Civil Procedure Insurance

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New Wave of COI Rate Increase Lawsuits Hits the Industry

Historically, increases to cost of insurance (COI) rates on universal life (UL) policies have been met with legal challenges from policyholders, and sometimes, regulatory opposition spurred by policyholder complaints. The...more

Assignment v. Subrogation — Prosecuting Recovery Actions Arising from Personal Injury Claims

It is common in most jurisdictions that personal injury claims cannot be assigned. This can occasionally present a concern when an insurance carrier attempts to bring a contribution action against a third-party tortfeasor...more

Settling Defendants Beware: Eleventh Circuit Holds Settling Insurer Liable for Failure to Protect Medicare Payments Made by...

Congress created an uproar among personal injury tort defendants and their insurers when it passed the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) less than 10 years ago. The $1,000 per day fine for failure to...more

Where Does a Third Party “Stand” on Liens?

Dion v. William Robert Batten, Sr. (8/2/16) Facts and Procedural History: Plaintiff was employed by Neuwirth as a servicing agent. In the course and scope of his employment with Neuwirth, he was involved in a car...more

Collateral lies: The lie is dishonest but the claim is not

The Supreme Court rules that a collateral lie embellishing a valid claim does not amount to a fraudulent claim. Versloot Dredging BV and another (Appellants) v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others [2016] UKSC...more

Missouri Western District Court of Appeals Reminds Us to Pay No Attention to the Headings for the Revised Statutes

The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s issuance of summary judgment and, in the process, reminded practitioners that the bold faced headings in the Revised Statutes are not part of...more

Florida’s Fifth District Allows Evidence of Prior Sinkhole Insurance Settlement in Subsequent Sinkhole Trial

In Tower Hill Signature Ins. v. Speck, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 12167 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Aug. 12, 2016), the Fifth District found the trial court abused its discretion by not admitting into evidence the amount of a...more

“Low-Ball” Settlement Offer On Its Own Is Insufficient To Support A Claim for Bad Faith Under Pennsylvania Law

A low-ball settlement offer on its own is not enough to state a claim for a bad faith according to a federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania which granted the insurer’s motion to dismiss the insured’s...more

Control-of-Well Insurance: The Words of the Policy Control

Gemini Insurance Company at al v. Drilling Risk Management Inc construed control-of-well and redrill/extra-expense provisions in an insurance contract. The question and the rule - The question was whether an...more

Distinguishing ‘collateral lies’ from the fraudulent claims rules in insurance contracts: the lie is dishonest but the claim is...

In Versloot Dredging BV and another v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others [2016] UKSC 45, handed down, last month, the Supreme Court ruled that a “collateral lie” made during the course of an insurance claim...more

Claimants’ Demand for Superfluous Wording In Release Does Not Excuse Insurer’s Failure to Accept Policy Limit Offer Within Time...

In Barickman v. Mercury Casualty Co. (No. B260833, filed 7/25/16, ord. pub. 8/15/16) a California appeals court affirmed a $3 million bad faith award against Mercury Casualty Co. based upon its failure to accept a policy...more

ERISA: “Key Evidence Needed to Prove the Intoxication Exclusion”

You know that many insurance policies and ERISA-governed plans exclude from coverage disabilities “resulting from, or related to…any accident related to the voluntary influence of any drug, narcotic, intoxicant or chemical….”...more

Final Judgment Entered And Notice Of Appeal Filed In Longstanding Reinsurance Dispute

In the ongoing reinsurance dispute between cedent Utica Mutual Insurance Company and reinsurer Clearwater Insurance Company, about which we most recently posted on February 9, 2016, two developments occurred on July 14, 2016....more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds CGL Policies Cover Developer/General Contractor for Damage Caused by Subcontractor’s Faulty...

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently considered whether damage caused by a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship constitutes property damage caused by an occurrence under a developer/general contractor’s commercial general...more

Insurance Coverage – Equitable Indemnity Claim by Excess Carrier

Ace American Insurance Company v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (August 5, 2016) - Where an underlying insurer rejects a settlement offer within its policy limits, and...more

Insurance News, Summer 2016

Eight Years after Bi-Economy and Panasia, What is the Law of Bad Faith in New York? Prior to 2008, the law of bad faith in New York seemed fairly well established. A claim for bad faith against an insurer, which might...more

Bad Faith Actions for Excess Judgments….is There Trouble Brewing for Recalcitrant Primary Insurers

Can an excess carrier go ahead and fund an excess primary limits settlement and then assert a claim for bad faith against the primary insurer who previously refused to accept and fund a prior in-limits policy demand? On...more

Eleventh Circuits Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Insurer Based on Homeowners Failure to Cooperate with the Insurer’s...

In Hsu v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Ind., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12407 (11th Cir. 2016), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana (“Safeco”), finding that the homeowner breached...more

11th Circuit Holds Insurer Not Entitled to Summary Judgment in Bad Faith Claim

In its recent decision in Hinson v. Titan Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14474 (11th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, had occasion to consider how diligent an insurer must act...more

2016 Captive Insurance Update | Issue 2 | 2016

Governor Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) is not running for re-election this fall, so Vermont will have a new governor in January 2017. In addition, the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), Susan...more

Broad “Assumption of Liability” Clause in Subcontract Likely Trumps “Waiver of Subrogation” Clause in Prime Contract

In a recent case handled by Bradley, a federal court in Maryland issued a decision attempting to reconcile inconsistent contract provisions. The general contractor said that its fire sprinkler subcontractor was...more

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants. Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when...more

District Court Of Nebraska Determines Non-Signatory Of Arbitration Agreement Is Not Bound To Arbitrate

A signatory may bind a non-signatory to an arbitration agreement through principles of contract and agency law such as: (1) incorporation by reference; (2) assumption; (3) agency; (4) veil-piercing/alter-ego; and (5)...more

Excess Insurer Can Sue Primary for Failing to Settle Within Limits Even Without Entry of Excess Judgment

In Ace American Ins. Co. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. (No. B264861, filed 8/5/16), a California appeals court held that an excess insurer that contributes to the settlement of an underlying case due to the primary insurer’s...more

Forgery May Not Constitute “Theft” Under an Employee Dishonesty Coverage

Ruling in favor of the insurer on a motion for summary judgment, on July 29, 2016 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that under the terms of a commercial crime policy, proof of a forgery by the insured’s employee in...more

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