Property

  • April 16, 2024

    5th Circ. Rejects La. Homeowners' Repeat Hurricane Claim

    The Fifth Circuit declined Tuesday to revive a Louisiana couple's proposed class action alleging that their insurer's method of evaluating their Hurricane Ida property damage violated state law, affirming that a previous, related lawsuit the couple filed barred the present claim from coverage.

  • April 16, 2024

    11th Circ. Asks If Undivided Settlement Can Still Be Covered

    An Eleventh Circuit panel seemed torn Tuesday on whether to allow insurance coverage for a $557,000 nonapportioned Georgia federal settlement that potentially included both covered theft and noncovered negligent deconstruction, awarded to a Georgia mill owner who hired the insured.

  • April 15, 2024

    Geico Must Arbitrate Fraud Claims Against Chiropractors

    The Third Circuit held in a precedential opinion Monday that Geico must arbitrate three lawsuits accusing chiropractic practices of providing unnecessary services totaling $10 million, pointing to documentation indicating that disputes connected to personal injury protection benefits must be resolved out of court.

  • April 15, 2024

    Calif. AG Backs Unfair Competition Claims Against State Farm

    California policyholders should be able to assert claims under the state's unfair competition law independent of a one-year claim filing deadline under their insurance policy, state Attorney General Rob Bonta told the California Supreme Court, backing a San Francisco homeowner's unfair competition claims against a State Farm unit.

  • April 12, 2024

    Ala. Church's Hurricane Claims Are Covered, 11th Circ. Rules

    There was enough evidence for an Alabama federal jury to conclude that a church suffered nearly $170,000 in covered property damage from Hurricane Sally, the Eleventh Circuit has ruled, rejecting an insurer's argument that the church's claims failed as a matter of law under a wear and tear exclusion.

  • April 12, 2024

    The Week In Trump: Catch Up On The Ex-President's Cases

    Donald Trump and his legal team proved that they are nothing if not persistent as they repeatedly tried — and failed — to hit the brakes on the former president's porn star hush money trial in Manhattan.

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurer AI Rules Push Self-Oversight, Leave Enforcement Hazy

    State regulators across the United States that advise insurers to establish protocols for testing, documenting and governing their artificial intelligence tools are offering clarity for companies to self-regulate, but leaving the prospect of enforcement vague, experts said.

  • April 11, 2024

    Chubb-Archdiocese Suit Raises Coverage Burden Issue

    A Chubb lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New York over indemnity for sexual abuse claims is implicating questions over which party has the burden to show if a liability might be covered or not, a dispute inextricably tied to justice for the church's many alleged victims.

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    Louisiana's top court was asked to examine the enforceability of certain insurance contracts' arbitration clauses, the Sixth Circuit ordered a company to pay back some of the defense bill its insurer footed, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard COVID-19 coverage arguments and the Ninth Circuit rejected such arguments under Washington law.

  • April 11, 2024

    Ex-Geico Agents Ask 6th Circ. To Revive Classification Suit

    A group of former Geico agents asked the Sixth Circuit to revive their claims that they were misclassified and denied benefits, challenging the accuracy and relevance of plan documents that the lower court reviewed when dismissing the workers' suit.

  • April 11, 2024

    11th Circ. To Weigh If Wood Theft Is 'Intentional'

    The Eleventh Circuit will review, on April 16, a Georgia federal ruling forcing an insurer to cover a $557,000 settlement for shoddy workmanship and wood theft during a deconstruction project by its policyholder, and the outcome could hinge on what constitutes an accident and which state law applies. Here, Law360 breaks down the case in advance of oral arguments.

  • April 10, 2024

    La. Top Court Asked To Hear Insurance Arbitration Questions

    The Louisiana Supreme Court should examine the enforceability of arbitration clauses in certain insurance contracts as lawsuits seeking coverage for hurricane damage mount, a Louisiana district court said, certifying a series of questions to the state high court after the Fifth Circuit found they were enforceable.

