Finance & Banking Insurance Civil Procedure

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Group Life Insurance Claims by a Teacher’s Beneficiary Are Subject to ERISA Preemption: Woods v. American United Life Insurance...

On ERISA preemption grounds, a federal court has ruled against state law claims asserted by the beneficiary of a former school teacher who sought benefits from a group life insurance policy. Woods v. American United Life...more

Lincoln General Insurance Company Enters Liquidation in Pennsylvania

The Insurance Commissioner of Pennsylvania has placed Lincoln General Insurance Company into liquidation in Pennsylvania. As a result, the Insurance Commissioner as Liquidator takes over the property, business, and affairs of...more

Torts – Effect of Howell Decision on Purchased Medical Liens

Anna Uspenskaya v. Clare Meline - Court of Appeal, Third District (October 28, 2015) - Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 541 was a landmark case in which the California Supreme Court...more

ERISA — ATTORNEY FEES: What Happens When The Plan And The Insurer Don’t Agree On The Benefit Denial?

You already know that under ERISA the court has discretion to award attorney fees to a party that has “some success on the merits.”...more

Court Denies Motion For Interlocutory Appeal In Alleged Insurance Kickback Scheme

We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending October 9, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Certiorari; discovery: Certiorari review was not available to an owner of property seeking review of a trial court’s order denying his discovery requests, where the order did not completely...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

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

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

Ninth Circuit Rules Against Title Insurer in Long-Running RESPA Litigation

On August 24, the Ninth Circuit held that a title insurer’s equity investments in title agencies in exchange for agreements that the agencies would refer customers to the insurer violated the anti-kickback provisions of the...more

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Plaintiffs’ “Shadow Insurance” Class Action Claims

On July 21, 2015, a federal judge granted AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company’s motion to dismiss claims brought against it by insureds who alleged that AXA violated New York law by engaging in various “shadow insurance”...more

California Court Dismisses Tolling Subclass Claims With Prejudice, Finding Issues Barred By Law Of The Case Doctrine

We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers...more

Standing in the Shoes or Freeing Evil Zombies? The Public Policy of Applying the In Pari Delicto Defense to Actions Brought by a...

In pari delicto is an equitable defense asserted when a defendant claims that a plaintiff is equally at fault for the wrong that has befallen him. The doctrine is “rooted in the common-law notion that a plaintiff’s recovery...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 26 & July 3, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Standing: parent entity has no right to enforce note and mortgage owned by subsidiary entity absent evidence that parent entity acquired such right – Wright v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Case No....more

Bank Bond Covers Third-Party Losses Arising out of Bank Employee’s Fraud, Eighth Circuit Holds

Fidelity bonds are purchased primarily to protect against loss to the policyholder’s own assets, from things like employee theft or embezzlement. In Avon State Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., however, the Eighth Circuit interpreted...more

Supreme Court Vacates Decision Applying Statute of Limitations in Excessive Fee Case

In a highly anticipated decision concerning 401(k) excessive fee litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Tibble v. Edison, Int’l, No. 13-550, vacating the lower court’s decision that had found...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 19, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE: Tax Deed Sale/Due Process: after certified letter notifying property owner of tax deed sale returned unopened and unclaimed, due process required clerk of court take reasonable steps to notify...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...more

ERISA Preemption Trumps State Insurance Law Yet Again: Ninth Circuit Declines to Apply California’s Insurance Notice-Prejudice...

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a Plan participant’s attempt to extend California insurance law’s notice-prejudice rule to self-insured ERISA plans. Zagon v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 2015 BL...more

Statutory Accounting Fraud Under RICO

Echoing New York’s regulatory criticism concerning the use of captive reinsurers and similar allegations in recent class actions filed against several New York life insurers, an annuity contract owner has filed a putative...more

Litigation Finance on the Rise — But Questions Abound

Increasingly, lawyers are identifying a purportedly injured plaintiff, a theory of liability, and a defendant, and then turning to a hedge fund to finance the lawsuit, perhaps with the help of a litigation finance specialist....more

Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly What was Promised

Observing that it "delivered precisely what it promised," the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for an insurer in a case alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending May 22, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Duty to Disclose/Vacant Property: plaintiff failed to present competent, substantial evidence of existence of fact materially affecting value of property and did not prove defendants had actual...more

Oklahoma HB 1123 Shortens the Time to File Mortgage Releases

Last month, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a variety of bills affecting mortgage loan servicers. One bill of note, Oklahoma HB 1123, decreases the time in which a mortgage release must be filed after a mortgage...more

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