Civil Procedure Residential Real Estate Insurance

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Federal Courts Refuse to Enforce Waiver of Subrogation Clauses in Certain Residential Situations

In two recent decisions, federal courts sitting in New Jersey and Pennsylvania refused to dismiss subrogation claims filed by the insurers of a homeowner and lessees of apartments who suffered damages paid by their carriers....more

When it Rains it Floods: California Rainstorms and Flood Insurance

Until very recently, the scarcity of water and the decline in oil prices in California prompted the joke that oil was being used as fracking fluid to get water out of the ground. In the last week, however, so much rain has...more

Depreciation of Labor Costs Class Action: Nebraska Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Insurer

I’ve regularly followed on my blog key developments in the numerous class actions against the insurance industry involving the application of depreciation to the labor cost component of estimated replacement cost value in...more

Unequivocal Denial: District of New Jersey Court Outlines What is Not Necessary

We have previously featured New Jersey District Court decisions addressing “unequivocal” denials in the context of policies’ suit limitation provisions. In the latest, Ryan v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., No. 14-6308...more

California’s High Court Gives Insurance Regulators New Tools To Broaden Authority

Nearly two years ago, a California appellate court invalidated a rule promulgated by the state’s Insurance Commissioner, on the ground that the regulator lacks authority to prohibit “deceptive acts or practices” which are not...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Replacement Cost Estimate Regulation (For Now)

In 2011, the California Insurance Commissioner promulgated a regulation governing replacement cost estimates for homeowners insurance (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 10, §2695.183 [the Regulation]). After the trial court and...more

District of Connecticut Reaffirms That Definition Of “Collapse” Is Unambiguous

The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut recently reaffirmed its ruling that the term “collapse,” as defined by a homeowners insurance policy, is unambiguous and that the policy in question did not...more

New Year - New Insurance Law

In an earthquake related judgment issued in late December 2016, the High Court (Court) found a mutual duty of good faith applied to parties to an insurance contract, including during the claims handling process. A breach of...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 13, 2017

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure: where a valid mortgage properly encumbers the subject property, an incorrect deed and a reformation of deed count are not fatal to a foreclosure action - Heartwood 2, LLC v. Dori, Case...more

Missouri Supreme Court Addresses Insurer Intervention, Garnishment Proceedings and Bad Faith Findings

Allen v. Bryers and Atain Specialty Insurance Company, — S.W.3d —, 2016 WL 7378560 (Mo. banc, December 20, 2016) In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the timing for an insurer’s intervention in a...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 6, 2017

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure – Involuntary Dismissal: although lender’s witnesses failed to explain lender’s loan payment history statement, the statement reflected the principal amount due and had been admitted...more

Insurance – Coverage – Pyrolysis as an “Occurrence”

Tidwell Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co., Inc. - Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (December 20, 2016) - According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Pyrolysis is a “chemical...more

Appraisal is an Appraisal is an Appraisal, Except in Mass.

Like Gertrude Stein’s “rose”, an appraisal is an appraisal is an appraisal except in Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ version of appraisal is a statutory process named “reference.” Although a reference proceeding is very similar...more

Court Tosses Time-Barred Rico Claims Alleging Captive Reinsurance Kickback Scheme

Plaintiffs asserted class claims for RICO violations based on allegations that Bank of America referred borrowers to private mortgage insurance providers in exchange for kickbacks, funneled through a captive reinsurance...more

Oregon High Court Clarifies How To Read the Four Corners of a Complaint

On December 8, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision, West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 360 Or. 650 (2016), clarifying what allegations in a construction defect suit will implicate coverage under...more

Unlike Friendships, Policy Exclusions Are Not Severable In West Virginia

A homeowners insurance policy often covers every member of a family, and many policies state that the insurance applies separately to each insured. The same policies usually exclude coverage for intentional acts. But what...more

Florida, Sebo and the Concurrent Causation Doctrine

The Florida Supreme Court recently issued a widely reported decision, Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co., which applied the concurrent cause doctrine in ruling that an all-risk homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage...more

Competing Causes of Loss: Florida Supreme Court Issues Decision Applying The Concurrent Causation Doctrine

We have discussed on a number of occasions the issue of causation when there are multiple causes of loss, some covered and some not covered. Most jurisdictions apply what is known as the efficient proximate cause analysis...more

Florida Supreme Court Decides that Concurrent Causes Equal Coverage

It’s said that “defeat is an orphan,” but insurable losses often have multiple, concurrent causes. In some cases, one or more of those causes might be outside the scope of coverage, either by omission or exclusion. In Sebo v....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

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

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

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

What Standard Governs the Dismissal of a Relator's Claim for Violation of the False Claims Act's Seal Requirement in an Action...

In the aftermath of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Cori and Kerri Rigsby accused State Farm Fire and Casualty Company of falsely misclassifying wind damage as flood damage, among other misdeeds, leaving...more

Hurricane Matthew flood claims may not be entirely preempted by federal law

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew and its associated flooding (particularly in North Carolina and South Carolina), a recent case of first impression in the Sixth Circuit may be cited by both damaged businesses and insurers and...more

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