Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • 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).

  • April 18, 2024

    D&O Insurers File Defenses To Insurer In Rehabilitation’s Breach Of Contract Suit

    INDIANAPOLIS — Primary and excess directors and officers (D&O) insurers that issued policies to an insurer now in rehabilitation filed defenses in an Indiana federal court to the insurer in rehabilitation’s suit against them that seeks a declaration that specified D&O policies apply to cover claims in underlying litigation.

  • April 17, 2024

    Judge Files Redacted Opinion Ruling For Under Armour In D&O Coverage Dispute

    BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland refiled an opinion with redactions granting Under Armour Inc.’s motion for judgment on the pleadings in its directors and officers liability insurers’ lawsuit seeking a declaration that they owe no coverage for underlying investigations brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice, shareholder demand letters and a securities class action.

  • April 17, 2024

    Federal Judge Clarifies Claims Deadline For Preliminarily Approved Class Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California issued an order clarifying the claims deadline for the submission of claims for purposes of a $23,997,500 settlement and notice plan that received preliminary approval in a putative class action alleging claims for unfair business practices, false advertising, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and breach of the duty of good faith against travel insurers.

  • April 17, 2024

    IRS Adds To String Of Tax Court Wins In Case Over Purported Microcaptives

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In line with the handful of U.S. Tax Court rulings in similar cases, a judge has sustained Internal Revenue Service determinations regarding two purported microcaptive insurance companies, concluding that they “failed to distribute risk and were not selling insurance in the commonly accepted sense,” so the purported premiums cannot be deducted as insurance expenses on federal income taxes.

  • April 17, 2024

    Insureds Sue Excess D&O Insurers For Bad Faith, Seek Coverage For Receiver’s Claims

    CLEVELAND — The former chief executive officer and the general counsel of Dream Center Education Holdings LLC sued their excess directors and officers liability insurers for breach of contract and bad faith in an Ohio federal court, alleging that the insurers’ denials of coverage for a receiver’s underlying lawsuit “are both baseless and unreasonable.”

  • April 16, 2024

    4th Circuit Dismisses Insured’s Appeal In Coverage Dispute Over Trespass Claim

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted an insured’s motion to dismiss its own appeal of a lower federal court’s grant of a commercial general liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment in the insurer’s declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying trespass claim brought against the insured.

  • April 15, 2024

    Judge Partly Grants Insurer’s Motion To Compel In D&O Coverage Dispute Over Merger

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge on April 12 granted in part and denied in part a directors and officers liability insurer’s motion to compel discovery in a coverage dispute over claims that directors, officers and controlling shareholders breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the 2019 merger of Viacom and CBS Corp.

  • April 15, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Malpractice Claimant From Professional Liability Coverage Suit

    LAS VEGAS — One day after the parties filed a joint stipulation of dismissal, a federal judge in Nevada dismissed an underlying malpractice claimant from a professional liability insurer’s lawsuit alleging that the attorney insured fraudulently concealed one or more material facts on his renewal insurance applications.