• August 27, 2014

    ATP Trustee Sues Insurer For Deepwater Horizon Defense

    The Chapter 7 Trustee for defunct ATP Oil & Gas Corp. filed an adversary suit in Texas federal court on Tuesday against Water Quality Insurance Syndicate, seeking defense and indemnity for a suit launched by the United States against ATP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • August 26, 2014

    WellPoint Rates MDL Should Have Many Classes, Court Told

    Health care providers and insurance plan subscribers on Tuesday urged a California federal judge to certify a host of classes in a multidistrict litigation alleging WellPoint Inc. illegally suppressed reimbursement rates including those paid to employee benefit plans, saying class members were uniformly paid less than the “reasonable” rates WellPoint promised.

  • August 26, 2014

    Judge Won't Toss Starr's $55B Suit Over AIG Bailout

    A Federal Claims judge on Monday refused to toss Starr International Co. Inc.'s $55 billion suit against the U.S. government over the American International Group Inc. bailout, finding the complexity of the parties' factual disagreements requires a trial, which is set to begin in September.

  • August 26, 2014

    Detroit, Creditors Head To Mediation As Pressure Mounts

    The bankrupt city of Detroit, Syncora Guarantee Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group and others have been ordered to appear for continued mediation on Wednesday and possibly Thursday over $1.4 billion in "certificates of participation," according to an order filed Tuesday in Michigan bankruptcy court.

  • August 26, 2014

    Conn. Health Exchange's Ex-CEO To Helm Fed. Marketplace

    Kevin Counihan, who headed the successful Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange, has been named the marketplace CEO of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, where he will lead the federal marketplace, manage relationships with state marketplaces and run health insurance regulation at the federal level, officials said Tuesday.

  • August 26, 2014

    Insurers Backed Out On $25M D&O Policies, Sava Says

    SavaSeniorCare LLC sued two of its insurers in Georgia federal court on Monday, claiming they reneged on directors and officers policies worth $25 million when they refused to cover a real estate mogul’s suit accusing two former Sava officials of misconduct in a billion-dollar nursing home deal gone bad.

  • August 26, 2014

    Arrowood Had Conflict In Moldy Bed Defense, Judge Rules

    A Minnesota federal judge held Tuesday that Arrowood Indemnity Co.'s decision to tentatively defend Select Comfort Corp. against a putative class action over defective beds created a conflict of interest, while also ruling that American Family Mutual Insurance Co. had no defense obligations.

  • August 26, 2014

    NY Homeowner Gets Allstate Sandy-Damage Suit Remanded

    A Staten Island, New York, woman whose home was wrecked by Superstorm Sandy won a round Monday in her deception suit against Allstate Insurance Group, when a Brooklyn federal judge remanded the case to state court, where a local broker also is facing litigation.

  • August 26, 2014

    Insurers Flocking To Data Breach Exclusions In CGL Policies

    Insurers are rushing to tack on recently released data breach exclusions to commercial general liability policies, hoping to substantially narrow their exposure to privacy risks. Here, experts provide policyholders the essentials on these game-changing provisions.

  • August 26, 2014

    Wis., Ind. Push 7th Circ. To Reinstate Gay Marriage Bans

    Officials from Wisconsin and Indiana pressed the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday to revive laws in each state banning gay marriage but ran into a trio of judges who pushed back against their central distinction between same-sex marriages and opposite-sex ones.

  • August 26, 2014

    Arch Defeats Coverage For Employees' Genital Exposure Suit

    A California appeals court on Monday freed Arch Insurance Co. from covering a lawsuit claiming that a manager at cosmetics manufacturer Jon Davler Inc. forced female employees to expose their genital area to determine who left a sanitary napkin in the women's bathroom.

  • August 26, 2014

    NY Regulators Could Throw Wrench In PE Insurance Deals

    The already tepid market for insurance company deals could come to a screeching halt by the end of the year if New York’s insurance commissioner pushes forward with new regulations that could drive away private equity investors, some experts say.

  • August 26, 2014

    Blue Cross Units Want $6M Tax Overpayment Credits Upheld

    A pair of Independence Blue Cross subsidiaries urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday to uphold a decision finding they were entitled to more than $6 million in future tax credits from the city of Philadelphia to make up for overpayments in 2003 and 2004.

  • August 25, 2014

    Detroit Wins Approval For $1.5B Utility Bond Refinancing

    The city of Detroit on Monday won a bankruptcy judge's approval for its proposal to refinance nearly $1.5 billion in water and sewer bonds, a transaction that is expected to free up additional cash flow and eliminate some of the remaining opposition to its emergence from Chapter 9.

  • August 25, 2014

    $1B Temblor Should Prompt Cos. To Revisit Quake Insurance

    The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Napa, California, early Sunday morning causing up to an estimated $1 billion in losses should serve as a wake-up call for companies to take a look at whether they need to buy a commercial earthquake insurance policy, despite concerns about the high cost and limitations on coverage, insurance lawyers say.

  • August 25, 2014

    Challenge To New CMS Auditor Contracts Rejected

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday nixed a challenge to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' plan to award new contracts for recovery audit contractors, saying an incumbent company hadn't proved that the new terms unduly restricted competition.

