Civil Procedure General Business Insurance

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Recent Regulatory Actions Against TPAs

Recently, two state insurance departments took action against third party administrators in their respective states based on their failure to be properly licensed. These regulatory actions demonstrate the importance for TPAs...more

Court Upholds Prior Ruling That Unfiled Rates Charged Under Reinsurance Agreement Were Not Void

On July 21, 2016, we reported on a putative class action filed in a California U.S. district court by Shasta Linen Company against Applied Underwriters, Inc. and its affiliate entities, alleging that the “EquityComp” workers’...more

How Concerned Should Insurers be About Punitive Damages in California?

The California Court of Appeal recently published another opinion about the Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance case. The court held to its maximum 10:1 punitive-to-compensatory-damages ratio and analyzed whether this...more

Third Circuit Reverses Order Denying Arbitration, Ruling That State Law Prohibiting Arbitration Of Insurance Matters Challenged...

Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company appealed from the denial of its motion to compel arbitration in a dispute related to a reinsurance participation contract with South Jersey Sanitation Company. The trial...more

Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co.

The Florida Supreme Court’s opinion in Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co. is important for two reasons: It modifies the allowable use of a presumption established in Florida’s statutory sinkhole scheme; and it explains, and perhaps...more

Oklahoma District Court Denies Motion To Stay Action During Defendant’s Insurer’s California Conservation Proceedings

This case involved a personal injury negligence action brought by plaintiffs Cameron David and Shelby Gladd against defendants Satnam Singh and his employer Landmark Logistics, Inc. (“Landmark”) in Oklahoma federal court....more

Seventh Circuit Upholds Denial Of Motion To Compel Arbitration

Applying Wisconsin law, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined the parties did not have an agreement to arbitrate because, even though their excess/reinsurance agreement contained “follow form” language, and the...more

Title Bout: Second Circuit Limits Parties’ Control Over Construction Of Policies

Like other contracts, insurance policies are divided into parts, and most of the parts appear under headings or captions. A separate contract term (known as a “titles clause” or a “headings clause”) sometimes specifies that...more

Southern District Of Indiana Determines Parties’ Dispute Regarding Nonpayment Of Bond By Sureties Was Not Within The Scope Of...

In order to be arbitrable, a dispute must fall within the scope of the parties’ operative arbitration agreement. Here, a non-signatory to the relevant agreement was seeking to “invoke an arbitration provision that was not...more

Product Contamination: Strong Underwriting is Key

In 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act, regarded by many as a major reform of the food safety provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, significantly expanded the powers of the U.S. Food and Drug...more

Suit Against Reinsurer In California Dismissed For Lack Of Personal Jurisdiction

A federal district court in California recently dismissed a lawsuit brought by a cedent against its reinsurer for lack of a personal jurisdiction, where the reinsurer’s only contacts with the state derived from the fact that...more

SDNY Resolves Impasse And Selects Umpire For Arbitration Under The FAA

Relying on its authority pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and the language of the operative contract, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York selected an umpire for an arbitration from a...more

Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

Tennessee District Court Orders Discovery Of Reinsurance Agreements, But Denies Discovery Of Reinsurance-Related Communications,...

Plaintiffs sought coverage from the insurer Defendants for a $212.5 million dollar settlement of a claim of violation of the False Claims Act relating to errors and omissions in underwriting and origination of HUD mortgage...more

Southern District Refuses to Remand Unremovable Case

On September 21, 2016, a District judge in the Southern District of Florida denied a plaintiff’s motion to remand a case removed from state court, despite finding a valid basis for remand. In Goldstein v. GFS Market Realty,...more

What's a Court to Consider After a Post-Suit Payment?

Most first-party insurance lawsuits are accompanied by a claim for attorneys’ fees based on section 627.428, Florida Statutes. The operative language of this statute has been part of Florida law for over a century, and the...more

Inconsistent Application of Delayed Damages Rule in Negligent Insurance Procurement Cases

It is well-settled in Ohio that negligent procurement claims against insurance agents are subject to the four-year statute of limitations in R.C. 2305.09(D) (a “catch-all” limitations period for tort actions not specifically...more

Florida Supreme Court Rules Incorrect Denial of Insurance Benefits Can Trigger Award of Attorneys’ Fees to Insured

On September 29, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court held, in Johnson v. Omega Insurance Company (No. SC14-2124), that a homeowner is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees after an improper denial of insurance benefits. The...more

Litigation Alert: The Fifth Circuit Limits Coverage under the Computer Fraud Provision of Insurance Policies

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit narrowed the conduct covered under an insurance policy’s computer fraud provision by vacating the judgment in favor of the insured, Apache Corp., and rendering...more

D.C. Court Dismisses Dispute Over Reinsurance Of Federal Crop Insurance Program

On September 20, a federal district court in the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought by reinsurers of the federal crop insurance program. The plaintiffs-reinsurers alleged that the Federal Crop Insurance...more

Recent Insurer Victories in Indexed Annuity Class Actions

Recent federal court decisions effectively terminated two class action lawsuits challenging indexed annuity sales, seemingly ending an extended wave of class litigation in the federal courts against multiple insurers...more

Potential Secondary Effects of Regulatory Examinations: Evidentiary Issues and Preclusion in Parallel Litigation

Increasingly aggressive and adversarial examinations by state regulators can expose insurers to troubling evidentiary issues in subsequent individual and class action litigation. Plaintiffs’ counsel may seek to admit into...more

Florida Sinkhole Statute And Recovery Of Attorneys’ Fees Without Bad Faith: Florida Supreme Court Reverses The 5th DCA And...

In Johnson v. Omega Ins. Co., 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2148 (Sept. 29, 2016), the Florida Supreme Court determined that the 5th DCA misapplied and misinterpreted two statutes, the first providing a presumption of correctness to the...more

Understanding How Insurance Policy Conditions Apply When There is an Assignment of Benefits

Florida first-party property insurers have seen a dramatic rise in assigned insurance claims. In the typical scenario, an insured assigns her rights to receive insurance proceeds from a loss to a contractor in return for the...more

Seventh Circuit Holds that Insurers Cannot Challenge Policies for Lack of Insurable Interest

On October 12, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion authored by Judge Richard Posner, affirmed a district court decision finding that securities intermediary U.S. Bank, N.A. is...more

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