• September 19, 2014

    Detroit Council OKs $50M Regional Water Authority Plan

    The Detroit City Council on Friday signed off on two crucial agreements tied to the city's Chapter 9 restructuring plan, one creating a regional water authority that will bring in $50 million over the next 40 years and the other resolving bond insurer Syncora Holdings Ltd.'s objections to the plan.

  • September 19, 2014

    AIG Unit Hit With $1.6M Verdict In Sandy Deductible Case

    A California jury on Friday found that American International Group Inc. unit Lexington Insurance Co. stiffed a New York science center on Superstorm Sandy damage claims, reaching a $1.6 million verdict that includes damages and attorneys' fees.

  • September 19, 2014

    7th Circ. Says Doctor Group Lacks Standing In ACA Tax Suit

    The Seventh Circuit on Friday affirmed a lower court's ruling to toss the Association of Physician and Surgeons' challenge to the Internal Revenue Service decision to implement the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate tax without the employer mandate this year, blasting the group for its expansive and unsuccessful standing argument.

  • September 19, 2014

    Sanctions, $1M Fee Award Nixed In Texas State Farm Dispute

    A Texas appeals court on Friday reversed a $1 million award of attorneys' fees and “death penalty” sanctions assessed against a couple who allegedly doctored photos of flooding damage to collect insurance money from State Farm Lloyds, finding the penalties excessive.

  • September 19, 2014

    Starr Seeks $38.2M Tax Refund In IRS Suit

    Hank Greenberg's Starr International Co. Inc. on Friday sued the Internal Revenue Service, alleging the agency abused its discretion in failing to refund the Swiss insurer for overpayment of $38.2 million in taxes the company claims were improperly withheld from dividends.

  • September 19, 2014

    Insurers Needn’t Cover Delphi’s Self-Insured Cos.: 2nd Circ.

    The Second Circuit on Friday said two insurers don’t have to assume worker’s compensation liabilities from formerly bankrupt auto parts giant Delphi Corp., now known as DPH Holdings Corp., saying their policies don’t cover the company’s self-insured entities in Michigan.

  • September 19, 2014

    NY Flood Exclusion Case Could Be Hurdle For Sandy Coverage

    A New York state judge on Thursday said insurers can enforce flood exclusion provisions in policies regardless of any other cause or event that contributes to a loss, a ruling with possible implications for homeowners claiming Hurricane Sandy property damage was caused mainly by wind.

  • September 19, 2014

    IRS Finalizes Rules On Health Insurer Deduction Limit

    The Internal Revenue Service on Friday published final regulations on applying the Affordable Care Act’s $500,000 deduction limit for remuneration provided by certain health insurance providers, adopting proposed rules making certain insurance providers take deductions in the year the services are provided rather than when remunerations are paid.

  • September 19, 2014

    MetLife Blasts Class Cert. Bid In Homeowner Labor Costs Row

    Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co. on Thursday blasted a proposed class action in Arkansas federal court alleging it skimped on labor costs when paying out homeowners’ property damage claims, saying one named plaintiff doesn't even qualify as a member of the proposed class.

  • September 19, 2014

    HIPAA Privacy Rule Extends To Same-Sex Spouses, HHS Says

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has clarified Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rules in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Windsor decision, saying health care providers and their business associates may share patients' sensitive data with same-sex spouses and may not use those spouses' genetic information for underwriting purposes.

  • September 19, 2014

    Pa. Justices Snub Appeal Over Indemnity For Torts

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday shot down an appeal sought by National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh challenging a decision that general liability coverage providers are required to defend product liability claims brought against their policyholders.

  • September 19, 2014

    BofA Gets Nod On $31M Flood Insurance Class Settlement

    An Oregon federal judge gave final approval on Thursday to a $31 million settlement resolving seven proposed class actions alleging Bank of America NA illegally forced homeowners to buy excessive amounts of flood insurance, overruling objections that a 25 percent class counsel fee is too high. 

  • September 18, 2014

    NY AIG Ruling Shifts Workers' Comp Fights Back To Calif.

    American International Group Inc. can't force businesses into New York arbitration over side agreements governing California workers' compensation insurance, an Empire State appellate court has found, a ruling experts say gives employers a stronger hand in policy payment fights by shifting the playing field back to a state where the law is considered more friendly to policyholders.

  • September 18, 2014

    RSUI Should Pay $8M Post-Hurricane Award, Texas Court Told

    Apartment manager The Lynd Co. on Thursday defended in Texas Supreme Court an appellate win that awarded it $7.5 million in coverage from insurer RSUI Indemnity Co. for damage caused during Hurricane Rita in 2005, saying that under the four corners of its policy, the insurers couldn’t avoid paying up.

  • September 18, 2014

    ACE Sues American Dream Developer In $5.2M Premium Row

    ACE American Insurance Co. on Wednesday sued Triple Five Group Ltd. in New Jersey over an allegedly fraudulent transfer of a ground lease as part of the multibillion-dollar American Dream entertainment complex, which ACE contends was intended to stymie its collection of a $5.2 million arbitration award.

