Mealey's Emerging Insurance Disputes

  • March 04, 2024

    Panel Affirms, Remands To Establish Whether Policy Exclusion Applies Case By Case

    FRANKFORT, Ky. — On remand from the Kentucky Supreme Court, a Kentucky appeals panel on March 1 affirmed a lower court’s finding as to an insurer’s duty to defend against underlying lawsuits alleging that the insured violated federal health care laws, remanding for the lower court to conduct an evidentiary hearing to establish on a case-by-case basis whether an exclusion precludes directors and officers and professional liability insurance coverage.

  • March 04, 2024

    Parties Ordered To Refile Stipulation Of Dismissal In Worker Injury Coverage Suit

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York ordered a subcontractor, a property owner and a construction manager to refile under the correct Federal Rules of Civil Procedure their stipulation of dismissal of the claims between them in the subcontractor’s lawsuit arising from personal injury actions brought by two of its workers.

  • March 01, 2024

    Tribal Court Has Jurisdiction Over Tribe’s Coronavirus Coverage Suit, 9th Circuit Affirms

    SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 29 affirmed a lower federal court’s finding that a tribal court has subject matter jurisdiction over a coronavirus coverage suit involving tribal properties on tribal land that the Suquamish Tribe brought against “nonmember, off-reservation” insurers that participate in a program that is tailored to and offered exclusively to tribes.

  • March 01, 2024

    Insurer Owes Defense For Defamation Suit Against Employer, Indiana Panel Affirms

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals held that an insurer has a duty to defend its insured against an underlying defamation, abuse of process, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress lawsuit brought by the insured’s former employee, rejecting the insurer’s contention that the policy’s “knowing violation of rights of another,” “material published with knowledge of falsity” and “criminal acts” exclusions bar coverage.

  • March 01, 2024

    City Seeks Rehearing In Coverage Suit Over Tax Revenue Losses Arising From Pandemic

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri city asked the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling that a commercial property insurer owes no coverage for the city’s tax revenue losses due to governmental closure orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, arguing that the “inartful” policy is not clear and unambiguous.

  • February 29, 2024

    3rd Circuit Denies Drug Manufacturer’s Petition To Rehear D&O Coverage Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 28 denied a pharmaceutical drug manufacturer insured’s petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc, refusing to disturb its finding that an excess directors and officers liability insurer has no duty to pay the insured’s settlement and defense costs arising from an underlying shareholder class action alleging that it artificially inflated its stock when it misrepresented the results of a clinical drug study.

  • February 29, 2024

    Indiana Panel Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Purdue’s Suit Arising From Coronavirus

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana appeals court on Feb. 28 affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of an all-risks commercial insurer in the Trustees of Purdue University’s declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for its business interruption losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that Purdue’s claim does not fall under the unambiguous policy coverage for physical property loss or damage.

  • February 28, 2024

    Montana High Court Affirms Ruling In Contractor’s Favor In Its Suit Against Agent

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on Feb. 27 determined that a lower court did not err in granting summary judgment as to liability in favor of a general contractor in its lawsuit alleging that its insurance agent failed to procure the coverage it requested, affirming a $1,205,518.63 final judgment in favor of the contractor in a coverage dispute arising from underlying negligence, professional negligence and breach of contract claims brought by the developer of a condominium building.

  • February 28, 2024

    Panel Refuses To Rehear Whether CGL Insurer Has Duty To Indemnify Deli Owner

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals refused to reconsider its holding that an appellant is precluded from relitigating whether a commercial general liability insurer must indemnify its deli owner insured for liability arising from the appellant’s underlying state court injury lawsuit over a stabbing at the deli, standing by its ruling that affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of the insurer’s motion to dismiss.

  • February 28, 2024

    Texas High Court Partly Vacates Ruling In $220M SEC Fraud Coverage Suit

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court conditionally granted in part insurers’ request for mandamus relief in an insured’s lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability insurance coverage for an underlying $220 million securities class action settlement, finding that the lower court abused its discretion in concluding that the settlement is binding or admissible in the coverage lawsuit.

  • February 28, 2024

    Reinsurers Turn To 2nd Circuit In Oil Seizure Row Involving Insurrection Clause

    NEW YORK — Reinsurers who were ordered to pay CITGO Petroleum Corp. more than $72.5 million following a jury trial in a suit stemming from the February 2020 seizure of crude oil at a Venezuelan port and involving a marine cargo reinsurance policy have obtained a supersedeas bond and initiated an appeal.

  • February 27, 2024

    Judge Clarifies Discovery Scope After Confusion About AI Insurance Tools

    CHICAGO — Given the court’s and parties’ own confusion about the scope of artificial intelligence tools potentially used in sorting complex and potentially fraudulent claims from more standard ones, homeowner plaintiffs and their insurer should confer and determine what exactly is at issue before conducting further discovery, a federal judge in Illinois said in a docket entry order in a case involving the Fair Housing Act.

  • February 27, 2024

    Delaware High Court: Letter About Paraquat Exposure Does Not Constitute Claim

    WILMINGTON, Del. — The Delaware Supreme Court on Feb. 26 affirmed a lower court’s finding that an insurer owes a duty to defend its insured against underlying bodily injury suits arising out of exposure to paraquat, a chemical compound manufactured by the insured for use in herbicides, because a letter from a law firm sent to the insured a year before the policies at issue incepted did not constitute a claim for damages.