  • August 25, 2014

    EPA Letter Triggers CGL Coverage, Texas High Court Told

    A Waste Management Inc. predecessor on Friday told the Texas Supreme Court it should join a national majority of states in holding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's “potentially responsible party” letters should trigger an insurer’s duty to defend under a commercial general liability policy.

  • August 25, 2014

    Insurer Stiffed Lukoil On $5M D&O Policy, Suit Says

    Russian oil giant OAO Lukoil sued Allied World Assurance Co. U.S. Inc. in New York court on Monday, alleging the insurer had failed to honor a $5 million excess policy in connection with two separate lawsuits against Lukoil officials that have cost the company upwards of $126 million.

  • August 25, 2014

    NJ Judge Won't Free Town From Retiree Co-Pay Breach

    A judge has refused to disturb a finding that Toms River, New Jersey, breached collective bargaining agreements by increasing retirees' prescription drug copays, ruling that the arbitration decision met a standard of being “reasonably debatable,” according to an opinion posted Monday.

  • August 25, 2014

    Colony Can't Rescind Policy In $2M Fight, 4th Circ. Holds

    In a split ruling Monday, the Fourth Circuit upheld a nearly $2.4 million jury verdict against Colony Insurance Co. in a dispute with Randolph Bank & Trust Co. and others, finding the insurer should pay for fire losses because it waived its right to rescind a commercial property policy.

Expert Analysis

  • 9th Circ. Fails Innocent Insureds In Diocese Case

    James Murray

    In an argument that turns insurance law on its head, the Ninth Circuit's majority in Interstate Fire & Casualty Co. v. Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Phoenix appeared to accept the insurer’s argument that if any claim fell within the scope of an exclusion, then all coverage for the underlying settlements was eliminated, regardless of the actual breadth of the exclusionary language, say attorneys at Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

  • Congress Won't Allow Medicare To Go Bankrupt

    Annemarie Kelly

    Despite congressional gridlock over how best to preserve Medicare's long-term solvency, this is not the first time policymakers have been concerned about the program's sustainability and, if history is any indication, Congress will not allow Medicare to go bankrupt, says Annemarie Kelly of Kaplan University.

  • Compliance Reigns Supreme As In-House Demographics Shift

    James A. Merklinger

    With more and more traditionalists and baby boomers retiring, the pendulum in corporate law departments will continue to swing toward younger generations. The demographic shift underscores the shift in the skills that different generations prioritize — notably, nonlegal skills, says James Merklinger of the Association of Corporate Counsel.

  • Collaboration In The Shadow Of The Billable Hour

    Josh Mait

    The billable hour may never go away, but there are strategies that attorneys can adopt to combat the negative consequences that come from a bill, bill, bill mentality, says Josh Mait of Relationship Science LLC.

  • Timely Notice For NJ Insurance Claims Just Got Harder

    Robert D. Chesler

    The New Jersey Appellate Division's ruling in Templo Fuente De Vida Corp. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA takes the phrase “as soon as practicable” and makes it easier for insurance companies to avoid their coverage obligations under a claims-made policy — it is a major setback for policyholders and those who give notice on their behalf, say attorneys at Anderson Kill PC.

  • Unclaimed Property Law In The Spotlight

    Thomas D. Cunningham

    With budgets becoming increasingly stretched, state regulators have shown renewed vigor in enforcing unclaimed property laws, spawning increased litigation and bringing to the fore the question of whether life insurers must affirmatively search for potentially deceased insureds, say Thomas Cunningham and Jen Won of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Public Adjusters Do Not Have Free Pass To The Stand

    Shannon O'Malley

    The Western District of Texas’ recent decision in Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds is a reminder that licensed public adjusters do not automatically qualify as experts on insurance bad faith — which aligns with the U.S. Supreme Court’s view that trial court judges must act as “gatekeepers” who keep unqualified public adjusters off the stand, say Shannon O'Malley and Tyler McGuire of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Insurers Be Warned, Your Communications Are Discoverable

    Elizabeth V. Kniffen

    Klein v. Federal Insurance Co. and National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh PA v. Donaldson Co. Inc. both involved requests for production of reinsurance information and illustrate that courts are willing to set aside objections when the party seeking production can articulate the relevance of the communications beyond the interpretation of the underlying policy, says Elizabeth Kniffen of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • The ACA Has Made The Collateral Source Rule Obsolete

    Christopher R. Daily

    While a majority of jurisdictions that have considered the collateral source rule have held that a plaintiff can present the amount a health care provider initially billed — not merely the amounts later paid — this logic was rooted in a time when having insurance was a "fortuitous" luxury, something that must be rethought given the Affordable Care Act's insurance mandate, say Christopher Daily and Jonathan Huber of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • OPINION: Lawyers Should Think In Terms Of Big Data

    James H. Wendell

    The vast majority of civil cases in the United States settle before trial. Knowing how many on a particular topic were filed, how many settled, when they settled, and on what terms clearly would be useful to a lawyer advising a client. Big Data could make it possible — yet this type of research is generally ignored by lawyers, says James Wendell of Riddell Williams PS.