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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 Asks Florida High Court To Reverse Ruling In Dispute Over Water Damage
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An insured has asked the Florida Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court's finding that an insurer was wrongfully denied an opportunity to argue that it could repair an insured's water damaged kitchen and that hiring a general contractor was unnecessary (David Gal v. Prepared Insurance Co., No. 16-2190, Fla. Sup.).

Insurer: Montana High Court Should Reverse Ruling In Vehicle Accident Claim Case
HELENA, Mont. - An insurance company recently asked the Montana Supreme Court to reverse a lower court's summary judgment decision that it granted to a woman who had been involved in an automobile accident. The insurer contends that the trial court erred because it was not clear that the expenses sought by the insured were necessitated by the accident (Jennifer Teeter v. Mid-Century Insurance Company, No. DA-17-0241, Mont. Sup.).

Home Developer Seeks Independent Counsel From Subcontractor's Insurer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A subcontractor's insurer must provide a home developer with independent counsel in an action brought by homeowners suing for defects because the insurer is defending two sides in the action, the home developer argues in a reply brief filed Aug. 9 in the Third District California Court of Appeal (Centex Homes, et al. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, No. C081266, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.).

Insurer Says To New York High Court: Reinsurer Must Pay Its Share Of Defense Costs
NEW YORK - Reinsurance certificates should be treated as concurrent with underlying insurance policies, an insurer argues in an Aug. 4 reply brief in the New York Court of Appeals, so that a reinsurer must pay its share of defense costs for asbestos litigation (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co., No. CTQ-2016, 0005, N.Y. App.).

Complex Owners' Insurer Seeks Partial Coverage For Injury From Manager's Insurer
SAN FRANCISCO - An apartment complex property manager's insurer is partially liable for an injury settlement that exceeded the one-year liability limits paid to a former tenant, the owners' insurer argues in a reply brief filed Sept. 1 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, because the manager's insurer's other-insurance clause is not enforceable and California' anti-stacking provision must be enforced (Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. California Capital Ins. Co., No. 16-17221, 9th Cir.).

State Farm Defends Motion To Compel Discovery For Computer Fraud Claims
GULFPORT, Miss. - In an Oct. 2 rebuttal brief supporting its motion to compel discovery related to its computer fraud counterclaims in a decade-old false claims suit related to Hurricane Katrina claims, State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. calls its discovery requests "straightforward," while arguing that the counterdefendants failed to show that the requests are burdensome or cover privileged material (United States, ex rel. Cori Rigsby, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06-cv-00433, S.D. Miss.).

7th Circuit To Hear Parties' Oral Arguments In Contamination Coverage Suit
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Oct. 23 in a suit involving an insurer's duty to defend and indemnify its insureds who seek coverage for environmental contamination cleanup costs at their commercial property (Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. v. Juan and Maria Garcia, No. 17-1224, 7th Cir.).

Insured Challenges 1-Year Statute Of Limitations In Superstorm Sandy Dispute
PHILADELPHIA - An insured has asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's finding that a federal flood insurer's letter rejecting its insured's proof of loss for Superstorm Sandy damage constituted a written denial of the claim and, therefore, triggered a Standard Flood Insurance Policy's (SFIP) one-year statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit (Anthony Migliaro v. Fidelity National Indemnity Ins. Co., No. 17-1434, 3rd Cir.).

Insureds Appeal No Coverage Ruling For Antitrust, Monopolizing Conduct Claims
ATLANTA - Insureds have asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's finding that there is no further coverage owed for lawsuits alleging that they have intentionally engaged in wrongful antitrust and monopolizing conduct in an effort to dominate the health care service industry (Health First Inc., et al. v. Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 17-11181, 11th Cir.).

Parties Dispute In 8th Circuit Whether Insurer Overcharged Premiums
ST LOUIS - Carriers of workers' compensation insurance and an insured recently submitted their arguments to the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals as to whether a district court's summary judgment ruling for the insurers, who were accused of overcharging premiums, should be overturned (Wireco Worldgroup Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1432, 8th Cir.).