  • February 27, 2024

    Louisiana High Court Refuses To Disturb Rulings In Favor Of Insurer, Engineer

    NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Supreme Court on Feb. 27 refused to review an appeals court’s affirmation of a lower court’s summary judgment rulings in favor of an insurer and engineer in a lawsuit arising from a contractor’s claims that plans, specifications and bidding documents were inadequate and insufficient to properly construct a road in Terrebonne Parish, refusing to disturb the appeals court’s conclusion that because an engineer insured has no liability to Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government (TPCG) as a matter of law, the engineer’s professional liability insurer also cannot be held liable to TPCG.

  • February 27, 2024

    Michigan Panel Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Insurance Agent In Negligence Suit

    DETROIT — A Michigan appeals panel affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of an insurance agent and agency in an insured’s negligence lawsuit arising from its lack of flood coverage, finding that the defendants did not owe the insured a duty to assess and ensure the adequacy of its business insurance coverage and that the insured failed to establish a special relationship giving rise to that duty.

  • February 27, 2024

    Debtors Of Cryptocurrency Company Seek Recovery Of $22.5M Improper Premium Payment

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The wind-down debtors of a cryptocurrency company have sued directors and officers liability insurers in a New Jersey court seeking to recover no less than $22.5 million in premiums plus interest and costs, accusing the insurers of a “cash grab” and alleging that the premium funds were part of transactions that unfairly or improperly depleted the debtors’ assets or improperly diluted the claims against those assets.

  • February 26, 2024

    U.S. High Court Vacates Administrative Stay In Boy Scouts’ Bankruptcy Plan Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court vacated Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s Feb. 16 order that administratively stayed a Delaware federal court’s order affirming a bankruptcy judge’s confirmation of the Boy Scouts of America’s third modified, fifth amended Chapter 11 reorganization plan that contemplates the creation of a settlement trust to “assume liability for all Abuse Claims,” denying the application for stay.

  • February 26, 2024

    4th Circuit Refuses To Rehear No Coverage, No Bad Faith Ruling

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied an insured’s petition to rehear its opinion that affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of a professional liability insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, standing by its holding that the insured failed to create a genuine dispute of fact about the reasonableness of the insurer’s refusal to defend her against an underlying lawsuit.

  • February 23, 2024

    Pa. High Court Tosses State Law Question Of Joint Underwriting Association Status

    PHILADELPHIA — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed a previously granted petition for certification of a state law question regarding the private or public entity status of the Pennsylvania Professional Liability Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), which provides coverage to health care providers, including those previously insured by insurers in liquidation, finding that the high court “improvidently granted this certification request” because the question “is principally one of federal law.”

  • February 23, 2024

    1st Circuit Says Insurer Not Entitled To Reimbursement For Settlement, Defense Costs

    BOSTON — A district court erred in finding that an insurer is entitled to reimbursement for defense and settlement costs paid on behalf of its insureds to settle an underlying bodily injury suit stemming from an employee’s contact with raw sewage because the insureds never agreed to reimburse the insurer for any settlement costs and the policy does not include a provision allowing for the reimbursement of costs paid on behalf of the insureds, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Feb. 22 in reversing the district court’s rulings related to the insurer’s claim for reimbursement.

  • February 23, 2024

    New York Appeals Court Modifies Summary Judgment Order, Vacates Attorney Fee Award

    NEW YORK — A New York appeals court held that conflicting testimony as to a contractor’s request for insurance coverage precludes summary judgment in its favor in a lawsuit arising from an injury at a construction site, unanimously modifying the trial court’s order to deny the contractor’s cross-motion for summary judgment and vacating the attorney fee award in its favor.

  • February 23, 2024

    Delaware Judge: Securities Suit Unrelated To SEC Subpoena; D&O Coverage Triggered

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware judge concluded that an underlying federal securities lawsuit brought in 2016 against a pharmaceutical company insured is not “meaningfully” related to a May 7, 2015, subpoena issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, granting the insured’s motion for summary judgment in its lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage.

  • February 23, 2024

    E&O Insurer Owes Coverage For Negligence Claims Against Brokerage, Panel Affirms

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s rulings in favor of an insured in a real estate errors and omissions liability insurer’s lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying negligent misrepresentation and negligent employee training claims brought against the insured, finding that the policy’s conversion and future-value exclusions do not bar coverage.

  • February 22, 2024

    Judge: Insurer Breached Its Duty To Defend Baltimore Sun From Suits Over Shooting

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Feb. 21 held that an insurer breached its duty to defend Tribune Publishing Co. LLC and The Baltimore Sun Co. LLC against underlying wrongful death and negligence lawsuits arising from a 2018 shooting in which five newspaper employees were killed, further finding that the amount of underlying defense costs the insureds are entitled to “remains unresolved.”

  • February 22, 2024

    New Jersey Panel Affirms No Coverage Owed To YMCAs For Losses Arising From Pandemic

    TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on Feb. 21 affirmed a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of commercial property and casualty insurers in a coverage dispute arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that YMCA insureds’ business interruption claims are restricted by their policies’ clear and plain meaning that the court cannot rewrite to cover the “unfortunate losses” they incurred.