Mealey's California Insurance

  • February 12, 2024

    Injunction Is Part Of Agreement To Resolve Lloyd’s Trademark Infringement Case

    HOUSTON — Lloyd’s America Inc. and Corporation of Lloyd’s and the individual they sued in Texas federal court over alleged defamation and trademark infringement have reported reaching an agreement to resolve the suit, with terms including entry of a permanent injunction.

  • February 09, 2024

    Bad Faith, Breach Of Contract Claims Against Auto Insurer Fail, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. — A district court correctly determined that bad faith and breach of contract claims against a business auto insurer could not proceed because a genuine dispute over coverage existed and the insurer paid the amount owed under the policy shortly after an arbitration award in favor of the insured was confirmed, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded in a Feb. 8 unpublished opinion.

  • February 09, 2024

    Insurer Petitions 9th Circuit For Panel Rehearing Of Pollution Exclusion Ruling

    SAN FRANCISCO — A district court’s ruling that a pollution exclusion bars coverage for an underlying toxic exposure suit stemming from the cleanup of wildfire debris should be affirmed because a panel majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals failed to consider two applicable California appellate decisions before concluding that the insurer’s pollution exclusion does not apply to toxic dust, an insurer argues in its petition for panel rehearing.

  • February 08, 2024

    Insured Fails To Establish Coverage ‘Occurrence’ Under Policy, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of an advertising company insured’s breach of contract lawsuit against its commercial general liability insurer, finding that the insured failed to demonstrate facts establishing a covered “occurrence” under its policy.

  • February 07, 2024

    Disability Claimant Says Insurer Fails To Show Policy Rider Is Clear, Unambiguous

    SAN FRANCISCO — A disability insurer fails to show that a rider included in its disability income policy is not ambiguous and should be enforced, a disability claimant says, maintaining in his appellant reply brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a district court incorrectly interpreted the policy’s monthly benefit rider.

  • February 05, 2024

    Judge: No Coverage Owed For Unfair Competition Suit Brought Against Insured

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California concluded that an insurer has no duty to defend its furniture delivery company insured against an underlying misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition lawsuit brought by a competitor, granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in the insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit.

  • February 02, 2024

    Judgment Granted For Insurer In Row Over Misrepresentation Of Harassment Suit

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge granted summary judgment to an employment practices liability insurer in a declaratory judgment suit against its insured, finding that the insurer is entitled to rescind the policies because it would not have issued the policies had it known of the insured’s false affirmation in the policy application that no harassment suits were made against it in the last five years.

  • February 01, 2024

    Airline And Insurer Agree To Dismiss UCL, Bad Faith Suit Over Passenger’s Coma

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Jan. 31 entered an order of dismissal after an airline and two insurers entered a joint stipulation requesting dismissal of the airline’s suit accusing one insurer of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and bad faith based on an allegedly improper denial of coverage for a separate lawsuit brought against the airline by the family of a quadriplegic man who fell into a coma while traveling, which recently settled for $30 million.

  • January 31, 2024

    Claimant Failed To Provide Objective Findings In Support Of Disability, Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES —  A disability claimant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she is entitled to short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits because she failed to provide any objective findings in support of her claimed disability, California federal judge said in granting judgment in favor of the disability insurer.

  • January 30, 2024

    9th Circuit Stays Mandate Reversing Court’s Dismissal In FCA Drug Pricing Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a 90-day stay of the mandate reversing and remanding a district court’s dismissal of a relator’s qui tam suit alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) against pharmaceutical companies related to their alleged fraud by artificially inflating drug prices.

  • January 30, 2024

    Judge Overrules Discovery Objections In FCA Suit, Says Scope Should Be Nationwide

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge affirmed a magistrate judge’s discovery order and overruled Abbott Laboratories’ objections to the geographical scope of discovery in a suit alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) and state false claims laws regarding an alleged kickback scheme to induce hospitals and physicians to use an Abbott cardiac medical device, finding that the complaint sufficiently alleges a “nationwide scheme.”

  • January 29, 2024

    Panel: Opioid Suits Describe ‘Exclusively Deliberate’ Conduct, No Coverage Owed

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 held that underlying allegations brought against a prescription drug distributor insured “describe exclusively deliberate conduct” and, therefore, there is no coverage owed, affirming a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of insurers in their lawsuit disputing coverage for the underlying lawsuits prompted by the opioid epidemic.

