Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • May 02, 2024

    Chris Brown’s Recording Studio Insurer Appeals $2M Judgment To 6th Circuit

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The insurer of a recording studio owned by musician Chris Brown on May 1 appealed a Tennessee federal judge’s final judgment requiring the insurer to pay $2,066,217.30 of a $2.5 million jury verdict to a co-defendant and lessee of the studio after Brown was previously found liable for submitting a fraudulent insurance claim for burglary and fire at the studio.

  • May 01, 2024

    Kentucky Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Dispute Arising From Wrongful Death

    FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky appeals panel affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit brought against a shooter and his insurer, finding that the judicial proceedings privilege precludes the plaintiff’s claims.

  • May 01, 2024

    Subcontractor Appeals Summary Judgment Rulings In Worker Injury Coverage Dispute

    NEW YORK — A subcontractor on April 30 filed a notice in a New York federal court indicating it is asking the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review the federal court’s orders that denied its motion for partial summary judgment and granted insurers’ motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit arising from personal injury actions brought by two of its workers.

  • May 01, 2024

    Judge: Fact Issues Preclude Summary Judgment In Coverage Suit Over Worker Injury

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut judge held that there are genuine issues of material fact regarding whether a property owner was an additional insured under a general liability insurance policy that was issued to a pizzeria, denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit arising from a pizzeria employee’s injury.

  • April 30, 2024

    Pennsylvania Court Vacates Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Suit Over Wrongful Death

    PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Superior Court held that an insurer failed to identify a copy of a construction company’s “other insurance” policy and, therefore, it did not establish that it was entitled to judgment as a matter of law, vacating a lower court’s ruling in favor of the insurer in its declaratory judgment lawsuit arising from the fatal fall of a construction site worker and remanding for further proceedings.

  • April 30, 2024

    CGL Policy Is Not Ambiguous, Panel Says, Remands For Judgment In Insurer’s Favor

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a lower federal court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of an insured in an insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit, finding that the commercial general liability insurance policy unambiguously bars coverage for underlying lawsuits arising from injuries and fatalities that occurred after a car careened off the raceway and collided with spectators at an amateur drag racing event.

  • April 30, 2024

    Washington High Court Issues Mandate After Majority Rules In Favor Of Insurer

    OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Supreme Court issued a mandate following the majority’s earlier finding that an insurer’s practice of reducing bills for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to the 80th percentile of charges and its use of a third-party database to determine the reasonableness of medical providers’ chargers is not unfair or unreasonable and does not constitute an unfair practice under the state’s Consumer Protection Act.

  • April 30, 2024

    Insured Seeks Michigan High Court Review Of Ruling In Favor Of Insurance Agent

    LANSING, Mich. — An insured asked the Michigan Supreme Court to review an appeals court’s ruling that affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of an insurance agent and agency in its negligence lawsuit arising from its lack of flood coverage, challenging the appeals court’s finding that the defendants did not owe it a duty to assess and ensure the adequacy of its business insurance coverage and that it failed to establish a special relationship giving rise to that duty.

  • April 29, 2024

    9th Circuit Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Dispute Arising From Gold Treasure

    SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 26 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an ocean marine general liability insurer in a declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying $7.5 million covenant judgment that resolved claims that the appellant was denied possession and use of the tangible and intangible work product that was created during gold salvage expeditions.

  • April 29, 2024

    Federal Judge Dismisses Worker Injury Coverage Suit Following Refiled Stipulation

    NEW YORK — Following a stipulation of dismissal refiled by a subcontractor, a property owner and a construction manager, a New York federal judge on April 26 dismissed all remaining claims between them in the subcontractor’s lawsuit arising from personal injury actions brought by two of its workers.

  • April 29, 2024

    Duke Dismisses D&O Primary Insurer From Coverage Suit Over Antitrust Settlement

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Duke University voluntarily dismissed the primary insurer from its lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage for its settlement of an underlying antitrust lawsuit, indicating to a North Carolina federal court that it has resolved its dispute with the insurer.

