• September 4, 2015

    MetLife Can't Escape Ex-Mayer Brown Atty's Disability Claims

    The Seventh Circuit on Friday refused to toss a retired Mayer Brown LLP equity partner’s suit accusing Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. of wrongful denial of disability benefits, ruling the Employee Retirement Income Security Act didn’t block her claims.

  • September 4, 2015

    Allied Denied $8M Refund Of St. Luke's FTC Defense Costs

    Allied World National Assurance Co. can't get reimbursement from St. Luke's Health System Ltd. for nearly $8 million in defense costs in a Federal Trade Commission antitrust suit, an Idaho federal judge ruled Friday, saying a policy exclusion doesn't apply because no court found that St. Luke's obtained any financial gain.

  • September 4, 2015

    Suitors Lose Bid To End Life Partners' Ch. 11 Exclusivity

    Life Partners Holdings Inc. subsidiaries will retain control over their Chapter 11 cases until later this month, a Texas bankruptcy judge decided Friday, rejecting a bid by suitors to end the debtors' exclusivity and allow them to file a competing plan to reorganize the life settlements purveyor.

  • September 4, 2015

    Skanska Says Air Force Project Bond Can't Be Revoked

    The U.S. arm of Swedish construction giant Skanska AB urged a Texas federal court Friday to reject Star Insurance Co.'s bid to revoke a performance bond issued to a U.S. Air Force base project subcontractor that Skanska allegedly overpaid by $1.3 million, a day after the insurer pressed the court to grant it victory in the suit.

  • September 4, 2015

    Birth Control Waiver No Burden On Faith Orgs: 7th Circ.

    The Affordable Care Act's mandate to provide contraceptive services doesn't pose a substantial burden on organizations that object on religious grounds, and neither does filing a waiver stating those objections, the Seventh Circuit said on Friday, reversing an injunction barring the government from enforcing the mandate.

  • September 4, 2015

    Ore. Justices Take On Construction Defect Coverage Query

    The Oregon Supreme Court will hear arguments Sept. 10 on whether a policyholder can establish insurance coverage for an entire judgment based on a general verdict issued in a construction defect suit potentially involving both covered and excluded causes of loss. Here, Law360 delves into the issues in the case in advance of the hearing.

  • September 4, 2015

    7th Circ. Revives Borrower’s CitiMortgage Class Action

    The Seventh Circuit ruled Friday that missed payments didn’t sink a man’s breach-of-contract claim against CitiMortgage Inc. in a proposed class action accusing the company of using mortgage payments to pay off outstanding balances rather than repair damaged homes, reversing an Illinois federal judge’s order.

  • September 4, 2015

    Ore. Judge Faces Ethics Probe Over Gay Marriage Opposition

    An Oregon county judge is being investigated by the state judicial ethics commission after refusing to perform same-sex marriages.

  • September 4, 2015

    Insurer Says TE Connectivity Policy Restricted Legal Fees.

    Ace American Insurance Co. has asked a Philadelphia judge to throw out a lawsuit by TE Connectivity Ltd. accusing it of refusing to pay legal fees from a $25 million settlement with New York state over a wireless network project for emergency communications, claiming these fees were not covered under the policy.

  • September 4, 2015

    Sears Withheld Discovery In Dryer Fire Case, Judge Says

    Sears Holdings Corp. may still have to face claims that a dryer it sold is responsible for starting a house fire, after an Illinois magistrate judge found Thursday that the retailer withheld important information in a lawsuit with insurer MemberSelect Insurance Co.

  • September 4, 2015

    Ex-Highmark CEO's $32M Suit Says Affair Spurred Firing

    The ex-CEO of insurer the Pittsburgh-based Highmark Inc. is seeking at least $32 million in damages from his former employer in a lawsuit claiming that he was wrongfully ousted from his post in April 2012 for refusing to ax a female worker he was having an affair with.

  • September 4, 2015

    Workers' Comp Row Belongs Before Agency, Mass Court Says

    A Massachusetts appeals court on Thursday ruled that a lower court properly dismissed an insolvent insurer's suit over reimbursement for workers' compensation payments in favor of a hearing before the state Department of Industrial Accidents, saying that courts must defer to administrative agencies' expertise.

  • September 4, 2015

    Inside The Summer’s Hottest M&A Plays

    As summer comes to its unofficial end, so does a vibrant period in deal-making that saw seven of the transactions inked between Memorial Day and Labor Day land among the biggest plays so far this year. Here, Law360 takes a look at the summer's largest tie-ups and the law firms that steered them.

  • September 4, 2015

    Tesoro Tells 5th Circ. Employee Forgery Counts As Theft

    Tesoro Corp. told the Fifth Circuit on Thursday that a Texas federal judge incorrectly ruled that “theft” as defined in its National Union Fire Co. of Pittsburgh Pa. commercial crime policy didn’t cover forged letters of credit that induced it to transfer $24 million worth of petroleum.

  • September 4, 2015

    Boeing, Plant Workers’ $90M ERISA Class Settlement OK'd

    A Kansas federal judge gave final approval Thursday to a $90 million settlement between Boeing Co. and a class of former employees who alleged they were stiffed on retirement benefits after the aircraft manufacturing giant sold the plant where they worked.

