• November 21, 2014

    Texas Court Upholds Marina's $8.7M Verdict In Coverage Spat

    A Texas appeals court has affirmed an $8.7 million jury verdict finding that an insurance broker breached its contract with a marina operator by mistakenly issuing a policy with provisos instead of a blanket coverage plan, which had left the company with few options when its property was hit with a devastating flood.

  • November 21, 2014

    5 Questions To Ask About Your Legal Malpractice Insurance

    A malpractice lawsuit can be an attorney's worst nightmare, putting a lawyer's competency and ethics under the microscope as well as taking an enormous financial toll. But while many firms carry malpractice insurance, few are asking the right questions about what is actually covered under their policy. Here's what law firms and solo practitioners need to ask about their policies before it's too late.

  • November 21, 2014

    Zurich Can't Duck Pipe Defect Coverage Suit

    A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday denied Zurich American Insurance Co.’s bid to toss pipe manufacturer Shaw Group Inc.’s bad faith claims in coverage litigation involving defective product claims, saying the insurer could still be liable for damages even if it finally paid the policy cap.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Top Court: Worker Who Lost Hand Can't Sue Insurer, Yet

    The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that a worker who lost his hand operating a tortilla press can’t sue Essex Insurance Co., because direct actions against insurers are prohibited in Texas until it has been established that an insurer has a legal obligation to pay damages to an injured party. 

  • November 21, 2014

    GOP Hits Obama With Long-Awaited ACA Lawsuit

    The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Friday filed a long-awaited lawsuit against the Obama administration challenging delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate and government payments to health insurance companies under the law.

  • November 20, 2014

    Topa Beats E&O Coverage Suit Over RE Fight In Calif. Court

    A California appeals court Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling dismissing 1st American Warehouse Mortgage Inc.'s bad faith suit over Topa Insurance Co.'s refusal to defend it in a lawsuit stemming from a soured real estate joint venture, saying 1st American's claim isn't covered under its errors and omissions policy.

  • November 20, 2014

    Porter Hayden, AIG Insurers Ink $15M Asbestos Coverage Deal

    Defunct Porter Hayden Co. sought approval Thursday for a $15 million settlement of its asbestos injury coverage dispute with two American International Group Inc. insurers, telling a Maryland federal judge the deal will shield the insurers from future litigation over the asbestos claims and immediately benefit claimants.

  • November 20, 2014

    HHS Admits ACA Enrollment Stats Inflated By 400K

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that it accidentally overstated Affordable Care Act sign-ups by almost 400,000 policies, compounding the Obama admnistration's recent troubles on transparency and prompting Republicans to question whether regulators intentionally inflated the enrollment figures.

  • November 20, 2014

    Reinsurer's Liability Capped In Utica Asbestos Claims Suit

    Clearwater Insurance Co.'s liability under two reinsurance contracts with Utica Mutual Insurance Co. can't exceed $7.5 million, a New York federal judge ruled Thursday in Utica's suit seeking a declaration that the reinsurer must contribute toward a settlement with Goulds Pump Inc. over thousands of asbestos injury claims.

  • November 20, 2014

    Insurer Says Legal Malpractice Cost It Subrogation Win

    Unigard Insurance Co. hit the law firm of Blaser Oleson & Lloyd Chtd. with a legal malpractice suit on Wednesday in Idaho federal court, alleging it faces a malicious prosecution suit from two employees of a paint company accused of theft due to the firm’s failure to prevail in a subrogation suit.

  • November 20, 2014

    United Healthcare Dodges Chiropractor's TCPA Suit

    UnitedHealthcare Inc. on Wednesday ducked a proposed class action brought by a chiropractor alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act after an Illinois federal judge said that the chiropractor’s provider agreement stipulated that his complaint had to be arbitrated.

  • November 20, 2014

    Market Rumors: Alibaba, CGN Power, Medibank

    Alibaba launched a debut $8 billion bond offering amid strong demand, while CGN Power, China's largest nuclear plant operator, has sold a significant chunk of its upcoming $3 billion IPO in Hong Kong to cornerstone investors.

  • November 19, 2014

    House Panel Targets Turmoil In Medicare Pay To Hospitals

    The House Ways and Means Committee's health panel on Tuesday released draft legislation that would create a new Medicare payment structure for short-term hospital admissions, aiming to curtail audits and appeals that have caused enormous turmoil.

  • November 19, 2014

    Lawmakers Urged To Expand Private Flood Insurance Market

    The development of a market for private flood insurance would lessen the burden on taxpayers in the wake of major storms, experts told a congressional panel Wednesday, speaking in support of proposed legislation that would make it easier for privately underwritten flood policies to satisfy federal lending requirements.

  • November 19, 2014

    Hobby Lobby Can't Block New ACA Rules, Judge Says

    An Oklahoma federal judge on Tuesday refused to require that new Affordable Care Act regulations related to birth control be proven valid under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision before they can take effect, saying that they weren’t at issue in the high-profile case.

  • November 19, 2014

    Fewer Chances, More Scrutiny To Slow PE Insurance Plays

    Private equity’s investment in life insurance companies, booming for several years, is expected to cool as high-value opportunities that had sprung after the financial crisis dry up amid state regulators' tighter scrutiny, Fitch Ratings Inc. said in a report Wednesday.

