Mealey's Insurance

  • November 13, 2023

    Insured Files Supplemental Authority On Applicability Of Pollution Exclusion

    SAN FRANCISCO — A few days before oral arguments were held in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a dispute over the applicability of the pollution exclusion, the insured, seeking coverage for an underlying toxic exposure suit stemming from the cleanup of wildfire debris, filed a notice of supplemental authority, urging the Ninth Circuit to consider a ruling by the Second District California Court of Appeal in support of its argument that the pollution exclusion does not bar coverage for the underlying suit.

  • November 13, 2023

    West Virginia High Court Majority Says Continuous Trigger Of Coverage Applies

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In answering a certified question from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the majority of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals determined that a continuous trigger of coverage applies in a toxic chemical exposure suit and said that every occurrence-based insurance policy in effect from the initial exposure must provide coverage for the claim.

  • November 13, 2023

    Insured Condo Association Says Coverage Owed For Hidden Water Damage

    SEATTLE — A property insurer’s denial of coverage for hidden water damage discovered in the buildings of a condominium development constitutes a breach of contract and bad faith because coverage is afforded under the policies at issue, an insured condominium association says in a complaint filed in Washington federal court.

  • November 13, 2023

    Reserve Information In COVID-19 Coverage Suit Not Relevant To Bad Faith Claim

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge denied an insured’s motion to compel documents related to the reserve set by an insurer in response to the insured’s claim for business losses sustained in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic after determining that the reserve information is not relevant to the insured’s bad faith claim because only a nominal reserve was set by the insurer and no changes were made to the reserve since the coverage claim was filed.

  • November 10, 2023

    Insurer Is Granted Clerk’s Entry Of Default Against Brazilian Reinsurer

    OMAHA, Neb. — An insurer has obtained a clerk’s entry of default in its Nebraska federal court suit seeking reimbursement from a Brazil-based reinsurer for a settlement the insurer reached with Montana regarding alleged asbestos exposure.

  • November 06, 2023

    No Coverage For Underlying Suit Seeking Damages From Nitric Oxide Plume, Panel Says

    DENVER — No coverage is owed to an insured for an underlying suit alleging damages caused by the release of a nitric oxide plume from an insured’s manufacturing plant because a pollution endorsement, which provides coverage for pollution-related bodily injury claims, applies only to claims that have a connection to Vermont, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in affirming a district court’s ruling in favor of the insurer.

  • November 06, 2023

    Insurer, Insured Will Mediate Coverage Dispute Over Rodent Dropping Damages

    RALEIGH, N.C. — An insurer and its insured will participate in a mediation proceeding in an attempt to resolve the commercial general liability insurer’s suit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured for an underlying suit claiming that the insured’s failure to inspect its storage pod for rodent droppings resulted in the underlying plaintiff becoming infected with bacterial meningitis.

  • November 06, 2023

    Insured Municipality Files Suit, Says Coverage Owed For Remediation Costs

    TRENTON, N.J. — A premises pollution liability insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for environmental contamination remediation costs incurred by an insured municipality because the policy obligates the insurer to provide coverage for the remediation costs, the insured says in a complaint filed in New Jersey state court.

  • November 06, 2023

    Insurer’s Suit Stemming From Oil Spill Dismissed For Lack Of Standing

    NEW ORLEANS — An insurer’s suit seeking a declaration that nine policies issued under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) do not provide coverage to its insured for an oil discharge from the insured’s oil wells following Hurricane Ivan must be dismissed because the insurer does not have standing to bring the claims against its insured since the U.S. government, and not its insured, is the entity seeking to recover under the policies issued to the insured, a Louisiana federal judge said in granting the insured’s motion to dismiss.

  • November 06, 2023

    No Coverage Owed For Roof Collapse Following Thunderstorm, 5th Circuit Affirms

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 3 affirmed a lower federal court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a building owner insured’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for damage caused by a collapsed roof following a thunderstorm, rejecting the insured’s contention that its principal’s deposition testimony created a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the damage was caused by wind or rain.

  • November 03, 2023

    Ohio High Court Majority Affirms Choice-Of-Law Analysis For Bad Faith Claim

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio appellate court applied the correct factors in a choice-of-law analysis for a bad faith claim in an environmental contamination coverage suit because the bad faith claim sounds in tort rather than contract, the majority of the Ohio Supreme Court said in affirming the appellate court’s ruling.

  • November 01, 2023

    Reinsurer Makes Disputed Intervention Bid In Row Between Insurer And Agent

    NEW ORLEANS — A captive cell reinsurer seeking to intervene in a dispute between an insurer and a managing general agent (MGA) in Louisiana federal court argues in an Oct. 31 reply brief that it “has satisfied the Fifth Circuit’s four-part test for intervention as a matter of right.”

  • October 30, 2023

    California Appeals Panel Affirms Ruling For Insurer In Water Damage Suit

    LOS ANGELES — The Second District California Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a bad faith coverage dispute over water damage caused by a sewer line backup after determining that the insured forfeited its argument that coverage is provided for the water damage by not raising the issue in the trial court.

