General Business Insurance Civil Remedies

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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

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

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

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

Third Circuit Holds That Under Pennsylvania Law An Insured Against Whom Punitive Damages Have Been Imposed May Not Recover Those...

As a matter of public policy, Pennsylvania (like a number of other states) prohibits insuring against punitive damages. But what happens if an insurer refuses to settle a case against a policyholder within policy limits and...more

Court Confirms Reinsurance Arbitration Award Without Objection

A federal district court has entered judgment confirming an arbitration award entered in favor of Employers Insurance Company of Wausau against Continental Casualty. The dispute arose out of a certificate of casualty...more

IREG Update

State insurance commissioners take on price optimization - To date, four states—California, Florida, Maryland and Ohio—have issued formal bulletins and memoranda, prohibiting the practice of “price optimization” by...more

Even if You Lose You May Win (Attorneys’ Fees That Is)

In New Jersey, if a policyholder is required to sue its insurance company for coverage, Court Rule R.4:42-9 allows a policyholder to recover attorneys’ fees if it is successful in obtaining coverage. The purpose of this...more

Colorado Supreme Court: Indefinite, Future Assignment of Insurance Proceeds Unenforceable Against Insurer

It is not uncommon for injured persons to assign their rights to insurance proceeds to a third party, and the enforceability of those assignments has been the subject of frequent litigation around the country. In the most...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Accepts New Cases: Occurrences, 12% Interest, and Donning and Doffing

Last Friday, Wisconsin’s supreme court announced that it had accepted seven new cases. Three of them are of particular interest to Wisconsin businesses. In Wis. Pharmacal Co. v. Nebraska Cultures of Cal.,...more

Minding Your (Policy) Language – Indiana Supreme Court Certifies Pro Rata Allocation Ruling From Lower Court

Courts have struggled between two approaches on how to allocate damages when multiple, consecutive CGL policies have been triggered in situations involving continuous injury or property damage. The majority approach, pro rata...more

Arizona Reduces Punitive Damages in Insurance Bad Faith Case Again: Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance

In Arellano v. Primerica Life Insurance Company, 235 Ariz. 371, 332 P.3d 597 (App. 2014), despite finding an insurer’s conduct moderately to highly reprehensible, the Arizona Court of Appeals recently reduced a punitive...more

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole...

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of...more

Texas Insurers: Don’t Forget ‘Excessive Demand Doctrine’

With the onslaught of recent hail and other weather related litigation, insurance carriers routinely see excessive and unreasonable settlement demands in statutorily required presuit notice letters. The “excessive demand...more

California’s “Independent” Cumis Counsel Regime Faces A Novel Challenge

On May 5, the California Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the insurer, its insured and the insured’s independent defense counsel under Civil Code...more

South Carolina Law Does Not Permit an Insurer to Seek Contribution for Defense Costs from a Co-Insurer

An insurer cannot require contribution from a co-insurer for the expenses of a insured’s defense where one insurer denies liability and the other refuses to defend, according to a recent opinion of the Fourth Circuit Court of...more

Arbitration Award Confirmed In Quota Share Reinsurance Dispute

An arbitration award to Petitioner, Employers Insurance of Wausau A Mural Company (“Wausau”), has been confirmed after Respondents withdrew their prior objections. The dispute arose over payment obligations stemming from a...more

Illinois Court Holds No Duty to Defend Malicious Prosecution Suit

In Indian Harbor Ins. Co. v. City of Waukegan, 2015 IL App (2d) 140293 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 2015) the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, had occasion to consider when coverage for a malicious prosecution claim...more

Texas Court Talks Insurance And Actual Cash Value

When an insured suffers a property loss, the insurance policy defines the parameters of recovery. Typically, a property insurance policy’s default valuation provision for a property loss is the actual cash value of the...more

STOLI Schemers Must Make Good on Damages Caused

Followers of stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) issues have likely read over the last few years about Ohio National Life Assurance Corp. v. Davis and the favorable results the insurer obtained in its action against...more

Construction Case Law Update - March 2015 #2

Sinkholes; “Structural Damage” – When undefined in a homeowner’s insurance policy, “structural damage” caused by a sinkhole is best defined as “damage that impairs the structural integrity of the building.” Homeowners argued...more

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