• October 24, 2014

    Blue Cross Rips Honigman's 'Dual Role' In Antitrust Suit

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said Thursday that Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP should be disqualified from representing three health insurers in a suit alleging Blue Cross violated antitrust laws in its contracts with hospitals, saying the firm took on “overlapping and conflicting” roles.

  • October 24, 2014

    NJ High Court Will Review $3.2M National Union Decision

    The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed Friday to review a state appeals court’s decision finding that National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh didn’t have to cover a $3.2 million settlement on behalf of a policyholder that allegedly mishandled a church and day care center’s real estate loan.

  • October 24, 2014

    Kan. Justices Rule Broker's Omissions Can't Block Coverage

    The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday than an insurance broker acted as an agent when he submitted an application omitting key elements of an applicant’s medical history, finding an insurance company couldn’t later deny medically necessary treatment on the basis of failing to disclose a pre-existing condition.

  • October 24, 2014

    FCA Whistleblower Wants Humana Suit Restrictions Lifted

    A whistleblower accusing Humana Inc. of Medicare Advantage fraud urged a Florida federal judge to reconsider his order dismissing her False Claims Act suit, claiming her latest amended complaint contains enough detail to allege a widespread case of fraud.

  • October 24, 2014

    NRG Blasts Insurer's 'Scorched Earth' Tactics In CAA Row

    A subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc. has accused Illinois Union Insurance Co. in Louisiana federal court of pursuing a “scorched earth” strategy in a coverage dispute over the settlement of a Clear Air Act coal pollution suit, characterizing a discovery request from Illinois Union as a “fishing expedition.”

  • October 24, 2014

    Homeowners Slam Wells Fargo's $281M Force-Placed Deal

    Disgruntled class members on Thursday challenged a purported $281 million settlement reached by Wells Fargo Bank NA and Assurant Inc. in a suit over their force-placed insurance practices, saying it is unclear how much of the money will actually reach affected homeowners.

  • October 24, 2014

    Calif. Appeals Court Revives Farmers 'Good Driver' Suit

    A California appeals court on Thursday revived a class action claiming Farmers Insurance Exchange violated unfair competition law by providing “good driver discounts” to eligible drivers, finding a lower court incorrectly interpreted an earlier remand to mean it could only consider dismissal instead of additional evidence.

  • October 24, 2014

    Insurer Wants Gawker Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Feud Trashed

    Nautilus Insurance Co. asked a New York federal judge to call the match early on Thursday in its dispute with Gawker Media LLC over a lawsuit involving the release of a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan, arguing the claims fall outside the scope of coverage Gawker’s policy provides.

  • October 23, 2014

    5th Circ. Told Bad Repairs To Chevron Rig Are Covered

    An oil field services company on Tuesday blasted American Home Assurance Co.’s argument that its $2 million indemnification claim stemming from faulty repairs on a Chevron USA Inc. oil rig wouldn’t be covered under its general liability policy, telling the Fifth Circuit that the insurer is rehashing old arguments.

  • October 23, 2014

    San Bernardino Creditors Demand Deadline For Ch. 9 Plan

    A bank and an insurer urged the judge handling San Bernardino, California’s two-year-old bankruptcy case on Wednesday to fix a March 1 deadline for the city to submit a Chapter 9 exit plan, saying that a firm timeline will pressure recalcitrant unions into accepting benefit cuts.

  • October 23, 2014

    Insurer Asks 8th Circ. To Fry Oil Fire Coverage Verdict

    Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co. asked the Eighth Circuit on Wednesday to overturn a jury verdict finding it has to defend a cooking oil manufacturer for a fire at an Iowa country club allegedly caused by the company's soybean oil, arguing Michigan Millers was prejudiced by a delayed notification of the fire.

  • October 23, 2014

    9th Circ. Urged To Deny Allstate’s Bid To Toss TCPA Suit

    A consumer is pushing the Ninth Circuit to uphold a lower court’s refusal to dismiss a class action alleging Allstate Insurance Co. violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by robocalling cellphones without consent, saying two previous rulings by the court favor the plaintiff.

  • October 23, 2014

    2nd Circ. Blocks Collection Of $378M Terrorism Judgment

    The Second Circuit ruled Thursday that the families of people killed in a 1972 terrorist attack are barred under a federal insurance law from collecting on a $378 million judgment against North Korea using blocked electronic transfers held by JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and eight other banks.

  • October 23, 2014

    Global Regulators Finalize Capital Standard For AIG, Others

    An international group of insurance regulators on Thursday announced that it has finalized the first global capital standard for American International Group Inc., Metlife Inc., Prudential Financial Inc. and others tagged as important to worldwide financial stability.

  • October 23, 2014

    IRS Must Better Guard ACA Exchange Info, Watchdog Says

    Federal tax information for health insurance applicants that the IRS discloses to Affordable Care Act exchanges needs to be better protected, a U.S. Department of the Treasury watchdog said in a report made public Thursday.

