Insurance Civil Procedure

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Court Denies Insurer’s Request To Arbitrate

In a case involving a dispute arising from a fire at the Wisconsin County Courthouse, a Wisconsin federal court issued an order denying Lexington Insurance Company’s motion to participate in an arbitration between the two...more

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

Federal District Court Holds that General Contractor’s Failure to Provide Notice of Default Does Not Preclude Recovery on...

Curtiss-Manes-Schulte, Inc. v. Safeco Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10032 (W.D. Mo. 2015) - This dispute between a general contractor and its subcontractor’s performance bond surety arose out of a renovation...more

Georgia Supreme Court: Insured Cannot Sue for Settlement Amount of Bad Faith Absent Insurer’s “Consent to Settle”

On April 20, 2015, the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously held that when an insured fails to seek its insurer’s consent to settle a claim, the insured cannot pursue litigation against its insurer to recover settlement amounts...more

Policyholder Insider Quarterly

Makers and Users of Smart Devices Beware: You May Have a Critical and Costly Gap in Your Insurance Coverage - The drumbeat of high-profile data breaches has led to rapid growth in the number of companies purchasing or...more

More ERISA Complications

In passing the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), Congress sought to make it as easy and economical as possible for employers to provide benefits to their workers; for example, pensions, health insurance,...more

Expansion of Class Allows Second Removal Under Class Action Fairness Act, According to Ninth Circuit

It is important to remember that when a putative class action is remanded to state court under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), that may not be the end of the jurisdictional battle. ...more

Use of Expert Testimony at Class Certification Stage Addressed By Third Circuit

The Third Circuit recently joined the Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits in holding that, where a Daubert challenge is made to the use of expert testimony in support of class certification, the Daubert challenge must be...more

"MassMutual Victory May Pave the Way for Earlier Deductions"

Earlier this month, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), represented by Skadden, won a federal appeal permitting the company to deduct policyholder dividends in the year the dividends were declared, even...more

Third Circuit Clarifies Its Ascertainability Standard

Ascertainability is an implied requirement for class certification, not expressly addressed in Fed. R. Civ. P. 23. While there are different formulations of the requirement, in essence it requires that there be an adequate...more

Court Precludes Discovery Of Reinsurance Information In Airport Construction Insurance Coverage Dispute

In a construction loss coverage litigation brought by Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA) against its builders risk insurer, Travelers Property Casualty Company, IAA unsuccessfully attempted to issue a subpoena to...more

Striking Down Regulation On Replacement Cost Estimates, A California Court Heads Off Policyholder Litigation

Last week, in Association of California Ins. Cos. v. Jones, B238622 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 8, 2015), a California appellate court affirmed a decision that invalidated a regulation governing estimates of replacement costs made by...more

Focus on Tax Controversy - Spring 2015

In This Issue: - Fifth Circuit Ruling in BMC Software, Inc. v. Comm’r. Is Good News for Taxpayers - When Is a Second Inspection Not a Second Inspection? - Captive Insurance Litigation: Key 2014 Cases ...more

District Court Rules On Discovery In Bad Faith Case

In a dispute between the excess and primary liability insurance carriers of a common insured based upon the primary insurer’s alleged breach of the duty to defend the common insured, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern...more

A New Twist in the California Debate Over Allegedly Inadequate Replacement Cost Limits in Homeowners’ Policies

The April 8, 2015 decision of the California Court of Appeals in Ass’n. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones, 2015 WL 1569669, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 298 (Cal.Ct.App., Apr. 8, 2015) held that the state’s Insurance Commissioner...more

Federal Court Remands Insurance Dispute To State Court Based On Waiver

A New York federal court remanded a reinsurance dispute to state court, based on the defendant’s waiver of its right to remove. Plaintiff R&Q Reinsurance Company (“R&Q”) brought an action against Allianz Insurance Company...more

Court Addresses Honorable Engagement Provision In Arbitration Clause

In First State Insurance Company v. National Cas. Co., 2015 WL 1263147, No. 14-1644 (1st Cir. March 20, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit (the “Court of Appeals”) affirmed the lower court’s refusal to...more

Claims Made During Policy Period Barred When Arising Out of Facts Disclosed or Required to be Disclosed in Application

In Crown Capital Securities v. Endurance Amer. Specialty Ins. Co. (No. B256241, filed 4/10/15), a California appeals court affirmed summary judgment for a professional liability insurer on a finding that coverage was barred...more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015 #2

Commercial General Liability Policies; “Injury-in-fact” vs. “Manifestation” as Trigger for Coverage; “Your Work” Exception – A CGL policy’s “Your Work” exclusion precludes coverage for defective installation when no damage...more

Illinois Supreme Court Addresses Duty of Care Owed by Insurance Agents

On March 19, 2015, in its decision in Skaperdas v. Country Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 IL 117021 (Ill. Mar. 19, 2015), the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court decision holding that Section 2-2201 of the Illinois Code...more

5th Circuit Vacates Arbitration Award Conducted By Wrong Arbitrator Under Wrong Rules

Let’s say your arbitration agreement calls for arbitration administered by JAMS under JAMS rules, but the arbitrator is independent and applies AAA rules, over one party’s objection.  A new decision from the Fifth Circuit...more

And the Defense Wins

In Banner Life Insurance Co. v. Jacqueline L. Noel, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 1539 (4th Cir. 2013), aff’g 861 F. Supp. 2d 701 (E.D. Va. 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s...more

Second Circuit Affirms Application Of Illinois Notice/Prejudice Rule In Reinsurance Row

Granite State Insurance Company (“Granite State”) brought an action against Clearwater Insurance Company (“Clearwater”) regarding a dispute over reinsurance claims Granite State made, and which Clearwater denied based on late...more

Court Makes an Unsettling Inference to Find that the Statute of Limitations Bars Claims Arising from a 1997 Northridge Earthquake...

In Britton v. Girardi (No. B249232 – Filed 4/1/2015), the Second Appellate District upheld the trial court’s dismissal due to the statute of limitations based on an inference it drew from a letter attached to the complaint,...more

Motor Carriers Are Liable For Injuries to Drivers of Leased Vehicles Who Are Classified As Independent Contractors

Jose Vargas v. FMI, Inc. et al. - In Vargas, California’s Second Appellate District held that the Privette doctrine does not shield a motor carrier operating under a federal franchise from liability for tort injuries...more

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