Civil Procedure Insurance

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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

New York’s Highest Court: No “Stretch” in Yogi’s Independent Contractor Classification

Seyfarth Synopsis: The New York Court of Appeals recently rejected the narrow view of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board and found that substantial evidence did not support a finding that certain yoga instructors were...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

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

Cumis Counsel: An Insurer’s Right To Dispute Coverage Does Not Automatically Trigger A Right to Cumis Counsel

Recently, once again, a California appeals court weighed in on the scope of the right to Cumis counsel and the meaning of Cal. Civil Code §2860. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company v. McMillin Homes Construction, Inc., No....more

Washington Supreme Court: Corporate Attorney’s Communications with Former Employees Not Privileged

The Supreme Court of Washington recently held that the attorney-client privilege does not protect a corporation’s attorney’s communications with former employees of the corporation, even if the communications concern events...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

Estee Lauder Decision Highlights Waiver Argument’s Challenges

Policyholders often seek to challenge an insurer’s denial of coverage on the grounds that the insurer waived a defense relied upon to deny coverage. On September 15, 2016, the Court of Appeals in Estee Lauder Inc. v....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

Nationwide Moves for Reconsideration Following Sixth Circuit’s revival of Data Breach Class Action

On September 26, 2016, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. (“Nationwide”) petitioned the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its September 12, 2016 ruling that revived a class action arising out of Nationwide’s 2012 data...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

A Question of Timing – Social Security Disability Determinations and the Administrative Record

Seyfarth Synopsis: Court excludes evidence of Social Security disability award issued after the final decision issued on plaintiff’s claim for plan disability benefits. The decision accentuates the importance of fighting to...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

Sixth Circuit: Substantial Risk of Harm and Mitigation Costs Sufficient to Confer Standing in Data Breach Case

On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit denied a petition for an en banc rehearing of its September 12 decision in Galaria, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (Nos. 15-3386/3387). In...more

Court Compels Arbitration To Determine The Arbitrability Of Reinsurance Dispute With Captive Insurance Company

In a suit by an auto body company against a captive insurance company for rescission of certain workers compensation reinsurance participation agreements, for disgorgement of $70,000 paid thereunder, and for fraud, breach of...more

Ohio Court Holds Software Audit Demand Is a Claim Under D&O Policy

In its recent decision in Eighth Floor Promotions v. The Cincinnati Ins. Cos., 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 4119 (Oct. 11, 2016), the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third Appellate District, had occasion to consider whether an audit...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

State-law Based Claims Against Parties Other than the United States Seeking Damages Arising Out of the Procurement of Flood...

Harris v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, __ F.3d __, 2016 WL 4174381 (6th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016) - Case at a Glance - Plaintiffs purchased a home located in a federal flood zone, but they did not purchase...more

CFPB Single-Director Structure Unconstitutional: CFPB Director Now Serves at President’s Will

A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled October 11, 2016, that the current structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is unconstitutional. The court concluded...more

D.C. Circuit Delivers a Major Setback to the CFPB

On October 11, the D.C. Circuit issued a major decision holding the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unconstitutional and sharply limiting the CFPB’s enforcement powers. The decision granted a...more

Now You See It; Now You Don't: A Sixth Circuit Decision Regarding Reinsurance Agreements

Last week, a court in the Sixth Circuit helped to clarify its position on the discoverability of communications and agreements regarding reinsurance. In doing so, it held that reinsurance agreements themselves are...more

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