Social Security Disability
Workers' Compensation
Automobile Accidents
Long Term Disability
Veterans VA Claims
Wills and Trusts
Estate Planning
Medical Malpractice
Wrongful Death
Salvation vs. Suicide
More »

 

Legal News & Headlines

New York Panel: Delay In Notice Of Environmental Claim Was Not Reasonable
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York appellate panel on June 13 affirmed a ruling in favor of two insurers in an environmental contamination suit after determining that the insurers were not timely notified of the claim filed against their insured and that no reasonable explanation was provided for the more than three-year delay in notifying the insurers of the claim (New York v. Diana L. Flora, et al., No. 526787, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4768).

Continuous Trigger Of Coverage Theory Applies To Asbestos Claims
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal judge on June 10 determined that under applicable Wisconsin law, a continuous trigger of coverage theory must be applied to underlying asbestos personal injury claims filed against an insured and that an all-sums method of allocation must be applied to each insurance policy triggered by a claim (Eaton Corp. v. Westport Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-1157, E.D. Wis., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97891).

South Carolina Federal Judge Realigns Parties In Asbestos Coverage Suit, Denies Remand
GREENVILLE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on June 14 determined that underlying claimants seeking damages as a result of exposure to asbestos must be realigned as plaintiffs in an insured's suit filed against its insurers because the insured and the underlying claimants seek the same relief of coverage under the defendant insurers' policies (Covil Corp., by its duly appointed receiver, Peter D. Protopapas, v. Zurich American Insurance Co. et al., No. 18-3291, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100023).

No Coverage Afforded Under 3 Homeowners Policies For Cracking Foundation Walls
VERNON, Conn. - A Connecticut judge on May 30 determined that no coverage is afforded under three homeowners policies for the cracking of the insured's basement walls as a result of the use of defective concrete; however, the judge said a question of fact exists as to whether coverage is afforded under a fourth homeowners policy (Joseph Dinardo, et al. v. Pacific Indemnity Co., et al., No. CV-16-6010979-S, Conn. Super., Tolland Jud. Dist., 2019 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1206).

Motion To Remand Water, Mold Damage Suit Denied; Judge Says Damages Exceed $75K
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on June 14 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of a water and mold damage claim after determining that the insurers produced sufficient evidence showing that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000 (Matthew B. Menendez, et al. v. American Strategic Insurance Corp., et al., No. 19-443, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99975).

Insurer Sues Insurer For Equitable Contribution Of Construction Defect Case
LOS ANGELES - A general contractor's insurer sued a subcontractor's insurer on June 14 in a California federal court, asserting claims for declaratory relief and equitable contribution regarding coverage for an underlying construction defect case against the general contractor and subcontractor (Kinsale Insurance Co. v. HDI Global Specialty SE, No. 19-05219, C.D. Calif.).

Majority Affirms Allocation Of $6M Settlement In Product Liability Coverage Dispute
ST. LOUIS - A majority of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an excess insurer owes a designer and manufacturer insured $2.76 million for an underlying $6 million settlement of an underlying product liability lawsuit involving defective air ducts, rejecting the excess insurer's argument that the lower court improperly interpreted the batch clause endorsement (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al. v. Donaldson Company Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 18-1063, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17897).

Texas High Court Denies Rehearing On Applicability Of Joint Venture Provision
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas high court on May 31 denied a petition for rehearing filed by insurers in a coverage dispute arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, refusing to reconsider its decision that an exception to a policy's joint venture provision does not limit excess coverage for defense costs incurred by the insured (Anadarko Petroleum Corp., et al. v. Houston Casualty Co., et al., No. 16-1013, Texas Sup., 2019 Tex. LEXIS 526).

5th Circuit Panel Refuses To Rehear Environmental Damage Coverage Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 denied a petition for rehearing filed by a company that conducted fracking operations on an insured's facility asking it to reconsider its ruling that reversed a federal court's finding that a site pollution legal liability insurer waived its subrogation rights under an onshore master services agreement (MSA) Halliburton Energy Services Inc. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-20678 consolidated with No. 18-20239, 5th Cir.).

California High Court Hears Arguments On Notice Provision In Environmental Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on June 4 heard oral arguments regarding whether California's common-law notice-prejudice rule is a fundamental public policy and should be applied to a policy's notice provision and consent provision in an environmental contamination coverage suit (Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., No. S239510, Calif. Sup.).

