Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • January 08, 2024

    Insured Fails To Support Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims, Federal Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS —  A Louisiana federal judge dismissed an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith claims against his homeowners insurer after determining that the insured failed to provide sufficient facts showing that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith in its adjustment of the insured’s claim for damages caused by Hurricane Ida.

  • January 05, 2024

    Clothing Retailer Asks North Carolina High Court To Review COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A clothing retailer insured petitioned the North Carolina Supreme Court to review an appeals court’s ruling that affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of its lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, challenging the lower courts’ reliance on North State Deli v. Cincinnati Ins. Co. in dismissing its case.

  • January 04, 2024

    P.F. Chang’s Coverage For COVID-19 Losses Limited To $1M, California Panel Affirms

    LOS ANGELES — A California appeals court on Jan. 3 concluded that P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.’s insurance policy language “clearly and unambiguously” provided only $1 million in coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, affirming a lower court’s ruling granting summary adjudication in favor of the insurer.

  • January 04, 2024

    Florida Panel Reverses Denial Of Insured’s Appraisal Motion In Hurricane Irma Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 3 concluded that the plain and unambiguous language of Florida Statutes Section 627.70132 does not require an insured to provide a damages estimate to comply with the statutory requirement for providing its insurer with notice of a supplemental or reopened claim, reversing and remanding a lower court’s denial of a condominium association insured’s motion to compel appraisal in a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute.

  • December 21, 2023

    Texas Federal Judge Revises Order On Expert Admissibility In Reconsideration Motion

    DALLAS — A Texas federal judge excluded one expert and limited another expert’s testimony in an insurance coverage dispute after reconsidering a previous ruling on the admissibility of the experts.

  • December 21, 2023

    3rd Circuit:  Suit Not ‘Ripe’ In Insurer’s Row With Care Homes Over COVID Coverage

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated and remanded a district court’s grant of judgment for an insurer seeking a declaration that a nursing home’s COVID-19-related policies’ provision requiring the nursing home to pay the first $3 million in litigation and claims costs applies to multiple events, one for each facility, finding that the district court lacked jurisdiction to determine “whether COVID-19 constitutes multiple health care events” is “ripe for review.”

  • December 18, 2023

    Flood Insurer Submits List Of Parties Remaining In Hurricane Ida Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — A flood insurer that was sued for breach of contract for its alleged failure to adequately cover claims related to Hurricane Ida submitted to a federal court a notice advising that the remaining parties are the insured, flood insurer and Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (LIGA), as statutory successor for an insolvent homeowner’s insurer.

  • December 06, 2023

    N.J. Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Tory Burch LLC’s Coronavirus Coverage Dispute

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey appeals panel on Dec. 6 affirmed a lower court’s grant of an insurer’s motion to dismiss Tory Burch LLC’s breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders issued in response to the virus did not physically deprive the insured from possessing its property.

  • December 15, 2023

    Virus Exclusion Unambiguously Bars Coverage, Panel Affirms In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of an insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for its business losses incurred as a result of the coronavirus and subsequent government shutdown orders, finding that the commercial insurance policy's virus exclusion unambiguously precludes coverage for the insured’s claims for loss and damage.

  • December 15, 2023

    Florida Panel Affirms $884,371 Judgment In Insured’s Favor In Hurricane Irma Suit

    MIAMI — A Florida appeals panel affirmed a lower court’s $884,371.90 final judgment in favor of an insured after a jury returned a verdict in its favor in its breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses caused by Hurricane Irma, finding that the insurer failed to establish reversible error.

  • December 15, 2023

    5th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Insurer In Hurricane Hanna Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that adopted a magistrate’s report recommending that summary judgment be granted in favor of a property insurer in a hotel owner’s breach of contract, fraud and bad faith lawsuit, finding that the insured failed to carry its burden under the concurrent causation doctrine to demonstrate that its roof damage was caused solely by Hurricane Hanna.

  • December 15, 2023

    Insureds Breached Terms Of Policy By Failing To Provide Proof Of Loss, Judge Says

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insureds’ claims for breach of contract and bad faith against their homeowners insurers in a dispute over damages and losses caused by a California wildfire cannot proceed because the insureds breached the terms of the insurance policy by failing to file a proof of loss for their personal property losses, a California federal judge said in granting the insurers’ motion for summary judgment.

  • December 14, 2023

    Louisiana Federal Judge Dismisses Hurricane Coverage Suit After Counsel Suspension

    LAFAYETTE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge dismissed a hurricane coverage suit, concurring with a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation to grant a homeowner’s motion for dismissal against his now-insolvent insurer after the judge suspended the homeowner’s legal counsel for purported insurance fraud related to alleged misconduct in filing hurricane-coverage suits.

