Mealey's California Insurance

  • May 03, 2024

    Disability Claimant Seeks Rehearing Of Preexisting Condition Exclusion Ruling

    PASADENA, Calif. — A disability claimant filed a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that rehearing is warranted because the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision that a long-term disability (LTD) policy’s preexisting condition exclusion bars coverage creates an intracircuit conflict with a prior ruling of the Ninth Circuit.

  • May 03, 2024

    Disability Insurer Awarded More Than $11,000 In Costs In Bad Faith Benefits Suit

    FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge awarded a disability insurer more than $11,000 in costs that the insurer incurred in successfully defending a breach of contract and bad faith suit lodged against it by an oral surgeon who stopped working to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering complications from the virus based on his comorbid conditions of asthma and hypertension.

  • May 02, 2024

    Disability Insurer, Claimant Settle Dispute Over Policy’s Monthly Benefit Rider

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals entered an order staying a disability claimant’s appeal and directing the parties to file a joint status report following the disability insurer’s filing of a notice of a settlement between the parties.

  • May 01, 2024

    9th Circuit Denies Homeowner’s Rehearing Bid In Fire Loss Coverage Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 30 denied a homeowner’s request for rehearing and rehearing en banc of its decision affirming a district court’s grants of summary judgment for insurers in two coverage disputes consolidated on appeal regarding whether the homeowner misrepresented in the insurance application that she used her property for commercial purposes or that she had prior losses.

  • May 01, 2024

    9th Circuit Denies Insureds’ Request To Remand Pollution Coverage Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 30 denied a motion filed by insureds for a limited remand to allow a district court to rule on a post-judgment motion in an environmental contamination coverage suit, noting in its order that a review of the record shows that the district court denied the parties’ post-judgment motions without prejudice and that the parties did not file a renewed motion.

  • April 30, 2024

    Insurer, Insured Reach Settlement In Water Damage Coverage Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — An insurer filed a notice of settlement in California federal court after reaching a settlement with its insured in a suit seeking coverage for water damages to the insured’s business.

  • April 19, 2024

    Question Of Fact Exists On Cause Of Injuries Suffered By Airline Employees

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge denied motions for summary judgment filed by a primary insurer and an excess insurer on the issue of the number of occurrences because a question of fact exists on what caused the injuries of underlying American Airlines’ employees who claim they suffered health ailments after wearing uniforms manufactured by the insured.

  • April 17, 2024

    LTD Claim Excluded By Policy’s Preexisting Condition Exclusion, 9th Circuit Says

    PASADENA, Calif. — A district court did not err in entering judgment in favor of a disability insurer because the long-term disability (LTD) policy’s preexisting condition exclusion barred coverage as the disability claimant received medical treatment for symptoms related to the claimed disability within three months prior to the effective date of coverage of the policy, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said.

  • April 17, 2024

    Federal Judge Clarifies Claims Deadline For Preliminarily Approved Class Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California issued an order clarifying the claims deadline for the submission of claims for purposes of a $23,997,500 settlement and notice plan that received preliminary approval in a putative class action alleging claims for unfair business practices, false advertising, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and breach of the duty of good faith against travel insurers.

  • April 16, 2024

    AG Sides With Insured In UCL Time Limit Case Before California High Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed an amicus curiae brief with the state’s Supreme Court supporting an insured in her challenge to the dismissal as time-barred of her lawsuit claiming that her insurer failed to properly investigate a claim, writing that the court should have applied the four-year statute of limitations based on her claim for injunctive relief under California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • April 16, 2024

    Rehab Plan Approved Over Workers’ Comp Insurer’s Objections In California Court

    REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Rejecting numerous objections from California Insurance Co. (CIC), a California state judge approved a rehabilitation plan that she said the state insurance commissioner described as being “designed to . . . complete CIC's exit from the state on terms that protect the Company, policyholders, and the public.”

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurer Accused Of Using AI Software To Deny Claims ‘En Masse’ In Class Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — An insured filed a putative class action in California state court accusing his insurer of violating California’s insurance regulations and its unfair competition law (UCL) by using artificial intelligence (AI) software to deny claims for coverage.

  • April 10, 2024

    Pharma Companies Seek High Court Review Of Ruling Reversing FCA Suit Dismissal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pharmaceutical companies accused of violating the False Claims Act (FCA) by artificially inflating drug prices filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ reversal of a district court’s dismissal of a qui tam suit against them, arguing, in part, that the panel “created a circuit split by holding that a relator can avoid the public disclosure bar by ‘stitching together’ public disclosures.”