  • October 22, 2014

    Law Firm's Coverage Claims For False Ad Row Trimmed Again

    A Missouri federal judge on Wednesday pared for a second time the Hullverson Law Firm PC’s suit against Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., finding it wasn’t responsible for covering more of the personal injury firm’s defense in a false advertising suit and disciplinary proceeding against several of its lawyers than it already had paid for.

  • October 22, 2014

    Dollar Thrifty Renters Seek Cert. In Hidden Fees Suit

    Two customers of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. on Wednesday urged a Colorado federal judge to certify a class of millions in Colorado and Florida in a case alleging that the car rental company makes millions by saddling customers with unneeded and unwanted insurance and other services.

  • October 22, 2014

    Sutherland Snags Ex-AXA Equitable In-House Insurance Pro

    Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has added a former associate general counsel of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. with more than 20 years of experience working in-house as part of the firm’s expansion of its insurance and financial services practice in New York.

  • October 22, 2014

    Nonprofit Execs Indicted On Insurance Fraud, Bribery Charges

    The top two executives at a New York City substance abuse treatment nonprofit were indicted Wednesday over alleged insurance fraud and kickback schemes that prosecutors say lined the pockets of the father-and-son duo and allowed them to fuel a lavish lifestyle.

  • October 22, 2014

    Prophet Equity Says Insurer Owes $15M For Ex-Worker's Suit

    Prophet Equity LP filed a $15 million suit against Twin City Fire Insurance Co. in Texas court Tuesday, for allegedly breaching a policy by refusing to pay the private equity fund after it was sued by a former employee.

Expert Analysis

  • ERISA To The Rescue: Preemption Of State Law Prevails

    Douglas Darch

    The Sixth Circuit’s ruling in Sherfel v. Newson reinforces the existing interpretation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — state law is preempted when it subjects ERISA-governed plans to different legal obligations or requires the plan administrator to pay different benefits than the plan otherwise provides, say attorneys at Baker & McKenzie.

  • Why You Should Start Thinking About Upcoming Drone Regs

    William O'Connor

    Companies and trade associations interested in obtaining the benefits of small unmanned aircraft systems should start formulating plans now to help shape the Federal Aviation Administration's much-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking — likely to issue in mid-December — and the regulations that will come out of it. They need not wait for the notice, say attorneys with Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Can D&O Insurers Contract Around Duty-To-Advance Costs?

    Darren S. Teshima

    If the public policy in favor of providing a defense for all claims set forth in Buss v. Superior Court prevents parties from contracting around that policy in duty-to-defend cases, that same public policy should trump allocation provisions regarding the duty to advance defense costs, say Darren Teshima and Jimmy McBirney of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • OIG Remains Focused On Pharmaceutical Copayment Coupons

    Eve M. Brunts

    A report and special advisory bulletin from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General are the latest examples of ongoing scrutiny and challenges involving copayment coupons offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers, say Eve Brunts and Smita Singh of Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Testing Texas CGL Coverage For 3rd-Party Products

    Kristin C. Cummings

    In U.S. Metals Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., perhaps the most significant issue to be decided by the Texas Supreme Court is whether the incorporation of a defective product into other property constitutes “physical injury” to other component parts of the property, says Kristin Cummings of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • New Jurisdictional Issues When Moving To Quash A Subpoena

    Steven Luxton

    The Nevada federal court's recent ruling in Agincourt Gaming LLC v. Zynga Inc. is an important reminder that a nonparty wanting to challenge a civil subpoena should consider carefully the appropriate jurisdiction in which to file a motion to quash under recently enacted Rule 45, say Steven Luxton and Brad Nes of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • When Is A Party-Appointed Appraiser 'Disinterested'?

    Scott G. Johnson

    While party-appointed property appraisers must be “disinterested,” insurers and insureds may expect that they are not necessarily neutral and, in fact, will act as an advocate for their clients. But even so, there are limits on who parties can appoint — as illustrated by Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. Branco, says Scott Johnson, chairman of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP's insurance and catastrophic loss group.

  • How Hotels Can Control The Consequences Of Force Majeure

    Andrew P. B. MacGeoch

    Force majeure clauses in hotel management agreements may be regarded by some as boring boilerplate provisions. Yet, in the aftermath of a significant event — which could range from heightened political tension as in Hong Kong to the rapid spread of viruses such as Ebola — it can become key to the operation of the whole agreement, say Andrew MacGeoch and Emily Wong of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Accessing The D&O Liability Coverage Of A Bankrupt Corp.

    Mary E. McCutcheon

    A traditional directors and officers insurance policy risks dilution where the company also faces a covered claim. And when the company has filed for bankruptcy, payment of the proceeds for claims against the directors and officers may be delayed, and even impaired, says Mary McCutcheon of Farella Braun & Martel LLP.

  • NCAA Insurance News — A Step In The Right Direction

    Richard Giller

    Although the National Collegiate Athletic Association's recent decision to enable student-athletes to borrow against their potential future earnings in order to purchase insurance that protects those earnings only affects the handful of student-athletes who might play professional sports, it nevertheless represents a significant departure from the NCAA’s previous position, says Richard Giller of Polsinelli PC.