General Business Civil Procedure Insurance

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Court Finds Statutory PIP Demand is "Related Claim" to Later-Filed Class Action Suits

On September 30, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida found that a pre-suit demand letter under Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Statute constituted a “related claim” to a later-filed class...more

Construction Briefing - Legal changes affecting construction businesses from 1 October 2015

1 October 2015 ushers in a number of legal changes which affect construction businesses operating in the UK. We have provided brief highlights of some of the changes below. If you need further information, please contact us...more

Insurer Victory in IUL Class Action

In a highly-anticipated opinion, a federal district court found for the insurer in a California class action involving alleged improprieties in the sale of indexed universal life insurance policies. Plaintiffs alleged that...more

A Moral Victory But No Damages Awarded in AIG Bailout Litigation

The Court of Federal Claims recently held that the coercive terms of the government’s $85 billion bailout of AIG were illegal. The victory, however, was merely a moral one because plaintiffs walked away with a $0 damage...more

Federal court in Florida provides helpful case study in insurance “choice of law” tactics

The Southern District of Florida recently issued an opinion that addresses some rarely discussed nuances of insurance choice of law disputes. Sun Capital Partners, Inc. v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., No. 12-CV-81397, 2015 WL...more

Accidentally On Purpose: Washington Court Finds Coverage For Contempt Of Court Based On “Misunderstanding”

Professional liability policies cover claims based on the insured’s alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions, and not claims for “sanctions or penalties” for “willful” professional misconduct. But the insurer’s duty to...more

Oregon Federal Court Finds Arbitration Agreement In CGL Policy Invalid

Plaintiff, Technical Security Integration, Inc., a Washington company, sold certain security and surveillance equipment and services. It hired Corey Tharp as a sales associate in Oregon, to tap his connections to that state’s...more

Cancel My Reservation! Pennsylvania Sows Confusion Over Consent-to-Settle Clauses

This summer, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed an important question that has divided other courts: if an insurer defends a claim subject to a reservation of rights, may the insured settle the claim without the...more

Insurer Must Still Defend Even if Covered Claims Are Dismissed

We encounter the following scenario from time to time: The defense counsel just scored a big victory, knocking out a key cause of action. The only problem is—the carrier now says that claim was the only covered cause of...more

Florida District Court Affirms Bankruptcy Court Bar Order In Favor Of Former Ds & Os

On September 24, Southern District of Florida District Court Judge James I. Cohn issued an opinion affirming an order approving the settlement of a debtor’s breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, and mismanagement claims...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 18, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Default Judgment/Voidable: because default judgment was merely voidable, rather than void, where complaint upon which judgment was based failed to state a cause of action, Rule 1.540(b) was not...more

In the Wake of France’s Adoption of a Class Action Model, Companies Domiciled and Doing Business in France Should Ensure Insurance...

In the wake of the institution of class action claims in France, where, unlike the U.S. class action model, liability and damages are assessed prior to “massification” of the class, corporations should prepare for these new...more

In Reinsurance-Related Commission Dispute, Court Grants Defendant Leave To Amend Answer Rather Than Grant Plaintiff Summary...

A lawsuit filed in the United States Court for the District of Connecticut between Odyssey Reinsurance Company and Cal-Regent Insurance Services Corporation involves a dispute over commission payments in a reinsurance scheme...more

Supreme Judicial Court Affirms Award 0f $2,250,000 plus Interest Against Insurer for Breach of Duty to Defend and Settle — on...

In Boyle v. Zurich American Insurance Company, SJC-11791 (Sept. 14, 2015), the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed an award of $2,250,000 plus interest against an insurer for failing to defend its insured on a $50,000...more

Ascertainability in Class Actions: Second Circuit Weighs In

Ascertainability has been a hot topic in class action appeals recently. The Third Circuit recently clarified its ascertainability standard (see my April 20 blog post). The committee considering potential Rule 23 amendments is...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - September 2015

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015). District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable...more

District of Colorado Grants Summary Judgment for Insurer on Bad Faith Claim Arising from Denial of Coverage Under E & O Policy

P&S LLC v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-cv-00735-LTB-CBS (D. Colo. July 29, 2015). District of Colorado grants summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim where insurer established that an...more

Symptoms of the Texas Progressive Claim Syndrome

Those familiar with the issues faced by insurers in Texas first-party insurance claims, particularly in the realm of hail damage claims, are undoubtedly aware of what has been labeled the "Progressive Claim Syndrome.” In a...more

ERISA — 7th Circuit: Illinois State Law Ban On Discretionary Clauses Upheld

You already know about the big trend in states to ban discretionary clauses in insurance policies that fund ERISA benefits. Chalk up another circuit deciding to enforce the ban....more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court allows insured to settle without consent of insurer defending under reservation of rights

Bad faith claims can have major consequences for insurers. Stopping the Setup gets into the minds of plaintiffs' lawyers and addresses the ways they try to create bad-faith claims against insurance companies. This overview...more

Insurer And Reinsurer Locked In Discovery Row

In a row between Granite State Insurance Company (“Granite”) and R & Q Reinsurance Company (“R & Q”), a New York trial court denied R & Q’s attempt to (1) vacate a prior court order, (2) appoint a special referee, and (3)...more

Courts Continue to Catalogue Client and Lawyer Agents Outside Privilege Protection

Under the majority view, the only client agents/consultants inside privilege protection are those essential for the client-lawyer communications. Although courts take a more varied view of lawyer agents/consultants, many...more

Seventh Circuit Finds that State Insurance Law Applies, Resulting in De Novo Review of Benefit Claim

On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), does not preempt...more

Southern District of Ohio: No Coverage Equals No Bad Faith

Schmidt v. The Travelers Indem. Co. of Am., No. 1:13-CV-932, 2015 WL 4538118 (S.D. Ohio July 27, 2015). A law firm that lost more than $141,000 in an online scam lost its coverage dispute with its insurer but still tried...more

California Appellate Court Reaffirms Protection Against Stipulated Judgments

In 21st Century Ins. v. Superior Court (No. E062244; filed 9/10/15), a California appeals court confirmed that a defending insurer is not bound by a stipulated judgment entered without its consent, and the fact that the...more

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