  • April 10, 2024

    No Evidence Supports Bad Faith Claim Against Auto Insurer, Federal Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES — An insured failed to present any evidence supporting its allegation that its auto insurer acted in bad faith by failing to properly settle underlying bodily injury claims arising out of an auto accident for which the insured conceded liability, a California federal judge said in granting the auto insurer’s motion for summary judgment.

  • April 09, 2024

    Insureds Say Remand In Pollution Dispute Is Necessary, Appeal Is Premature

    SAN FRANCISCO — Insureds involved in an environmental contamination coverage suit urge the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to remand its suit to the district court, contending that the insurer’s notice of appeal was premature because the district court did not rule on the insureds’ motion to alter or amend the judgment entered in favor of the insureds on the applicability of the pollution exclusion.

  • April 08, 2024

    Driver Appeals Grant Of Summary Judgment On UCL Claim For ‘Unfair’ COVID Premiums

    SAN FRANCISCO — A driver on April 5 appealed to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a California federal judge’s grant of summary judgment in favor of GEICO after finding that it did not violate California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by unfairly profiting from a premium giveback program initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • April 05, 2024

    Bad Faith Claim Against Auto Insurer To Proceed, California Federal Judge Says

    FRESNO, Calif. —  An insured’s claim for bad faith against an auto insurer can proceed because the disparity between an arbitrator’s determination of the insured’s damages and the available policy limit supports the insured’s bad faith claim, a California federal judge said in denying the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings.

  • April 01, 2024

    9th Circuit Panel Refuses To Rehear Ruling In $40M Commercial Crime Coverage Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 29 voted unanimously to deny insurers’ petition for panel rehearing challenging its reversal of a lower federal court’s dismissal of a financial services company insured’s claim for loss under its commercial crime insurance policy’s “Computer And Funds Transfer Fraud Insuring Agreement” and its claim for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, standing by its finding that the authorized submission of fraudulent electronic data into the insured’s computer system can arguably be described as “fraudulent entry” to trigger coverage.

  • March 28, 2024

    Bad Faith Claim Based On Insurer’s Denial Of Defense Not Time-Barred, Panel Says

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A trial court erred in granting a homeowners insurer’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s bad faith claim related to the insurer’s denial of a defense for an arbitration proceeding arising out of the insured’s alleged failure to disclose a water and mold damage in a home sold by the insured because the bad faith claim based on the denial of a defense was not time-barred under the policy, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal said.

  • March 28, 2024

    Trial Court Properly Awarded Sanctions To Disability Insurer, California Panel Says

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A trial court properly sustained a disability insurer’s demurrer of an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith suit and properly awarded sanctions to the disability insurer because the suit was the third suit filed against the insurer and the insured failed to meet his burden of showing that the third suit was not frivolous or without merit, the Fourth District California Court of Appeals said.

  • March 27, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Construction Defects Insurance Suit After Parties Agree To Settle

    OAKLAND, Calif. — After the parties notified the court that they had reached a global settlement, a federal judge in California on March 26 dismissed with prejudice the case between two excess insurers and a construction firm and related entities that sought a defense for a series of construction defect claims.

  • March 27, 2024

    Federal Judge: Ambiguities Mean Insurer Owes Defense To Damaged Home’s Owners

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge granted in part a couple’s motion for partial summary judgment, finding that a renovator’s insurer owes them a duty to defend and indemnify due to damages caused to the couple’s duplex home while the renovator was replacing the roof because an ambiguously worded policy exclusion regarding apartments does not bar coverage.

  • March 27, 2024

    Dismissal Stipulated Before Jury Trial In Reinsurance Breach Of Contract Row

    LOS ANGELES — Parties in a reinsurance billing suit over a variety of claims that had been progressing toward a jury trial in California federal court have filed a one-paragraph March 26 stipulation dismissing the case in its entirety “with prejudice and without costs.”

  • March 26, 2024

    Companies Appeal Finding They Are Owed No Defense From Subcontractor’s Insurer

    LOS ANGELES — A building owner and a general contractor have appealed a California judge’s decision dismissing their lawsuit seeking payment from a subcontractor’s insurer after the judge agreed with the insurer that coverage was barred by a policy exclusion related to damage caused by the subcontractor’s faulty work.

  • March 25, 2024

    Judge Grants Summary Judgment On Driver’s UCL Claim For ‘Unfair’ COVID Premiums

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge granted GEICO’s motion for summary judgment on an insured’s claim against it for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by unfairly profiting from a premium giveback program initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, in part citing evidence that state insurance regulators deemed GEICO’s givebacks sufficient.

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