Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • May 13, 2024

    U.S. High Court Denies Insurer’s Petition Seeking Review Of Remanded Class Action

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 denied an insurer’s petition for a writ of certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review 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).

  • May 10, 2024

    Pharmacy Distributor Appeals No Coverage Ruling In Suit Prompted By Opioid Epidemic

    VALDOSTA, Ga. — A pharmacy distributor insured indicated to a Georgia federal court that it is asking the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review the court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of its commercial general liability and umbrella insurers in a coverage dispute arising from the opioid epidemic.

  • May 10, 2024

    3rd Circuit Denies Ralph Lauren’s Motions To Remand Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 9 denied Ralph Lauren Corp.’s motions seeking to vacate and remand a New Jersey federal court’s ruling in favor of its insurer in a coronavirus coverage dispute.

  • May 09, 2024

    Panel Partly Affirms, Partly Vacates Ruling In Wrongful Death Coverage Suit

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 8 affirmed the part of a lower federal court’s order that determined that a commercial general liability insurance policy’s assault and battery exclusion relieved an insurer of its duty to indemnify against an underlying wrongful death suit brought by the estate of the decedent but found that the insurer lacked standing to pursue its declaratory judgment claim against the estate as to its duty to defend.

  • May 08, 2024

    COMMENTARY: A Primer On PFAS/Forever Chemical Claims: Regulation, Litigation, Large Losses & Insurance Coverage Issues

    By Scott M. Seaman and Gar N. Lauerman

  • May 08, 2024

    Judge Rules New Orleans Cannot Make Insurers Arbitrate Airport Construction Claims

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana found that New Orleans cannot compel arbitration with insurers over coverage stemming from construction damages at a city airport, finding that the insurers did not agree to arbitrate claims asserted by the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB).

  • May 08, 2024

    Federal Judge Enters Judgment In Favor Of Professional Liability Insurer

    LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Nevada entered judgment in favor of professional liability insurer in its lawsuit alleging that the attorney insured fraudulently concealed one or more material facts on his renewal insurance applications.

  • May 06, 2024

    Freddie Mac Dismisses Lead Insurer From D&O Coverage Dispute Over SEC Subpoena

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and its lead insurer on May 3 filed a joint stipulation asking a District of Columbia federal court to dismiss the insurer from Freddie Mac’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage for underlying expenses it incurred on behalf of its directors, officers and employees who were subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission during an investigation and subsequent lawsuit.

  • May 06, 2024

    Ohio Panel Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Insurer In Intervenor Suit Disputing Coverage

    TOLEDO, Ohio — An Ohio appeals panel on May 3 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of a commercial liability insurer in its intervenor lawsuit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to indemnify its insured against underlying negligence and loss of consortium claims, finding that a professional services exclusion bars coverage.

  • May 03, 2024

    Judge: No Duty For Agent To Procure Policy Without Exclusions For Contractor

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge granted a procuring insurance agent’s motion for summary judgment on claims assigned to a couple by the contractor that defectively constructed their home, finding that the couple failed to establish that the contractor had entered into a contract with the procuring insurance agent that would require it to provide an insurance policy that did not contain policy exclusions that led to denial.

  • 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 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.