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Supreme Court Concludes that Violation of FCA Seal Provision Does Not Necessarily Mandate Dismissal of Qui Tam Suits

The Supreme Court held yesterday that a violation of the False Claims Act’s seal provision does not mandate dismissal of a relator’s complaint. Justice Kennedy authored the Court’s opinion in the unanimous 8-0 decision. ...more

The Supreme Court - December, 2016 #2

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases today: Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777: A jury found that smartphones manufactured by petitioner Samsung infringed respondent Apple...more

Don’t Get Burned by a “Holt Demand” in Georgia

Georgia has a very specific law called “Holt demands” concerning time-limited demands made against a liability insurance policy. In Southern General Ins. Co. v. Holt, 262 Ga. 267, 416 S.E.2d 274 (1992), the Georgia Supreme...more

Court Rules Fixed Income Annuity Is Not A Security Under The CSL

Because annuity contracts involve the payment of money in the expectation of future payments, one might conclude that they are securities within the meaning of the California Corporate Securities Law of 1968. Evidently, that...more

Montana Supreme Court Holds Co-Insurer Breached Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in J & C Moodie Properties, LLC v. Deck, 2016 MT 301 (Mont. Nov. 22, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes a breach of an insurer’s duty to defend in a...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

Missouri Supreme Court resets the rules for collecting leaking underground storage tank cleanup costs in litigation

An impactful decision from the Missouri Supreme Court will likely affect how leaking underground storage tank (“UST”) owners collect cleanup costs from the Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund (“Fund”) in the future....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

UIM Carrier has Standing to Seek Determination of Workers’ Comp Lien

In the recent case of Dion v. Batten, No. COA16-63, 2016 WL 4088417 (N.C. App. Aug. 2, 2016), the North Carolina Court of Appeals held for the first time that an underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier has standing to seek a...more

California Appellate Court Takes Equitable Subrogation to the Excess

In California, where a primary insurer is found to have unreasonably failed to settle within its policy limits, and a judgment is later entered against their insured in excess of those limits, the primary carrier can be...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

Insurer Liable for Mandatory Double Damages for Failure to Reimburse a Medicare Advantage Organization for Medicare Benefits It...

Humana Medical Plan, Inc. v Western Heritage Insurance Company ____ F.3d ____ 2016 WL 4169120 (11th Circuit, August 8, 2016) - The federal Medicare and Medicaid Acts have been called “among the most completely...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

Arizona Court of Appeals Reverses $1 Million Award of Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case for Alleged “Institutional Bad...

In Sobieski v. Am. Standard Ins. Co. of Wisconsin, 2016 WL 5436588 (Ariz.App. Sept. 29, 2016), despite upholding a bad faith judgment for an insurer conducting an unreasonable investigation and denying a claim, the Arizona...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict in UIM Bad Faith Case

On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law that had been granted by the Middle District Court of Florida in a uninsured/underinsured motorist...more

Insurance Coverage – Insurance Fraud Prevention Act

The People ex rel. Allstate Insurance Company, et al. v. Daniel H. Dahan, et al. - Court of Appeal, Second District (September 15, 2016) - Under Section 1871.7 of the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act...more

Insurance Coverage – Cancellation of Policy and Bad Faith

Trent Mills v. AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Ins. Exchange - Court of Appeal, Third District (September 20, 2016) - Under Insurance Code § 1861.03(c)(1), an insurer has a statutory right to cancel an...more

How Appraisal Protects Against Texas Insurance Code Abuse

Insurance practice in Texas has become somewhat rote. Typically, a petition is filed against both an insurance company (that is often not based or incorporated in Texas) and a local adjuster. In addition to a breach of...more

UK Supreme Court: Fraud Trumps the Finality of Settlements

In a recent decision that can have equal application in the United States, the UK Supreme Court ruled that fraud trumps the public policy arguments of finality and encouragement of settlements....more

Choice-Of-Law Ruling In Massachusetts Diminishes Coverage For Rhode Island Public Utility

The Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently dealt a blow to policyholders by choosing to apply Massachusetts law to the coverage of environmental contamination in Rhode Island. In OneBeacon America Insurance Company v....more

Missouri Federal Court Identifies Roadblocks For An Excess Carriers’ Claim For Attorney Fees Against Primary Carrier

The court’s decision in Axis Specialty Insurance Company v. New Hampshire Insurance Company highlights the scope of recovery available for an excess carrier seeking to recover against a primary carrier. Emboldened by the...more

Arbitration Clause Contained Only In “Side” Agreements To Insurance Policies, Enforced In Dispute Over “Retrospective Premiums”

A U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently enjoined Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), from proceeding with litigation in California against National Union Fire Insurance Company (NUFIC), related to a...more

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Early Damages Analysis and Discovery

The fifth of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” (April 30, 2016 post) is to move securities class action damages expert reports and discovery ahead of fact discovery. This simple change would allow the...more

Eleventh Circuit Finds Insurer Liable for Medicare Lien Notwithstanding Insurer's Efforts to Satisfy the Lien in Settlement, also...

In a case with far-reaching implications, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion concluding that the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP) permits a private insurance company/PART C Medicare Advantage...more

11th Circuit Awards Humana Double Damages Under Medicare Secondary Payer Act

Humana Medical Plan, Inc. v. Western Heritage Insurance Co., case number 15-11436. Liability insurers beware, as the 11th Circuit held that Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAO) are entitled to the same rights...more

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