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Headline Catastrophic Loss Legal News from LexisNexis®



 



Federal Judge: SFIP's 1-Year Statute Of Limitations Bars Insured's Lawsuit
GULFPORT, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on March 3 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's lawsuit seeking to have the insurer fully comply with the appraisal provisions under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Reef Enterprises, a Mississippi Corporation doing business as Jordan River Steamer v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., formerly known as Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 16-22, S.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30317).



Louisiana Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Hurricane Isaac Dispute
GRETNA, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on Feb. 8 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac damage to a three-story building owned by the insured (Advanced Sleep Center, Inc., et al. v. Certain Underwriters At Lloyd's, London, No. 16-CA-525, La. App., 5th Cir.).



Federal Judge: Public Adjuster's Declaration Does Not Create Disputed Issue Of Fact
CAMDEN, N.J. - Granting a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute, a New Jersey federal judge on March 1 rejected the insured's argument that there is a genuine dispute of material fact regarding his reliance on a public adjuster's declaration as to damages (Dane Knutson v. Selective Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-306, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29322).



New York Panel: Insurer's Expert Report Never Rose Above Level Of Speculation
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Feb. 21 found that an insurer failed to demonstrate prima facie that all of its restaurant insured's claimed losses were caused by flood waters resulting from Superstorm Sandy (Pastabar Cafe Corporation v 343 East 8th Street Associates, LLC, et al. No. 2899, 652078/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1285).



Judge Rules In Insurer's Favor In Suit Arising From Superstorm Sandy Flood Damage
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 14 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by insureds seeking a declaration that they are entitled to coverage and compensatory damages stemming from the insurer's purported mishandling of their Superstorm Sandy flood claim (Herbert Ruth and Danna Ruth v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-2616, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20534).



Negligent Work Exclusion Bars Coverage For Water Damage, Pennsylvania Court Says
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Feb. 28 held that although the lower court erred in finding that "surface water" caused the insured's damage, it did not err in finding that the policy's "negligent work exclusion" precluded coverage for the water damage (The Ridgewood Group, LLC v. Millers Capital Insurance Co., No. 1138 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 764).



Judge: Broker Is Liable For Breach Of Implied Contract; Damages Are In Dispute
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 24 held that there is no genuine dispute of material fact regarding whether an insurance broker breached its implied contract to secure a total of $975,000 worth of federal flood insurance coverage for an insured, further finding that the amount of potential damages that the breach caused is in dispute (Hudson Henley v. Love Insurance Group, LLC, No. 15-3078, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26244).



Panel Finds Insured's Flood Loss Barred, Affirms Judgment Notwithstanding Verdict
DES MOINES, Iowa - Finding that a church's cause of loss was a flood and, consequently, that the loss was excluded under its insurance policy, an Iowa appeals panel on Feb. 8 affirmed a trial judge's granting of an insurer's motion for judgment notwithstanding a $717,000 verdict in favor of the church (Salem United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-0170, Iowa App., 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 122).



Judge: Developer Has No Insurable Interest, Is Not Entitled To Building Coverage
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 8 found that the developer of a condominium that is also a member of the insured condominium association does not have an insurable interest and is not entitled to building coverage under a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP), granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a dispute over coverage for flood damage caused when the Raritan River overflowed (Branchburg Commerce Park, LLC v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, et al., No. 15-6719, D. N.J.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17518).



Newly Filed Complaint Warrants Remand To State Court, Federal Judge Rules
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Feb. 8 granted a motion to remand insureds' breach of contract lawsuit against their insurer, finding that their complaint makes no claims as to the insurer's denial of their flood loss claim but instead asserts that the insurer's procurement of the "worthless" insurance policy was "improper, misleading and deceptive" (Don Henderson, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No.16-839, W.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17926).



Insureds Failed To Comply With Post-Loss Obligations, Florida Panel Says, Reverses
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 15 reversed a lower court's ruling compelling appraisal against an insurer in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, finding that the insureds failed to comply with their post-loss duties under their insurance policy (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Jose R. Fernandez and Sandra Fernandez, No. 3D16-1441, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2004).



Florida Panel: Evidence Of Insured's Health Should Have Never Been Introduced
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 8 held that there is a reasonable possibility that the introduction of irrelevant and prejudicial evidence as to an insured's health condition contributed to a jury verdict against an insurer in a dispute over coverage for roof damage caused by Hurricane Wilma, reversing for a new trial (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Dina Figueroa, No. 4D15-2698, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 1548).



Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Ruling On Discovery Order In Hailstorm Dispute
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court refused to revisit its ruling in a hailstorm coverage dispute that directed a lower court to vacate the part of its discovery order compelling production of management reports and emails and to re-evaluate the issue of sanctions against the insurer, according to its Feb. 17 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 15-0452, Texas Sup.).



Insured's Breach Of Contract Is Barred By 2-Year Statute Of Limitations, Judge Says
DENVER - A two-year statute of limitations precludes an insured's breach of contract claim against its insurer for denied coverage for property damage to commercial properties, a Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 13 (The Pinewood Townhome Association Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 15-01604, D. Colo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19999).



Federal Judge: Fact Issues As To Economic Damages Defeat Summary Judgment
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 16 held that there are genuine issues of material fact as to what $125,000 in economic damages awarded against an insured encompasses, denying an insurer's motion for summary judgment in part in a dispute over commercial general liability coverage (Peerless Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Shane Colclasure, individually and d/b/a Sunrise Buildings, et al., No. 16-424, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22193



Texas Panel Finds Take- Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Coverage Suit Was Proper
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel held Feb. 9 that a take-nothing judgment against insureds is proper because a commercial insurer overpaid the actual cash value of Hurricane Ike property damage by more than $1.5 million based on the jury's findings as to actual cash value (Triyar Companies, LLC, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 14-14-00160, Texas. App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1126).



Panel: Insureds Provide No Competent Evidence To Raise Fact Issue As To Occurrence
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Feb. 9 held that insureds have failed to produce competent evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether their property damage loss occurred during their homeowners insurance policy period, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer and its adjuster (Richard Seim, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, et al., No. 02-16-00050, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1154).



Joinder Of Adjuster Was Improper, Federal Judge Rules In Denying Motion To Remand
DALLAS - Finding that an insured improperly joined an insurance adjuster in a dispute over coverage for storm damage, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 14 denied the insured's motion to remand and dismissed the claims against the adjuster without prejudice (Hutchins Warehouse Limited Partners v. American Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-3336, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20417).



7th Circuit Reverses Ruling In Part In Airport Collapse Coverage Suit
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 partly reversed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the collapse of an airport terminal during construction (Indianapolis Airport Authority v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, No. 16-2675, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2856).



Judge Rejects Insurer's Request To Exclude Testimony On Sinkholes
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 22 denied an insurer's motion to exclude expert testimony on sinkhole damage, finding that the expert's methodology is reliable and that the testimony will assist a trier of fact (Goetz D. Vehse v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, No. 8:16-cv-599, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24483).



Judge Finds No Facts To Support Kentucky Law Claims Against Insurer
LOUISVILLE, Ky.- A Kentucky federal judge on March 1 held that claims for bad faith and fraud related to coverage under an insurance policy for tornado damage should be dismissed, finding that the insured failed to assert facts to support a claim for violation of the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (KUCSPA) (Frasure v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 16-540, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28753).



Texas High Court Dismisses Wind Coverage Dispute Following Settlement
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court lifted a Dec. 8 abatement order in a wind coverage dispute, reinstated the insurer's petition for review and granted the insurer's unopposed motion to dismiss the suit after the parties reached a settlement, according to its Feb. 10 orders pronounced (State Farm Lloyds v. Ginger Hanson, No. 16-0799, Texas Sup.).



Judge Rules That Letter Is Written Denial That Triggered SFIP's Statutory Period
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Feb. 2 found that a federal flood insurer's letter that rejected 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 Insurance Co., No. 15-5688, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15497).



Judge: Assignee Of Mortgage Is Not Entitled To SFIP Coverage For Sandy Damage
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge held on Feb. 1 that an assignee of a mortgage cannot collect on the insured mortgagee's standard flood insurance policies (SFIP) for a Superstorm Sandy loss that predates the assignment, granting two federal flood insurers' motions for summary judgment (Goldstein Group Holdings, Inc. v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, et al., No. 15-03851, D. N.J.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14560).



Federal Judge: Fact Issues Exist As To Proof Of Loss In Superstorm Sandy Dispute
CAMDEN, N.J. - Finding that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether an insured submitted and an insurer received a proof of loss for the insured's Superstorm Sandy damage, a New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 31 denied the insurer's motion for summary judgment in the resulting coverage dispute (Gregg S. Balin v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., No. 14-5001, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12952).



Judge: Insureds' Claim Is 'Directly Contradicted' By Federal Law And Regulations
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 25 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in its insureds' lawsuit seeking coverage for additional Superstorm Sandy damages, finding that the insureds' failure to submit a supplemental proof of loss defeats their claim (Thomas Rossetti and Yana Rossetti v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-5737, D. N.J.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10670).



