Insurance Constitutional Law

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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

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending January 16 & 23,2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Commercial Lease/Cotenancy Provisions: whether cotenancy provision in lease for retail space in shopping center, which requires other particular store(s) in shopping center to remain occupied by...more

Illinois District Court Holds That a Plan Maintained by a Religiously Affiliated Organization Is Not a Church Plan

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently had the opportunity to weigh in on the issue of whether a religiously affiliated employer was exempt from federal regulation of its employee...more

Fracking Bans Don't Trigger Civil Authority Coverage

On Nov. 4, 2014, voters in Denton, Texas, which is home to more than 270 natural gas wells, approved a ballot initiative banning all hydraulic fracturing within the city’s limits. The Denton ban, which took effect on Dec. 2,...more

It’s Not Personal: Ninth Circuit Denies Putative Class Representative’s Appeal as Moot

In Campion v. Old Republic Protection Company, Inc., No. 12-56784, (Dec. 31, 2014) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a putative class representative’s appeal was moot because he had no personal stake in the case...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

Religious Institutions Update: December 2014

Every year, religious institutions spend millions purchasing insurance of various types from insurance companies. Many will never make claims on the policies remotely equal to their annual investment in premiums. In these...more

Employment Law Reporter – November 2014: The Impact of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

Has the Supreme Court “ventured into a minefield,” by its “decision of startling breadth,” as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby? In Hobby Lobby, the Court held that the contraceptive...more

United States Middle District of Florida Gives Plaintiffs an Option with regard to Premature Bad Faith Claims

In Gianassi v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142600 (M. D. Fla. 2014), the Middle District granted in part and denied in part State Farm’s Motion to Dismiss two counts of Plaintiff’s three-count...more

New York State Court Rules That Darwin Has Duty to Defend but AIG Does Not, for Same Risk, Based on Differing Policy Language

New York state court Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich recently ruled that American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) didn’t have to pay certain defense costs for various suits brought against QBE Holdings, Inc. and its...more

Insurer’s Liability for Breach of Contract Is Not a Condition Precedent to Insured’s Bad Faith Claim

A Florida appeals court recently held in Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co. that an insured is not required to show that its insurer breached the insurance policy before it can bring a claim for bad faith. Although...more

Health Plans Petition the Supreme Court to Determine Whether FEHBA Preempts State Anti-Subrogation Statutes

The Federal Employees Health Benefit Act (FEHBA) governs federal employee health plans and contains a broad preemption clause comparable to the one found in ERISA.1 Despite the similarity, state and federal courts are split...more

Texas Supreme Court Argument Preview (9/14)

13-0080, RSUI Indemnity Co. v. The Lynd Co. - The primary issue in this insurance coverage case is how the policy limits of an excess property insurance policy should be calculated. The policy at issue covers multiple...more

“Blinded By the Light of God and Truth and Right”: Constitutional Arguments Carry the Day Against Zealous Insurance Receiver

Insurance receivers have the unenviable job of liquidating failed insurance companies: collecting the insolvent insurers’ assets and paying claims against the failed insurers in accordance with a statutory claim priority...more

Illinois Supreme Court Rules that Public Sector Retiree Health Subsidies are Constitutionally Protected Benefits

As covered in more detail in a separate alert, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Kanerva v. Weems by a 6-1 margin that state-subsidized retiree health coverage premiums are subject to the pension protection clause of the...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: August 2014 #2

former marital home entitled to homestead exemption under article X, section 4 of Florida Constitution because (1) decedent and former wife still owned home as tenants in common at time of his death; (2) decedent’s sons, whom...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC35632- U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Foote - Second time is the charm. Defendant succeeded in getting plaintiff’s foreclosure action dismissed for lack of standing due to the inability of the witnesses to establish that the...more

Puerto Rico Bonds: Legislation and Litigation

For municipal bond investors and insurers, recent events in Puerto Rico have become a major concern. Puerto Rico has tried to address its mounting debt crisis by enacting legislation that would create, in effect, a...more

Insurance Coverage – Personal & Advertising Injury – Trade Disparagement

Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v Swift Distribution, Inc. - California Supreme Court (June 12, 2014) - Commercial liability policies provide coverage for “personal and advertising injury.” This term typically...more

Did The Supreme Court Finally Explain Marathon And Stern? - Executive Benefits’ Impact on Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court has spoken once again on the limited jurisdiction of the bankruptcy courts, adding to the understanding derived from Northern Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50 (1982),...more

Recap: Early Responses on Twitter As SCOTUS Decides Hobby Lobby Contraceptives Case, 5-4

A quick look at early responses on Twitter regarding Monday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. ...more

The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York Rules that Employers with Self-Insured Health Plans Need Not Offer Medical...

The issue of same-sex spousal rights is now largely resolved for qualified retirement plans. However, substantial questions about same-sex spouse health benefits remain unanswered. In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield,...more

Undoing MICRA

It has been over thirty-five years since California became a leader in healthcare reform, addressing the malpractice insurance crisis in a measured way. In 1975, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (“MICRA”) capped...more

Another insurance industry trade association group challenges the HUD disparate impact rule

We have been following the lawsuit in federal district court in D.C. in which two insurance industry trade associations have challenged the HUD disparate impact rule. The complaint in the D.C. action, which was commenced in...more

ERISA: “Derivative Standing” Allows Medical Provider To Obtain Reimbursement From ERISA Plan

Medical providers often have a patient/ERISA plan participant assign rights under an ERISA health care plan to allow the medical provider to seek payment for medical services provided....more

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