Insurance Civil Procedure

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Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Bonus Annuity

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed summary judgment for the insurer in a putative RICO class action relating to a bonus indexed annuity. Rejecting the plaintiff’s claims, the court held that the...more

Reinsurer Found Prejudiced By Disadvantageous Commutations Resulting From Ceding Insurer’s Late Notice

A legal dispute stemmed from Utica Mutual Insurance Company’s late notice of claim to Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Utica’s reinsurer. Although the parties’ facultative reinsurance certificate required Utica to provide...more

Update: Finding the Earliest and Least Expensive Exit from Financial Services Class Actions

In this Newsletter: - Gather The Facts And Assess The Risk Up Front. - If The Class Action Is Filed In State Court, Think Strategically About Whether To Remove. - Invest Time, Effort And Resources In...more

Tough Sell for Bechtel: American General Files Suit in Florida

On January 29, 2015, American General Life Insurance Company filed a complaint against Kevin H. Bechtel and Life Brokerage Partners, LLC, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division....more

Reinsurance-Related Dispute Stayed Pending Arbitration Despite Later Executed Settlement Agreement

Steadfast Insurance Company entered into a settlement agreement with its insured, Barton Malow Enterprises after agreeing to pay $15 million on Barton’s claim. The settlement included a complete release of all claims by...more

Court Denies Motions To Compel Production Of Documents Unrelated To Reinsurance Policies At Issue In Action

The dispute continues between Utica Mutual and Clearwater Insurance in the Northern District of New York where the court recently denied, in large part, the parties’ respective motions to compel discovery of insurance and...more

California: Service of Suit Endorsement Trumps Forum Selection Clause in Case Involving Product Recall Due to Contamination.

On February 5th in a case involving the recall of over $500,000 worth of oyster products made from Korean shellfish, the Southern District of California held: (1) that the policy’s service of suit clause, which gave the...more

Excess Insurer v. Primary Insurer: Supreme Court of Missouri Recognizes Right of Excess Insurer to Recover from Primary Insurer...

Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Addison Ins. Co., et al. 2014 WL 6958157 (Mo. banc. December 9, 2014) - In a matter of first impression, the Supreme Court of Missouri, en banc, affirmed a decision by the Missouri Court of...more

Colorado Supreme Court: Late Notice Inexcusable under Claims-Made Policies

Facts - In Craft v. Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co., 2015 CO 11 (Colo. Feb. 17, 2015), Craft was the principal shareholder and president of two entities to which Philadelphia issued claims-made directors and officers...more

When "Fairly Debatable" Is Good Enough: New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms "Fairly Debatable" Standard for Insurance Bad Faith...

Two decisions from the New Jersey Supreme Court have affirmed that there can be no liability for bad faith in cases where an insurer’s actions in denying a claim are deemed "fairly debatable." While these decisions show a...more

Seventh Circuit Requires "Cash on the Barrelhead" From Interpleaders

Judge Easterbrook and his colleagues on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit aren’t about to exercise jurisdiction over a civil action of interpleader merely on credit or promises to pay. The plaintiff has to...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Determines that Commercial General Liability Insurers Have Right to Obtain Declaratory Ruling as to...

Many construction professionals in Connecticut, and in particular those who do business with the State, are well aware of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Lombardo Bros. Mason Contractors, Inc., 307 Conn....more

Seventh Circuit Finds Attorney Fee Dispute Arbitrable

The Seventh Circuit recently held that a cost-sharing agreement (“CSA”) between Hennessy Industries Inc. (“Hennessy”) and National Union Fire Insurance Co. (“National Union”) required the parties to arbitrate a dispute over...more

Texas Court Holds No Duty to Defend Claims of Monopolistic Practices

In its recent decision in Uretek United States v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18610 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 17, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas had occasion to consider a general...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015

California Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of “Occurrence,” Finds Coverage - Why it matters: In a victory for policyholders—and a continuation of the trend of courts adopting a broad reading of the term “occurrence”...more

Lawsuit Alleges Unlawful Insurance Scheme Involving Commission Pooling for the Purpose of Procuring IUL Policies That...

On February 13, 2015, Transamerica Life Insurance Company filed a lawsuit in the Central District of California concerning an allegedly unlawful insurance scheme in connection with the sale of indexed universal life insurance...more

Fourth District Reverses Lower Court Ruling in Construction Defect Litigation

On January 22, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeals issued for publication its decision in McMillin Companies LLC v. American Safety Indemnity Company, 4th Dist. Div. 1, D063586. The case is significant in...more

Court Compels Discovery Of Reinsurance And Other Insurance Documentation From Insurer In Garnishment Proceedings

The judgment was entered in a class action by plaintiffs who lost their tuition payments for computer training programs at schools that abruptly closed in 2009. In attempting to collect on the judgment, plaintiffs served...more

Attorney-Client Privilege

In Everest Indemnity Insurance Company v. Rea, the Arizona Court of Appeals held that an insurer does not waive the attorney-client privilege by asserting the defense of subjective good faith in a bad faith case unless it...more

Bank of Delmarva v. South Shore Ventures, LLC, Del. Super., C.A. No. S13C-05-008 THG (Oct. 21, 2014)

The Superior Court granted the Bank of Delmarva’s (“Bank”) motion for summary judgment as to each of Defendant John E. O’Brien’s (“Defendant”) counterclaims. In 2005, Defendant along with South Shore Ventures, LLC (“Shore”)...more

Construction Case Law Update - February 2015 #2

Commercial General Liability Insurance Policies; Construction Defects; Self Insured Retention Amount; Subrogation; “Made Whole Doctrine” – Under the “made whole doctrine,” an insured has no affirmative right to recover...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinions (2/15)

Today, the Supreme Court of Texas issued opinions in two argued cases. The Court did not grant any new petitions or set any mandamus petitions for argument. ...more

Court Confirms Standard for Appellate Opinion Dispositions - “Do Not Hide Elephants in Mouseholes”

In Ducoing Management, Inc. v. Superior Court (filed 2/10/2015 after rehearing, No. G050457), the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, held that a reversal of a nonsuit judgment "in all other respects" also served to...more

Part 36 Offer Taken Into Account On Costs Even Though Beaten At Trial

In Sugar Hut Group Ltd & ors v AJ Insurance [2014] EWHC 3775 (Comm) Eder J applied the court's general discretion to decide on the appropriate costs payable to a successful claimant. CPR Part 44 was applied to take into...more

The Pennsylvania Superior Court Continues to Muddle the Answer to the Question of When Faulty Workmanship is an “Occurrence” Under...

Pennsylvania courts continue to struggle with complex concepts underpinning when faulty workmanship can be an “occurrence” triggering coverage under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policies. In Kvaerner Metals Division...more

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