New York Justice Allows Breach Of Contract Claim To Stand In Superstorm Sandy Suit
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - A New York justice on Jan. 23 dismissed five out of six claims against an insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute but allowed the breach of contract claim to proceed (Elite Catering Company, Inc. v. National Specialty Insurance Co., No. 101041/2013, N.Y. Sup., Richmond Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 239).



Texas Panel Affirms Take-Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Coverage Suit
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on Jan. 31 affirmed a lower court's ruling that ordered an insured to take nothing against an insurer in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute (League City v. TWIA, No. 12-0053, 01-15-00117, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 833).



Majority Affirms Ruling In Coverage Dispute Over $2.6M Tornado Damage
NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer failed to provide sufficient notice that it was canceling a commercial property insurance policy, further affirming that the insurer had an arguable basis for its decision to deny coverage for the alleged $2.6 million tornado damage to a church building (GuideOne Elite Insurance Co., et al. v. Mount Carmel Ministries, et al., No. 15-60915, 5th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1147).



Panel Certifies 2 Questions To N.Y. High Court In Dispute Arising From 9/11 Attacks
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 19 certified two questions to the New York Court of Appeals in a dispute over whether a public benefit corporation has the capacity to challenge as unconstitutional a New York statute that revived claims against public corporations for personal injuries incurred during the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks (In re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, Nos. 15-2181, 15-2283, 15-2285, 15-2487, 15-2506 and 15-2687, 2nd Cir.).



California High Court: Statutory Authority Supports Replacement Cost Regulation
SAN FRANCISCO - The Supreme Court of California on Jan. 23 held that statutory authority supports the California Insurance commissioner's 2011 regulation covering replacement cost estimates for homeowners insurance, reversing and remanding an appeals court's judgment that invalidated the regulation (Association of California Insurance Companies et al., v. Dave Jones, as commissioner, etc., No. S226529, Calif. Sup.; 2017 Cal. LEXIS 217).



Judge: Insurer's Delay In Appraisal Process Supports Insureds' Bad Faith Claim
PHILADELPHIA - Although insureds have failed to plead their claim for breach of contract against their insurer, they have shown that the insurer's delay in taking part in a mandatory appraisal process was in bad faith, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Jan. 30 in granting in part and denying in part the insurer's motion to dismiss (Charles Dagit, et al .v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-3843, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12124).



7th Circuit: Insured Fails To Show Causal Relationship Between Windstorm, Damage
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a church insured has failed to adduce evidence of a causal relationship between a March 1, 2011, windstorm and its purported property damage (Olivet Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-1689, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 647).



Federal Judge Dismisses All But Breach Of Contract Claim In Flood Coverage Dispute
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 2 granted a federal flood insurer's motion to dismiss all extracontractual state law claims brought by an insured in a coverage dispute arising from a heavy rainfall (Jianhua Ling v. Farmers Insurance Group d/b/a Fire Insurance Exchange, No. 16-2961, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14882).



Judge: Insured Pleaded More Than 'Mere Conclusions' In Pleading Bad Faith
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - An insured has sufficiently pleaded more than just "mere conclusions" in making his insurance bad faith claim against his homeowners insurance carrier and, thus, his claim is sufficient pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a federal judge in South Dakota ruled Feb. 3 in denying the insurer's motion to dismiss (Steven Haney v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 16-4113, D. S.D., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15154).



Judge: Claims Adjuster, Employee Were Properly Joined In Bad Faith Suit
SAN ANTONIO - An insured has shown that a claims adjuster and its employee violated provisions of the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and, thus, that those defendants were properly joined in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Texas ruled Jan. 31 in granting an insured's motion to remand the action to state court (Kris Hospitality LLC, d/b/a Days Inn, v. Tri-State Insurance Co. of Minnesota, et al., No. 16-1229, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13532).



Judge: Insured's Breach Of Contract Is Barred By 2- Year Statute Of Limitations
DENVER - An insurance policy's two-year statute of limitations precludes an insured's breach of contract claim regarding denied additional coverage for hailstorm claims, a Colorado federal judge ruled Jan. 13 (The Pinewood Townhome Association Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 15-01604, D. Colo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5456).



Plaintiff Not Owed Coverage As Additional Insured, 9th Circuit Affirms
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 11 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for property and business interruption losses (Bita Trading Inc. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-55371, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 521).



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.).



