• April 24, 2015

    Sandy Was No Flood, Amtrak Says In $1B Insurance Suit

    Amtrak on Friday urged a New York federal judge to reject insurers' bid to shrink a $1 billion dispute over losses tied to Superstorm Sandy by defining the disaster as a flood subject to a $125 million sublimit, saying almost none of the policies' definitions of flooding included storm surges.

  • April 24, 2015

    Anthem Covered For Medical Payment Rows: Ind. High Court

    The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled that Anthem Inc. is entitled to coverage for nearly all of its costs to defend and settle allegations that it failed to timely or fully pay medical reimbursement claims, largely overturning a win for reinsurers Continental Casualty Co. and Twin City Fire Insurance Co.

  • April 24, 2015

    Insurers Rip Tenn. 'Retaliation' Tax In High Court Petition

    Zurich American Insurance Co. and other insurers have told the U.S. Supreme Court that Tennessee is unfairly retaliating against New York insurance companies operating in the state by levying taxes to compensate for surcharges that New York charges out-of-state insurers to fund its workers’ compensation program.

  • April 24, 2015

    Fla. Appeals Court Reinstates Same-Sex Divorce Case

    A Florida appeals court on Friday overturned a lower court's dismissal of a petition to dissolve a same-sex couple's marriage recorded in Massachusetts, saying that the state and one of the partners in the couple failed to offer rational reasons for Florida law to block the request.

  • April 24, 2015

    Cyberinsurance Thaw Hinges On Data-Sharing Bills

    Cybersecurity information-sharing legislation headed for consideration in the Senate would be a boon for the insurance industry if passed into law, as increased data sharing should trim liabilities for policyholders and allow insurers to offer more comprehensive — and cheaper — cyber-specific coverage to companies that have been reluctant to pay the high cost.

  • April 24, 2015

    Insurer Can't Get Rid Of Cat Urine Smell Coverage Row

    The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Friday reversed a lower court’s decision in favor of Northern Security Insurance Co. in its coverage row with a condominium owner over losses from the smell of cat urine, and sent the case back to the trial court.

  • April 24, 2015

    5th Circ. Wipes Out ACA Origination Clause Suit

    The Fifth Circuit on Friday smacked down a prominent GOP donor’s lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act flouted the U.S. Constitution’s origination clause, finding that the complaint failed to describe harm and was filed prematurely.

  • April 24, 2015

    US Bank Settles Suit Over Force-Placed Flood Insurance

    A California federal judge on Thursday granted preliminary approval to a class action settlement between U.S. Bank NA, American Security Insurance Co. and plaintiffs who claim the bank charged homeowners lender-placed flood insurance rates inflated by kickbacks and policy backdating.

  • April 24, 2015

    Post-Ike Rebuilding Coverage Rebuffed At Texas High Court

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday refused an apartment building owner's request to reinstate a $3.9 million verdict against Lexington Insurance Co. for losses stemming from Hurricane Ike damage, agreeing with a lower court that the presence of uncovered flood damage limited recovery.

  • April 24, 2015

    Hinshaw Grabs 8 Meckler Bulger Attys For Chicago Office

    Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP announced Friday that it has added eight former Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP attorneys specializing in insurance litigation as partners to its Chicago office, a day after Cozen O'Connor announced its acquisition of Meckler Bulger.

  • April 24, 2015

    Rising Star: Debevoise & Plimpton’s Alex Cochran

    At just 35 years old, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP partner Alex Cochran has already been a key player in massive private equity and investment deals that have transformed the insurance and reinsurance space, securing his place among Law360's top five insurance attorneys under 40.

  • April 23, 2015

    Insurer, Law Firm Resolve Coverage Row Over Securities Suits

    Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. has agreed to drop its suit seeking a finding that it isn't required to defend law firm Fine Fine Legum & McCracken LLP and one of its attorneys in five separate suits regarding losses from investment accounts, according to documents filed Wednesday in Virginia federal court.

  • April 23, 2015

    Anheuser Unit Tells 8th Circ. To Nix Insurer Win In Mold Suit

    An Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. unit told the Eighth Circuit Wednesday that its insurer should be required to pay it more than $11 million to cover the costs of repairing mold damage at a resort condominium, asserting that it was legally obligated to fix the damage even though residents never filed suit.

  • April 23, 2015

    AIG Unit Can Arbitrate LAX Contractors' Claims, Judge Says

    A California federal judge agreed on Thursday to allow an American International Group Inc. unit to arbitrate a coverage dispute with clients involved in a contract suit with the city of Los Angeles over a $250 million project at Los Angeles International Airport, dismissing claims that the insurer’s arbitration clause was unenforceable.

  • April 23, 2015

    Md. High Court Frees Insurers From Joint Venture Fight

    Maryland's highest court has ruled that a pair of insurers don't need to cover a lighting manufacturer's defense costs in a lawsuit accusing it of cheating a joint venture partner out of profits, finding there was no potential for coverage under an advertising injury clause.

