Insurance Civil Procedure

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Duty to Cooperate Ruling Narrows Insurers’ Ability to Foreclose Coverage for Settled Class Action Claims

Insurance policies typically include a cooperation clause, which requires the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the defense of a covered claim. Insurers routinely use this clause as a sword against their insureds by...more

Potential Erosion of the Distinction Between Benefits Denials and Breach of Fiduciary Duty under ERISA in the Tenth Circuit

A recent decision from a federal district court in the Tenth Circuit provides an example of the potential erosion of the distinction between claims for wrongful denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty under the...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

Court Limits Discovery Of Insurer’s Policies With Other Insureds, Compels Production Of Prior Arbitration Testimony

Utica Mutual Insurance Company (“Utica”) sued R&Q Reinsurance Company (“R&Q) in New York federal court for payment under reinsurance certificates R&Q issued to Utica covering umbrella policies Utica issued to its insured,...more

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues Its Landmark Ruling in Babcock

On July 21, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Babcock & Wilcox Company, et al. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., No. 2 WAP 2014 (Pa. July 21, 2015). The court resolved an issue...more

PA Supreme Court Gives Policy Holders Right to Settle Without Insurer Approval

Insurance coverage counsel have been anxiously awaiting the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. Am. Nuclear Insurers, 2015 Pa. Lexis 1551 (July 21, 2015), since the high court agreed to hear the...more

Insurance Fraud Act Suits by Insurers Held to Trigger Right to Jury Trials in New Jersey

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously held that a civil defendant sued by an insurance company for violations of the state’s Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (IFPA) has the right to trial by jury. In Allstate New...more

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Issues Its Landmark Decision in Babcock

On July 21, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Babcock & Wilcox Company et. al. v. American Nuclear Insurers et. al, No. 2 WAP 2014. Reed Smith filed an amicus brief in the case...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

Newsletter: Cooley M&A Team News - July 2015

As discussed in our March 2014 and April 2015 newsletters, in the last few years, there have been numerous developments in the law and practice surrounding appraisal rights under Delaware law. That trend has continued with...more

Montana Joins Majority of Courts Holding That Insurers Must Establish Prejudice to Disclaim Coverage Based on an Insured’s Late...

Joining a majority of states that have addressed the issue, the Montana Supreme Court recently held that “an insurer who does not receive timely notice required by the terms of an insurance policy must demonstrate prejudice...more

Proper Measure of Medical Damages, Admissibility Of Evidence, and Sufficiency of Evidence in Tort Cases Involving an Uninsured...

Omar Bermudez v. Faith Ciolek - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (June 22, 2015) - Issues that remained unanswered after the Howell and Corenbaum decisions included: (1) what is the proper measure of...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #2

California Court: Rejected Demand Within Policy Limits Not Necessary for Bad Faith Claim - Why it matters: Insurers must proceed with caution when they become aware that a settlement within policy limits is possible,...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

A Primer on Insurance Dispute Resolution in China

We previously discussed in a June 10, 2015, guest article the basics of insurance underwriting and claim handling in China. In this article, we give an overview of the legal framework and relevant key issues in insurance...more

Motion To Compel Arbitration Granted In Hurricane Sandy Row

A New York district court granted Hudson Specialty Insurance Company’s (“Hudson”) petition to compel arbitration against New Jersey Transit Corporation (“N.J. Transit”) after determining that the parties had agreed to...more

Tennessee Court Weighs in on Whether Arson is a Species of Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

Last month in what was a case of first impression in Tennessee, a unanimous panel of the state’s intermediate level appellate court joined those jurisdictions that have concluded that arson does not constitute a type of...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Insured Entitled to a New Roof for Purely Cosmetic Hail Damage

The Seventh Circuit is becoming a difficult venue for insurers. In November we reported that the Court of Appeals had held that the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in definition of occurrence meant that a continuous...more

Is a Class of Opt Outs Viable? Florida Court of Appeal Says No

A recent Florida appellate court decision caught my eye because it addressed a potentially-important issue that is not expressly addressed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, and has rarely been litigated: whether persons who have opted...more

Texas Supreme Court Decides that PRP Letters Issued by the EPA Under CERCLA Constitute a “Suit”

In McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation v. The Phoenix Insurance Company, No. 14-0465, —S.W.3d— (Tex. June 26, 2015), a 5-4 majority of the Texas Supreme Court held that the undefined term “suit” in the standard-form...more

Equities Favor Subrogating Insurer Over Subcontractor That Performed Defective Work

In Valley Crest Landscape v. Mission Pools (No. G049060, filed 6/26/15, ord. pub. 7/2/15), a California appeals court held that equities favor an insurer seeking equitable subrogation over a subcontractor that agreed to...more

Washington Federal Court Decertifies Class of Insurance Agents Alleging Entitlement to Overtime

Challenging the classification of workers as independent contractors continues to be a growing area of focus for plaintiffs’ attorneys. However, as a recent federal case from Washington demonstrates, the fact-intensive...more

Texas Joins Majority of States Holding that EPA’s CERCLA Proceedings Constitute a 'Suit' under Standard-Form CGL Policies

In response to a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that proceedings conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Comprehensive...more

Agents Can’t Insure Class Treatment – Varied Experiences Require Decertification

Last week, a federal district court decertified a Rule 23 class of more than 1,000 insurance agents who claimed that Bankers Life and Casualty Co. misclassified them as independent contractors, and, as a result, they were...more

Can an Insurer Intervene in a Class Action to Protect Against a Collusive Settlement?

Liability insurers are sometimes faced with a difficult scenario: Their insured has been sued in a class action with potentially large stakes. The insurer believes they have no duty to defend and a denial of coverage is...more

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