its Jan. 4 complaint to an Illinois federal court (Nautilus Insurance Co. v. Classic Roofing Inc. and Custom Roofing Contracting Ltd., No. 17-45, N.D. Ill.).