Parties Ordered To Participate In Settlement Conference In Contamination Coverage Suit
MINNEAPOLIS - An insured and an insurer involved in a dispute over coverage for environmental contamination cleanup costs must participate in a settlement conference, a Minnesota federal magistrate judge ordered May 30 (Soo Line Railroad Co., doing business as Canadian Pacific v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 18-1989, D. Minn.).

Insurers: Coverage Barred Based On Lead Liability, Pollution Exclusions
CHICAGO - No coverage is owed to an insured for claims asserted against the insured by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because the policies at issue bar coverage, the insurers maintain in a May 31 complaint filed in Illinois federal court (Markel Insurance Co., et al. v. J. Solotken & Co. Inc., No. 19-3661, N.D. Ill.).

Pollution Exclusion Does Not Apply To Oil Contaminated By Insured's Work, Appellant Says
LOS ANGELES - A trial court correctly determined that a pollution exclusion does not bar coverage for contamination of oil in a storage tank caused by an insured's work; however, the trial court incorrectly determined that the insurer was entitled to rescind the insured's policy, the party seeking coverage for damage caused by the insured's work argues in a May 22 brief to the Second District California Court of Appeal (NRG Delta LLC v. Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co., No. B285909, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2019 CA App. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 1450).

Insured Argues Coverage Owed For Underlying Chemical Exposure Liability Suits
CHICAGO - An insured seeking coverage for underlying liabilities arising out of exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls argues in a June 3 response brief filed in Illinois federal court that an insurer's motion for summary judgment should be denied because the insured was not a party to two settlement agreements, which the insurer claims releases it from liability (Magnetek Inc. v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., et al., No. 17-3173, N.D. Ill.).

Coverage For Asbestos Exposure Barred By Pollution Exclusions, Federal Judge Says
ST. LOUIS - No coverage is afforded for the settlement of an underlying asbestos exposure suit because the pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage, a Missouri federal judge said May 21 in granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment (Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Insurance Company of North America, No. 14-1112, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84942).

W.R. Grace Insurers Dispute Liability For Montana Plaintiffs' Claims
WILMINGTON, Del. - Negligence claims leveled by asbestos plaintiffs in Montana against insurers of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. are barred by W.R. Grace's bankruptcy injunction because they meet the derivative liability requirements for injunctive protection, the insurers say in a May 20 reply brief on remand in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (Continental Casualty Co., et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Insurer Did Not Waive Its Right To Invoke Policy's Vacancy Provision
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on May 20 determined that a circuit court did not err in concluding that an insured failed to present clear and convincing evidence that an insurer waived its right to invoke a policy's vacancy provision (Mohammed Ashraf M.D. v. State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 18-0382, W.Va. Sup., 2019 W. Va. LEXIS 222).

Assignment Of Insurance Policies Not Included In Purchase Agreement, Panel Says
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - A trial court did not err in dismissing a plaintiff's complaint against a number of insurers seeking a finding that coverage is owed for environmental claims filed against the plaintiff's corporate predecessor because the asset purchase agreement (APA) did not include a valid assignment of rights to the predecessor's insurance policies, the Fifth District Illinois Appellate Court said May 24 (The Premcor Refining Group Inc., et al. v. ACE Insurance Company of Illinois, et al., No. 5-18-0210, Ill. App., 5th Dist., 2019 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 935).

Fracking Company Asks Panel To Rehear Environmental Damage Coverage Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - A company that conducted fracking operations on an insured's facility on May 15 filed a petition asking a panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling that reversed a federal court's finding that a site pollution legal liability insurer waived its subrogation rights under an onshore master services agreement (MSA) (Halliburton Energy Services Inc. v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co., No. 17-20678 consolidated with No. 18-20239, 5th Cir.).

Insured Ordered To Produce Additional Documents In Contamination Coverage Suit
MINNEAPOLIS - Information related to an insured's communications with its other insurers regarding coverage liabilities for environmental contamination cleanup costs incurred at the insured's railyard are relevant to the insured's dispute with another one of its insurers, a Minneapolis federal magistrate judge said May 29 in partially granting the insurer's motion to compel the production of interrogatory responses and documents (Soo Line Railroad Co., doing business as Canadian Pacific, v. The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 18-1989, D. Minn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90279).

Pollution Liability Insurer Does Not Have To Cover Insured's Salvage Costs
NEW YORK - A district court properly concluded that a pollution liability insurer is not responsible for any salvage costs incurred by an insured after two of its barges were grounded because there was no substantial threat of oil discharge as required for coverage to exist under the pollution liability policy, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 29 (Starr Indemnity and Liability Co. v. Water Quality Insurance Syndicate, No. 18-1563, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 15861).

