Reinsurance Law Blog

Reinsurance Law Blog

Tag Archives: declaratory judgment

Homeowners policy did not cover privacy, negligence claims where there was no physical injury to person or property — 10th Circuit, Oklahoma law

Posted in Contractual Liability, Duty to Defend
In State Farm Fire v. Dawson, Dawson was sued for negligence and privacy violations after receiving inappropriate photos of an under aged student. Dawson wanted State Farm to pay his defense and any judgment.  But State Farm claimed there was no physical injury to tangible property and no bodily injury such that the policy did… Continue Reading

Misrepresentations in insurance application let insurer off the hook for fatal building collapse — Pennsylvania

Posted in Contractual Liability
In Berkely Assurance Company vs Campbell, Campbell was hired to demolish a building in Philadelphia.  During the demolition, an unbraced wall fell onto an adjacent Salvation Army store killing and injuring employees and customers. Berkely issued a policy to Campbell, but claimed it was void because of misrepresentations in the application and because Campbell failed… Continue Reading

UM and Choice of law; law where the policy was issued applies — 8th Circuit North Dakota

Posted in Contractual Liability
In American Fire and Casualty Co. v. Hegel, Hegel’s decedent, Fetzer, was killed while delivering pizzas in an accident where Fetzer was not at fault.  The trial court found that North Dakota law applied (place of the accident) and that American Fire (Pizza company’s insurance company) owed UM.  The Eighth Circuit reversed.  North Dakota choice… Continue Reading

Mid-Continent off the hook on claim against bankrupt policyholder — 5th Circuit

Posted in Contractual Liability, Duty to Defend
In Kipp Flores Architects v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co.,  Hallmark (Mid-Continent’s policyholder) had a license to build one home per KFA blueprints, but ended up building hundreds, and not paying KFA for its plans.  After KFA sued for copyright infringement, 2 Hallmark entities filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, stating there would be no money to distribute… Continue Reading

Fireworks explosion was one occurrence, affirming summary judgment — 4th Circuit, Pennsylvania law

Posted in Contractual Liability
Liability policy limits are usually based on occurrences, with a new limit applied to each occurrence and an annual limit on top of that.  (This may not apply in claims made policies  which are usually issued to professionals) As a result, insurance companies are often litigating whether an incident is one or multiple occurrences.  For… Continue Reading

E and O insurer had no duty to defend Realtor in claims arising after the sale — 7th Circuit, Illinois

Posted in Duty to Defend
In Madison Mutual Insurance Co v. Diamond State Insurance Co., the policyholder, Favre was sued by her neighbors, the Dribbens for harassment, intimidation and interference with their rights.  The Dribbens had purchased their property through Favre, a realtor, and had sued when they discovered the lake on the development had not been properly permitted.  After… Continue Reading

Construction defect is not an “occurrence” or “accident” that triggers covered “property damage” within the meaning of a CGL policy – 7th Circuit, Illinois

Posted in Contractual Liability, Duty to Defend
In  Allied Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Metro N. Condo. Ass’n., Allied’s policyholder insured improperly installed windows on Metro’s property. Metro sued the insured for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. Metro and the insured entered into a settlement agreement assigning Metro the right to the insured’s insurance proceeds. Allied sought a declaratory… Continue Reading

Insurance company has standing to enforce arbitration against claimant — 9th Circuit California

Posted in Contractual Liability, New Case
Allied Professionals Insurance Company, v. Anglesey, When Allied denied Dr. Anglesey coverage for a malpractice claim made by the Gutierrezes, the doctor and the claimants settled, with an agreement not to execute against Anglesey, and apparently, an assignment of Anglesey’s claims against Allied to the Gutierrezes.  Allied sued the doctor and claimants, seeking (1) declaratory… Continue Reading

Insurers split over other insurance provisions; limits for pro rata calculation — 10th Circuit Oklahoma

Posted in Contractual Liability
In Philadelphia Indemnity v. Lexington Insurance, both companies insured a school building which was damaged by fire.  The issue was which insurance company had to pay, and how much. The trial court ruled that Philadelphia had to pay 54% of the loss, while Lexington had to pay 46%.  Both insurance companies appealed and the Tenth… Continue Reading

TCPA exclusion applies to non-TCPA claims, such as conversion — ED Missouri, applying Illinois law

Posted in Duty to Defend
In Regent Insurance Co. v. Integrated Pain Management, 4:14-CV-1759 RLW, 2016 WL 5357408 (E.D. Mo. Sept. 23, 2016) the policyholder was sued for sending unsolicited faxes in violation of the TCPA — Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In addition to the statutory damages, the complaint said that by sending the faxes, the policyholder converted the plaintiffs’… Continue Reading

Motion to dismiss declaratory judgment action on coverage and limits denied, W.D. Okla

Posted in Contractual Liability, New Case
In National Casualty Company v.Western Express, Inc., CIV-15-1222 (W.D. Okla. Sept. 21, 2016), National filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a determination regarding the extent of its liability for coverage to its insured, Western Express, Inc. as a result of a fatal accident. This declaratory judgment was filed on the heels of a determination in… Continue Reading

Insurance company must defend distributor in pill mill case — 7th Circuit

Posted in Duty to Defend, New Case
In Cincinnati Insurance v. H.D. Smith, the Seventh Circuit reversed a lower court’s ruling finding that Cincinnati had no duty to defend its policyholder, H.D. Smith, a pharmaceutical drug distributor, in a lawsuit filed by West Virginia for damages caused by an “epidemic of prescription drug abuse.” Under the policy, Cincinnati agreed to cover damages… Continue Reading

Breach of cooperation clause precludes coverage — Arkansas Court of Appeals

Posted in Contractual Liability, Duty to Defend, New Case
In Spore v. Geico, 2016 Ark. App. 306, Spore was injured in a car accident with Adrian, who was driving a car insured by Geico, through a policy issued to Lolita Ford. Lolita Ford ignored all of Geico’s requests for information about the accident, and Geico filed a declaratory judgment action claiming Lolita Ford’s breach… Continue Reading

Make whole rule preempted by federal law, 8th Circuit, Arkansas

Posted in Contractual Liability, New Case
In Bell v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, an insured federal employee sued her health-care plan administrators for a declaratory judgment that she was not required to reimburse the plan after settling with an automobile liability insurer since she had not been made whole. Judgment for the administrators was affirmed on appeal. When… Continue Reading

Policyholder knew defense was undertaken under reservation of rights, 8th Cir

Posted in New Case
In National Surety Corporation v. Dustex Corporation, the issue was whether the insurance company properly reserved its rights to deny coverage to its policyholder /  insured, Dustex. The insurance company had reserved its rights as to the declaratory judgment action, but had not specifically reserved its rights as to the arbitration proceeding. The trial court… Continue Reading

Express v. Implied permission, 8th Circuit, Minnesota

Posted in New Case
Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance v. Schmidt, was a declaratory judgment action.  A child was killed while driving an ATV on the Schmidt property.  The Grinnell policy had a Select Recreational Vehicle Limited Liability Coverage endorsement.  The endorsement excluded coverage to an “insured” who was defined as “any person operating [an ATV] with ‘your’ express permission.”  Although… Continue Reading

Per claim deductible precludes coverage for junk faxes 8th Circuit

Posted in Contractual Liability, Duty to Defend, New Law
In Western Heritage Insurance v. Asphalt Wizards, Asphalt Wizards was sued by Fun Services of Kansas City for sending junk faxes per the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227). Fun Services wanted statutory damages of $500 per fax and damages for conversion resulting from the use of its fax machine. Western Heritage… Continue Reading