Commercial Real Estate Civil Procedure Insurance

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Sixth Circuit Finds Excess Carrier Had Duty to Indemnify Insured for Property Damage Arising From Alleged Misrepresentations and...

In a decisively pro-policyholder decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in IMG Worldwide, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., Nos. 13-3832, 13-3837 (6th Cir. July 15, 2014), the court...more

Texas Court Lays Out a Useful Roadmap of the Defenses to a Hailstorm Claim

Hailstorm claims for damage to roofs often involve belated notification that an already old or damaged structure has been further compromised. In a recent Texas case, the court provided a primer for carriers confronting such...more

If the Suit Fits: A Washington Court Clarifies Triggers for the Duty to Defend

Like many other federal and state environmental laws, Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) exposes property owners to strict liability, regardless of fault or intent, for certain types of environmental contamination. ...more

Eastern District Of Pennsylvania: Closing Protection Letter Does Not Constitute “Insurance” For Purpose Of Statutory Bad Faith...

Bancorp Bank v. Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. , No. 13–6103 , 2014 WL 3325861 (E.D. Pa. Jul. 8, 2014). Eastern District of Pennsylvania explains that while Closing Protection Letter may be an indemnity contract, it is...more

Suit Limitations Provisions are Enforceable. Except When They’re Not

When might a court find a reasonable and enforceable suit limitation provision neither reasonable nor enforceable? According to New York’s highest court, it’s when the provision would bar a claim to enforce the replacement...more

A Flood by Any Other Name is Still a Flood – or Why Losses Caused by Flood Are Subject to Flood Sublimits

In New Sea Crest Healthcare Center, LLC v. Lexington Ins. Co., No. 12-CV 6414(RJD)(RLM), 2014 WL 2879839 (E.D.N.Y. June 24, 2014), the insureds suffered losses to nursing homes in two locations as a result of Hurricane Sandy....more

New York’s High Court Finds Contractual Limitation Period Unenforceable, Where it Places Policyholder in Impossible Catch-22...

How is a policyholder supposed to obtain coverage under a policy that requires the insured to bring its claim within two years of the loss and also imposes preconditions on bringing a claim that cannot reasonably be satisfied...more

Florida Insurer Waives Two-Year Requirement by Waiting That Long to First Raise It

Florida court recently held that the insurer could not rely on a policy requirement that conditioned recovery of the cost of complying with current building codes during reconstruction on having completed the work within two...more

Choose Your Words Wisely: The Allegations in a Construction Defect Complaint

On August 5, 2014, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Netherlands Ins. Co., 312 Conn. 714 (2014), affirmed a trial court's decision that allegations of years-long, continuing and progressive...more

Sandy in the Courts

Hurricane Sandy (also known as Superstorm Sandy) struck the northeast coast of the United States in October 2012, causing an estimated $65 billion* in property damage, including wind damage, severe flooding and power outages....more

In Iowa, Rain is What Gene Kelly Sang In – Not Water From a Burst Drain Pipe

Earlier this year, an Iowa court recognized that rain becomes rainwater once it has fallen, and it held that policy language excluding loss caused by “rain” – without more – will not operate to bar coverage for water from a...more

Insurance and Reinsurance Alert: Follow the Settlements Clauses revisited.

In autumn 2011, Thailand suffered severe floods. Among the properties damaged were shops and distribution centres owed by a subsidiary of Tesco. Tesco was insured against property damage and BI losses in Thailand under a...more

New York Court: Storm Surge is a Species of Excluded Flood

One of the most litigated issues in the Gulf States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was whether flood exclusions bar coverage for loss by storm surge. The courts ultimately decided that the answer was yes....more

Donald Trump Sanctioned for Failure to Disclose Insurance Policy In Ft. Lauderdale Condo-Hotel Case

Last week, Judge Kathleen Williams of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions against Donald Trump for his initial failure to disclose a relevant insurance policy...more

California Court: An Insurance Claim for Feng Shui Is Not Harmonious Qi

Feng shui is a Chinese philosophical system that supposedly orients buildings and their contents in an auspicious manner. Last month in Patel v. American Economy Ins. Co., — F.Supp.2d —, 2014 WL 1862211 (N.D. Cal., May 8,...more

Not Feeling It: Court Nixes Claim for Feng Shui Fees and Finds No Bad Faith

In Patel v. American Economy Ins. Co., — F. Supp. 2d. —, 2014 WL 1862211 (N.D. Cal. May 8, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted the insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment,...more

West Virginia Federal Court Denies Summary Judgment To Insurer On Hail And Water Damage Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, in FA Mgmt. v. Great Am. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75912, 2 (N.D. W. Va. June 4, 2014), was presented with an insurer’s motion for summary judgment...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC35802 - Estate of Haburey v. Winchester - Widow was allowed to claim spousal benefits for deceased employee who worked at municipal sewage treatment facility. Commissioner could have properly found that exposure to...more

Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer Ruled Unsustainable by New York Federal Courts Where Based on Same Facts as Breach of Contract...

Two recent New York federal court decisions – 433 Main Street Realty, et al. v. Darwin National Assurance Co., No. 14-cv-587 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 2014) and County of Orange v. The Travelers Indemnity Co. No....more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Neither Unprofessionalism of Lower-Level Claims Employees Nor Failure to Interview Insured’s...

Honesdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Inc. v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp., CIV.A. 3:11-1488, 2014 WL 1203317 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 24, 2014) - Middle District of Pennsylvania grants summary judgment on bad faith claim where...more

Real Estate Tip – When a Title Insurer’s Coverage Isn’t

Frequently, policyholders sue their title insurance companies in order to determine whether a claim is covered and to force the company to pay any loss. Obtaining a court order confirming that a claimed loss is covered may...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Case Law Updates

I. FLORIDA STATE CASES - Quiet Title: deed reservation of right-of-way in favor of State, which applied only to tracts of land of 10 acres or more, did not attach to title of landowner of less than 10 acres and,...more

No Reasonable Person Would Believe Contract Exclusion Applies to Wrongful Eviction

In John Doyle Trust, et al. v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., 2014 IL App (2d) 121238, the Illinois appellate court affirmed summary judgment entered against Country Mutual, finding it owed its insured landlords a defense for...more

Summary Judgment In Favor Of Broker In Malpractice Case Reversed, Where Special Relationship With Insured May Have Existed

In a case involving alleged broker malpractice with respect to certain underinsured business interruption losses under a commercial property insurance policy, the New York high court reversed a lower appellate court’s...more

Tenth Circuit Holds That Two-And-One-Half Years And Two-And-One-Half Million Dollars Do Not Constitute Prejudice

In BSC Holding, Inc. et al. v. Lexington Ins. Co., — Fed.Appx. –, 2014 WL 929194 (10th Cir., March 11, 2014), the Tenth Circuit recently underscored how difficult it can be for an insurer to demonstrate prejudice as a result...more

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