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Court Confirms Bank Can Be Held Liable for Conduct and Representations Occurring During Loan Modification Process

A California Court of Appeal recently held that a defaulting mortgagee can assert claims for breach of contract, wrongful foreclosure, unfair business practices and negligent misrepresentation against the foreclosing bank...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Texas Supreme Court Unanimously Blocks Contractors' Economic Loss Tort Claims Against Designers

Texas contractors have long tried to directly sue their owners’ professional design firms -- rarely with success -- when faulty plans cause economic losses such as increased costs from delays and disruptions. A few cases in...more

Retailers NOT Required to Maintain AEDs

On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court announced that retailers are not obligated to maintain automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in anticipation of medical emergencies. In Verdugo v. Target Corporation, the...more

Signatories And Non-Signatories Denied Motions To Compel Arbitration

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and a federal district court in Michigan have each issued opinions on motions to compel arbitration. In the Michigan opinion, the court granted a motion for summary judgment, in favor of the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Decide Whether Wrongful Death Suits are Subject to Arbitration

The United States Supreme Court was recently asked to determine whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a state law rule that prohibits enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in certain wrongful death...more

No Claim for “Financial Unseaworthiness” When Passengers Never Board Vessel

This case arose in a bankruptcy proceeding. A creditor had pre-paid a substantial sum for cruises on a vessel. The vessel owner and operator filed bankruptcy before the cruises took place, and the creditor sought return of...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Jun 2014 #2

Nevada Supreme Court Holds That Absolute Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Suit - Why it matters: In answering certified questions from the Ninth Circuit, Nevada joined...more

Texas Supreme Court weekly orders (6/14)

In its order list for June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court issued opinions in eight cases and granted review in one case. In this post, I will summarize the opinions in four cases, and also describe the case in which the...more

Louisiana Court Finds in Favor of Flood Insurer Where Insured Submitted an Incomplete Proof of Loss

Roussell v. Allstate Insurance Company, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82319 (E.D. La. June 17, 2014) involved a dispute over insurance coverage related to the damage caused to the plaintiff’s property by Hurricane Isaac on August 29,...more

Virginia’s Privity of Contract Defense Continues to Protect Defendants in Economic Loss Cases

I am often told by clients that they are protected from a lawsuit because they have a corporation. The advice I usually give them is that while the corporate shield is strong it does not protect them if they are negligent...more

California Court of Appeals: Insurer Liable for Settlement Negotiated by Insured

California Court of Appeals affirms a jury verdict finding an insurer liable for settlement costs of its insured when the insurer refused to defend its insured in bad faith. San Diego Apartment Brokers (“Brokers”)...more

Harman v. Honeywell International

The Supreme Court of Virginia’s recent opinion in Harman v. Honeywell International, Inc., Case No. 130627 (June 5, 2014) contains a wealth of analysis on a number of evidentiary rules that every trial lawyer will likely...more

Operator Wins JOA Fight

MDU Barnett Ltd. P’ship v. Chesapeake Exploration Ltd. P’ship is at least three things: - The culmination of an unhappy relationship between an operator and non-operators. - What happens when joint owners’ interests...more

Court Construes Disputed Insurance Policy Language And Requires Reinsurer To Follow The Settlements

The case involved two facultative reinsurance contracts, each of which covered excess liability for similar umbrella liability insurance policies, and each of which contained a “follow the settlements” provision. After the...more

Is a Floating Casino Subject to Maritime Jurisdiction?

In some cases, yes. In this case, a paddlewheel vessel, the Belle of Orleans. served as a dockside casino on Lake Pontchartrain. It became unmoored during Hurricane Katrina, damaged nearby property, and was liable for...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Allows Negligence Suit Against Builder Despite Lack of Privity of Contract Between the...

A Federal Court in Pennsylvania has handed down a ruling that may expand the pool of potential plaintiffs in construction litigation. See AMCO Insurance Co. v. Emery and Associates, 926 F. Supp. 2d 634 (W.D. Pa. 2013). In...more

First Circuit Addresses Definition of “You” in Liability Policy

In its recent decision in Metropolitan Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. McCarthy, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10622 (1st Cir. June 5, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, applying Maine law, had occasion to...more

Cooper v. Meridian Yachts – Complex International Maritime Case

In this complex international admiralty case, a sea captain sustained an injury as a result of a defective food lift on a ship. The ship owner, manager, and employer brought third-party claims against the ship designer and...more

Use chemicals in your business? Read your insurance policy: You might not be covered.

A recent federal appeals court ruling underscores the need for businesses using potentially irritating chemicals to check their insurance policies for “absolute pollution exception” clauses. These increasingly common clauses...more

Plugging the Wrong Well is Likely to Impact Your Pocketbook

The Texas Railroad Commission’s contractor, Superior, plugged the 708S-5 well on behalf of the Commission. Oops! The contractor plugged the wrong well. ...more

What Does Section 75-1.1 Prohibit?

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1 prohibits several different clusters of conduct. Thus, whether you’re bringing a 75-1.1 claim or defending against one, it’s crucial to identify, at the outset, what kind of 75-1.1 claim you’re...more

Vicarious Liability of Motor Vehicle Lessors in Canada

The equipment finance industry breathed a sigh of relief when Federal legislation was enacted in 2005 preempting state laws imposing vicarious liability on lessors of motor vehicles. That relief may have been premature if the...more

Time To Reconsider The Assignability Of Certain Claims

If an insurance company refuses to settle a claim, once liability has become reasonably clear and there is an opportunity to settle within limits, the defending insurer runs the risk of an excess verdict. Once the verdict is...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Sealant Fumes

In its recent decision in United Fire & Cas. Co. v. Titan Contrs. Serv., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8879 (8th Cir. May 13, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, had occasion to...more

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