Civil Remedies Insurance

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Some Lessons From Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co.

On July 22, 2015, the Pennsylvania trial court in Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., Civ. Action No. 98-813 (Pa. Common Pleas, Jul. 22, 2015) filed a supplemental opinion under Pa. R.A.P. 1925(a) in connection with the appeal...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Limited Right of Carrier to Seek Recovery of Unreasonable Fees Directly from Insured’s...

On August 10, 2015, in Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, et al., the California Supreme Court held that in some circumstances insurers may seek reimbursement of payments made to the insured's...more

11th Circuit Finds a Covered “Occurrence” Under CGL Policy For Damages Resulting From Contractor’s Faulty Work and Rejects...

In Pennsylvania National Mutual Insurance Company v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 790 F.3d 1173 (11th Cir. 2015), a judgment was obtained by the Parish (a Catholic Church) against Kiker Corporation (“Kiker”), which was...more

One Business Day Delay In Delivering Settlement Check Costs Insurer $1.1 Million

A South Carolina federal district court judge has ordered that Nationwide must pay an accident victim $1.1 million, in excess of the $50,000 Nationwide policy, as a result of Nationwide’s failure to timely respond to a...more

Independent “Cumis” Counsel Now Face Direct Claims for Reimbursement From Insurers

On April 30, 2015, we blogged about Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, Case No. S211645, then set for oral argument in the California Supreme Court. [see the prior post: California’s “Independent”...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Recovery From Cumis Counsel

Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., et al. - California Supreme Court (August 10, 2015) - Under the Independent Counsel provisions of Civil Code Section 2860, a carrier that defends has...more

California Supreme Court: Insurer Can Directly Sue Independent Counsel for Excess Fees in Limited Circumstances

On August 10, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that could have broad implications regarding an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of unreasonable fees and costs directly from so-called Cumis...more

California Supreme Court Permits Restitution Claim By Insurer Against Independent Counsel

In its recent decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., — (Cal. Aug. 10, 2015), the Supreme Court of California had occasion to consider an insurer’s right to reimbursement from Cumis counsel for...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Predicts That Pennsylvania Supreme Court Would Prevent an Insured from Recovering Punitive Damages...

Wolfe v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 12-4450, 2015 WL 3634779 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that evidence of punitive damages award against insured in underlying suit was not...more

Dust in the Wind

Delta Blue Blueberries filed suit in California against Wilbur-Ellis Company, Semi-Tropic Water Storage District, and Alpine Helicopter Service Inc. for negligence and trespass. (Case No. 39-2015-0032670-CU-NP-STK in the...more

California Court of Appeals Holds Liability Insurer May Obtain Equitable Subrogation Against its Insured’s Contractual Indemnitor...

In Valley Crest Landscape, Inc. v. Mission Pools of Escondido, Inc., 238 Cal.App.4th 468 (2015), the California Court of Appeals held that an insurer could successfully recover on a claim for equitable subrogation against the...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Insured May Settle Tort Claim Without Insurer Consent Under “Fair and Reasonable” Standard

In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, a divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, deciding an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, recently held that when an insurer defends its insured subject to a...more

Insurance Filed Rate Defense Wins Over the Second Circuit

In a noteworthy embrace of the filed rate doctrine, the Second Circuit recently ruled, in the context of a challenge to so-called lender-placed or “force placed” insurance, that a regulator-approved rate is subject to the...more

Insights from DRI Class Action Seminar 2015 – Part 1

As I’ve done in past years, this post and the next one will summarize some takeaways I gleaned from this year’s DRI Class Action Seminar. Impact of Dart Cherokee: Nowell Berreth, who argued this case in the Supreme...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Erosion in Texas—Because Endorsements Are Transformative

In Amerisure Mut. Ins. Co. v. Arch Specialty Ins Co., No. 14-20239 (5th Cir. April 21, 2015), a case that applied Texas law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that the word “expenses,” as used in a...more

Benefits Litigation Update – July 2015

Welcome to the new, rejuvenated version of the Benefits Litigation Update, which we bring you jointly with the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. Our goal is to provide a concise and, we hope, insightful glimpse into recent...more

Potential Erosion of the Distinction Between Benefits Denials and Breach of Fiduciary Duty under ERISA in the Tenth Circuit

A recent decision from a federal district court in the Tenth Circuit provides an example of the potential erosion of the distinction between claims for wrongful denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty under the...more

Tenth Circuit Addresses ERISA Limitations Provision in Class Action Decision

In Fulghum v. Embarq. Corp., 785 F.3d 395 (10th Cir. 2015), the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the claims of a class of telephone company retirees whose life and health insurance benefits were reduced or eliminated...more

Rules Against Title Insurer on Date of Loss Issue

In the recent decision in First American Title Insurance Co. v. Johnson Bank, 1 CA-CV 14-0190, 2015 WL 3965740 filed June 30, 2015, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that the date for calculating a loss under a lender’s title...more

Maryland District Court Grants Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Payee’s Counterclaims and Awards Attorney Fees in Interpleader

On July 1, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued an opinion granting Connecticut General Life Insurance Company’s (“CGLIC”) motion to dismiss a payee’s claims for breach of contract and...more

Proper Measure of Medical Damages, Admissibility Of Evidence, and Sufficiency of Evidence in Tort Cases Involving an Uninsured...

Omar Bermudez v. Faith Ciolek - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (June 22, 2015) - Issues that remained unanswered after the Howell and Corenbaum decisions included: (1) what is the proper measure of...more

Louisiana Supreme Court Holds That Statute May Confer Broad Duties On Insurers

In Kelly v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., the Supreme Court of Louisiana recently held that an insurer can be liable for bad faith failure to settle a claim even if it has not received a firm offer to settle the claim. The...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Award of Counsel Fees to “Successful Claimant” in Coverage Dispute is Not Contingent Upon Award of...

On May 7, 2015, in Occhifinto v. Olivo Constr. Co., LLC, 2015 N.J. LEXIS 508 (2015), the Supreme Court of New Jersey considered whether a party who prevailed against an insurer in a declaratory judgment coverage but did not...more

Has Exposure To Punitive Damages Increased In Arizona?

Until recently, it was generally accepted that punitive damages awards are to track awards of compensatory damages on a 1:1 ratio. This ratio was convenient for defendants, as it provided some amount of certainty when...more

Appraisers’ Failure to Perform Assessment of Property’s Existence or Damage is Reversible Error

In Lee v. California Capital Insurance Co. (No. A136280; filed 6/18/15), a California Court of Appeal held that it was error for an appraisal panel to assign loss values to items simply because they were listed in the...more

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