Mealey's Catastrophic Loss

  • June 21, 2024

    Panel Reverses Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Bad Faith Suit Over Hurricane Damage

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on June 20 held that an insurer waived its right to contest the validity of an insured’s Civil Remedy Notice of Insurer Violations (CRN) in the insured’s bad faith lawsuit arising from her hurricane water damage claim, reversing a lower court’s judgment in favor of the insurer and remanding.

  • June 21, 2024

    Louisiana Panel Affirms Default Judgment, Bad Faith Penalty Award Against Insurer

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — A trial court did not err in awarding insureds bad faith damages and attorney fees as part of a default judgment against a homeowners insurer in a coverage dispute over hurricane damages because the homeowners insurer failed to make payment within 30 days of receiving satisfactory proof of loss, a panel of the Third Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal said June 20.

  • June 21, 2024

    Judge: Exclusion Does Not Apply To Coverage Claim Arising From Nashville Bombing

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee held that an insurance policy exclusion for buildings “that have been designated by any local, state or national governmental agency as an historic structure or landmark” does not apply to a condominium owner insured’s claim seeking coverage for the cost to repair its building, which incurred significant damage in the 2020 Christmas Day bombing in Nashville.

  • June 20, 2024

    2nd Circuit Lifts Stay Of Clothing Boutique’s Appeal In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lifted the stay of a clothing boutique owner insured’s appeal of a federal district court’s order that denied its motion to alter or amend a judgment dismissing its breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking business interruption and property damage coverage for its losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown orders.

  • June 19, 2024

    Court Dismisses Coverage Suit Over Baltimore Sun Shooting Per Parties’ Stipulation

    CHICAGO — One day after the parties filed a stipulation of dismissal, a federal Illinois court dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit brought by Tribune Publishing Co. LLC and The Baltimore Sun Co. LLC seeking coverage for underlying wrongful death and negligence lawsuits arising from a 2018 shooting in which five newspaper employees were killed.

  • June 18, 2024

    Texas High Court Refuses To Disturb Reversal In Hurricane Harvey Coverage Suit

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court denied insureds’ petition to review an appellate panel’s reversal of a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in their favor in a coverage lawsuit arising from Hurricane Harvey damage, refusing to disturb the panel’s ruling to remand for the lower court to enter a take-nothing judgment in favor of the insurer.

  • June 17, 2024

    Lakers, Insurer Dismiss Coronavirus Coverage Dispute In California Federal Court

    LOS ANGELES —The Los Angeles Lakers and its commercial property insurer filed a stipulation asking a California federal court to dismiss with prejudice the insured’s lawsuit arising from its property damage and business interruption claims for losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • June 17, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Hurricane Laura Coverage Suit After Parties Announce Settlement

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on June 14 dismissed without prejudice a retirement community insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for its Hurricane Laura damage after the parties announced they reached a settlement.

  • June 17, 2024

    Insurers’ Motion To Compel Arbitration Should Have Been Granted, 5th Circuit Says 

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 reversed and remanded a lower federal court’s ruling that denied insurers’ motion to compel arbitration in insureds’ breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking damages for commercial property damage caused by hurricanes Laura and Delta, finding that the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards applies despite the insureds’ dismissal of their claims against foreign insurers.

  • June 12, 2024

    Federal Judge Dismisses Hurricane Ida Coverage Suit After Parties Settle Claims

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana granted parties’ joint motion to dismiss with prejudice a skilled nursing facility insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for Hurricane Ida damage after the insurer and the insured indicated that all claims have been settled or compromised.

  • June 11, 2024

    Judge Partly Denies Insurer’s Summary Judgment Motion In Hurricane Laura Dispute

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana held that whether an insured’s submitted additional damages or mitigation expenses may be considered within its original loss event or as a separate loss event is inherently a fact question that is contingent on the state of repairs or mitigation of the insured property when Hurricane Delta occurred, partly denying an insurer’s motion in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Laura.

  • June 06, 2024

    Panel Affirms Order Requiring Guaranty Association To Make $37K Settlement Payment

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Without providing an explanation, a Florida appellate court affirmed a lower court order granting homeowners’ motion to enforce a $37,500 settlement in a hurricane damage dispute with the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA), which was substituted as a defendant after the homeowners insurer was ordered into liquidation.

