• November 10, 2014

    Detroit Settlement Model Looms Over Future Chapter 9s

    The end of Detroit’s historic and controversial bankruptcy vindicates a mediation process that produced a consensual restructuring plan and created a model for other cities to follow despite criticism that it coerced creditors into forfeiting their legal rights, attorneys say.

  • November 10, 2014

    Fla. Court Says Insurer Not Liable For Battery Claims

    A Florida appeals court has reversed a decision that required Wilshire Insurance Co. to defend a convenience store in an underlying negligence suit, ruling that the insurance policy does not cover claims arising from assault and battery allegations.

  • November 10, 2014

    Attys' Fee Award Cut To $91M In Pfizer Neurontin MDL

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Monday awarded $91 million to the plaintiffs attorneys in multidistrict litigation accusing Pfizer Inc. of illegally marketing Neurontin for off-label use, saying the $108 million they requested from the $325 million settlement pot was too high.

  • November 10, 2014

    Following 9th Circ. Ruling, UHC Dials Back Dismissal Motion

    United Healthcare Inc. has scaled back its motion to dismiss a proposed class action in California federal court alleging wrongly denied coverage for mental health treatment, acknowledging that a new Ninth Circuit ruling may let it be sued despite not being a plan administrator.

  • November 10, 2014

    Regulators Asked To Probe CVS' Tobacco-Free Network

    A leading antitrust law think tank on Monday urged U.S. regulators to probe CVS Health Corp.'s plan to create a tobacco-free pharmacy network, saying it's worried the pharmacy's stated desire to wean customers off cigarettes is a “smokescreen” to impose higher costs on those who fill prescriptions at rival pharmacies.

  • November 10, 2014

    Archdiocese, Insurer Settle Dispute Over Sex Abuse Coverage

    The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has settled a dispute with OneBeacon Insurance Co. over defense costs in 13 civil suits stemming from priests' alleged sexual abuse of minors, according to a news report, mooting a federal judge ruling that a bankruptcy court mistakenly refused the insurer's request to lift a stay and send the suit to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

  • November 10, 2014

    Allianz To Pay $251M To Settle Annuities Racketeering Rows

    Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America has reached a $251 million settlement to end two racketeering class actions alleging it lured 230,000 seniors into buying poorly performing deferred annuities with harsh surrender policies, according to a filing in California federal court.

  • November 10, 2014

    HHS Sees Modest Gains For ACA Coverage In 2015

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday predicted that 9 million to 10 million Americans will buy health insurance through Affordable Care Act marketplaces in 2015, far less than the 13 million projected previously by the Congressional Budget Office.

  • November 10, 2014

    Insurer Must Cover For Mo. Health Co.'s Workers' Comp Suit

    A Missouri federal judge on Friday rejected Repwest Insurance Co’s bid to escape a breach of contract suit brought by a health care system over an underlying workers’ compensation suit, rejecting its argument that state law doesn’t acknowledge a fiduciary relationship between the parties.

  • November 7, 2014

    Wal-Mart Accused Of Selling Bogus Cellphone Insurance

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was hit with a false advertising putative class action Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the retail giant sold cellphone insurance plans for phones it knew were too expensive to be covered under the insurance.

  • November 7, 2014

    Auto Parts Co., Retiree Class Dispute Settlement Tax Bill

    Auto parts company Hydro Automotive Structures North America Inc. and a class of retired workers who said the company violated collective bargaining deals by curtailing retiree benefits on Friday each told a Michigan federal judge the other party should bear the brunt of the deal’s tax obligations.

  • November 7, 2014

    Continental Skirts Claim Over Broken Finder's Fee Deal

    A Maryland federal judge found Friday that Continental Casualty Co. didn’t have to pay a developer's costs from litigation over a broken finder’s fee deal that allegedly forced another company into bankruptcy, saying that because the claim was based on two lawsuits filed four years apart over the same “interrelated wrongful acts,” it wouldn't be covered under the policy.

  • November 7, 2014

    High Court Case May Lead To Retiree Health Benefit Cuts

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in M&G Polymer USA LLC's challenge to a Sixth Circuit ruling that left the company on the hook for a class of retirees' lifetime health care benefits, a case that lawyers say could open the door for some employers to reduce potentially crippling legacy costs by scaling back health coverage for former workers.

  • November 7, 2014

    Attys Tend To 'Buy Themselves Off' In Class Deals, Judge Says

    The potential for huge paydays for plaintiffs attorneys settling class actions can pose an "inherent conflict" that interferes with the goal of negotiating the best deal for their clients, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski told a conference Friday, saying: “There's a tendency for lawyers to buy themselves off.”

  • November 7, 2014

    ACA Not Doomed Even If High Court Axes Subsidies

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday to accept a key case involving Affordable Care Act tax credits may signal an eagerness to strike down the subsidies or a simple desire to eliminate uncertainty, but even a defeat for the Obama administration would be easy to fix, experts say.

  • November 7, 2014

    Cigna Agrees To Deal With Fla. Over HIV/AIDS Drugs

    Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. settled with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on Friday allegations that it was violating state law with specialty pricing for HIV/AIDS medications on its health care plans under the Affordable Care Act.

  • November 7, 2014

    Military Families Seek Final OK For $39M Prudential Settlement

    Military service members, veterans and their families asked a Massachusetts federal judge on Friday to grant final approval to a $39.2 million settlement resolving a consolidated class action alleging Prudential Insurance Co. of America failed to pay death benefits under a group life insurance program.

  • November 7, 2014

    Owen Gleaton Rips Insurer's Doc Request In Malpractice Row

    Owen Gleaton Egan Jones & Sweeney LLP on Friday balked at an insurer's bid to force the firm to turn over financial information in a $2 million legal malpractice suit over the firm's handling of an underlying medical malpractice case, telling a Georgia federal judge that the insurer is frantically pushing discovery because it's not prepared for trial.

  • November 7, 2014

    Principal Pays $335M To Pick Up AXA's Hong Kong Pension Biz

    The Principal Financial Group Inc. has agreed to pay $335 million for the Hong Kong retirement savings business of The AXA Group, a move that will more than double Principal Financial's assets under management in its Hong Kong pension division.

  • November 7, 2014

    Hotel Group Demands Terrorism Insurance Action In House

    A major hotel industry trade group urged the House of Representatives to pass a long-term extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, saying a failure to join the Senate, which passed an extension in July, would hurt the industry's economic interests.

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.