  • October 30, 2023

    Asbestos Exclusion Cannot Be Construed As Bar To Coverage, Judge Says

    ROME, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge denied an insurer’s motion to dismiss its insured’s suit seeking a declaration that coverage is owed for an underlying asbestos bodily injury suit after determining that the asbestos exclusion in the insurer’s policies must be construed in favor of the insured because the insured has stated a claim for which relief can be granted as the insured maintains that its talc products do not contain asbestos.

  • October 27, 2023

    Clearing Of Wetlands Was Not Occurrence; No Duty To Indemnify Exists, Judge Says

    INDIANAPOLIS — An insurer has no duty to indemnify its insureds for penalties imposed by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) because the insureds’ clearing of a state-regulated wetlands area was not an occurrence as required for coverage to exist under the insureds’ policy, an Indiana federal judge said in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.

  • October 26, 2023

    Parties In Water, Termite Damage Suit Reach Settlement; Judge Dismisses Suit

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge granted a joint stipulation for dismissal of a suit seeking coverage for damages caused by a termite infestation and water intrusion after the insureds and the property insurer reached a settlement during a mediation conference.

  • October 26, 2023

    Dismissal Of Underlying Plaintiff From Insurer’s Suit Is Not Warranted, Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge denied an underlying plaintiff’s motion to dismiss it as a defendant from an insurer’s suit seeking a declaration regarding coverage for an underlying environmental contamination suit filed against an insured because the insurer is not named in the underlying suit and resolution of the coverage issues will aid in the resolution of the underlying suit.

  • October 25, 2023

    8th Circuit Refuses To Reconsider Remand Of Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 denied an insurer’s petition seeking rehearing or rehearing en banc of its Sept. 11 ruling that reversed and remanded a coronavirus coverage ruling for an Iowa federal court to determine whether federal diversity jurisdiction exists.

  • October 24, 2023

    In Revised Ruling, Illinois Panel Reverses, Finds Insurer Entitled To Subrogation

    CHICAGO — An Illinois appellate panel on Oct. 24 reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to an engineering firm in a builders risk insurer’s suit seeking subrogation damages for the flooding of a building under construction, finding that the trial court erred in finding that the insurer does not meet the prerequisites for equitable subrogation because the insurer’s right to subrogate stemmed from the insurance contract.

  • October 24, 2023

    Additional Insured’s Bad Faith Claims Fail In Chemical Exposure Coverage Suit

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A New York federal judge determined that an additional insured’s claim for breach of the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing arising out of a coverage dispute for an underlying chemical exposure bodily injury suit must be dismissed because it is duplicative of a breach of contract claim.  However, the judge said the additional insured is permitted to amend its complaint as it pertains to the breach of good faith and fair dealing claim.

  • October 23, 2023

    Insurer Says Coverage Suit Over Legionnaire’s Disease Should Stay In Federal Court

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky federal court should exercise its discretion and permit an insurer’s declaratory judgment suit to proceed because litigating the issue of coverage in federal court is more judicially efficient than transferring the suit to a state court where the underlying bodily injury suit arising out of an apartment tenant’s contraction of Legionnaire’s disease is pending, the insurer says in its response to a motion to dismiss.

  • October 23, 2023

    5th Circuit Affirms Refusal To Remand And Dismissal Of Coronavirus Coverage Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court’s denial of insureds’ motion to remand a coronavirus coverage dispute and its grant of the commercial property insurer’s motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for losses arising from the coronavirus pandemic, finding that the insureds failed to plausibly plead that the coronavirus caused direct physical damage to their insured property.

  • October 19, 2023

    Decision To Include Insurance Case In Firefighting Foam MDL Belongs With JPMDL

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina has denied motions to dismiss the insurance coverage dispute brought by defendant Tyco Fire Products LP related to injuries from the firefighting substance aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) in the multidistrict litigation for AFFF, citing the doctrine of forum non conveniens and South Carolina’s door closing statute. However, the judge also said that although Tyco had directly filed the coverage lawsuit in the MDL, the decision to include it as part of the MDL should be made by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) and not the transferee court.

  • October 18, 2023

    Mediator Approved For Insurance Disputes In Imerys, Cyprus Mines Bankruptcies

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge approved a request by insurers of Chapter 11 asbestos talc debtors Imerys Talc America Inc. and Cyprus Mines Corp. to appoint a mediator for insurance issues in ongoing negotiations among the debtors and claimants on a plan of reorganization after extending the mediation through the end of the year.

  • October 17, 2023

    Insurers Say Case Seeking Coverage For AFFF Claims Was Improperly Filed

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — An insurance company on Oct. 16 filed a brief in South Carolina federal court in which it joins the arguments of other insurance companies that contend an amended complaint by Tyco Fire Products LP that seeks insurance coverage for claims arising from injuries associated with the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) should be dismissed because of a related case that would require the parties to “devote time and resources to litigating two coverage actions on the same issues at the same time, at risk of inconsistent rulings on the same policies.”

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