Insurance Civil Remedies

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ERISA (3rd Circuit): Even a Voluntary Settlement Can Mean “Some Success on the Merits” When Awarding Attorney Fees?

You know that a court has discretion to award attorney fees under ERISA if a party shows “some degree of success on the merits.” But how do you define “success”? A new third circuit case reminds one of that old Milton...more

Florida High Court Set to Clarify When an Insured Is Entitled to Attorneys’ Fees When an Insurer Initially Denies a Sinkhole...

On April 15, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court accepted review of Omega Insurance Co. v. Johnson, No. 5D13-1701, 2014 WL 4375189 (Fla. 5th DCA Sept. 5, 2014), which found that an insured was not entitled to an award of...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules Expert Opinions on Fire Cause Unreliable

This past Friday, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gharda USA, Inc. and Gharda Chemicals, Ltd. v. Control Solutions, Inc., United Phosphorus, Inc., and Mark Boyd; a case that will provide defendants with...more

High Court to clarify proportionate liability – judgment imminent

Those of you following our coverage regarding the proceedings of Selig & Anor v Wealthsure Pty Ltd & Ors, presently before the High Court of Australia, will be pleased to hear that judgment is set to be delivered at 10am on...more

Beyond the Policy: Are Title Insurers Liable for Negligence?

When Longview Power built a coal-fired power plant costing well over a billion dollars, its lender obtained $825 million in title insurance coverage from First American, and First American signed Reinsurance Agreements with...more

Texas Insurers: Don’t Forget ‘Excessive Demand Doctrine’

With the onslaught of recent hail and other weather related litigation, insurance carriers routinely see excessive and unreasonable settlement demands in statutorily required presuit notice letters. The “excessive demand...more

California’s “Independent” Cumis Counsel Regime Faces A Novel Challenge

On May 5, the California Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the insurer, its insured and the insured’s independent defense counsel under Civil Code...more

South Carolina Law Does Not Permit an Insurer to Seek Contribution for Defense Costs from a Co-Insurer

An insurer cannot require contribution from a co-insurer for the expenses of a insured’s defense where one insurer denies liability and the other refuses to defend, according to a recent opinion of the Fourth Circuit Court of...more

Court Affirms Arbitration Panel’s $14 Million Award In Favor Of Insured In Reinsurance Dispute Over Asbestos Claims

A federal district court has confirmed a $14 million arbitration award entered in favor of Amerisure against its reinsurer Everest. As we earlier reported, the court had previously denied the motion to seal briefing...more

Arbitration Award Confirmed In Quota Share Reinsurance Dispute

An arbitration award to Petitioner, Employers Insurance of Wausau A Mural Company (“Wausau”), has been confirmed after Respondents withdrew their prior objections. The dispute arose over payment obligations stemming from a...more

Illinois Court Holds No Duty to Defend Malicious Prosecution Suit

In Indian Harbor Ins. Co. v. City of Waukegan, 2015 IL App (2d) 140293 (Ill. App. Ct. 2d Dist. 2015) the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, had occasion to consider when coverage for a malicious prosecution claim...more

Texas Court Talks Insurance And Actual Cash Value

When an insured suffers a property loss, the insurance policy defines the parameters of recovery. Typically, a property insurance policy’s default valuation provision for a property loss is the actual cash value of the...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - March 2015

HOW TO USE THIS CASE SERVICE - When you receive your summaries, each page will have an alphabetical letter located in the upper right-hand corner. Each alphabetical letter corresponds to a separate subject matter...more

STOLI Schemers Must Make Good on Damages Caused

Followers of stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) issues have likely read over the last few years about Ohio National Life Assurance Corp. v. Davis and the favorable results the insurer obtained in its action against...more

En Banc Sixth Circuit Rules Against Disgorgement Remedy in Benefits Case

In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074 (6th Cir. March 5, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled that an insurance company that wrongfully denied benefits to...more

Typo Renders Proposal For Settlement Ambiguous ? No Fees Awarded

In GEICO v. Ryan, No. 4D13-2615 (Fla. 4th DCA, Mar. 11, 2015), the Court reversed the Trial Court's award of attorney's fees in favor of the insured because the "Proposal for Settlement contains a patent ambiguity--spelling...more

Disgorgement of Profits Not Available for Arbitrary and Capricious Benefits Denial – This Time

Wrongful denial of employee benefits will not expose plan fiduciaries to equitable remedies – such as disgorgement of profits – where restoration of benefits is adequate to make the claimant whole, says the Sixth Circuit in...more

Construction Case Law Update - March 2015 #2

Sinkholes; “Structural Damage” – When undefined in a homeowner’s insurance policy, “structural damage” caused by a sinkhole is best defined as “damage that impairs the structural integrity of the building.” Homeowners argued...more

Proving Your Business Income Loss: Defeating Insurance Company Challenges to Policyholder Evidence

Courts commonly observe that the purpose of Business Interruption or Business Income insurance is to put the policyholder in the same position it would have been in had there been no interruption. The Business Interruption...more

Utah Clarifies Lien Amounts and Bonding Requirements

The Utah Supreme Court recently clarified that the only permissible amounts to claim under Utah’s mechanic lien statutes are those “equivalent to the value of the services rendered, labor performed, or materials or equipment...more

Injunction in Aid of Class Action Settlement Addressed by Seventh Circuit

Defendants who are defending multiple class actions involving the same issue in different jurisdictions can sometimes be faced with a quandary when they want to settle....more

ERISA: 6th Circuit — Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz: Oh What A RELIEF It Is: No Disgorgement For Arbitrary Denial Of Benefits

Does an arbitrary and capricious denial of ERISA governed disability benefits create a right to disgorgement of profits? NO....more

Revisiting Rochow: The Sixth Circuit Rejects Earlier $3.8 Million Equitable Award in Recent En Banc Decision

Just over a year ago, a panel decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, 737 F.3d 415 made big news when the court upheld the district court’s award of $3.8 million in...more

Sixth Circuit Overturns the Lower Court’s Award of $3.8 Million in Alleged Profits Arising From a Denial of Benefits

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, has overturned the decision of a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel which had affirmed the district court’s award of $3.8 million of “disgorged” profits,...more

Maximizing Insurance Coverage for CFPB Investigations and Enforcement Actions

Seven years removed from the 2008 financial crisis, an increasing number of financial institutions are now finding themselves in the crosshairs of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), a new federal agency...more

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