• October 17, 2014

    Same-Sex Marriage Bans Fall In Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming

    In a flurry of decisions Friday, same-sex couples can now marry in Alaska and Arizona, while a federal judge in Wyoming struck down that state’s gay marriage ban, but stayed the ruling for a week pending an appeal.

  • October 17, 2014

    Judge Won't Sanction Insurance Brokers In Discovery Spat

    A Florida federal judge on Thursday denied Guarantee Insurance Co.'s bid for sanctions against its insurance agent and broker over alleged discovery violations, ruling the defendants had not acted in bad faith in the dispute over the handling of an underlying workers’ compensation claim.

  • October 17, 2014

    Mass Mutual Sues JPMorgan Over 'RetireSmart' Rights

    Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. on Friday asked a federal judge to cancel JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s trademarks for its “SmartRetirement” services and called for a declaration that the insurer’s own retirement services under the name "RetireSmart" don’t infringe those marks.

  • October 17, 2014

    Ex-AIG CEO Says Only Bailout Alternative Was Failure

    Former American International Group Inc. CEO Edward Liddy argued Friday that the only alternative the company had to accepting the Federal Reserve’s “relatively harsh” 2008 bailout offer was bankruptcy, saying even with its stringent conditions shareholders had ultimately benefited from the deal.

  • October 17, 2014

    MetLife Faces Tough Task In Challenge To SIFI Designation

    MetLife Inc. faces an uphill battle in its challenge to its proposed designation as a systemically important financial institution subject to Federal Reserve oversight, given factors such as the highly deferential standard of review favoring federal regulators, experts say.

  • October 17, 2014

    AIG Blasts IRS Economic Substance Claims In $306M Tax Row

    American International Group Inc. on Tuesday bashed the IRS for alleging that several transactions AIG used for foreign tax credits lacked economic substance, telling the Second Circuit the doctrine doesn't apply to the $306 million refund fight because the company complied with congressional standards.  

  • October 17, 2014

    Patient Seeks $2.5B From UnitedHealth Over Hep C Exposure

    Two United HealthCare Services Inc. units could face $2.5 billion in damages at a trial beginning Monday in Nevada over allegations they exposed customers to hepatitis C by knowingly referring them to contaminated endoscopy clinics, after a similar trial last year resulted in a historic $524 million verdict.

  • October 17, 2014

    Northrop Narrows Coverage Claims In Travelers Cleanup Row

    Northrop Grumman Corp. has dropped claims against Travelers Indemnity Co. for coverage of environmental cleanup costs at two southeast U.S. sites, according to a Thursday order filed in New York federal court, as the parties prepare for settlement discussions concerning other sites along the East Coast.

  • October 17, 2014

    Old Mutual Forks Over $941M For UK Investment Manager

    International insurance giant Old Mutual PLC is set to acquire private equity-backed investment manager Quilter Cheviot for up to £585 million ($941.2 million), the companies said Friday, moving Old Mutual one step closer to its goal of becoming a leading wealth management player in the U.K.

  • October 17, 2014

    Investment Fund Hits Gilbride Tusa With $85M Negligence Suit

    Genesis Merchant Partners LP, a fund seeking security interests on a mortgage and in a portfolio of 23 life insurance policies, hit Gilbride Tusa Last & Spellane LLC with a negligence and breach of contract suit in Manhattan on Wednesday, claiming the firm was "completely oblivious" to the process and cost the fund some $85 million.

  • October 17, 2014

    Insurer Owes $3M In W.Va. Mesh Malpractice Case

    The West Virginia Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an insurance company must pay $3 million in addition to a global settlement of the same amount over malpractice claims brought against a surgeon employed by United Health Professionals Inc., finding the settlement didn't exhaust the company's policy.

  • October 16, 2014

    JPMorgan Can’t Duck $650M MBS Suit From Insurers

    An Ohio federal judge on Thursday kept alive the bulk of a $650 million suit claiming JPMorgan Chase Bank NA discarded internal risk guidelines to sell billions of dollars in securitized mortgage loans, finding that most claims are timely and contain enough detail.

  • October 16, 2014

    Ex-AIG CEO Says Fed Didn't Call Shots In Bailout

    Former American International Group Inc. CEO Edward Liddy on Thursday defended the company’s close relationship with the Federal Reserve following the insurer’s 2008 bailout, arguing that AIG had not acquiesced to every Fed request and that the “partnership” had benefited the company.

  • October 16, 2014

    Atty Deserves Sanctions For Baseless FCA Claims, Judge Says

    A magistrate judge on Thursday advised a New York federal court to sanction an attorney who had made unsupported False Claims Act allegations by tossing his qui tam suit accusing companies including Allstate Insurance Co. and FedEx Corp. of Medicare fraud. 

