• November 26, 2014

    State Farm’s $310M Texas Rate Fight Sent Back To Regulator

    A Texas appellate court on Wednesday largely rebuffed State Farm Lloyd’s challenge of a Texas Department of Insurance order to refund homeowners insurance policyholders about $310 million for excessive rates charged over a five-year period, but held the agency’s rate calculation for several of those years was arbitrary and capricious.

  • November 26, 2014

    Ammonia Release Ruled 'Direct Physical Loss' Under Policy

    An ammonia release at a juice cup manufacturer's plant constitutes direct physical loss of or damage to the facility under a property insurance policy with Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, as the discharge caused the plant to be temporarily shut down, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Tuesday.

  • November 26, 2014

    Urban Outfitters Seeks Revival Of Hanover Coverage Suit

    Retailers Urban Outfitters Inc. and Anthropologie Inc. have urged the Third Circuit to revive a coverage lawsuit over Hanover Insurance Group Inc.'s refusal to cover defense costs associated with class actions related to the collection of customers' ZIP codes, saying coverage exclusions were construed too broadly by the lower court.

  • November 26, 2014

    Pa. Justices Snub Appeal Of Atty Defamation Settlement

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court refused Tuesday to hear a suburban Philadelphia man’s appeal of judge’s decision not to strike a settlement he said was made without his consent in a defamation suit brought by a city attorney who had represented him in a prior insurance dispute.

  • November 26, 2014

    Zurich Settles Defective Pipe Coverage Suit

    A Louisiana federal judge dismissed pipe manufacturer The Shaw Group Inc.’s coverage suit against Zurich American Insurance Co. over underlying defective-product litigation, saying Tuesday that the companies had agreed to a settlement for an undisclosed amount.

  • November 26, 2014

    Avandia Insurers Denied Class Cert. In Suit Against Glaxo

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Monday denied class certification to two Humana Inc. units that sued GlaxoSmithKline PLC for the cost of insuring Medicare patients harmed by its drug Avandia, saying issues of law and fact vary for proposed class members.

  • November 26, 2014

    Freedom-AIG $3M Chem Spill Coverage Deal Hits Roadblock

    Bankrupt Freedom Industries Inc., whose January chemical spill is blamed for contaminating drinking water for 300,000 West Virginia residents, told a bankruptcy court Tuesday that its settlement with AIG Specialty Insurance Co. over coverage for the spill has been tied up by objections and delays.

  • November 26, 2014

    NYU Shouldn't Get Defense In 9/11 Asbestos Suits: Insurer

    New York University has been improperly receiving defense and indemnification from Hudson Insurance Co. in suits arising from injuries sustained during asbestos cleanup after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the insurer has alleged in New Jersey federal court.

  • November 26, 2014

    Homeowner Wins Retrial In Sinkhole Suit Against Citizens

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday granted a homeowner a new trial in his suit seeking coverage from Citizens Property Insurance Corp. for property damage allegedly resulting from a sinkhole, ruling that the trial court had improperly placed a more stringent burden of proof on the insured. 

  • November 25, 2014

    Minn. Archdiocese Wants Insurers To Cover Sex Abuse Suits

    The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis sued 20 insurance companies on Monday in Minnesota federal court, seeking to compel them to indemnify the archdiocese for any judgments, settlements or defense costs tied to claims of sexual abuse by priests.

  • November 25, 2014

    As Legal Threats Loom, Feds May Alter Systemic Risk Labeling

    A federal panel of financial regulators faces rising complaints from Congress and the industry over its method for designating nonbank firms as risky enough to require added supervision, pressure experts predict will likely push the panel to streamline the process.

  • November 25, 2014

    9th Circ. Reinstates Ex-Miss Montana's Fraud Conviction

    The Ninth Circuit has reinstated the mail fraud conviction of a former Miss Montana in connection with insurance coverage for a $15,000-per-month temporary house rental, saying Monday that her representations as to her standard of living constituted “material misrepresentations” to insurance company Chubb Corp.

  • November 25, 2014

    KeySpan Prevails In NY Plant Cleanup Coverage Battle

    A New York state jury has found in favor of KeySpan Gas East Corp. in its coverage dispute with Century Indemnity Co. over cleanup costs for polluted manufactured gas plant sites on Long Island, concluding that KeySpan's predecessor provided timely notice to the insurer, according to court documents made public Tuesday.

  • November 25, 2014

    San Diego Omni Hotel Gets $140M Refinancing From AIG

    A joint venture between TRT Holdings Inc. and JMI Realty has scored $140 million in refinancing from American International Group Inc. for a 511-room hotel in San Diego, California, Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which brokered the deal for the borrowers, announced Monday.

  • November 25, 2014

    Calif. Controller Not Liable In Taxpayer Property Action

    A California judge on Tuesday threw out a proposed taxpayer class action accusing state controller John Chiang of misappropriating their unclaimed securities, insurance payouts, bank accounts and other funds, saying that Chiang is immune from liability as an individual government official.

  • November 25, 2014

    Medibank Raises $4.84B In Largest Australian IPO Since '97

    Australian state-owned health insurer Medibank Private Ltd. raised about AU$5.68 billion (US$4.84 billion) in its initial public offering on Tuesday, selling 2.7 billion shares in the country's largest IPO in nearly two decades.