Judge: Insurer Has Duty To Defend Engineering Firm Against Negligent Design Suit
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on May 28 held that a professional liability insurer has a duty to defend its engineering and construction firm insured against an underlying lawsuit alleging negligent design, negligent construction and breach of contract but stayed the indemnification issue pending resolution of the underlying action (Allied World Surplus Lines Insurance Company v. Richard Goettle, Inc., No. 17-670, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88545).

Rental Dwelling Insurer Did Not Breach Contract In Denying Coverage For Water Damage
LOS ANGELES - A trial court properly granted a rental dwelling insurer's motion for summary judgment because the insureds failed to prove that the insurer breached its contract in denying coverage for water damage to their rental home, the Second District California Court of Appeal said May 22 (Alex Nijmeh, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. B282396, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3515).

Expert Testimony Properly Excluded In Contamination Dispute, 7th Circuit Says
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 affirmed a district court's ruling in favor of an insurer on the applicability of the sudden and accidental exception to a policy's pollution exclusion, agreeing with the lower court's finding that the insured could not prove that the contamination was sudden and accidental because the insured's expert testimony was inadmissible (Varlen Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-3212, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14529).

No Coverage Owed For Environmental Cleanup Costs, 9th Circuit Affirms
SAN FRANCISCO - An umbrella liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying suit seeking environmental contamination cleanup costs because the policy's pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage for cleanup costs, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 16 in affirming a district court's ruling (RLI Insurance Co. v. Visalia, No. 18-15668, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14556).

Insurer Seeks Reimbursement For Damages Caused By Engine Failure In Fracking Pump Unit
BEAUMONT, Texas - An insurer argues in a May 13 motion for summary judgment filed in Texas federal court that it is entitled to reimbursement from the manufacturers of a fracking pump unit for more than $15 million in costs paid on behalf of its insured for damages incurred after the fracking unit malfunctioned and caused a fire at the well site (AIG Europe Ltd. v. Caterpillar Inc. and Dragon Products LLC, No. 17-319, E.D. Texas).

Insured Files Suit Seeking More Than $40M In Damages For Gas Well Explosion
PITTSBURGH - An insured seeking coverage for pollution costs and damages caused by a gas well that spewed drilling fluid and fracking materials above the surface of the ground claims in a May 15 complaint filed in Pennsylvania state court that its insurers breached their contract and acted in bad faith in denying coverage for the more than $40 million in damages incurred by the insured (CNX Gas Co. LLC v. Lloyd's of London, et al., No. GD-19-007029, Pa. Comm. Pls., Allegheny Co.).

Workers' Comp Insurer Urges Montana High Court To Reject Asbestos Liability
HELENA, Mont. - The court should reject a plaintiff's "distorted" and backward-working attempt at creating liability on behalf of a workers' compensation insurer for asbestos exposures and instead adopt sound analytical framework from the Restatement of Torts, an insurer tells the Montana Supreme Court in a May 3 reply brief (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).

Fraser's Asbestos Claimants Seek To Pursue Recovery Against Insurance Carriers
TACOMA, Wash. - Asbestos claimants of Chapter 11 debtor Fraser's Boiler Service Inc. on May 14 sought relief from the automatic stay in Washington federal bankruptcy court so they can continue their lawsuits seeking damages only from the company's insurers (In re: Fraser's Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).

Underlying Plaintiff Permitted To Intervene In Lead Paint Exposure Coverage Suit
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on May 14 granted an underlying plaintiff's motion to intervene in an insurer's declaratory judgment suit after determining that common questions of law and fact exist between the insureds and the underlying plaintiff, who obtained a $2.2 million judgment against the insured defendants in a lead paint exposure suit (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Benjamin L. Kirson, et al., No. 18-3275, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81526).

Insureds' Suit Seeking Coverage For Mold, Water Damages Must Be Remanded
SAN DIEGO - An insurer's notice of removal, filed a year after the insureds filed their suit arising out of a coverage dispute for mold and water damages, was not timely, and the insureds' suit must be remanded, a California federal judge said May 15 (Boris Groysman, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 19-667, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82382).

2nd Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Insureds' Complaint In Defective Concrete Suit
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 16 affirmed a district court's dismissal of an amended complaint filed by insureds seeking damages as a result of defective concrete used in their home's foundation because the insureds failed to carry their burden of proving that coverage is afforded under the policy and that the insurer acted in bad faith when it denied their claim (Joseph Mazzarella, et al. v. Amica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-1269, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 14719).

 
 
The above is not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiar
with all the facts and circumstances of a particular, specific case and the relevant law.