General Business 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Likelihood of success a prerequisite to insurer's duty to appeal, Mass. court rules

On August 27, 2016, Judge Mitchell Kaplan of the Massachusetts Superior Court for Suffolk County - Business Litigation Session, which handles only complex business litigation matters, issued a decision holding that an...more

Dealing with Long-Winded Out-of-Network Provider Nuisance Letters

Over the past couple years, more and more of my clients with self-funded plans have received letters from out-of-network providers appealing denied claims. The letters are usually 20 to 30 pages long, not very specific, and...more

California Supreme Court Leans in Favor of Treating Defense Bills as Privileged Communications

On October 6, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, a case that we have blogged about twice in the past because of its possible impact on policyholders...more

Illinois Federal Court Grants Motion To Confirm Arbitration Award For Pre-Hearing Security

We previously reported on this case in our blog dated December 21, 2015. The background of the dispute is as follows. A dispute arose between an insurer and its insured under four written program agreements, each containing...more

In Alabama, Sewage is NOT a Pollutant Falling Within the Pollution Exclusion in a Commercial General Liability Policy

Pollution exclusion clauses are an insurance industry staple and are often contained in commercial general liability insurance policies. While one might think that raw sewage would be considered a pollutant, under current...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict in UIM Bad Faith Case

On Friday, September 30, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law that had been granted by the Middle District Court of Florida in a uninsured/underinsured motorist...more

New York Trial Court Finds Cedent Is Not Covered For Loss Adjustment And Legal Expenses In Excess Of The Amounts Stated In Its...

Relying on past New York precedent, a New York state trial court determined the language of certain reinsurance certificates at issue were unambiguous, declining to accept plaintiff’s extraneous evidence “that the custom and...more

Can Disputes Related To Procurement Of Federal Flood Insurance Policies Be Litigated In State Court?

It is well-established that claim processing and wrongful denial of coverage disputes involving federal flood insurance policies belong in federal court because they present substantial questions of federal law. The U.S....more

Big Summary Judgment Win for Hospital Defending $300M Exclusive Dealing Antitrust Suit

After fending off a motion for judgment on the pleadings in March 2015, a small hospital in Peoria, Illinois lost on summary judgment in its $300 million antitrust suit alleging illegal exclusive dealing and attempted...more

Sometimes It’s Hard to Waive Subrogation: Pacific Indemnity v. Deming

According to the recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Pacific Indemnity Company v. Deming, 2016 WL 3607028, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12374 (July 5, 2016) common contractual provisions that...more

In the Tenth Circuit, Colorado’s On-Going Debate over the “Fairly Debatable” Defense

A recent Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, The Home Loan Investment Co. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., 827 F.3d 1256 (10th Cir. 2016), demonstrates that, although multiple jurisdictions may recognize similar defenses...more

Defense Lawyers Beware: Failure to Supplement Answers to Interrogatories Estopped Insurer from Relying on Coverage Limitation

How often do you hear defense attorneys say, “I’m not interested in anything related to coverage. That’s not my concern.” From a coverage lawyer’s perspective, this is a dangerous position, both ethically and legally....more

Recurring Issues in Accounting for Litigation Contingencies

Certain questions seem to recur when it comes to outside counsel’s communications with a company’s auditors about potential exposures as a result of litigation or regulatory/enforcement matters and the underlying accounting...more

Postdiluvian Perils: Second Circuit Weighs Coverage For Losses Suffered After The Waters Recede

As this blog has reported, exclusions and limits for flood coverage have generally held up against the tide of claims arising from Superstorm Sandy. Now that the water is gone, however, new losses have been discovered, and...more

Florida Supreme Court Holds that STOLI Challenges are Barred by Two-Year Contestability Clause

On September 22, 2016, the Florida Supreme Court issued an eagerly-awaited opinion in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Pruco Life Insurance Co. The Court held that Florida's two-year contestability statute applies to bar an...more

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