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Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Bonus Annuity

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed summary judgment for the insurer in a putative RICO class action relating to a bonus indexed annuity. Rejecting the plaintiff’s claims, the court held that the...more

Tough Sell for Bechtel: American General Files Suit in Florida

On January 29, 2015, American General Life Insurance Company filed a complaint against Kevin H. Bechtel and Life Brokerage Partners, LLC, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division....more

Connecticut Supreme Court Determines that Commercial General Liability Insurers Have Right to Obtain Declaratory Ruling as to...

Many construction professionals in Connecticut, and in particular those who do business with the State, are well aware of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Lombardo Bros. Mason Contractors, Inc., 307 Conn....more

Fourth District Reverses Lower Court Ruling in Construction Defect Litigation

On January 22, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeals issued for publication its decision in McMillin Companies LLC v. American Safety Indemnity Company, 4th Dist. Div. 1, D063586. The case is significant in...more

Court Confirms Standard for Appellate Opinion Dispositions - “Do Not Hide Elephants in Mouseholes”

In Ducoing Management, Inc. v. Superior Court (filed 2/10/2015 after rehearing, No. G050457), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, held that a reversal of a nonsuit judgment "in all other respects" also served to...more

Part 36 Offer Taken Into Account On Costs Even Though Beaten At Trial

In Sugar Hut Group Ltd & ors v AJ Insurance [2014] EWHC 3775 (Comm) Eder J applied the court's general discretion to decide on the appropriate costs payable to a successful claimant. CPR Part 44 was applied to take into...more

Eleventh Circuit: Summary Judgment For Insurer Improper Where Fact Question Remained About Whether Insurer Acted In Bad Faith By...

Geico Gen. Ins. Co. v. Gould, No. 14-10913, 2014 WL 7013971 (11th Cir. Dec. 15, 2014) (per curium). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment for an insurance company. It...more

Property Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Hurricane Sandy continued to generate a significant amount of litigation during 2014 which resulted in several important property insurance decisions. Most notably, as a result of Sandy and other events, the courts...more

District of South Carolina: No Support For Award of Punitive Damages Where Insured Failed To Prove Recklessness by Insurer

Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. JT Walker Indus., Inc., No. 2:08-02043-MBS, 2014 WL 6773517 (D.S.C. Dec. 2, 2014). The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina sets aside a jury’s verdict awarding punitive...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - January 2015

In This Issue: - District of South Carolina: No Support For Award of Punitive Damages Where Insured Failed To Prove Recklessness by Insurer - Supreme Court of Missouri Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment for...more

Reinsurer Obtains Award Of Attorney’s Fees Against Cedent That Failed To Timely Produce Electronically Stored Information

This case was brought by the cedent, Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co., seeking indemnity and expense payments arising from various underlying lawsuits, under a Casualty Excess Reinsurance Agreement. A discovery dispute...more

CAFA Removal Jurisdiction: Using a Plaintiff’s Complaint Against It

Most cases involving the existence of removal jurisdiction under CAFA involve the $5 million amount in controversy. In a recent Third Circuit opinion, determining whether or not the putative class had the requisite 100...more

High Court to clarify proportionate liability

Many readers will be aware of the Full Federal Court decisions of Wealthsure Pty Ltd v Selig [2014] FCAFC 64 and ABN AMRO Bank NV v Bathurst Regional Council [2014] FCAFC 65, which are in conflict as to how proportionate...more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Late Notice Barred Claim for Hurricane Damage as a Matter of Law and Upholds Award of...

In The Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 293 (11th Cir. Jan. 8, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit upheld a district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- January 2015

Insured v. Insured Exclusion Ambiguous When Applied to FDIC, 11th Circuit Rules - Why it matters: In the continuing split among courts considering insured v. insured exclusions, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court...more

Prompt Notice Requirement: 11th Circuit Rules that a Policyholder’s Late Notice of a Claim Results in a Strong Presumption of...

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained that under Florida law a policyholder who fails to provide prompt notice of a claim faces an uphill battle defeating the resulting rebuttable presumption of prejudice...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Formally Adopts “Gist of the Action” Doctrine

Pennsylvania’s “gist of the action” doctrine prohibits plaintiffs from pursuing tort claims for what are, in actuality, breach of contract claims. A variety of defendants, including those in the financial services industry,...more

Finding the Earliest and Least Expensive Exit From Financial Services Class Actions

Effectively responding to class litigation doesn’t necessarily mean simply preparing an answer or perfunctory motion to dismiss, diving headlong into class discovery, investing in full-fledged combat on the merits of the...more

Thoughts on Trends in Insurance Class Actions in 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, here are a few observations on key trends I’ve seen in insurance class actions (and class actions more broadly) over the last year...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

Like Hats and Belt Buckles, Indemnity Agreements in Texas Must be CONSPICUOUS

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Texas law allows an indemnity agreement to insulate a party from the consequences of its own, allegedly negligent conduct, but only if that feature...more

Assign Away: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says Bad Faith Claims May be Assigned

On December 15, 2014, in the case of Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Wolfe, No. 39 MAP 2014, slip op. at 1 (Pa. Dec. 15, 2014), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an insured may assign a statutory bad faith claim...more

Policy Observer - December 2014

Giving and Receiving: Insuring Company-Sponsored Volunteerism: This is the time of year when we are reminded of the importance of giving. Many companies not only donate generously to nonprofits and community programs,...more

Recent Decisions Reinforce the Value of Quality over Quantity in a Reservation of Rights Letter

In two recent cases, Advantage Builders & Exteriors v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. No. WD 76880 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014) and EAN Services, LLC v. Brunson, No. 2-14-118 (Ill. Ct. App. September 8, 2014), the courts remind...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014

Texas Appeals Court Upholds $8.7M Verdict for Policyholder Against Broker - Why it matters: An appeals court in Texas upheld an $8.7 million jury verdict against a broker that procured coverage with significant...more

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