Insurance Civil Remedies

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District of South Carolina: No Support For Award of Punitive Damages Where Insured Failed To Prove Recklessness by Insurer

Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. JT Walker Indus., Inc., No. 2:08-02043-MBS, 2014 WL 6773517 (D.S.C. Dec. 2, 2014). The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina sets aside a jury’s verdict awarding punitive...more

Late Notice Held to Bar a $6,000,000 Hurricane Wilma Claim in Florida

In The Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Ass’n. v. Lexington Ins. Co., – Fed.Appx. –, 2015 WL 106862, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 293 (11h Cir., Jan. 8, 2015), a unanimous panel of the Eleventh Circuit recently held that a...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - January 2015

In This Issue: - District of South Carolina: No Support For Award of Punitive Damages Where Insured Failed To Prove Recklessness by Insurer - Supreme Court of Missouri Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment for...more

Reinsurer Obtains Award Of Attorney’s Fees Against Cedent That Failed To Timely Produce Electronically Stored Information

This case was brought by the cedent, Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co., seeking indemnity and expense payments arising from various underlying lawsuits, under a Casualty Excess Reinsurance Agreement. A discovery dispute...more

CAFA Removal Jurisdiction: Using a Plaintiff’s Complaint Against It

Most cases involving the existence of removal jurisdiction under CAFA involve the $5 million amount in controversy. In a recent Third Circuit opinion, determining whether or not the putative class had the requisite 100...more

Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage to Take Effect

Japan recently submitted its instrument of acceptance to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, triggering the CSC’s entry into force on April 15, 2015....more

High Court to clarify proportionate liability

Many readers will be aware of the Full Federal Court decisions of Wealthsure Pty Ltd v Selig [2014] FCAFC 64 and ABN AMRO Bank NV v Bathurst Regional Council [2014] FCAFC 65, which are in conflict as to how proportionate...more

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Late Notice Barred Claim for Hurricane Damage as a Matter of Law and Upholds Award of...

In The Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Assoc., Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 293 (11th Cir. Jan. 8, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit upheld a district court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- January 2015

Insured v. Insured Exclusion Ambiguous When Applied to FDIC, 11th Circuit Rules - Why it matters: In the continuing split among courts considering insured v. insured exclusions, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court...more

Court Approves $7 Million Settlement Agreement With Reinsurer In Reliance Insurance Company’s Liquidation

A Pennsylvania court overseeing Reliance Insurance Company’s liquidation proceedings approved the settlement agreement between Reliance and XL Reinsurance Company. The agreement allowed the liquidator to terminate and commute...more

Prompt Notice Requirement: 11th Circuit Rules that a Policyholder’s Late Notice of a Claim Results in a Strong Presumption of...

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained that under Florida law a policyholder who fails to provide prompt notice of a claim faces an uphill battle defeating the resulting rebuttable presumption of prejudice...more

District Court Defines Surcharge Broadly

A New York district court held that surcharge could include not only make-whole relief, but also consequential, exemplary, or punitive damages in limited circumstances where malice or fraud is involved. Plaintiff Janet...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Formally Adopts “Gist of the Action” Doctrine

Pennsylvania’s “gist of the action” doctrine prohibits plaintiffs from pursuing tort claims for what are, in actuality, breach of contract claims. A variety of defendants, including those in the financial services industry,...more

Finding the Earliest and Least Expensive Exit From Financial Services Class Actions

Effectively responding to class litigation doesn’t necessarily mean simply preparing an answer or perfunctory motion to dismiss, diving headlong into class discovery, investing in full-fledged combat on the merits of the...more

Thoughts on Trends in Insurance Class Actions in 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, here are a few observations on key trends I’ve seen in insurance class actions (and class actions more broadly) over the last year...more

A DJ is a Sometime Thing: In Declaratory Judgment Actions Over Coverage, the Sixth Circuit Gives Trial Courts a Wide Berth

The Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201, gives federal district courts “unique and substantial discretion” over whether to hear suits seeking a declaration of rights. Wilton v. Seven Falls Co., 515 U.S. 277, 286...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

Like Hats and Belt Buckles, Indemnity Agreements in Texas Must be CONSPICUOUS

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Texas law allows an indemnity agreement to insulate a party from the consequences of its own, allegedly negligent conduct, but only if that feature...more

Assign Away: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says Bad Faith Claims May be Assigned

On December 15, 2014, in the case of Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Wolfe, No. 39 MAP 2014, slip op. at 1 (Pa. Dec. 15, 2014), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an insured may assign a statutory bad faith claim...more

Policy Observer - December 2014

Giving and Receiving: Insuring Company-Sponsored Volunteerism: This is the time of year when we are reminded of the importance of giving. Many companies not only donate generously to nonprofits and community programs,...more

Recent Decisions Reinforce the Value of Quality over Quantity in a Reservation of Rights Letter

In two recent cases, Advantage Builders & Exteriors v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. No. WD 76880 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014) and EAN Services, LLC v. Brunson, No. 2-14-118 (Ill. Ct. App. September 8, 2014), the courts remind...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014

Texas Appeals Court Upholds $8.7M Verdict for Policyholder Against Broker - Why it matters: An appeals court in Texas upheld an $8.7 million jury verdict against a broker that procured coverage with significant...more

California Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update (3rd Quarter 2014)

Case Updates - Court finds ownership of LLC membership interest does not constitute doing business in California On November 14, the Fresno County Superior Court determined that Swart, an Iowa-based corporation with a...more

As the Snowfall Comes to an End, Buffalo, New York Area Businesses Should Seek To Protect Their Insurance Rights

The Buffalo, New York, area has been devastated with record-setting levels of snowfall. In just a few days, the area has received a year’s worth of snow, with more than seven feet in some places. The heavy snow has led to...more

If You Are a Third-Party Beneficiary, Make Sure the Contract Is Crystal Clear!

In Be Clear if You Want to Have a “Third-Party Beneficiary” in Your Contract, I discussed that if in-house counsel wanted to ensure that a person or entity achieved the status of a third-party beneficiary, it was critical to...more

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