Insurance Civil Procedure

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California Supreme Court Upholds Limited Right of Carrier to Seek Recovery of Unreasonable Fees Directly from Insured’s...

On August 10, 2015, in Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, et al., the California Supreme Court held that in some circumstances insurers may seek reimbursement of payments made to the insured's...more

Death v. Suicide in Event Cancellation Policies

While many Event Cancellation/Non-appearance policies offer effective coverage for financial losses and additional costs when the insured performer dies from natural causes or an accident, they reach their limits if the...more

Seventh Circuit Issues Stern Warning For Insurers That Reject Their Duty to Defend

The first line of the Seventh Circuit’s opinion says it all: “This case provides a warning for insurance companies who refuse to defend their insureds.” As the court’s admonishment suggests, insurers that improperly refuse to...more

Florida’s Fifth District Court Of Appeal Allows Insurer Facing Breach Of Contract Lawsuit Over Water Loss Claim To Join Plumber As...

In Florida Peninsula Insurance Company v. Ken Mullen Plumbing, Inc., 2015 Fla. App. Lexis 11572 (Fla. 5th DCA July 31, 2015), the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s decision to dismiss the insurer’s...more

Texas Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment For Texas Comptroller In Risk Pool Row

A Texas appeals court affirmed a summary judgment that rejected an attempt by two insurers to recover more than $1.1 million for taxes, penalties, and interest on certain reinsurance agreements. Argonaut Insurance Company and...more

11th Circuit to decide whether construction defect notice under Florida repair statute is a “suit”

Recently, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida addressed what constitutes a “suit” within the context of Florida’s right-to-repair procedure for construction defect disputes. In Altman...more

CA Supreme Court Finds “Consent-to-Assignment” Clauses Unenforceable After Loss Occurs During the Policy Period

In Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (No. S205889; filed 8/20/15), the California Supreme Court overruled its earlier decision in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 934, holding that...more

California Statute Trumps Anti-Assignment Clauses in Liability Insurance Policies

In a unanimous decision that will have a serious impact on long-tail exposures, the California Supreme Court in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court (Hartford Acc. & Indem.) has determined that policyholders may transfer liability...more

California Supreme Court Limits Enforceability of Anti-Assignment Clauses

In a unanimous decision handed down by the California Supreme Court on August 20, 2015 in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court, the court removed a significant obstacle facing companies that want to assign their interests in a...more

The California Supreme Court Issues Its Landmark Decision in Fluor

On August 20, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Fluor v. Superior Court, overruling its prior holding in Henkel Corp. v Hartford, which precluded successor entities from tapping into their...more

California Supreme Court Decides that Insurance Protection for Losses that Have Already Occurred May Be Freely Assigned in...

On August 20, 2015, the California Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated decision in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company). The California Supreme Court held that California...more

Offers of Judgment in Class Actions: Fifth and Seventh Circuits Weigh In

As highlighted in my June 16 blog post, the Supreme Court has granted certiorari, in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, No. 14-857 (SCOTUSblog page), to decide whether an offer of complete relief to a named plaintiff renders a...more

Reinsurer’s Motion For Reconsideration Over Liability Caps Denied

In a case on which we previously reported, a federal court in New York recently denied plaintiff insurer’s motion to reconsider the court’s order granting defendant reinsurer’s motion for partial summary judgment. In that...more

One Business Day Delay In Delivering Settlement Check Costs Insurer $1.1 Million

A South Carolina federal district court judge has ordered that Nationwide must pay an accident victim $1.1 million, in excess of the $50,000 Nationwide policy, as a result of Nationwide’s failure to timely respond to a...more

Pennsylvania District Court Rejects Reinsurer’s “First-Filed” Complaint As Improperly Anticipatory And Filed In Bad Faith

A reinsurer filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking declaratory relief regarding its obligations under a reinsurance contract on May 7, 2015. The defendants filed an action concerning the same...more

Independent “Cumis” Counsel Now Face Direct Claims for Reimbursement From Insurers

On April 30, 2015, we blogged about Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, Case No. S211645, then set for oral argument in the California Supreme Court. [see the prior post: California’s “Independent”...more

The Wild West of Improper Joinder in North Texas

In 1998, the Texas Supreme Court recognized that an insurance claim adjuster can be held personally liable for a breach of the Texas Insurance Code. Based on this precedent, it has become commonplace for claim adjusters to be...more

California Supreme Court: Insurer Can Directly Sue Independent Counsel for Excess Fees in Limited Circumstances

On August 10, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that could have broad implications regarding an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of unreasonable fees and costs directly from so-called Cumis...more

Georgia Supreme Court Complicates Policyholders’ Ability to Settle Claims Brought Against Them

As we previously reported here, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit asked the Georgia Supreme Court to weigh in on the coverage dispute in Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. v. XL Specialty Insurance Co....more

Seventh Circuit warns insurance companies who refuse to defend their insureds

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued “a warning for insurance companies who refuse to defend their insureds.” In National American Insurance Company v. Artisan and Truckers Casualty Company, No. 14-2694, 2015...more

CA Supreme Court Permits Insurers to Bring Direct Actions Seeking Reimbursement of Excessive Fees Against Cumis Counsel Under...

The California Supreme Court held in Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. (Squire Sanders) (8/10/2015 - #S211645) that if Cumis counsel, operating under a court order which such counsel drafted and...more

Filed Rate Doctrine Addressed in Recent Second Circuit Decision

The filed rate doctrine can often provide a strong defense to an insurer in a class action claiming that insurance premiums were too high for some reason. A recent Second Circuit decision applied the doctrine broadly. This...more

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals: Establishing an Arguable Basis for Delay or Denial of a Claim Precludes a Finding of Bad Faith

Dey v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 14-60300, 2015 WL 3772762 (5th Cir. June 17, 2015). Fifth Circuit holds that “pocketbook dispute” between insured and insurer over value of the insured’s claim and insurer’s...more

Graber v. State Farm is a Texas Prompt Payment Outlier

For more than a decade, courts applying Texas law — including the Fifth Circuit, two federal district courts and several Texas courts of appeal — have uniformly held that an insurer’s full and timely payment of an appraisal...more

Eastern District of Texas Rules that Insurer’s Delayed Acceptance of the Duty to Defend Constitutes a Breach of that Duty

In Yowell v. Seneca Specialty Ins. Co., 2015 WL 4575450, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98719 (E.D.Tex., Jul. 28, 2015), the Eastern District of Texas ruled that an insurer’s unexplained, 140-day delay in agreeing to defend its...more

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