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Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Probate/Quit Claim Deeds: trial court correctly ordered personal representative to issue deeds conveying properties to son and mother, subject to life estate held by son – Ciungu v. Bulea, Case...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

To Fund or Not to Fund – that is the Question

On Friday the 13th (3/13/2015), the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit decided that a title insurer did not have to provide coverage to its insured – the perfected, first lien lender – for priming mechanics’ liens that –...more

Florida Court Addresses Classification Limitation Endorsement

In its recent decision in Dumbacher v. Landmark Am. Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29106 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 10, 2015), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida had occasion to consider the application...more

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals: No Coverage under Title Insurance for Mechanics’ Liens Arising after Construction Lender Stops...

On March 12, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit entered an opinion interpreting “the most litigated provision in the standard-form title-insurance policy purchased by real-estate lenders to...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 6 & 13, 2015

Real Property Update: Deed Restriction: genuine issue of material facts remains concerning whether original parties to deed with restrictions contemplated future unilateral amendments to restrictions that would bind...more

California Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Agent's Immunity Rule Based on "Special Relationship" Between Insurers and Insureds

On April 2, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, published an opinion that limits the scope of the agent’s immunity rule insofar as it applies to employees of insurers involved in investigating...more

New York’s Highest Court Enforces a Water Damage Exclusion Despite an Ensuing Loss Exception

In Platek v. Town of Hamberg, et al., 2015 WL 685726, 2015 N.Y. LEXIS 252 (N.Y., Feb. 19, 2015), the New York Court of Appeals held that an exclusion for water below the surface of the ground was unambiguous and operated to...more

Insurance Payout Goes Up In Smoke: Sixth Circuit Finds Manufacturing Marijuana Changes Use Of A Residence.

In Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. McDermott, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3012 (6th Cir. Feb. 24, 2015), a homeowner’s claim for a total fire loss was denied based on the policy’s “change of use” endorsement. On January 13,...more

Germany's Amended Investment Ordinance

The Investment Ordinance (Anlageverordnung – “Investment Ordinance” or “AnlV”), as recently amended and as discussed in more detail below, applies to the investments and the asset allocation of insurance companies and pension...more

Summary of HUD’s LEAN 232 Program Email Blast: Office of Residential Care Facilities (ORCF), February 2015

In an effort to summarize the highlights of the LEAN Email Blasts that we receive, and rarely have time to review in a timely fashion, we at Pepper Hamilton are providing this quick synopsis of the latest LEAN update. Our aim...more

Is Laminate Flooring The New Drywall For Insurers?

Recent media reports alleging that certain laminate flooring manufactured in China and distributed in the U.S. contains unsafe levels of formaldehyde may have a familiar and frightening ring to them, particularly for insurers...more

Eleventh Circuit defines “structural damage” under an insurance policy to mean more than simply “physical” damage

Although commonly used in insurance policies, the term “ structural damage ” is typically an undefined term, leaving it to insurers, insureds, and sometimes the courts to define. In Florida, federal district courts had come...more

Court Finds Potential for Personal Umbrella Coverage of Sexual Assault Not Covered by Underlying Homeowners Policy

In Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. H039368, filed 2/5/15), a California appeals court ruled that a personal umbrella policy's broader coverage gave rise to a duty to defend sexual molestation allegations that were...more

Texas Claims Are Getting Nasti: The Insured’s Burdens

Texas courts have long taken the position that “[w]hen covered and excluded perils combine to cause an injury, the insured must present some evidence affording the jury a reasonable basis on which to allocate damages.”...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds Not All Damage Is “Structural Damage” For Purpose Of A Sinkhole Claim

In Hegel v. The First Liberty Insurance Corporation, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 3024 (11th Cir. Feb. 27, 2015), the Eleventh Circuit reversed summary judgment in favor of the homeowners because the trial court applied an improper...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 27, 2015

Foreclosure/Statute of Limitations: filing date of amended complaint for purposes of statute of limitations relates back to filing date of original complaint – HSBC Bank USA, National Association as Trustee for Nomura Asset...more

Western District of Washington: Insured That Violated Duties of Notice and Cooperation Could Not Make Out Claim for Bad Faith...

Granite State Ins. Co. v. Integrity Structures, LLC, No. C14-5085BHS, 2015 WL 136006 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 9, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an insurer did not act in bad faith...more

Sixth Circuit: Growing Marijuana is Not the Same as Buying a Houseplant or Entertaining Visitors

Half of the states in this country have now legalized marijuana for medical use, and that has led to a number of small-scale growing operations in policyholders’ homes.  While not nearly as dangerous as cooking meth on the...more

Florida’s Fifth District Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer, Finding that “Vandalism” and “Malicious Mischief” include “Arson”

In Botee v. Southern Fid. Ins. Co., 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 1566 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Feb. 6, 2015), the Fifth District affirmed an Orange County trial court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurer. Botee...more

Florida Court Holds Arson is a Type of Excluded Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

Earlier this month a unanimous Florida appellate court joined a number of other states that have held that an all-risk policy exclusion for vandalism and malicious mischief operates to bar coverage for an arson loss. ...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending February 20, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Sinkhole/Appraisal: reversing non-final order compelling appraisal of sinkhole claim because one is not appropriate under section 631.54(3)(c), Florida Statutes – Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass’n, Inc. v....more

Bad Day for NewDay: CFPB Section 8 Enforcement Continues

On February 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) added another company to its litany of alleged Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”) Section 8 offenders (Michigan Title, PHH Corporation, New...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Bright-Line Trigger Of Coverage Approach In First-Party Property Disputes

In Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 771 F.3d 1026, 1030 (7th Cir. Wis. 2014), the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals applying Wisconsin law set forth an analysis for determining trigger of coverage in first-party property...more

Goldman Sachs Settles RMBS Suit

On February 6, 2015, plaintiffs Union Central Life Insurance, Ameritas Life Insurance, and Acacia Life Insurance filed a letter with the court stating that they had reached an agreement with Goldman Sachs to settle claims...more

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