10th Circuit: Court Properly Vacated Order Confirming Appraisal Award, Judgment
DENVER - A commercial property insurer's voluntary payment of an appraisal award and the insured's acceptance of the payment settled any dispute over the amount of storm loss to the insured's property, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 4, affirming a lower court's decision to vacate an order confirming the appraisal award and a judgment in favor of the insured (In re: Appointment of Umpire for Hayes Family Trust, on behalf of itself and all others similarly situated, Clayton A. Hayes, cotrustee v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 15-6164, 10th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 81).



Nebraska High Court: Post-Loss Assignment Of Claim Is Valid Despite Clause
LINCOLN, Neb. - Finding that an insured's post-loss assignment of a property damage claim to a roofing company under a homeowners insurance policy is valid despite the policy's nonassignment clause, the Nebraska Supreme Court on Dec. 30 affirmed a lower court's $5,252.66 judgment against the insurer in a dispute over roof damage (Millard Gutter Co. v. Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. S-15-912, Neb. Sup.; 2016 Neb. LEXIS 187).



Judge: Plaintiff Lacks Standing, Preempted From Pursuing Racketeering Claim
NORFOLK, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Jan. 3 held that a restoration company has no standing to pursue a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, further finding that the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) preempts the company from pursuing its lawsuit against a federal flood insurer and seven other defendants (Slay's Restoration LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 15-140, E.D. Va.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1490).



9th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Suit Arising From Oregon Flood
SEATTLE - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 23 found that an insured failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether he submitted the required proof of loss under his standard flood insurance policy (SFIP), affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the January 2009 flooding of Oregon's Clackamas River (Gunnar H. Mertz, et al. v. American Family Ins., No. 14-35257, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23226).



Panel: There Can Be No Estoppel Of Flood Policy's Proof-Of-Loss Requirement
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of a federal flood insurer and an insurance broker in a dispute over coverage following a heavy rainfall, rejecting the insureds' argument that the insurer is estopped from alleging that their proof of loss is inadequate (James Miller, et al. v. American Strategic Insurance Corp., et al., No. 16-30251, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21731).



Coverage Dispute Arising From Storm Surge Was Not Timely Filed, Federal Judge Says
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 21 granted a federal flood insurer's motion to dismiss an insured's breach of contract lawsuit, finding that the action was not filed in federal court within the one-year statute of limitations required by the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Judd Apatow v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, et al., No. 16-198, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180529).



Judge: Unambiguous Policy Language Shows Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The term "flood" in a homeowners insurance policy is not ambiguous under South Carolina law and, as a result, an insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying coverage under the policy because it contained a water damage exclusion that precluded coverage for the damages insureds sought, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Dec. 29 in granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Stephen F. Morris, et al. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 16-0880, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179715).



Insured's Claim Precluded By Flood Exclusion, Judge Rules In Bad Faith Suit
COLUMBIA, S.C. - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying coverage under a homeowners insurance policy because an insured's claim for coverage was precluded by a flood damage exclusion in the policy, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Dec. 29 in granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Rachel Todd v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 16-0883, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179711).



Judge: Fact Issues Preclude Ruling As To Policy Exclusion, Alleged Bad Faith
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Dec. 28 denied a homeowners insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's lawsuit alleging that the insurer's denial of her claim was arbitrary, capricious and not in good faith (Joyce Twine v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 15-5168, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179153).



Florida Panel Reverses Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Sinkhole Coverage Dispute
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Dec. 9 held that a lower court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of a homeowners insurer on the insureds' bad faith lawsuit arising from a sinkhole coverage dispute, reversing and remanding (Sandra Barton And Gregory Barton v. Capitol Preferred Insurance Co. Inc., No. 5D15-1587, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 18168).



Court Property Bifurcated Claims In Dispute Over Tornado Damage, 5th Circuit Rules
NEW ORLEANS - A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in bifurcating in a lawsuit arising from tornado damage because insureds' extracontractual and punitive damages claims required the same showing on the part of their insurer, but their breach of contract claim did not, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 13 in an unpublished per curiam opinion (Edward and Rebecca Briggs v. State Farm, No. 16-60098, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22101).



Federal Judge: Bad Faith Claim Arising From Hailstorm Damage Lacks Factual Support
OKLAHOMA CITY - An insured's insurance bad faith counterclaim in a hailstorm coverage dispute was dismissed Dec. 5 after a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that the insured failed to provide any facts to support it (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. W-W Trailer Manufacturers, d/b/a W.W. Trailer Manufacturing, No. 16-995, W.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167362).