  • April 10, 2024

    'Let's Get Physical': Pa. Justices Tune In To COVID-19 Coverage

    One of late singer Olivia Newton-John's greatest hits struck a chord with a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice Wednesday as he considered whether insurers should cover business losses stemming from government shutdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic 

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-Trump Finance Chief Weisselberg Jailed For Perjury

    A New York state judge on Wednesday sentenced former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to five months in jail for lying under oath in the attorney general's civil fraud case against Donald Trump and his business associates, imprisoning a close ally of the former president on the eve of his hush-money trial.

  • April 09, 2024

    9th Circ. Says Hotel, Restaurant Virus Losses Not Covered

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday said two groups of Washington state restaurants and hotels can't claim COVID-related business losses under their insurance policies because they failed to show they physically lost functional use of their properties as a result of the virus.

  • April 09, 2024

    4th Circ. Tosses Duty To Defend Case Over Oil Co.'s Objection

    The Fourth Circuit said Tuesday that a West Virginia oil and gas company lacked standing to continue an appeal that was originally brought by a green grower, which had sought coverage from its insurer for an underlying $4 million land use dispute with the extractor.

  • April 09, 2024

    Insurance Firm Will Pay $4M To End Calif. Wage Class Action

    A California federal judge gave the green light to a $4 million class action settlement resolving allegations that an insurance and risk management company didn't closely track workers' hours, which resulted in underpayment for over 2,100 workers. 

  • April 09, 2024

    Trump Opposes NY Monitor Probe After Exec's Perjury

    Attorneys for Donald Trump argued against allowing a court-appointed monitor of the Trump Organization to look into supposed discovery lapses in the New York attorney general's civil business fraud case related to a perjury plea by the company's former longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.

  • April 09, 2024

    Embattled Houston Law Firm Files Ch. 11

    Insurance law firm MMA Law Firm on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 protection in a Texas bankruptcy court, weeks after a federal judge declined to toss a suit seeking class damages over the Houston firm's allegedly illegal efforts to solicit clients in hurricane-related property damage cases.

  • April 08, 2024

    AIG Acted In Bad Faith In Hurricane Dispute, Homeowners Say

    Owners of a $95 million oceanfront mansion near Miami told jurors Monday that AIG should be punished for acting in bad faith in handling a claim for damage from Hurricane Irma, saying the company repeatedly prioritized maximizing profits at the expense of customer service.

  • April 08, 2024

    Texas School District Not Immune In Arbitration Row

    A Texas school district isn't immune from a lawsuit by its insurers seeking to appoint an umpire in a $10 million hurricane damage dispute, a New York federal court ruled Monday, finding the district doesn't meet the standards set under the 11th Amendment.

  • April 08, 2024

    Conn. Law Firm Demands Insurer Pay More For Leak In Office

    A Connecticut law firm and a real estate company have accused their insurer of failing to fully cover damage from a leak at their New Haven offices despite a $2.2 million policy in a suit removed to Connecticut federal court by the insurer.

  • April 08, 2024

    Insurer Fights 3rd Circ. Bid To Revive Crash Coverage Suit

    An insurer has urged the Third Circuit to affirm that a Pennsylvania couple couldn't claim it had acted in bad faith by failing to immediately cover the husband's brain injuries from a crash with an underinsured motorist.

  • April 05, 2024

    NJ Recycler's Fire Damage Suit To Remain In NJ, Judge Rules

    A New Jersey federal judge declined to move a paper recycler's fire coverage dispute to New York, but did agree to toss one of its claims against its insurer, finding the recycler's declaratory judgment and breach of contract claims were duplicative.

  • April 05, 2024

    Conn. Court Limits Payouts For Underinsured Motorist Policies

    Siding with Safeco Insurance Co. and overturning a lower court's calculations, the Connecticut Appellate Court on Friday cemented the insurance industry's ability to escape underinsured motorist claims by injured policyholders whose coverage equals that of drivers at fault, even when at-fault drivers' insurers divvy up smaller payments.