  • April 26, 2024

    Motion To Strike Denied In Insurance Coverage Row Over Gloves Missing At Sea

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on April 25 denied a motion to strike an insurer’s defenses that the policy at issue is void for material misrepresentations in a supplier’s suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the insurer is obligated to indemnify the supplier for the loss of a cargo of gloves that never arrived in the United States after being shipped from Malaysia, finding that the supplier provided no legal authority for its argument that the insurer did not give notice for policy rescission.

  • April 26, 2024

    Pennsylvania Majority Reverses Ruling For Insureds In Wrongful Death Coverage Suit

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on April 25 reversed a lower court’s ruling that an insurer has a duty to defend against an underlying wrongful death lawsuit, finding that coverage was not triggered because the emotional and mental distress damages alleged in the underlying action were not bodily injuries.

  • April 26, 2024

    Maine High Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Favor Of Businessowners Insurer

    PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a businessowners insurer in its lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying $1.5 million wrongful death judgment, finding that the insured’s actions while he was wrestling with the decedent were not “with respect to the conduct” of his landscaping business.

  • April 26, 2024

    CGL Insurer Dismissed From Coverage Dispute Arising From Opioid Epidemic

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Parties filed a stipulation in a South Carolina federal court dismissing one commercial general liability insurer without prejudice from the insurers’ lawsuit seeking a declaration that they have no duty to defend or indemnify against governmental entities’ underlying lawsuits alleging that their insured caused or contributed to the opioid crisis by improperly marketing, distributing and selling opioid medications.

  • April 24, 2024

    Panel: No Coverage Owed For Tortious Interference Suit Against Food Manufacturer

    CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals court panel affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in its declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that its insured wrongfully seized and withheld snack cracker manufacturing equipment and interfered with a business relationship, finding that the underlying claims involve only intentional conduct.

  • April 24, 2024

    Insured Entitled To Coverage Under Innocent Insured Doctrine, Illinois Panel Affirms

    CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals panel held that a lower court did not err in finding that an insured was entitled to coverage pursuant to the innocent insured doctrine, affirming the lower court’s $176,356.68 judgment in favor of the insured in her breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for the loss of the real diamond in her engagement ring.

  • 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 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

    Panel Declines Insured’s Request To Rehear Professional Liability Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 denied an insured’s petition seeking rehearing of its March 21 opinion that affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a professional liability insurer in the insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying claims that she breached a subcontract by wrongfully soliciting the underlying plaintiff’s clients.

  • 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 22, 2024

    Federal Judge Stays Class Action Alleging Insurer Illegally Wiretaps Website Users

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge granted an insurer’s motion to stay a putative class action alleging that it illegally wiretaps website users by using third-party session replay software to track and record their navigation, exercising “its considerable discretion to stay these proceedings pending guidance from the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals regarding standing” in what the insurer calls a “strikingly similar” lawsuit.

  • April 19, 2024

    Winemaker Sues Insurers In Washington Court, Seeks Coverage For Defective Wine

    SEATTLE — A wine producer sued its insurer for declaratory judgment and breach of contract in a Washington court, seeking coverage for the “tragic damage to 320,922 cases of premium Washington wine” that resulted in a loss of more than $8 million.

  • April 18, 2024

    N.Y. Appeals Court Affirms No CGL Coverage Owed For Labor Law Suits against Insured

    NEW YORK — A New York appeals court unanimously affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a commercial general liability insurer in the insured’s lawsuit seeking coverage for two underlying labor law actions, finding that the lower court properly concluded that the policy's auto exclusion applies to bar coverage.

  • April 18, 2024

    Amici File Briefs In Support Of Insurer’s High Court Appeal Of Remanded Class Action

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two sets of amici curiae filed briefs on April 17 in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting an insurer’s petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that a class action challenging its practices fits within the internal affairs and home state controversy exceptions to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).