Insurer Asks High Court To Overturn Judgment Issued Without Defense
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Missouri Supreme Court's reliance on facts of a shooting incident reached in an underlying tort action where no defense was presented denies an insurer of its fundamental due process rights, an insurer of the apartment complex where the shooting occurred argues in its petitioner reply brief filed Aug. 18 in the U.S. Supreme Court (Atain Specialty Insurance Company v. Franklin Allen, No. 17-59, U.S. Sup.).

Insured Argues California's Notice-Prejudice Rule Must Be Applied In Environmental Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - An insured argues in an Aug. 11 reply brief that the California Supreme Court should find that California's common-law notice-prejudice rule is a fundamental public policy and applies both to a policy's notice provision and consent provision in an environmental contamination coverage suit (Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., No. S23950, Calif. Sup.).

Insurers: Coverage Not Owed For Principals Who Reached Settlement Without Consent
WILMINGTON, Del. - A group of insurance companies has asked a Delaware Superior Court to find that principals in a company are not entitled to coverage for the costs they incurred in negotiating settlements in two lawsuits brought by stock shareholders because the negotiations occurred without the insurers' consent (Arch Insurance Company, et al. v. David H. Murdock, et al., No. N16C-01-104-EMD, Del. Super., New Castle Co.).

Insurer: Court Erred In Abdicating Its Duty To Exercise And Retain Jurisdiction
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer recently argued to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that none of the factors considered by a lower federal court, independently or even collectively, is sufficient to warrant its decision to stay the insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for a data breach that resulted in a $4.12 million class action settlement (Columbia Casualty Co. v. Cottage Health System, No. 16-56872, 9th Cir.).

Appellants: Court Lacked Subject Matter Jurisdiction To Compel Arbitration
ATLANTA - An appellant and its subrogee insurers have asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's ruling that granted a French energy company's motion to compel arbitration in Germany of claims asserted by numerous insurers in relation to a failed engine (Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC, et al. v. Coverteam SAS, No. 17-10944, 11th Cir.).

Long-Term Care Policy Holder Says MetLife Misrepresented Half-Price Premium Benefit
CHICAGO - The purchaser of a long-term care insurance policy on June 12 told the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a lower court erred in dismissing her claim that Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (MetLife) failed to tell her and a class of other purchasers she seeks to represent that their premiums could go up after they signed up for a policy that halved premiums after age 65 (Margery Newman, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 17-1844, 7th Cir.).

Commercial Climbing Gym Tells 4th Circuit Judge Erred In Limiting Coverage
RICHMOND, Va. - A commercial climbing gym told the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 that a federal judge in Maryland erred in finding that an insurance company was required to provide only $100,000 in coverage for the gym's defense of a negligence suit, asserting that extrinsic evidence presented as part of an underlying trial showed that a 14-year-old girl who claims that she was sexually assaulted was not in its control seven of the eight times the events occurred (Gemini Insurance Company v. Earth Treks, Inc., No. 17-1652, 4th Cir.).

Homeowners To D.C. Circuit: Endorsement Didn't Block Coverage For Loss Of Home
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments on Sept. 29 in an appeal filed by homeowners who allege that a trial court erred when it held that an endorsement to their homeowners policy barred their claim for a loss of more than $300,000 caused by a separation in a water pipe (Vasilli Katopothis, et al. v. Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-7132, D.C. Cir.).

Parties Dispute Coverage Under Liquor Liability Policy Before 5th Circuit
NEW ORLEANS - The owners of a pizza shop and its liquor liability insurer recently filed their arguments with the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether a district court's ruling that the insurer had no liability to defend or indemnify the shop in an underlying lawsuit filed by a minor who was served alcohol and subsequently raped by the owner of the establishment should be affirmed (Century Surety Co. v. Scott Seidel, et al., 17-10026, 5th Cir.).

Insurer Seeks Rescission Of Contamination Policy For Alleged Misrepresentation
NEW YORK - An insurer alleges in a June 14 complaint that rescission of a contamination products insurance policy is warranted because the insured, seeking coverage for a recall of frozen peas, failed to disclose that Listeria was discovered in its production facility prior to the issuance of the policy (Berkley Assurance Co. v. National Frozen Foods Corp., No. 17-4486, S.D. N.Y.).