Expert Analysis

  • Policy Misrepresentations Carry Insurance Rescission Risks

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    The Second Circuit's recent decision in Medical Mutual v. Gnik, finding that material misrepresentation in a clinic's insurance applications warranted policy rescission, is a clear example of the far-reaching effects that misrepresentations can have and provides a reminder that policyholders should employ relatively straightforward steps to decrease risks, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • 2nd Circ. Ruling Clarifies When Demand Letters Are Claims

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    The Second Circuit’s decision last week in Pine Management v. Colony Insurance, affirming that an insurer had no obligation to defend an insured for claims made before the policy period, provides clarity on when presuit demands for relief constitute claims — an important issue that may be dispositive of coverage, says Bonnie Thompson at Lavin Rindner.

  • A Legal Playbook For Stadium Construction Agreements

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    As a new wave of construction in the professional sports arena space gets underway, owners must carefully consider the unique considerations and risks associated with these large-scale projects and draft agreements accordingly, say attorneys at Akerman.

  • Insurance Policy Takeaways From UK Lockdown Loss Ruling

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    An English court's recent decision in Unipolsai v. Covea, determining that insurers' losses from COVID-19 lockdowns were covered by reinsurance, highlights key issues on insurance policy wordings, including how to define a "catastrophe" in the context of the pandemic, says Daniel Healy at Brown Rudnick.

  • Class Actions At The Circuit Courts: March Lessons

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    In this month's review of class action appeals, Mitchell Engel at Shook Hardy discusses four notable circuit court decisions on topics from consumer fraud to employment — and provides key takeaways for counsel on issues including coercive communications with putative class members and Article III standing at the class certification stage.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • Cos. Seeking Cyber Coverage Can Look To Key Policy Terms

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    As cyberattacks increasingly threaten business operations, including one last month that partially paralyzed UnitedHealth's services, expanded interpretations of several key policy terms may allow affected companies to recover under cyber business interruption policies or other coverage, even if their business hasn't completely shut down, say attorneys at Kasowitz.

  • How Calif. Video Recording Ruling May Affect Insured Exams

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    A recent California appellate decision, Myasnyankin v. Nationwide, allowing policyholders to video record all parties to an insurance examination under oath, has changed the rules of the road for EUOs and potentially opened Pandora's box for future disputes, say John Edson and Preston Bennett at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Insurance Industry Asbestos Reserve Estimates Are Unreliable

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    Insurance regulators rely on industry self-reporting in approving insurance company reorganizations, but AM Best data reveals that actuarial and audit estimates have been setting perniciously low levels of loss reserves for asbestos liabilities and thus should be treated with deep skepticism, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • Texas Insurance Ruling Could Restore Finality To Appraisal

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    The Texas Supreme Court's decision in Rodriguez v. Safeco, determining that full payment of an appraisal award precludes recovery of attorney fees, indicates a potential return to an era in which timely payment undoubtedly disposes of all possible policyholder claims, says Karl Schulz at Cozen O'Connor.

  • A Rare Look At Judicial Interpretation Of LEG Exclusions

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    A Florida federal court’s order last month in Archer Western-De Moya v. Ace American Insurance and an earlier decision from a D.C. federal court offer insight into how courts may interpret defects exclusion clauses developed by the London Engineering Group — filling a void in case law in the area, says Jonathan Bruce at Holman Fenwick.

  • How VA Court Change Is Affecting Insurance Disputes

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    The expansion of the Virginia Court of Appeals' jurisdiction to include review of decisions involving insurance coverage stands to significantly grow the body of related case law, likely to the benefit of policyholders, as evident in the recent decision in Bowman II v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., say Michael Levine and Olivia Bushman at Hunton.

  • Ore. Insurance Ruling Opens Door To Extracontractual Claims

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    The Oregon Supreme Court's recent Moody v. Oregon Community Credit Union decision expanding an insurer's potential liability when adjusting life insurance policies exposes insurers to extracontractual tort liability, and the boundaries of this application will likely be tested through aggressive legal action, says Tessan Wess at GRSM50.