  • January 26, 2024

    Construction Firm Ineligible For Defense From Excess Insurers, Federal Judge Rules

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Jan. 25 granted two excess insurers’ motion for partial summary judgment, finding in part that a construction company and related entities were not entitled to a defense from the insurers because the primary $5 million policy had not been exhausted by judgments or settlements as required by the excess insurance policy.

  • January 25, 2024

    Panel: LLC Was Sole Tenant, No Personal And Advertising Injury Coverage Owed

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying cross-complaint in response to the insureds’ unlawful detainer lawsuit, finding that the policy’s personal and advertising injury coverage was not triggered because a limited liability company and not an actual person was the sole tenant sued.

  • January 24, 2024

    9th Circuit Panel Majority Reverses Ruling On Pollution Exclusion’s Applicability

    SAN FRANCISCO — The majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 reversed a district court’s ruling that a pollution exclusion bars coverage for an underlying toxic exposure suit stemming from the cleanup of wildfire debris after determining that a potential for coverage exists because the mechanism of exposure does not clearly constitute an event that is commonly thought of as pollution event pursuant to California precedent.

  • January 24, 2024

    Insurers Have No Duty To Defend Against Copyright Suit, California Panel Affirms

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel on Jan. 23 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of professional liability and excess insurers, finding that the insurers have no duty to defend or indemnify their investment adviser insured against an underlying copyright lawsuit.

  • January 24, 2024

    Federal Judge: Construction Contract Did Not Require Continuing Coverage

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Finding that an insurer had no duty to defend a construction company as an additional insured in a dispute over damages to a Hard Rock Hotel location because the terms of the original contract included no requirements to maintain insurance beyond the final payment date for the project, a federal judge in California granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute brought by another insurer.

  • January 23, 2024

    Disability Claimant’s 2nd Suit Not Barred By Res Judicata, Panel Majority Says

    PASADENA, Calif. — A disability claimant’s suit seeking long-term disability (LTD) benefits is not barred by the doctrine of res judicata because the claim pertaining to the denial of the claimant’s LTD benefits had not accrued when the claimant filed her first suit, the majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Jan. 22 in reversing a district court’s ruling in favor of the disability insurer.

  • January 22, 2024

    Bank, Insurer Stipulate To Dismissal Of Coverage Dispute Arising From Forgery

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A bank insured and its insurer on Jan. 19 filed a stipulation to dismiss with prejudice the insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses resulting from a forgery eight days after a federal judge in California issued an in-chambers order setting an order to show cause as to dismissal following a settlement announcement by the parties.

  • January 22, 2024

    Punitive Damages Claim Cannot Proceed, California Federal Judge Determines

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — An insured cannot seek punitive damages in a coverage suit arising out of a claim for collapse at his business because the insured failed to show that the insurer acted with oppression, malice or fraud in handling his claim, a California federal judge said in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss.

  • January 17, 2024

    Federal Judge Sets Order To Show Cause For Dismissal Of Forgery Coverage Suit

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California issued an in-chambers order setting an order to show cause as to dismissal of a bank insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses resulting from a forgery one day after the parties filed a joint notice of settlement.

  • January 17, 2024

    California Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Untimely Fraud Suit Against Insurance Agent

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals panel affirmed a lower court’s dismissal with prejudice of a real estate brokerage company’s fraud and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against an insurance agent, finding that the complaint was untimely.

  • January 16, 2024

    In Reversal, 9th Circuit Says Assignments Give Surgery Center ERISA Standing To Sue

    PASADENA, Calif. — Reversing and remanding dismissal of a suit, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled that patient assignments give a surgery center derivative standing under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to sue for nonpayment of approximately $5.4 million in services rendered.

  • January 16, 2024

    City’s Cross-Complaints Are Not Prohibited, California Panel Rules In Reversal

    SAN DIEGO — A California appeals panel held that a lower court erred in ruling that the city of Riverside’s cross-complaints in a dispute arising from a fire were prohibited as a matter of law, remanding with directions for the lower court to vacate its orders sustaining an insurer’s demurrers to the city's cross-complaints without leave to amend and enter new orders sustaining the demurrers with leave to amend.

  • January 12, 2024

    Citing Supplemental Notice Filing, Movants Press Opt-Out Issue Again In COI Hike Row

    PHILADELPHIA — Citing a motion pending in Pennsylvania federal court, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stayed consolidated appeals challenging denial of a request to extend the opt-out deadline in the class settlement of two similar cases over universal life insurance policy cost of insurance (COI) increases.

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