• March 3, 2015

    FEMA, Insurers Settle Wave Of Sandy Homeowner Claims

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency and insurance companies that participated in the agency's “Write Your Own” program have settled the first wave of cases alleging the insurers wrongly slashed homeowners’ Hurricane Sandy payouts, according to a filing Monday, the same day senators called for hearings into the handling of Sandy claims.

  • March 3, 2015

    Travelers' Asbestos Exclusion Not Enforceable, Judge Says

    An asbestos exclusion written into a pair of excess insurance policies issued to General Refractories Co. by Travelers Casualty & Surety Co.'s predecessor does not bar coverage for scores of asbestos-related lawsuits, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Tuesday, saying the exclusion is ambiguous and must be construed in the policyholder's favor.

  • March 3, 2015

    Nelson Brown, Lewis Brisbois Can't End Atty-Laptop Suit

    Embattled insurance boutique Nelson Brown & Co. and Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP have failed to make headway in a suit claiming former Nelson Brown attorneys took company laptops containing clients’ confidential information when they joined Lewis Brisbois.

  • March 3, 2015

    Insurer Says Property In Pot Farm Case Was 'Entrusted'

    United Specialty Insurance Co. told a New York federal court Monday that a criminal activity policy exclusion bars coverage for a realty company's property damage claim stemming from a tenant's alleged marijuana growing operation, arguing that the realty company wrongly claims it didn't "entrust" the property to the tenant.

  • March 3, 2015

    US Seeks More Time To Respond To MetLife SIFI Suit

    The Financial Stability Oversight Council on Tuesday asked a Washington, D.C., federal judge for more time to respond to a suit filed by MetLife Inc. seeking to overturn its designation as a systemically important financial institution and indicated.

  • March 3, 2015

    Tax IG Says ACA Tax Credit Fraud Could Be ‘Budget Buster’

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury's inspector general for tax administration said Tuesday his auditors are investigating the potential for abuse of the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits for health insurance premiums and said fraudulent credits have the potential to be a “budget buster.”

  • March 3, 2015

    Bank Not Covered For $2M Ponzi Scheme Losses: 8th Circ.

    The Eighth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's ruling that a Minnesota-based bank isn't covered under a BancInsure Inc. financial institution bond for $2 million in losses it suffered in connection with an elaborate equipment leasing Ponzi scheme, finding that the bank's loss didn't result directly from a forged guaranty.

  • March 3, 2015

    Homebuyers Take Title Kickback Cert. Row To 9th Circ.

    A group of homebuyers on Tuesday urged the Ninth Circuit to overturn a federal judge's refusal to certify a nationwide class alleging First American Title Insurance Co. paid illegal kickbacks to 38 title agencies, saying the denial was based on misconstruals of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

  • March 3, 2015

    GOP Vows ACA Backup As High Court Arguments Loom

    Congressional Republicans are suddenly floating numerous ideas for overhauling or replacing the Affordable Care Act, a campaign timed to Wednesday’s oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court over the landmark law’s tax credits.

  • March 3, 2015

    Wells Fargo Stole Trade Secrets In Broker Hire, Suit Says

    Wells Fargo is accused of benefiting from stolen trade secrets after hiring an executive from a competing Ohio insurance brokerage and allowing him to solicit customers and staff from his former employer, according to a lawsuit filed in Ohio federal court Monday.

  • March 3, 2015

    Insurers Want $1M For Rail Cars Trashed In Deadly Crash

    Zurich American Insurance Co. and Lexington Insurance Co. are accusing Western Petroleum Co. of refusing to pay about $1.1 million for several leased rail cars destroyed in a 2013 derailment in Canada, according to a removal request filed in Texas federal court Monday.

  • March 3, 2015

    Hanover Liable In Urban Outfitter's IP Suit, 3rd Circ. Told

    The Third Circuit was urged on Tuesday to overturn a decision clearing Hanover Insurance Co. from defending Urban Outfitters Inc. in a copyright infringement suit brought by the Navajo Nation accusing the retailer of pilfering protected American Indian styles and designs for its products.

  • March 3, 2015

    Chamber Says Muddled Financial Regs Hurt Businesses

    America’s largest business association proposed sweeping changes to the federal government’s financial oversight Tuesday, arguing that consumer access to credit and the ability of U.S. businesses to grow is being threatened by an uncoordinated and unclear regulatory system.

  • March 2, 2015

    Ohio Sues BP For $33M In Gas Tank Leak Cleanup Costs

    Ohio’s attorney general and a state board that pays to clean up underground gas tank leaks filed suit against BP on Monday alleging the oil company double-dipped by filing claims to both the board and its insurance companies to cover more than $33 million in cleanup costs.

  • March 2, 2015

    NY School District Can't Revive Insurance Suit At 2nd Circ.

    The Second Circuit on Monday refused to revive a New York school district's suit against Colonial Surety Co. over the insurer's alleged failure to ensure that electrical work at a middle school would be completed after the contractor on the project filed for bankruptcy, finding the district's claims are time-barred.