  • December 14, 2023

    Insured’s Remand Bid Denied In Hurricane Coverage Row With Insurer In Receivership

    NEW ORLEANS  — A Louisiana federal judge denied a homeowner’s motion to remand to state court his breach of contract and bad faith suit against his now-insolvent insurer alleging that the insurer failed to cover damage from Hurricane Ida, finding that because the homeowner did not amend his complaint to add the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (LIGA) as a defendant, there is still “complete diversity between the parties.”

  • December 14, 2023

    Bifurcation Of Bad Faith Claim In Wildfire Coverage Suit Not Warranted, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — Bifurcation of a bad faith claim from a breach of contract claim in a dispute over coverage for property damages sustained by an insured’s wineries during four California wildfires is not warranted, a California federal judge said after determining that judicial efficiency would not be served through bifurcation and that any potential prejudice to the insurer incurred by trying both claims together could be avoided by issuing clear and limited jury instructions.

  • December 13, 2023

    Panel:  Insured’s Argument In COVID-19 Dispute ‘Runs Into A Wall Of Precedent’

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the shutdown of its event venue in response to the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insured has failed to plausibly assert any “direct physical loss of or damage to” its property.

  • December 12, 2023

    Minnesota Panel:  Insured Failed To Allege Coronavirus Was Present At Its Properties

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota appeals panel on Dec. 11 affirmed a lower court’s ruling dismissing an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit against its insurers, finding that the insured failed to assert that the coronavirus was present at and contaminated its insured casino and golf course properties and, therefore, it did not cause direct physical loss or damage.

  • December 12, 2023

    Court Lacked Authority To Coordinate Not-Yet-Filed COVID-19 Coverage Suits

    PITTSBURGH — A majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 213.1 does not allow the coordination of actions that have not been filed at the time of the motion for coordination and that an insurer waived its argument that insureds were not entitled to seek coordination in the first place, affirming a Superior Court’s partial reversal of a lower court’s order coordinating coronavirus coverage lawsuits against Erie Insurance Exchange in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

  • December 12, 2023

    Dental Practice Incurred No Direct Physical Loss, Insurers Argue To Pa. High Court

    PITTSBURGH — Insurers filed a reply brief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court defending their appeal of a Pennsylvania Superior Court majority’s ruling that at the very least, it is reasonable to interpret the phrase “direct physical loss of . . . property” to encompass the loss of use of a dental practice’s property due to the spread of the coronavirus “absent any actual damage to property.”

  • December 12, 2023

    Insured Failed To Show Coronavirus Is A Pollution Condition, Panel Says

    PORTLAND, Ore. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Dec. 11 affirmed a district court’s ruling that no coverage is owed to an insured for business interruption losses sustained as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic because the insured failed to show that the coronavirus qualifies as a pollution condition as required by the policy at issue.

  • December 12, 2023

    California Judge Sustains Insurer’s Demurrer To Nonprofit’s COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A California judge sustained an insurer’s demurrer to its nonprofit insured’s breach of contract, bad faith, negligent misrepresentation and declaratory relief complaint seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, holding that the coronavirus and the subsequent governmental orders “are inextricably intertwined.”

  • December 07, 2023

    COMMENTARY: Fire & Rain: 2023 Key Decisions & Developments Impacting The Wide World Of Insurance

    By Scott M. Seaman, Pedro E. Hernandez and Lisa M. Roccanova

  • December 08, 2023

    Home Inspector Can Testify In Dispute Over Insurance Payout, Repairs

    TULSA, Okla. — A federal magistrate judge in Oklahoma on Dec. 7 denied an insured couple’s motion to exclude expert testimony by a property inspector who was hired by the insurer to review work done on a home damaged by a storm after the couple filed a breach of contract suit against the insurer.

  • December 05, 2023

    Insurer Seeks Reimbursement From Government For Losses Caused By Contaminated Water

    HONOLULU — In a complaint filed in Hawaii federal court, an insurer claims that the U.S. government must reimburse it for more than $500,000 paid to its insured for business losses after a fuel spill at a jet fuel storage facility operated by the U.S, Navy contaminated local drinking water and forced the insured to close its fast food restaurants for approximately four months.

  • December 04, 2023

    Judge Allows Insurers To Amend To Add Fraud Defense For Pre-Hurricane Damage

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Dec. 1 issued an order granting a motion to amend an answer in a breach of contract suit filed against a commercial property insurer and an insurance syndicate over their failure to cover a condominium’s hurricane-related losses, finding that the proposed fraud defenses were sufficiently pleaded after discovery revealed that the alleged hurricane-related damage purportedly occurred before the hurricane.

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