  • September 18, 2014

    W.Va. Seeks Quick Win In ACA Policy Renewal Suit

    West Virginia on Wednesday asked a D.C. federal judge to grant summary judgment in its lawsuit challenging the Obama administration for allowing renewals of insurance policies that should have been canceled under the Affordable Care Act, calling the move unlawful.

  • September 18, 2014

    Uber, Lyft Face New Insurance Regs As Calif. Gov. Signs Law

    California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed an amendment to state law boosting the insurance requirements for so-called transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft.

  • September 18, 2014

    Issa Blasts CMS For Impeding Security Review

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Darrell Issa, R-Calif., criticized the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday for making it impossible for Congress or other federal agencies to scrutinize's security measures, accusing the agency of "wordsmithing" to paint a rosy picture of its safeguards.

  • September 18, 2014

    St. Paul Owes $1.8M Toward Forklift Death Settlement

    St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Co. is on the hook for $1.8 million, about half of the $3.5 million that fellow insurer Continental Casualty Co. paid out to cover a settlement with the family of a forklift operator killed in a workplace accident, a California federal judge ruled Tuesday.

  • September 18, 2014

    Insurer Sues Anheuser-Busch Over $12M Frozen Beer Claim

    AGCS Marine Insurance Co. has sued Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV in New York federal court seeking a declaration that it shouldn’t have to cover the brewer for $11.7 million in losses and fees for beer allegedly frozen in transit last winter, saying the company failed to properly store the beer.

Expert Analysis

  • Avoiding Open-Ended Liability From Autonomous Vehicles

    Michael Preciado

    Technology and automobile companies concerned about outdated software-related accidents should consider drafting statutes of repose applicable to autonomous vehicle liability — they would protect insurance companies too as they are generally drafted to stabilize the industry by eliminating stale claims from open-ended liability, says Michael Preciado of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • When Does An Insurance Co. Waive Atty-Client Privilege?

    Joan M. Cotkin

    A policyholder’s counsel might consider sending discovery requests inquiring whether the insurer-defendant claims to have acted legally at all relevant times, which we suspect the insurer-defendant is likely to respond in the affirmative — if it does so, will it have waived the privilege? asks Joan Cotkin of Nossaman LLP.

  • Brace For This Brief's Impact On The Supreme Court

    James H. Wendell

    SCOTUSblog founder Thomas Goldstein's no-party, no-argument amicus brief in M&G Polymers USA LLC v. Tackett is likely the first of its kind before the U.S. Supreme Court, making it one of the more intriguing developments of the upcoming term. It can demonstrate the power of a data-centric argument, says James Wendell of Riddell Williams PS.

  • Insurers, Be Ready To Pay Twice In Texas

    David B. Winter

    Recent decisions from the Texas Supreme Court and the Dallas Court of Appeals show that under Texas law, an insurer bears the risk of improper conduct by its insured in depositing a claim payment without obtaining the proper endorsement of all payees, says David Winter of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Ill. Joins State Trend On Malicious Prosecution Claims

    Jordon S. Steinway

    An Illinois appellate court's recent ruling in St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. The City of Zion is the first since 1979 to address the issue of trigger for malicious prosecution claims and, in finding that coverage is triggered the year the underlying malicious acts first occurred, the holding seems to push the state toward the majority trend, say Adam Fleischer and Jordon Steinway of BatesCarey LLP.

  • ACA Tax Subsidy Dispute May End Up Before High Court

    J. Peter Rich

    Given the political composition of the D.C. Circuit as it prepares to hear Halbig v. Burwell en banc, it is expected that the full court will rule in favor of the government, which may ultimately result in appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, say J. Peter Rich and Lauren D'Agostino of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • OPINION: Pro Bono May Help Diversity Recruiting Efforts

    David A. Lash

    A recent Law360 article about the perennial BigLaw concern over how to recruit and retain female and ethnically diverse attorneys addressed a new approach being taken by some law firms — going beyond traditional mentoring programs by creating a sponsorship relationship. Pro bono can also play a part, say David Lash and Merle Vaughn of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Indian Health Service Recovery Efforts Are Overreach

    Darryl T. Landahl

    Although regulators may argue otherwise, there is no known legal support for the position that 25 U.S.C. § 1621e(a) preempts all plan limitations from Native American health providers' recovery claims or that the statute was intended to provide unabated coverage for services from such a provider, say Darryl Landahl and Shelley Nordling of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

  • How Research Efficiency Impacts Law Firm Profitability

    David Houlihan

    For a law firm, excess time dedicated to legal research generates waste, either in the form of artificially reduced billable hours or, particularly in flat or contingency fee projects, as overhead eroding the profitability of legal work. By measuring five factors, firms will begin to understand their own opportunities for improving profits, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • NAIC Reinsurance Framework Part Of Larger Action Plan

    Scott D. Avitabile

    Debate within the National Association of Insurance Commissioners over life insurer reserve relief effected through insurer-owned captive transactions has been contentious, and the NAIC's recent adoption in concept of the XXX/AXXX Reinsurance Framework augurs more regulatory requirements for such transactions, says Scott Avitabile of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.