• October 6, 2015

    Zurich Pushes Exclusions For Pipeline Worker's Injuries

    Zurich American Insurance Co. filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in Maryland federal court Monday to determine whether policy exclusions reduce its liability to a Miller Pipeline LLC employee injured by a co-worker from $2 million to just $30,000, or eliminate its liability altogether.

  • October 6, 2015

    Attys Billed $3M Extra In Asbestos Suits, Insurer Says

    A Swiss Re insurer sued Vasquez Estrada & Conway LLP in a California federal court Monday, alleging the firm billed $3 million more than it should have to defend a chemical company in a number of asbestos suits.

  • October 6, 2015

    BCBS Blasts 'Hyperbolic' Reply To Its Carlton Fields DQ Bid

    BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. on Monday slammed another insurer’s attempt to prevent the disqualification of its counsel at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt PA in a dispute over multidistrict antitrust litigation liability, saying the insurer’s supplemental brief was improperly filed and is “filled with hyperboles.”

  • October 5, 2015

    Mold Covered By Texas Co.'s Liability Policy, Ill. Court Says

    An Illinois state appeals court has found that the negligence claims of a group of Texas government employees who sued their building’s constructor over mold exposure are covered under the construction company’s insurance policy, reversing a lower court’s earlier decision. Correction: A previous version of this article reported that the office building was built by Reyna in 2001. The error has been corrected.

  • October 5, 2015

    Oil Rig Salvage Cos. Defend Injury Coverage At 5th Circ.

    Two companies in charge of decommissioning an oil rig when a worker was injured want the Fifth Circuit to uphold a lower court's ruling that the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act did not block insurance coverage for the accident as a result of the wells being inactive.

  • October 5, 2015

    Ex-NFLer Says Retirement Plan Delayed Concussion Benefits

    A former NFL player hit the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Retirement Plan and the Retirement Plan Board with a suit in Maryland federal court claiming the plan wrongfully delayed an award of total and permanent disability benefits for physical an cognitive disabilities suffered as a result of injuries from playing in the NFL. 

  • October 5, 2015

    NJ Senators Call For AG Probe Of Horizon Tiered Plans

    New Jersey lawmakers on Monday called on the state Attorney General to investigate Horizon's plans for a new tiered coverage program and establish a permanent oversight mechanism to ensure its transparency, which they argue has been sorely lacking.

  • October 5, 2015

    Prudential Hit With Contract Suit Over New $444M NJ Tower

    Skanska USA Building Inc. has sued Prudential Financial Inc. for allegedly breaching construction management and price contracts surrounding the insurance giant's new $444-million, 20-story office tower in Newark, N.J., contending that it hasn't been properly paid.

  • October 5, 2015

    USAA Skimped On MedPay Reimbursements, Class Suit Says

    A chiropractic clinic has filed a putative class action alleging United Services Automobile Association broke so-called MedPay automobile insurance contracts by using an alternative method for calculating reimbursements, according to documents removed to Florida federal court Friday.

  • October 5, 2015

    11th Circ. Defect Notice Case May Curb Out-Of-Court Deals

    The Eleventh Circuit is grappling with a building contractor's appeal of a Florida federal judge's ruling that a construction defect claim notice isn't a covered suit under a commercial general liability policy, and attorneys say that an affirmance could lead policyholders to abandon presuit proceedings for fear of incurring steep out-of-pocket costs.

  • October 5, 2015

    New MetLife Debt Fund Lends $86M To Cypress For Minn. Mall

    Texas private equity firm Cypress Equities has scored $86 million in financing from a new MetLife Inc. debt fund for a 1.14-million-square-foot Minneapolis-area mall, according to an announcement on Monday from Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which brokered the deal for the borrower.

  • October 5, 2015

    Title Insurers Accused Of Price-Fixing Scheme In Georgia

    Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. and six other insurers were hit with a proposed class action Friday in Georgia federal court, alleging that they conspired to fix prices for title insurance by quoting customers an artificially inflated list price with no opportunity to negotiate a lower one.

  • October 5, 2015

    BNY Mellon Can't Dodge RMBS Suit Over Loan Docs

    A New York judge on Friday refused a bid by The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. to quash a lawsuit brought by banks, insurers and other investors against BNY Mellon as the trustee of pools of poor-performing residential mortgage-backed securities, saying dismissal would be premature.

  • October 5, 2015

    Contractor Can’t Duck Insurer’s Suit In Navy Software Row

    A Florida federal judge on Friday refused a consulting company’s attempt to throw out its insurer’s suit seeking to deny coverage for a suit accusing the company of ripping off proprietary software and selling its version to the Navy, ruling the insurer can file in Florida because the underlying suit is in the state.

  • October 5, 2015

    Reed Smith Adds Gardere Insurance Recovery Duo In Houston

    Reed Smith LLP added two partners to its insurance recovery group in Houston from Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, who represent corporate clients across the energy, chemical, shipping, financial services and food processing industries among others, the firm said on Monday.

  • October 5, 2015

    WolfBlock Insurer Not Liable For Ex-Partner's Severance Pay

    A Pennsylvania state judge has ruled that an insurer for the defunct Philadelphia-based WolfBlock LLP was not liable for making continued payments on a former partner’s $400,000 severance package after the firm dissolved more than six years ago.