  • September 4, 2015

    Gay Couples Get Marriage Licenses In Defiant Ky. County

    After a recalcitrant Kentucky county clerk was jailed for contempt for refusing to issue marriage licenses in protest of same-sex marriage, the deputy clerks in her office started to do so Friday morning, according to published reports.

  • September 3, 2015

    5th Circ. Won't Rethink Katrina Insurance Penalty Ruling

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday again upheld a $25.4 million victory for oil field operator Cox Operating LLC in a coverage suit for damage from Hurricane Katrina, denying a bid for rehearing by an insurer who claimed Texas insurance law was misapplied by the lower court in calculating penalty interest.

  • September 3, 2015

    Insurers Should Pay $72M In Rig Death, Texas Justices Told

    The family of a drilling rig worker killed on the job urged the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday to reinstate a nearly $72 million judgment against two insurance carriers, saying they should be on the hook for a default trial judgment against the drilling company.

  • September 3, 2015

    10th Circ. Dissent Blasts Upheld ACA Birth Control Opt-Out

    Five judges from the Tenth Circuit on Thursday scolded their colleagues' decision to not rehear en banc the Little Sisters of the Poor’s fight against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate opt-out, arguing the provision does impose an unfair burden on freedom of religion.

  • September 3, 2015

    HHS Backs Wider Transgender Insurance Coverage

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday floated new policies to expand health insurance coverage for gender transition, part of a lengthy regulation interpreting anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act.

Expert Analysis

  • Facts, Not Conclusions, Trigger Duty To Defend In 10th Circ.

    Suzanne M. Meintzer

    A recent decision by a divided Tenth Circuit panel in Landmark American Insurance Co. v. VO Remarketing Corp. affirms that while facts extrinsic to an underlying complaint can be used to determine duty to defend, the underlying complaint’s legal conclusions aren't sufficient to trigger duty to defend, say Suzanne M. Meintzer and Shawna Ruetz at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

  • Reps And Warranties Insurance Key In Gov't Contractor M&A

    Rachel Raphael

    Given compressed deal timelines and the inability of a buyer to conduct even rudimentary diligence on classified contracts, a buyer may not have the ability to accurately identify and cabin all of the potential risks in mergers that involve defense and government contractors. Representations and warranties insurance may thus make the difference between a closed transaction and a busted deal, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Is Withholding Insurance Benefits Bad Faith In Calif.?

    Brian S. Kabateck

    Insurance companies routinely withhold undisputed amounts of insurance benefits with, at the very least, knowledge of its coercive effect on the insured — yet there’s a surprising lack of authority on whether this underhanded tactic amounts to bad faith under California law, say Brian Kabateck and Levi Plesset of Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP.

  • 'Anti-Concurrent Cause' Won't Work In Ariz. Fire Policies

    William A. Webster

    While anti-concurrent cause provisions are enforceable in a vast number of policies and jurisdictions, the Ninth Circuit's Stankova decision has brought the enforceability of such clauses into question for fire losses in Arizona and in states that have adopted the New York standard fire insurance policy, say William Webster and Charles Cannizzaro at Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • Some Words Are More Equal Than Others: BancInsure V. FDIC

    Alex Lathrop

    In George Orwell’s "Animal Farm," the governing principle that “all animals are equal” was revised by the pigs who had ascended into power to “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” A recent decision by the Tenth Circuit, BancInsure Inc. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., appears to apply a similar principle to insurance policy interpretation, say Alex Lathrop and Harry Moren at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Deflategate, Reinsurance Disputes And Arbitrator Bias

    Jean Paul Jaillet

    Although NFL fans do not routinely contemplate issues of arbitrator bias, partiality arguments made by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during ongoing litigation over his Deflategate suspension are similar to common arguments made during reinsurance arbitration disputes, says J.P. Jaillet at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • Death V. Suicide In Event Cancellation Policies

     Isabella K. Stankowski-Booker

    The cancellation of an insured event due to the suicide of the insured artist opens a Pandora’s Box of legal arguments regarding coverage, and interpretation of policy language only gets more complicated when dealing with the suicide of a named person on the insured's policy — as was the case in last year's legal battle between The Rolling Stones and Lloyds of London, says Isabella K. Stankowski-Booker at Zelle Hofmann LLP.

  • Insurance Filed Rate Defense Wins Over The 2nd Circuit

    Sandra D. Hauser

    The Second Circuit's noteworthy embrace of the filed rate doctrine in Rothstein v. Balboa Insurance Co. gives a strong boost to a doctrine that has come under scrutiny in the trial courts for some time, say attorneys at Dentons.

  • Fluor Ruling Is Good News For Calif. Policyholders

    Richard DeNatale

    Last week, in its long-anticipated and unanimous decision in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court made it significantly easier to transfer insurance rights in corporate acquisitions and reorganizations, placing California squarely in the mainstream view, say Richard DeNatale and Celia Jackson at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Confusion Over FCA’s Seal Requirements Continues

    Robert J. Sherry

    The Fifth Circuit's decision in Rigsby v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. and the Fourth Circuit's decision in Smith v. Clark/Smoot/Russell reaffirm that federal courts are highly reluctant to dismiss cases brought under the False Claims Act for breaches of its seal provisions. They also reinforce divisions among the circuits concerning the applicable standards for such dismissals, says Robert Sherry of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.