Mealey's Insurance

  • April 19, 2024

    Insurers File Notices Of Appeal To 7th Circuit In Contamination Coverage Suit

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A number of insurers on the hook for a more than $115 million award entered by an Indiana federal jury in favor of the insured in a breach of contract and bad faith suit stemming from the insured’s request for coverage costs related to the cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) filed notices of appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18.

  • April 19, 2024

    Question Of Fact Exists On Cause Of Injuries Suffered By Airline Employees

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge denied motions for summary judgment filed by a primary insurer and an excess insurer on the issue of the number of occurrences because a question of fact exists on what caused the injuries of underlying American Airlines’ employees who claim they suffered health ailments after wearing uniforms manufactured by the insured.

  • April 18, 2024

    No Additional Coverage Owed For Water Damages Caused By Sewer, Drain Backup

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An insured is not entitled to additional coverage for water damage incurred at its property because the policy at issue provides only $5,000 in coverage for water damage caused by sewer or drain backups, a Tennessee federal judge said in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment on claims for breach of contract, bad faith, misrepresentation and negligent actions.

  • April 18, 2024

    Primary Insurer Seeks Review From Oregon High Court In Contribution Coverage Suit

    SALEM, Ore. — A primary insurer filed a petition for review in the Oregon Supreme Court, seeking review of the Oregon Court of Appeals’ reversal of a trial court’s ruling in favor of the primary insurer in a contribution coverage dispute between primary and excess insurers over the environmental contamination cleanup costs incurred by the insureds.

  • April 16, 2024

    Parties In Mold, Construction Defects Suit File Supplemental Authorities In 11th Circuit

    ATLANTA — An insurer and insureds involved in a dispute over coverage for mold damage discovered in an insured hotel filed supplemental authorities on April 15 in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, citing cases that each side claims are relevant to the issue of whether the policy at issue provides coverage for losses caused by a construction defect even if the cost to fix the defect is not covered.

  • April 16, 2024

    Primary Insurer Files Suit, Seeks Declaration On Policies’ Remaining Aggregate Limits

    PORTLAND, Ore. — A primary insurer filed suit in Oregon federal court against its insured and the insured’s excess insurers, seeking a declaration as to whether the aggregate limits of its policies have been exhausted by payments made on behalf of the insured for environmental contaminations claims.

  • April 16, 2024

    Excess Policies Provide Only 1 Limit For Each Occurrence During Policy Term

    PITTSBURGH — Three excess insurance policies implicated in an asbestos coverage dispute provide aggregate limits on an annualized basis but provide only one limit for each occurrence during the applicable policy term, a Pennsylvania federal judge said in ruling on a number of motions for summary judgment filed by insurers involved in the coverage dispute.

  • April 15, 2024

    Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage For Carbon Monoxide Claim, Insureds Say

    BISMARCK, N.D. — A pollution exclusion does not bar coverage for an underlying bodily injury claim stemming from carbon monoxide exposure because the pollution exclusion in the insurer’s policy applies only to traditional environmental pollution claims, the insureds contend in an April 12 appellant brief filed in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • April 11, 2024

    11th Circuit Upholds Denial Of New Trial In Insurance Dispute Over Damage

    ATLANTA — In an unpublished April 10 opinion, a panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s denial of an insurer’s request for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial, finding that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s nearly $170,000 verdict that established damage to a church’s buildings was caused by a hurricane and not faulty work.

  • April 10, 2024

    Reconsideration Bid Denied, Default Judgment Granted In Reimbursement Dispute

    OMAHA, Neb. — Deciding against a Brazil-based reinsurer on two motions in a March 9 amended ruling, a Nebraska federal judge entered judgment for plaintiff National Indemnity Co. (NICO) on all claims in a suit over reimbursement for a settlement reached with Montana regarding alleged asbestos exposure.

  • April 08, 2024

    Primary, Excess Insurer Says Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Silica Lawsuits

    MINNEAPOLIS — No coverage is owed to an insured manufacturer of quartz surface slabs for underlying bodily injury lawsuits arising out of exposure to silica dust while working with the quartz slabs because coverage is barred by the pollution exclusion, a primary and excess insurer says in a complaint filed in Minnesota federal court.

  • April 09, 2024

    Insureds Say Remand In Pollution Dispute Is Necessary, Appeal Is Premature

    SAN FRANCISCO — Insureds involved in an environmental contamination coverage suit urge the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to remand its suit to the district court, contending that the insurer’s notice of appeal was premature because the district court did not rule on the insureds’ motion to alter or amend the judgment entered in favor of the insureds on the applicability of the pollution exclusion.

  • April 04, 2024

    Insurer Says District Court Properly Found Coverage Is Barred For Cleanup Costs

    ATLANTA — A district court’s ruling that no coverage is owed to an insured for contamination cleanup costs caused by the release of petroleum and other contaminants from an underground storage tank at a gas station must be affirmed because the district court correctly found that the claim for contamination cleanup costs incepted prior to the issuance of the policy and is, therefore, barred from coverage, the insurer says in its appellee brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal.

