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  • April 15, 2014

    3 Govs. Rip 'Political Theater' On Medicare Advantage Rates

    The Republican governors of Florida, Texas and Louisiana on Tuesday sent a letter to President Barack Obama, saying a recent announcement by his administration that Medicare Advantage plans can expect a payment increase instead of a rate cut was "political theater" and urging him to work with Congress to strengthen the program. 

  • April 15, 2014

    11th Circ. Affirms Chartis Win In Junk Fax Coverage Row

    The Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's decision that Chartis Specialty Insurance Co. was not required to defend a Florida maintenance and repair parts company against allegations that it violated the law through a “junk fax” campaign.

  • April 14, 2014

    Kaiser Refused Closed Hearing On $4M Mental Health Fine

    An administrative law judge on Friday denied Kaiser Permanente’s attempt to block the public and journalists from an upcoming hearing over a $4 million fine that California had levied against the health plan provider for its deficient mental health services.

  • April 14, 2014

    Shamoun Seeks $1M In Coverage In Malpractice Suit

    Ironshore Indemnity Inc. has removed to Texas federal court a $1 million suit in which Shamoun & Norman LLP accuses it of failing to cover the firm and its managing partner over allegations they breached their fiduciary duties to a former client, a Monday filing said.

  • April 14, 2014

    In AIG Row, 6th Circ. Draws Hard Line On Halting Arbitration

    The Sixth Circuit last week quashed an unusual ruling that froze an ongoing reinsurance arbitration between Meadowbrook Insurance Group members and an American International Group Inc. unit, sending a clear signal that courts should not interrupt arbitration proceedings even under exceptional circumstances.

  • April 14, 2014

    AIG Says Sinkholes Fell Outside Texas Brine Policy Period

    Two American International Group Inc. units on Monday asked a federal judge to find they have no duty to cover salt producer Texas Brine Co. in litigation over the company’s alleged responsibility for a potentially dangerous 2012 Louisiana sinkhole that led to forced evacuations.

  • April 14, 2014

    CBO Predicts Sizable Long-Term Rise For ACA Premiums

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on Monday updated its appraisal of how the Affordable Care Act will impact corporate coffers, predicting that health insurance companies will raise premiums significantly after financial protections expire and that the law’s employer mandate won’t collect as many penalties as once thought.

  • April 14, 2014

    Fed. Circ. Upholds $1.8M Judgment In Lumber Customs Row

    The Federal Circuit on Monday kept Millenium Lumber Distribution Co. Ltd. and XL Specialty Insurance Co. on the hook for more than $1.8 million plus interest, affirming a finding that the lumber company breached U.S. customs bonds on timber shipments from Canada. 

  • April 14, 2014

    Chicago Insurance Not Liable For $1.75M Malpractice Verdict

    A District of Columbia federal judge on Thursday let a professional liability insurer off the hook from covering medical malpractice law firm Paulson & Nace PLLC and two of its attorneys in a $1.75 million legal malpractice action, finding that the insurer isn’t liable under D.C. law.

  • April 14, 2014

    Metlife To Pay $2M To End Financial Reps' Overtime Suit

    Metlife Inc. has agreed to pay $1.97 million to settle a proposed class action alleging the company stiffed its financial service representatives on overtime pay, forced them to pay business costs, and confiscated commissions if they quit or were fired too early, according to documents filed Friday in California federal court.

  • April 14, 2014

    QBE Spars With Insurers Over Discovery For Kickback Row

    QBE Holdings Inc. told a New York court Friday that two American International Group Inc. affiliates were merely creating a “sideshow” by seeking discovery in a coverage battle over claims that the force-placed insurance giant paid improper kickbacks to banks.

  • April 14, 2014

    FDIC Demands $25M In Coverage For WaMu Mortgage Fraud

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. filed a federal lawsuit Friday seeking $25 million in coverage under three financial institution bond policies to defray losses defunct Washington Mutual Bank suffered in a criminal New York real estate fraud run by an associate of disgraced U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

  • April 14, 2014

    Aspen Spurns $3.2B Buyout Bid From Rival Insurer Endurance

    Aspen Insurance Holdings Inc. on Monday swiftly rejected an unsolicited $3.2 billion offer from rival insurer Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd., suggesting the companies could be on the cusp of a public M&A battle after months of closed-door talks.

  • April 11, 2014

    Fla. House Passes Sinkhole Insurance Repair Bill

    The Florida House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill establishing a mandatory sinkhole repair program for Citizens Property Insurance Corp. policyholders aimed at reducing the state-owned insurer's losses.

  • April 11, 2014

    Va. Same-Sex Marriage Ban Can't Stand, AG Says

    Every federal court to decide whether states' same-sex marriage bans pass constitutional muster since the U.S. Supreme's landmark Windsor decision has struck those prohibitions down, Virginia's attorney general told the Fourth Circuit yesterday, backing a finding that his state's ban was unconstitutional.  

  • April 11, 2014

    State Farm Can't Cut Treble Damages In Katrina FCA Suit

    A Mississippi federal judge refused Thursday to reduce a treble damages award against State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. in long-running False Claims Act litigation in which whistleblowers alleged the insurer submitted fraudulent Hurricane Katrina claims to the National Flood Insurance Program.