  • April 23, 2015

    AIG To Pay $40M In Pension Plan Class Action Settlement

    American International Group Inc. will pay $40 million to settle proposed class action allegations that the insurer's employee pension plans improperly invested in its own poorly performing stock following the 2008 mortgage crisis, the plaintiffs said on Thursday in New York federal court.

  • April 23, 2015

    Goldman Grabs Pacific Life's Pension Fund Adviser Biz

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s asset management arm is acquiring pension fund adviser Pacific Global Advisors LLC, which has over $18 billion in assets under supervision, from parent Pacific Life Insurance Co., Goldman said Thursday.

  • April 23, 2015

    Miami Hospital Says Humana Underpaid For Services

    Miami-area hospital network Baptist Hospital of Miami Inc. on Wednesday sued Humana Health Insurance Co. of Florida Inc. for allegedly underpaying for services and excluding it from the network of providers established for the insurer's plans offered through the state's health care exchange.

  • April 23, 2015

    Rising Star: Akin Gump's Ashley Vinson

    From delivering her insurance carrier clients victories in trials stretching as long as six months to focusing on efficiently managing cases for cost-sensitive companies, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s Ashley Vinson has earned her place among Law360’s top five insurance attorneys under 40.

  • April 23, 2015

    Crop Insurer Scores FAA Approval For Drone Program

    The crop insurance arm of Archer Daniels Midland Co. has won approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to use unmanned aircraft systems to observe claimants’ damages, a move it said will allow it to more quickly process claims.

Expert Analysis

  • NY High Court Emphasizes Evidence In Serious Injury Cases

    Matthew J. Rosno

    The New York Court of Appeals' opinion in Alvarez v. NYLL Management Ltd. reiterates the importance of evidence of degenerative and pre-existing conditions in serious injury threshold cases when citing Insurance Law Section 5102(d), says Matthew Rosno of Hiscock & Barclay LLP.

  • Warming Up To EEOC Rules On Workplace Wellness Programs

    Timothy B. Collins

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recently proposed rules regarding wellness programs require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to have equal access to fringe benefits and that any medical inquiries be job-related and consistent with business necessity, says Timothy Collins of Duane Morris LLP.

  • Tips For Guiding Your Client Through The Mediation Process

    Raphael Lapin

    With all the tangible and intangible costs associated with litigation today, mediation is becoming more common as a means of resolving disputes. Yet attorneys trained and experienced in litigation do not always have the skills to guide their clients through a mediation process, says Raphael Lapin, an adjunct professor at the Whittier School of Law and principal of Lapin Negotiation Strategies.

  • 5 Steps To Data Breach Coverage For Card Issuer Liability

    Roberta D. Anderson

    Target’s $19 million settlement with MasterCard underscores very significant sources of potential exposure that often follow a data breach, including claims from financial institutions seeking to recover losses associated with credit and debit cards. These potential sources of data breach and payment brand liability may, however, be covered by commercial general liability insurance, which most companies have in place, says Roberta ... (continued)

  • Virginia's ‘Rocket Docket' Continues To Roar

    Robert M. Tata

    The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • Moving On Up The Value Chain: Here Is What Legal Can Do

    Lance Ellisor

    At a time of increasing litigation costs and rising claims, legal departments are facing pressures to lower overall legal spending and evolve from a company cost center into a strategic business partner. As a result, smart legal departments are increasingly focusing on brand management, predictive decision-making and commercial acceleration, says Lance Ellisor of Mitratech Holdings Inc.

  • 2 Routes To Hourly Rates For Lawyers

    Gerald G. Knapton

    If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.

  • Interest In Ride-Sharing Insurance Is Revving Up

    Lawrence R. Hamilton

    Insurance concerns about transportation network companies have been heightened by high-profile accidents where coverage was unavailable under a TNC driver’s personal auto policy due to personal livery exclusions, which have resulted in states and local jurisdictions regulating TNCs and imposing insurance requirements, say attorneys at Mayer Brown LLP.

  • What We Do And Don't Know About Iran Sanctions Relief

    John Barker

    Iran is not yet fully open for business by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction or who trade in U.S.-origin goods and services. U.S. authorities can be expected to continue to increase enforcement of the Iran-related trade sanctions and export controls that remain in place, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • US Sanctions And Foreign Insurers — The JCPOA Effect

    Douglas Maag

    Foreign insurers are generally not subject to U.S. sanctions prohibitions, but they are nevertheless exposed to sanctions penalties if they engage in targeted Iran-related transactions. The recently announced Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is expected to substantially ease U.S. Iran sanctions, but successful completion of the JCPOA is far from certain, says Douglas Maag of Clyde & Co LLP.