  • October 16, 2014

    Insurers Can’t Appeal US Bank Overdraft Settlement Ruling

    A Minnesota federal judge on Wednesday declined to allow two insurers to immediately appeal his refusal to take the duo off the hook for covering part of U.S. Bancorp’s $55 million class settlement of overdraft fee litigation.

  • October 16, 2014

    5th Circ. Declines To Hear $50M Sinkhole Coverage Battle

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday dismissed Texas Brine Co. LLC’s appeal seeking a stay in a $50 million coverage battle over claims arising from a class action that accused the salt producer and an oil and gas company of causing a sinkhole, ruling the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the challenge.

  • October 16, 2014

    JPMorgan Gets Insurer's $300M RMBS Suit Pared On Appeal

    Ambac Assurance Corp. does not have standing to bring breach of contract claims against JPMorgan Chase & Co. over at least $300 million worth of residential mortgage-backed securities it insured because that power instead lies with the securities' trustee, a New York state appellate court found Thursday.

  • October 16, 2014

    Fosun Unit Pays $590M For Portuguese Health Services Co.

    A Portugal-based insurance company owned by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. has acquired Portuguese health care company Espirito Santo Saude for €459.83 million ($589.50 million), Fosun said on Thursday, in a move to bolster the conglomerate's presence in Portugal.

  • October 16, 2014

    NJ Legislature Votes To Curtail Insurers' Dental Pricing

    The New Jersey Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that would prohibit dental insurers from setting the prices for services not covered under their insurance plans, a measure aimed at overturning an appellate decision in favor of Aetna Life Insurance Co. and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

  • October 16, 2014

    Australian Insurer's $5B IPO Poised For Strong Showing

    With preregistration shares surpassing expectations, Australian state-owned health insurer Medibank Private's AU$6 billion (US$5.3 billion) initial public offering will now take place in November, a month earlier than originally planned, the government said on Thursday, suggesting another strong IPO for an Australian health care company this year.

Expert Analysis

  • Summary Judgment Is No Dress Rehearsal

    Patricia St. Peter

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. v. Columbia Casualty Co. is a blunt reminder that the failure to prove up one’s case with actual evidence at the summary judgment phase can have serious consequences. It's also instructive on the types of proof an insured may rely on to prove allocation between covered and uncovered claims in a multiclaim settlement, say Patricia St. Peter and Kaisa Adams of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • The Root Cause Of Skyrocketing Defense Costs

    Douglas W. Greene

    The costs of defending securities class actions continue to increase, and the root cause is the convergence of two related factors — the prevailing view that securities class actions are “bet the company” cases, and the consequent reflexive hiring of BigLaw firms, says Douglas Greene of Lane Powell PC.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Why Pro Rata Allocation Is The Majority Rule

    Scott M. Seaman

    "All sums" liability theory is based on an erroneous and selective reading of "all sums" language — such an interpretation violates the fundamental and nearly universal rule of construction that insurance contracts must be read as a whole, says Scott Seaman of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP.

  • 7th Circ. Says Random Sampling Works For CAFA, Not How

    Esther S. McDonald

    Although the Seventh Circuit's ruling in Myrick v. WellPoint Inc. suggests a plaintiff may meet the burden of proving members of a putuative class action qualify under the home-state exception of the Class Action Fairness Act through random sampling, many questions remain unanswered, says Esther McDonald of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Fla. Appellate Court Expands Insurance Bad Faith Law

    Mike S. Levine

    Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company represents a significant broadening of insurer bad faith law in Florida — where an insurer could previously avoid bad faith exposure simply by defeating a policyholder’s breach of contract claim, such a defeat no longer offers the insurer safe harbor, say Mike Levine and Anna Lazarus of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • 9th Circ. Closes More Doors On ACA Challenges

    Michael W. Lieberman

    The Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Coons v. Lew serves as a warning to would-be plaintiffs that challenges to the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate based on contrary state laws or the right to medical autonomy are likely to fail, say Mike Lieberman and Harsh Parikh of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • CAFA Removal Procedure At Center Stage In Dart Cherokee

    Archis A. Parasharami

    If Public Citizen's amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens is correct in arguing that an appellate court can insulate questions arising under the Class Action Fairness Act from Supreme Court review by denying leave to appeal then that will create perverse incentives for lower courts and may hamper the development of uniform rules governing CAFA removals, says Archis Parasharami of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Clarity Over Insurance Broker Liability Comes To NY, NJ

    Robert D. Chesler

    Both Huggins v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and Duffy v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London offer lessons for policyholders — they should seek the broadest coverage possible and look to hold their brokers liable when failing to provide the coverage originally promised, say attorneys at Anderson Kill PC.