  • April 11, 2014

    Antitrust Claims Tossed From AXA Broker Contract Row

    A New York federal judge on Thursday nixed the antitrust claims in a lawsuit brought by a former employee against insurance company AXA Advisors LLC, saying the insurance agent failed to prove the company’s broker-dealer agreement had anti-competitive effects on the insurance broker labor market.

  • April 11, 2014

    Obama's HHS Pick Is Nod To Hands-On Leadership

    The Obama administration's Friday nomination of the Office of Management and Budget's director to helm the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was an acknowledgement of the need for detail-oriented oversight, a skill that seemed sorely lacking during the Affordable Care Act rollout last year until a former OMB chief stepped in to help save the day.

  • April 11, 2014

    Penn Mutual Ducks Lawsuit Claiming It Kept Surplus Profits

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Friday dismissed a class action alleging Pennsylvania Mutual Life Insurance Co. cheated policyholders out of more than $5 million by holding on to profits rather than distributing them, ruling the issue is under the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s discretion.

  • April 11, 2014

    Bed Bath & Beyond Insurer Says Firepot Injuries Not Covered

    Safety National Insurance Co. filed suit Tuesday in New Jersey federal court, seeking a ruling that it doesn’t have a duty to defend Bed Bath & Beyond in injury lawsuits over defective firepots sold at its stores because a different policy should provide the coverage. 

Expert Analysis

  • Flight 370: Restoring Credibility Through Prompt Redress

    Robert Alpert Sr.

    Assuming searchers find the flight data recorder and cockpit recorder, the investigation into Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will likely take months or possibly years. There is no reason to force the victims' families to undergo extended litigation and agony over financial compensation — particularly in light of what they have had to experience since March 8 — when there is a more reasonable, legally viable, humane and predictable path to follow, says crisis management attorney Robert Alpert Sr. of Morris Manning & Martin LLP.

  • Additional Insured Changes May Impede Risk Allocation

    Daven G. Lowhurst

    A revised suite of additional insured endorsements from Insurance Services Office Inc. may have a significant impact on the insurance rights of participants in a wide variety of industries. While the revised AIEs have clarified some issues in a manner beneficial to policyholders, insurers may assert that other aspects of the new endorsements have narrowed coverage for additional insureds, say Daven Lowhurst and Peter Laun of Jones Day LLP.

  • Policyholders Win In W.Va. Over Consequential Damages

    Paul Stockman

    The Fourth Circuit recently confirmed in Graham v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh PA that all West Virginia policyholders can be fully compensated for all losses from an insurer’s breach of contract. The court's ruling is a reaffirmation of state law and it's reasonable to expect subsequent decisions will permit policyholders to recover from such losses, say Paul Stockman and Brian Root of McGuireWoods LLP.

  • As E-Discovery Goes Global, Japan And South Korea Catch Up

    David Sannar

    More and more countries are beginning to adopt rules and procedures governing e-discovery. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Asia-Pacific region, which is seeing a relatively rapid rise in the use of e-discovery. In South Korea and Japan, in particular, e-discovery is becoming more common and better understood, says David Sannar of Catalyst Repository Systems.

  • Creative Damages Theories In Bad Faith Cases Take A Hit

    David Schoenfeld

    In a ruling underscoring several significant limitations on the availability of extracontractual remedies in bad faith litigation, a Minnesota district court recently denied 3M Co. equitable relief on its claim that insurers breached their implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The case's elemental principle should continue to check the creative search by policyholder counsel for new bad faith remedies, says David Schoenfeld of Grippo & Elden LLC.

  • Legal Needs To Rethink Its Dropbox Account

    David Houlihan

    While there’s a lot of promise in the technology, when I talk to legal organizations using a mobile cloud content platform, they’re using a free Dropbox account. In fact, according to the 2013 ABA Legal Technology Survey, it’s about 58 percent of legal organizations. This is a problem, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • A Whole Lotta Shaking Going On In Central US

    Shannon M. O'Malley

    Earth movement is not a risk associated with central U.S. states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas. Recently, however, these states have experienced a dramatic increase in the number of registered earthquakes, which raises the question whether insurers are paying attention, says Shannon O'Malley of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • How Law Firms Can Stay Profitable While Clients Cut Costs

    Raymond J. Werner

    With clients actively taking steps to control legal costs, law firm managers have spent a lot of time and energy over the recent years doing the same thing — being more intelligent about expenses so the firm stays profitable. However, the other side of the profit equation — the addition of fee revenue — is where the ongoing focus needs to be, says Raymond Werner of Arnstein & Lehr LLP.

  • Pa. Divide Over Employer Liability Exclusion May Be Ending

    Michael S. Savett

    In Pennsylvania, an employer's liability exclusion application is complicated when a policy covers multiple insureds and the injured worker sues a nonemployer insured. Until recently, there was a clear split among state and federal courts, however, after a recent decision from a federal judge in Philadelphia, the delicate balance seems to have shifted in favor of policyholders, says Michael Savett of Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton LLC.

  • Leveling The Playing Field For Small Business

    Michael Lewis

    Entrepreneurs have always occupied a special status in the business world, revered for their willingness to venture into an unknown future with little more than an idea and a commitment to hard work. However, while starting and succeeding in a small business has always been difficult, today's American entrepreneurs face even greater challenges than their predecessors, say Michael Lewis and Andrew Schrage of