Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • May 03, 2024

    Insureds Defend Their Appeal To N.C. Supreme Court In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Restaurant insureds defended their appeal asking the North Carolina Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court’s reversal of a lower court’s grant of partial summary judgment in their favor in a COVID-19 coverage dispute, asserting that a “careful examination makes clear that its policy as interpreted under North Carolina’s specific laws provides coverage for its losses.

  • May 03, 2024

    Judge: Insured’s Attachments To Complaint Contradict Physical Dispossession Claims

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s lawsuit alleging that the insurer wrongfully denied coverage for losses that its predecessor-in-interest incurred from governmental shutdown orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured’s physical dispossession allegations are contradicted by its own attachments to its complaint that demonstrated that the shutdown orders did not completely bar employees from accessing the company’s facilities.

  • May 01, 2024

    10th Circuit: Insurer’s Coverage Denial For Steel Collapse Not In Bad Faith

    DENVER — A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 30 affirmed a Wyoming federal judge’s finding that a building owner insured is owed no coverage under an insurance policy’s additional abrupt collapse coverage, finding that the building owner did not show that the insurer or its claims service manager acted in bad faith.

  • April 30, 2024

    Policy Limit Paid For Hurricane Damage; Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Fail

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on April 29 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims brought by an insured whose home was damaged during Hurricane Ida because the insurer paid the policy limits owed to the insured and the insured failed to include any facts in support of the claims.

  • April 30, 2024

    Jury Finds Insurer Violated Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act In Irma Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida federal jury held that a homeowners insurer did not act in bad faith but that it did violate Florida’s Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act in a coverage dispute over property damage to a 28,000-square-foot ocean-front home caused by Hurricane Irma.

  • April 26, 2024

    Insurer Seeks Texas High Court Review Of Majority’s Reversal In Tornado Dispute

    AUSTIN, Texas — A homeowners insurer asked the Texas Supreme Court to review a Texas appellate court majority’s reversal of a lower court’s judgment against insureds in a coverage dispute arising from tornado damage, challenging the majority’s conclusion that the term “windstorm” in the policy’s “Windstorm or Hail Deductible” is ambiguous and that the insureds’ construction of it was not unreasonable.

  • April 24, 2024

    3rd Circuit Lifts Stay In Ralph Lauren’s Appeal Of Coronavirus Coverage Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals issued an order lifting a stay of Ralph Lauren Corp.’s appeal of a New Jersey federal court’s ruling in favor of its insurer in a coronavirus coverage dispute, referring the insured’s motion to vacate and remand to the motions panel.

  • April 24, 2024

    Following Texas High Court’s Answer, Panel Affirms Judgment In Favor Of Insurer

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that it is required to affirm a lower federal court’s judgment in favor of an insurer in an insured’s lawsuit alleging that the insurer violated the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (TPPCA) following the Texas Supreme Court’s answer “yes” to a certified question in finding that the TPPCA prohibited the insured from recovering attorney fees because the insurer voluntarily paid the full appraisal award for the insured’s tornado damage plus any statutory interest.

  • April 23, 2024

    D.C. Panel Affirms No-Coverage Ruling For Restaurants’ Losses Arising From Pandemic

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia appeals court affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by 10 restaurants and bars seeking coverage for their lost business income arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that the virus did not cause a tangible change or alteration to the insureds’ property to establish “direct physical loss or damage” to trigger coverage.

  • April 22, 2024

    Suquamish Tribe Opposes Insurers’ Petition for Rehearing In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    SEATTLE —The Suquamish Tribe opposed insurers’ petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider its Feb. 29 opinion that affirmed a federal court’s finding that a tribal court has subject matter jurisdiction over a COVID-19 coverage suit involving tribal properties on tribal land, arguing that the insurers’ argument “distorts” the panel’s ruling and controlling law.

  • April 17, 2024

    Res Judicata Bars Hurricane Ida Coverage Lawsuit, 5th Circuit Affirms

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 16 affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of Louisiana insureds’ coverage lawsuit with prejudice arising from Hurricane Ida wind damage, finding that the lawsuit is barred by the doctrine of res judicata.

  • April 12, 2024

    Florida Panel Issues 2 Rulings Against Same Insurer In Hailstorm Coverage Suits

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel issued two opinions the same day ruling against Florida Farm Bureau General Insurance Co. in insureds’ breach of contract lawsuits seeking coverage for hailstorm damage, finding that the policies’ hurricane deductible cannot be applied to the insureds’ loss and, as a result, the lower court properly granted summary judgment in favor of the insureds.