  • November 19, 2014

    Engineering Co. Asks 6th Circ. To Revive Suit Against Insurer

    A Michigan engineering company on Tuesday urged the Sixth Circuit to revive its suit claiming Illinois National Insurance Co. must defend it in underlying litigation over allegedly faulty work on a performing arts center, saying the lower court should have considered evidence not specifically pleaded in the underlying complaint.

  • November 19, 2014

    United Health Likely Can't Duck Patients' ERISA Action

    A California federal judge on Wednesday said he'd likely refuse to toss a proposed class action accusing United Behavioral Health of instituting mental health coverage assessments that violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying he needs to see more evidence before deciding whether the claims are viable.

  • November 19, 2014

    3rd Circ. Mulls ACA Contraceptive Opt-Out's Religious Burden

    A Third Circuit panel questioned Wednesday whether the First Amendment rights of religious employers, including two Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses, were substantially burdened by an Affordable Care Act provision that allows them to avoid providing contraceptive coverage to female employees while also ensuring workers get access to the services.

  • November 19, 2014

    Fla. Court Says Insurer Must Cover Car Dealer Accident

    A Florida state appeals court on Wednesday ordered Essex Insurance Co. to cover Exotic Motorcars and Jewelry Inc. in an accident that took place when Exotic’s owner drove a vehicle to another dealership for an inspection and possible servicing.

Expert Analysis

  • High Court Measures Up Yard-Man In Oral Arguments

    Stuart M. Gerson

    Given the tenor of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett, it is not unlikely that the Yard-Man presumption will be negated, but also that the literalism sought by both parties will be rejected as well, leaving a fact-specific test where there is ambiguity in a collective bargaining agreement, says Stuart Gerson of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Cyberattack Reimbursement Doesn't Require Insurer Consent

    Matthew L. Jacobs

    A Pennsylvania district court's recent ruling in First Commonwealth Bank v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., which involved a cyberattack on an oil company, is significant because it demonstrates that insurance coverage is available when the insured is complying with the law governing its response obligations to hacking, regardless of whether the insured received the insurer’s written consent, say Matthew Jacobs and Daniel Johnson o... (continued)

  • Setback For Pa. Insurers In Product Liability Cases

    Sergio F. Oehninger

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in Indalex v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh Pa. is a substantial hurdle for insurers looking to evade their duty to defend claims arising from negligently designed or faulty products and limits the reach of Kvaerner Metals Division of Kvaerner U.S. Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., say Sergio Oehninger and Michael Levine of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Ambac Ruling Raises New Questions For RMBS Litigators

    R. James De Rose III

    A New York court’s decision in Ambac Assurance Corp. v. EMC Mortgage LLC clarifies the way courts will treat certain direct claims under repurchase provisions in contracts that govern residential mortgage-backed securities, but raises questions about whether they will entertain similar claims directed by an insurer at parties with standing to exercise these same provisions, say attorneys with Locke Lord LLP.

  • Growing Gov't Crackdown On Health Care Fraud: Part 3

    Hilary H. LoCicero

    In light of recent enforcement trends, health care stakeholders that work with government-sponsored health care programs should protect against even the appearance of irregularity in billing, coding and compensation by, among other things, seeking feedback on audits, tracking peer reviews and focusing on informed patient consent, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells US LLP.

  • Growing Gov't Crackdown On Health Care Fraud: Part 2

    Hilary H. LoCicero

    While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has always used data mining tools to track millions of claims, prosecutors and regulators are now using such tools to identify health care practitioners that stand out based on high reimbursement claims under the theory that they are submitting fraudulent charges, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells US LLP.

  • 5 Ways To Uncover Bias During Jury Selection

    Joshua Dubin

    Failing to identify and elicit suppressed biases hinders practitioners’ ability to de-select prospective jurors during jury selection. Five strategies can help mitigate the effects of prospective jurors’ tendency to “self-enhance,” says Joshua Dubin, principal of Dubin Research & Consulting.

  • How Senate Without Filibuster-Proof Majority Avoids Gridlock

    William R. Nordwind

    Even without a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, it is likely to be a very active session for the Republican Congress next year — especially if they take advantage of some key legislative tools available to a congressional majority, say former congressional counsel now with Venable LLP.

  • Growing Gov't Crackdown On Health Care Fraud: Part 1

    Hilary H. LoCicero

    The U.S. Department of Justice's use of the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act and its aggressive view of what constitutes fair market value under the Stark Law point to prosecutors expanding their investigatory reach with a host of aggressive, sometimes novel, interpretations of statutes and regulations, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells US LLP.

  • High Court Likely Won't Affirm 6th Circ. Omnicare Ruling

    Eric C. Scheiner

    Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in Omnicare Inc. v. Laborers District Council suggest that justices on both sides of the political fence appear to be leaning toward applying the middle-ground “reasonable-basis” standard for Section 11 claims. Thus, it seems unlikely that the court will affirm the Sixth Circuit’s decision in the case, say Eric Scheiner and Jennifer Quinn Broda of Sedgwick LLP.