Respondent Files Response, Argues Negligence Claim Is Preempted By ERISA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals correctly followed the U.S. Supreme Court's analysis for complete preemption when it determined that a negligence claim is completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a disability claims reviewer argues in its Aug. 11 response to the disability claimant's petition for writ of certiorari filed in the high court (Samantha Milby v. MCMC LLC, No. 16-1409, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2883).

Insurance Agency Asks Ohio High Court To Rule Negligence Case Is Barred By Statute
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An insurance agency has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to rule that a limitations period established by Ohio law expressly bars a negligence lawsuit filed by a realty company because its claim was filed more than four years after the allegedly wrongful act was committed; therefore, the statute of limitations has expired (Frank & London Insurance Agency v. LGR Realty Inc., No, 16-1307, Ohio Sup.).

Injured Driver Argues Missed Medical Exams Didn't Prejudice Insurer
GEORGETOWN, Del. - An injured driver's failure to attend several scheduled independent medical examinations (IMEs) did not prejudice the insurer, the driver argues in his reply brief filed July 11 in the Delaware Supreme Court, seeking reversal of a lower court's summary judgment ruling for the insurer (Robert Vanartsdalen v. Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company, No. 159, 2017, Del. Sup.).

Insured, Insurer File Appeals In Coverage Dispute Arising From Ponzi Scheme
NEW ORLEANS - An insured has asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower court's ruling that it did not "own" its lost earnings stemming from a Ponzi scheme within the meaning of a commercial crime insurance policy while the insurer has asked the court to find that the policy's indirect loss provision and trading loss exclusion bar coverage (Cooper Industries Ltd., et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 16-20539, 5th Cir.).

Cosby's Insurer Moves To File A Bond Or Stay Execution Of Judgment Pending Appeal
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - William H. Cosby Jr.'s homeowners and excess insurer on Aug 10 moved in federal district court to file a supersedeas bond or, in the alternative, to stay execution of a judgment against it pending resolution of its appeal in the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging a ruling that it has a duty to defend Cosby against underlying defamation lawsuits arising from sexual assault claims (AIG Property Casualty Co. v. Tamara Green, et al., No. 15-30111, D. Mass.).

Parties Dispute Coverage For Loans Issued For Illegally Subdivided Properties
PHOENIX - Lenders and an insurer recently submitted arguments in the Arizona Court of Appeals on whether a trial court erred when it found that the lenders waived their right to assert a claim for breach of fiduciary duties when they retained the benefits of escrows and other arguments (C&G Farms Inc., et al. v. First American Title Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-600, Ariz. App.).

Driver's Insurer Seeks Reimbursement For Accident From Vehicle's Excess Policy
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The provider of an excess policy for a vehicle involved in a fatal auto accident is next in line after the primary policy to provide coverage for the accident, the insurer of the driver argues in its appellant reply brief filed July 6 in the Fourth District California Court of Appeal (Mercury Insurance Company v. Chartis Property Casualty Company, No. G054369, Calif. App., 4th Dist.).

Insurer, Swimwear Firm Argue Jurisdiction Of Coverage Suit To D.C. Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In briefs filed in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a professional liability insurer and the assignee of a deceased attorney's claims debate whether jurisdiction in a coverage declaratory judgment suit is determined by where the insurance contract was drafted or by the location of the assignee (Brit UW, Limited v. Manhattan Beachwear LLC, No. 17-7031, D.C. Cir.).

Claims Constitute 'Property Damage' Under CGL Policy, Insured Argues To 8th Circuit
ST. LOUIS - For the second time, an insured has asked the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a lower federal court's ruling in favor of a commercial general liability insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the contamination of landscaping materials with plastic from defective storage bags that were manufactured by the insured (Decker Plastics v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., No.17-1319, 8th Cir.).

Company Urges 9th Circuit To Reverse, Says Insurance Policy Should Cover Gas Leak
SAN FRANCISCO - A company that takes raw landfill gas and purifies it into pipeline quality natural gas is asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse a ruling by a district court judge that high velocity landfill gas was not an "external cause" of damage at the company's plant, and therefore coverage under the company's insurance policy was not available (Ingenco Holdings LLC, et al. v. Ace American Insurance Company, No. 16-35792, 9th Cir.).