  • October 2, 2015

    Aetna Seeks Sanctions Over Counterclaim In $120M Fraud Suit

    Aetna demanded a Houston-area hospital and its attorneys be sanctioned over its "retaliatory" RICO counterclaim in the insurer's $120 million billing fraud and kickback suit, arguing to a Texas federal judge Friday that the claim is unsupported and copies Aetna's complaint.

  • October 2, 2015

    FBOP Argues It Isn't Subject To Pension Agency's Claims

    Defunct banking company FBOP Corp. on Friday said in Illinois federal court that it should not have to pay a portion of a $265.3 million tax refund to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., arguing the federal government-created retirement income agency is trying to renege on a settlement agreement.

  • October 2, 2015

    Apt. Building's Owner Forged Invoices After Fire, Insurer Says

    Endurance American Specialty Insurance Co. urged a Wisconsin federal judge Friday to dismiss an apartment building owner's suit alleging it undervalued fire damage to the property, claiming the owner submitted forged invoices and gave inconsistent testimony about whether repairs were made.

  • October 2, 2015

    WTC Lease Holders Ask 2nd Circ. For 9/11 Rebuilding Costs

    World Trade Center lease holders urged the Second Circuit on Thursday to reconsider its recent ruling that they couldn’t recover post-9/11 rebuilding costs in a suit seeking to hold airlines and others liable for tort damages.

Expert Analysis

  • Conflicting Insurance Opinions On Burden Shifting

    Kelly Biggins

    Ongoing efforts by insurers to recover amounts paid for uninsured losses after settlement or judgment have resulted in extensive litigation over allocation issues and conflicting opinions have arisen over which party bears the burden of establishing which portion of a settlement or judgment is attributable to covered versus uncovered losses, says Kelly Biggins at Locke Lord LLP.

  • The Ethics Of Using Public Adjusters As Expert Witnesses

    Todd M. Tippett

    There are no Texas cases addressing whether it's ethical for an attorney to present a public adjuster as a witness when the public adjuster is entitled to a contingent fee, but a Texas Center for Legal Ethics opinion and case law from other states help shed some light on this issue, says Todd Tippett at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Kickstarting Information Governance: 3 Ideal Pilot Projects

    Helen Geib

    Picking the low-hanging fruit of old backups, archives and legacy data is an excellent starting point for better information governance, says Helen Geib, general counsel for QDiscovery.

  • New Anti-Laundering Rules May Affect Life Settlement Funds

    Brian T. Casey

    Depending on the circumstances and availability of exemptions, managers of life settlement investment funds may be required to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as investment advisers, which will subject them to anti-money laundering rules recently proposed. It is worth noting that the proposed rules will be applicable to fund managers even if they register with the SEC voluntarily, say Brian Casey and Rober... (continued)

  • The Strike Zone For Breach Of Contract Policy Exclusions

    Gary P. Seligman

    The Northern District of Illinois recently considered whether a contractual liability exclusion barred coverage for a claim by the operator of a minor league baseball team over the failed building of a stadium — which policyholders may try to use in Illinois and elsewhere to urge courts to find a duty to defend notwithstanding broadly worded and broadly applied contract-related exclusions, say Gary Seligman and Jennifer Williams at... (continued)

  • Using Contract Provisions To Shorten The Time To Sue

    Aaron K. Kirkland

    Provisions shortening the time to sue, especially in insurance contracts, can provide case-dispositive arguments that can stop an untimely filed lawsuit before the burdens of discovery begin and provide litigation predictability and business efficiencies, say Aaron Kirkland and Jennifer Cascio at Shook Hardy and Bacon LLP.

  • Will Fla. Abolish The Concurrent Cause Doctrine?

    Jordan W. Jacob

    If the Florida Supreme Court upholds the lower court's decision in Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co. to abolish the concurrent cause doctrine in Florida, it could result in homeowner’s insurance policyholders being deprived of full coverage and the adoption of the unpredictable and very subjective efficient proximate cause standard in Florida, says Jordan Jacob at Berger Singerman LLP.

  • Are Disparate Impact Claims Legally Cognizable Under ECOA?

    Eric Epstein

    While the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project that disparate impact claims are legally cognizable under the Fair Housing Act, it has not ruled on the issue relating to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. If disparate impact theory is applicable to ECOA, then a significantly wider range of entities and transactions may be exposed to such claims, say Eric ... (continued)

  • 7 Tips For Insurance Coverage For Whistleblower Lawsuits

    Arden Levy

    The famous Charles Dickens line about these being the “worst of times” is alarmingly appropriate for American businesses when it comes to the growing number of False Claims Act suits brought by qui tam whistleblowers. Faced with ever-increasing liability, insurance carriers are now desperately trying to close the floodgates by denying FCA insurance recovery claims, says Arden Levy at Miller Friel PLLC.

  • Ways To Treat Texas Progressive Claim Syndrome

    Andrew A. Howell

    In Texas first-party insurance claims, "Progressive Claim Syndrome" is the process of an insured systematically increasing the scope and alleged value of an insurance claim throughout the course of litigation. But as two Texas insurance cases show, there are different ways of diagnosing and treating the Progressive Claim Syndrome, says Andrew Howell at Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.