  • April 04, 2024

    Coverage Owed For Mold Damages, Insureds Reiterate In Corrected Reply Brief

    ATLANTA — In a corrected reply brief, filed with the permission of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, insureds reiterate their argument that a district court erred in finding that no coverage is owed for mold damage discovered in an insured hotel because the policy at issue provides coverage for losses caused by a construction defect even if the cost to fix the defect is not covered.

  • April 03, 2024

    Connecticut Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer’s Favor In Tribe’s Coronavirus Suit

    HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut appeals court on April 2 affirmed a lower court’s judgment in favor of an insurer in an Indian tribe’s declaratory judgment lawsuit arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, rejecting the tribe’s contention that the lower court improperly determined that the policy’s contamination exclusion applied to bar the majority of its coverage.

  • April 02, 2024

    Reinsurer Wins Collateral Estoppel Ruling In Defense Costs Dispute With Insurer

    DETROIT — Saying that collateral estoppel applies because the “issue was actually litigated and decided during” the plaintiff insurer’s arbitration with a different entity, a Michigan federal judge ruled for a reinsurer in a defense costs dispute concerning asbestos lawsuits.

  • April 01, 2024

    Illinois Law Applies In Environmental Contamination Coverage Dispute, Judge Says

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Illinois law must be applied in an environmental contamination coverage dispute because Illinois has a more “substantial interest” in the resolution of the coverage dispute arising out of the insureds’ obligations for remediation costs related to a Superfund site located in Illinois than does the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the location where some of the policies were issued, an Illinois federal judge said March 29 in granting the insureds’ motion to apply Illinois law and in denying the insurers’ motion to apply Massachusetts law.

  • March 29, 2024

    Insureds Cannot Mention Cost Of Mold Damage Or Mold Repairs During Trial

    PHILADELPHIA — Insureds who allege that their homeowners insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by refusing to pay for all damages caused by a tornado and rain during Hurricane Ida are precluded from mentioning the cost and scope of mold damages and repairs to their home during trial because the mold damages are clearly excluded under the homeowners policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge said.

  • March 28, 2024

    Communicable Disease Exclusion Does Not Apply To Legionnaires’ Disease Lawsuits

    NEW YORK — A commercial lines insurer’s communicable disease exclusion does not bar coverage for three underlying lawsuits alleging that residents of the insured properties contracted Legionnaires’ disease following exposure to Legionella bacteria at the properties because Legionnaires’ disease is not a communicable disease, a New York federal judge said in granting the insured’s motion for summary judgment.

  • March 27, 2024

    Radioactive Materials Exclusion Applies; Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Fail

    MILWAUKEE — Breach of contract and bad faith claims against two commercial general liability insurers fail because the policies’ radioactive materials exclusion bars coverage for an underlying suit seeking damages for bodily injuries caused by exposure to electromagnetic (EMF) radiation from the insured’s electric transformers, a Wisconsin federal judge said in granting the insurers’ motion for summary judgment.

  • March 26, 2024

    4th Circuit Says No Rehearing In Asbestos Coverage Row With Guaranty Association

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied an insurer’s request for rehearing and rehearing en banc of the court’s ruling dismissing the insurer’s appeal of a district court’s order remanding to state court a receiver’s asbestos coverage suit against insurers and the South Carolina Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurers Win Summary Judgment On Bad Faith Claim In Case Over Settlement

    CINCINNATI — Ruling that Marginian v. Allstate Ins. Co. “plainly bars” the sole remaining bad faith claim under Ohio law “[a]nd no amount of discovery could change that,” an Ohio federal judge granted summary judgment for defendant insurers in litigation over the settlement of a third-party personal injury lawsuit.

  • March 26, 2024

    Expert Report Is Relevant To Issue Of Whether Raw Sewage Is Pollutant

    NEW YORK — A New York state justice denied a motion to preclude a primary insurer’s expert report after determining that the testimony is relevant in the dispute over equitable contribution for an underlying water contamination suit because the report addresses the issue of whether raw sewage in drinking water is a pollutant or contaminant.

  • March 25, 2024

    Indiana Federal Judge Awards Insured Prejudgment Interest In Cleanup Suit

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — An Indiana federal judge on March 22 denied insurers’ post-trial motions, upheld a jury’s verdict of $112 million in favor of the insured and awarded the insured approximately $3 million in prejudgment interest in a breach of contract and bad faith suit stemming from the insured’s request for coverage costs related to the cleanup of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

  • March 25, 2024

    Insurer Says Lower Court Erred In Placing Burden On Insurer In Pollution Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A district court erred in placing the burden on an insurer to prove that a pollution exclusion barred coverage for underlying environmental contamination lawsuits because the burden should have been placed on the insureds to prove that the exclusion did not apply as a bar to coverage, an insurer argues in its March 22 appellant brief filed in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

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