  • November 25, 2014

    Ex-Pa. Judge Disbarred After Plea Deal In Bribery Case

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted a statement from a former Luzerne County judge who agreed to resign from the state’s bar after pleading guilty to charges that he appointed an attorney’s handpicked arbitrator in an insurance dispute in exchange for a bribe.

  • November 25, 2014

    Dish Can't Make Insurers Cover Patent Dispute, 10th Circ. Says

    A Tenth Circuit panel on Tuesday rejected Dish Network Corp.’s attempt to get its insurers to cover its defense against patent infringement claims brought by billionaire investor Ronald A. Katz over an automated Dish telephone system, ruling the policies didn’t cover injuries related to the broadcasting business.

  • November 25, 2014

    Crop Insurers Sue FCIC Over $200M Rate Adjustment

    A group of crop insurers filed suit Monday in Washington, D.C., federal court against the Federal Crop Insurance Corp., accusing it of breaching their federal contracts when it switched its rate calculation method, which allegedly reduced their underwriting gain by $200 million for 2012 alone.

  • November 25, 2014

    Allstate Liable For 1 Limit In Lead Paint Suits: Top NY Court

    Separate tenants of a Rochester, New York, apartment who claimed injuries from exposure to lead paint must divide a single $500,000 Allstate Insurance Co. liability policy limit, New York's high court ruled Monday, finding that the exposures constituted a single occurrence despite efforts by the landlord to fix the condition.

Expert Analysis

  • What Municipal Bond Investors Can Learn From Detroit

    Mark N. Berman

    It is interesting to observe that on the eve of confirmation of Detroit’s Chapter 9 plan, the city settled its disputes with certain bond insurers by giving them rights to certain real estate that, prior to the settlement, had not been part of the proposed plan. This begs the question as to how much additional property the city may have had available, and whether this property could have been used to increase unsecured creditors' r... (continued)

  • Remembering Doar: Justice As A 4-Letter Word

    Kevin J. Curnin

    John Doar ran the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division at perhaps the most chaotic and pivotal time in its history. His passing earlier this month is an occasion for lawyers everywhere to marvel at just how impactful one attorney can be. He didn’t just preside at a historic time, he calmly and coolly shaped it, says Kevin Curnin of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Rule 54(b) No Substitute For Appealable Final Judgment

    Ryan N. Parsons

    The Seventh Circuit's recent ruling in Selective Insurance Co. v. City of Paris is a reminder to attorneys of their ethical duty and obligation to stay current on the law as it affects their cases. A case law search may have prevented the city from having to try to manufacture a timely appeal of a clearly final judgment under Rule 54(b), says Ryan Parsons of Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • ‘Tis The Season … For Data Breaches And Data Analytics

    Mike Kheyfets

    Last holiday season saw some of the biggest and costliest data breaches in the retail industry’s history. With optimistic forecasts for spending this year, retailers will no doubt once again be in hackers’ crosshairs in the coming month. Implementation of data analytics — an important but sometimes underutilized tool — can assist in all phases of incident management, say economists at Edgeworth Economics LLC.

  • Differentiate Your Litigation Practice With Data Security

    Jennifer Topper

    Despite the significant tilt toward technology in how litigation is now conducted, many senior lawyers still delegate tech-related issues to e-discovery specialists or associates at their firms. This is a missed opportunity not just for client development, but also for shaping the way the firm and lawyer are seen in the eyes of corporate counsel, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

    G. Brian Odom

    It cannot be legitimately disputed that the increasingly common practice of "case-running" among contractors, public adjusters and policyholder attorneys is in large part to blame for the increase in litigated Texas insurance claims — it is all about extracting additional money from the insurance industry, say G. Brian Odom and Tyler McGuire of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Solace For Wis. Suppliers Over Defective Components

    Jeffrey O. Davis

    Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. LLC v. Nebraska Cultures of California Inc. is important for all manufacturers since the decision correctly found that defective components that ruin an end product are covered under a standard general liability policy, but with an important caveat — the fully integrated product must be ruined by the defective component, say attorneys at Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • The Print Room: How To Spend Less And Get More

    Senthil Rajakrishnan

    Our estimates indicate that some law firms spend up to $8,000 per attorney each year on print-related costs. Although we live in a digital world, hard copy printing will remain an important part of business for years to come. Changing technology, however, offers opportunities to improve efficiencies and save money, say Senthil Rajakrishnan and Ryan Mittman of HBR Consulting LLC.

  • Don't Be Shocked By NY's 'Surprise Bills' Law

    Jackie Selby

    New York's recently enacted Emergency Medical Services and Surprise Bills law will impact billing and reimbursement for some out-of-network health care services, require new disclosures from providers regarding their health plan participation status and add new rules for health plans regarding networks and reimbursement for out-of-network services, says Jackie Selby of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Insurance Rules Of The Road For Ride-Sharing Companies

    Kara L. DiBiasio

    As more states set regulations for ride-sharing companies, such as Lyft Inc. and Uber Inc., insurance companies should be prepared to offer policies that conform to the various requirements and specify which policies cover company drivers at different stages, says Kara DiBiasio of Sedgwick LLP.