  • April 12, 2024

    Insured Seeks To Compel Guaranty Association To Appear In Windstorm Damage Suit

    SARASOTA, Fla. — An insured homeowner moved a Florida state court to compel the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) to appear in the homeowner’s wind damage coverage suit, asserting that FIGA was automatically substituted for the insured’s now-insolvent homeowners insurer in the suit upon the insurer’s insolvency.

  • April 11, 2024

    11th Circuit Upholds Denial Of New Trial In Insurance Dispute Over Damage

    ATLANTA — In an unpublished April 10 opinion, a panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s denial of an insurer’s request for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial, finding that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s nearly $170,000 verdict that established damage to a church’s buildings was caused by a hurricane and not faulty work.

  • April 11, 2024

    Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Suit Over Car Dealership’s Storm Damage

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 10 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith coverage lawsuit arising from storm damage to the insured’s car dealerships and car wash, agreeing with the lower court that the insured failed to create a fact question as to whether the insurer breached the insurance policy when it paid the insured the actual cash value of its claimed losses rather than their replacement cost value.

  • April 11, 2024

    Florida Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Hurricane Irma Dispute

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on April 10 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in the insureds’ coverage lawsuit arising from Hurricane Irma damage, rejecting the insureds’ contention that the insurer’s payment after an appraisal was issued does not entitle it to summary judgment.

  • April 10, 2024

    5th Circuit Won’t Rehear Insureds’ Dispute Over Arbitrability Of Storm Claims

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 denied two New Orleans property owners’ petition for panel or en banc rehearing of their appeal challenging the arbitrability of their claims for $7 million in damages caused by Hurricane Ida and for bad faith against a group of foreign and domestic insurers.

  • April 10, 2024

    9th Circuit Partly Reverses Ruling In Insurers’ Favor In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 held that a lower federal court properly granted insurers’ motion to dismiss all claims in a coronavirus coverage dispute that include the triggering language “direct physical loss or damage” to restaurant and hotel insureds’ properties but reversed the lower court’s denial of leave to amend a claim under the Crisis Event provision, which, the panel noted, does not include any language regarding “direct physical loss or damage.”

  • April 09, 2024

    Insurer Seeks Rehearing In Dispute Over $1M Settlement Of Canceled Music Festival

    NEW ORLEANS — An insurer filed a petition asking the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider its reversal of a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in its favor in the insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying $1 million class action settlement arising from its refusal to refund ticket sales for the South by Southwest festival that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging the panel’s finding that the policy’s contract and professional services exclusions do not bar coverage.

  • 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 08, 2024

    Expert Allowed In Roof Coverage Suit Pending In Nevada Federal Court

    LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge found that the arguments in an insurer’s motion to exclude expert testimony “are matters for cross examination and are not bases to strike” and that the expert’s testimony on the condition of a roof at the center of a coverage dispute is admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702.

  • April 08, 2024

    Louisiana Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Hurricane Delta Dispute

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana appeals panel affirmed a lower court’s grant of an insurer’s exceptions of prescription and no cause of action and dismissal of an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its Hurricane Delta property damage, finding that the insured’s related federal complaint did not interrupt prescription of the insured’s hurricane claims.

  • April 03, 2024

    5th Circuit: Fact Issues Preclude Summary Judgment In Hailstorm Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 2 that there is a genuine dispute of material fact that precludes summary judgment in favor of an insurer regarding Texas insureds’ claims for breach of contract and breach of the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act, partly vacating a federal court’s ruling in a coverage dispute arising from hailstorm roof damage.

  • April 03, 2024

    Connecticut Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Tribe’s Coronavirus Suit

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut appeals court on April 2 affirmed a lower court’s judgment in favor of an insurer in an Indian tribe’s declaratory judgment lawsuit arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, rejecting the tribe’s contention that the lower court improperly determined that the policy’s contamination exclusion applied to bar the majority of its coverage.

  • April 01, 2024

    Washington Judge Certifies 2 Questions In University’s Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    SEATTLE — A Washington judge granted in part an insurer’s motion to certify issues to the Washington Court of Appeals for discretionary review in the University of Washington’s lawsuit seeking coverage for losses incurred by its medical and athletic properties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staying the lawsuit pending resolution of the two controlling questions of law to determine whether commercial property insurance policies insure business income losses that are related to a pandemic.

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