  • March 2, 2015

    Unapproved Deal Dooms OneWest's Suit, Insurer Tells Judge

    Houston Casualty Co. on Monday urged a California federal judge to toss OneWest Bank FSB's suit alleging the insurer wrongfully refused to cover the bank's costs in a mortgage-backed securities suit, saying OneWest failed to obtain its required written approval prior to reaching a settlement.

  • March 2, 2015

    High Court Denies Same-Day Release Of ACA Arguments

    C-SPAN on Monday announced that the U.S. Supreme Court has denied its request for a same-day release of its audio recording of Wednesday’s much anticipated oral arguments in King v. Burwell, which will decide the future of Affordable Care Act tax credits.

  • March 2, 2015

    Insurer Wins Atty Fees In DBSI Investor's Bad Faith Suit

    A Montana federal judge ruled Friday that New York Marine and General Insurance Co. didn't act in bad faith in its handling of an investor's claim against an accounting firm over losses tied to a DBSI Inc. real estate investment vehicle, while awarding the insurer attorneys' fees over a bid to disqualify its counsel.

  • March 2, 2015

    Attys Predict Supreme Court Will Uphold ACA's Tax Credits

    Most of the attorneys who responded to Law360's offer to predict the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in King v. Burwell believe that the high court will side with the Obama administration and rule that tax credits should apply to Affordable Care Act subscribers in all states, even those that had insurance exchanges established by the federal government.

  • March 2, 2015

    Ballard Spahr Snags Ex-Las Vegas DA As New Partner

    Ballard Spahr LLP has lured a former Las Vegas chief deputy district attorney who's well-known for his high-profile work in white collar criminal defense, product liability, insurance and health law to become a new partner in its Phoenix office.

Expert Analysis

  • The Tax Man Cometh For Insurance Cos. In Latest Budget

    William R. Pauls

    The hallmarks of the Obama administration's latest budget for the insurance industry are proposals that would impose a minimum tax on the current foreign earnings of U.S. corporations and their controlled foreign corporations and a one-time 14 percent tax on earnings accumulated in controlled foreign corporations and not previously subject to U.S. tax, says William Pauls of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • The Case For Professionalizing Pro Bono Services

    David A. Lash

    A recent survey shows that lawyers at firms with a pro bono coordinator recorded approximately 50 percent more pro bono hours than did firms without. This "professionalization" of the practice has enabled the legal community to better meet pro bono demand — as it did, for example, when Vice President Joe Biden spoke urgently about the need to address the influx of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, say members of APBCo.

  • The State Of Play In 2015: Year Of The Regulator

    Wm. Randolph Smith

    The federal branch is grabbing all of the levers, every tool at its disposal, to achieve its policy objectives. Supporters of the Obama administration’s policies may applaud, but for businesses, this new use of executive power requires a more sophisticated understanding of the new regulatory paradigms, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Don't Mess With Texas Adjusters In Hail Damage Claims

    Jennifer Gibbs

    The message of One Way Investments Inc. v. Century Surety Company is unmistakable — a policyholder’s factual allegations against an adjuster in a Texas hail claim lawsuit will be carefully scrutinized and baseless allegations made solely to deprive a federal court of jurisdiction will not support a motion for remand, says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • School Is Back In Session — And So Is ACA Compliance

    Cristopher D. Jones

    For applicable large employers in higher education, the key to complying with the Affordable Care Act is determining which of their student employees and adjunct faculty are full-time, which can be especially difficult when considering services provided via distance learning and in online classrooms, say Thomas St. Ville and Cristopher Jones of Miles & Stockbridge PC.

  • NJ Just Set The Standard For Health Data Protection Laws

    Mollie K. O’Brien

    On Jan. 9, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a new law — effective this coming summer — requiring insurance carriers to do more to protect patient information than simply comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It would be reasonable to forecast other states passing similar legislation in the near term, says Mollie O’Brien of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Avoid Spoliation Anxiety With Litigation Readiness Plans

    Dan Meyers

    As courts across the country have recognized, companies that employ formal litigation readiness and document preservation plans have a robust defense to spoliation motions in the event that relevant electronically stored information is nevertheless lost inadvertently, say attorneys with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

  • Lender-Placed Insurance Actions Continue To Simmer

    Robyn C. Quattrone

    While the largest lender-placed insurance class actions have reached settlements, litigation continues at the appellate level, and state and federal regulators continue to show interest in all aspects of LPI. Accordingly, closure of the LPI-related actions that exploded in the wake of the mortgage crisis remains elusive, say Robyn Quattrone and Stephen LeBlanc of BuckleySandler LLP.

  • 2nd Circ. Pushes Against Partial 3rd-Party Payor Payments

    John G. Martin

    The Second Circuit’s decision in Montefiore v. Local 272 Welfare Benefit Fund should give some comfort to health care providers that accept partial payments of disputed reimbursement claims from third-party payors that pay less than the provider believes is due — a common practice of insurance companies and governments, says John Martin of Garfunkel Wild PC.

  • A Project Owner's Primer On Delay In Startup Insurance

    John H. Fontham

    Project owners and financiers are increasingly turning to delay in startup insurance, which can provide risk transfer for power generation and renewable energy, to protect themselves from the financial consequences of delays in completion of large new construction projects, particularly for projects that are financed on a nonrecourse or limited recourse basis, says John Fontham of King & Spalding LLP.