  • June 06, 2024

    Insurer Entitled To Directed Verdict On Prompt Notice Issue, Panel Says In Reversal

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel held June 5 that insureds failed to provide their insurer with prompt notice of their property damage caused by Hurricane Irma and that the insurer was entitled to a directed verdict on the issue, reversing a lower court’s final judgment in favor of the insureds and remanding for a new trial to determine whether the insureds’ untimely notice prejudiced the insurer.

  • June 05, 2024

    Hurricane Coverage Row Tossed After Insured Fails To Refute Lack Of Coverage

    LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana federal judge granted summary judgment to the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (LIGA) as successor to a now-insolvent insurer and dismissed with prejudice a homeowner’s breach of contract and bad faith hurricane coverage dispute, finding that the insured failed to refute evidence that his home was not insured by the insurer on the dates of purported loss.

  • June 03, 2024

    Self-Serving Affidavit Is Insufficient To Beat Summary Judgment, 5th Circuit Affirms

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 31 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that an insured failed to create a genuine dispute of material fact that any damage to the roof of its convenience store was attributable to a car collision and not Hurricane Harvey or preexisting wear and tear.

  • June 03, 2024

    R.I. Supreme Court Affirms Contamination Exclusion Bars Coverage In Coronavirus Suit

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island Supreme Court on May 31 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer in an insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that it has “no difficulty concluding” that the insured’s “allegations fall squarely within the Contamination Exclusion.”

  • June 03, 2024

    Bad Faith, Unfair Practices Claims Properly Dismissed In Hurricane Coverage Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 31 affirmed a district court’s dismissal of claims alleging bad faith and violation of North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA) against a homeowners insurer because the district court properly found that the insured’s amended complaint failed to show that there was anything more than an honest disagreement between the parties regarding the amount damages.

  • May 31, 2024

    Communicable Disease Business Income Coverage Limit Is $100,000 Per Occurrence

    NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey ruled that a commercial insurance policy’s applicable limit for its Communicable Disease Business Income Coverage is $100,000 per occurrence and the threat of the spread of the coronavirus and not Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive orders triggered this coverage, granting an insurer’s motion for summary judgment and denying an insured’s cross-motion in a declaratory judgment lawsuit arising from the pandemic.

  • May 31, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Coverage Dispute Between Contractor, Insurer After Settlement

    LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California granted a contractor and a commercial general liability insurer’s joint stipulation of dismissal filed after the parties agreed to a settlement, dismissing with prejudice allegations stemming from claims that the contractor failed to secure a building before a hurricane.

  • May 29, 2024

    Florida Panel Reverses Judgment In Insurer’s Favor In Storm Damage Coverage Suit

    TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida appeals panel on May 29 concluded that a lower court impermissibly weighed the evidence in ruling on an insurer’s motion for summary judgment when it held that the insurer’s and insured’s affidavits resulted in a “tie” and there were no genuine disputes of material facts, reversing the lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer in the insured’s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for alleged roof damage caused by a wind and hail storm.

  • May 29, 2024

    Washington Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Quest Diagnostics’ Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    SEATTLE — A Washington appeals panel held May 28 that Quest Diagnostics Inc. failed to establish that the presence of COVID-19 resulted in physical loss or damage to its insured property, affirming a lower court’s dismissal of the insured’s breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage under the civil authority policy provision for its business interruption losses.

  • May 28, 2024

    4th Circuit Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in Mars Inc.’s declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for its losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding no reversible error in the lower court’s ruling.

  • May 28, 2024

    Contractor, Insurer Seek Dismissal Of Coverage Claims After Settlement

    LOS ANGELES — A contractor and an insurer filed a joint stipulation of dismissal on May 24, seeking to bring an end to their dispute in a California federal court stemming from the contractor’s alleged failure to properly secure a building under construction in advance of a hurricane after they agreed to a settlement.

  • May 24, 2024

    5th Circuit Affirms Reduced Attorney Fee Award In Hail, Wind Damage Coverage Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 23 affirmed a federal court’s reduction of an insured’s attorney fee award from the requested $171,700 to $34,500 in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from the insured’s hail and wind property damage, agreeing with the trial court that a reduction in attorney fees was appropriate.

  • May 24, 2024

    California High Court: Presence Of COVID-19 Does Not Constitute Direct Physical Loss

    SAN FRANCISCO — Answering “no” to a certified question from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court held May 23 that the “actual or potential presence of the COVID-19 virus on an insured's premises generally does not constitute ‘direct physical loss or damage to property’ for purposes of coverage under a commercial property insurance policy.”