• October 16, 2017

    Insurer Needn't Defend In $105.7M Well Coverage Suit

    A Texas federal judge ruled Monday that ACE American Insurance Co. has no duty to defend an oil driller hit with a $105.7 million judgment after creating a well that became unusable, saying an exclusion applied to the entire well, and the driller's work couldn't be separated out from the rest.

  • October 16, 2017

    Self-Effacing Judge Asks For Road Map In UnitedHealth Trial

    A California federal magistrate judge overseeing claims that UnitedHealth Group improperly denied coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment told class members at the start of their bench trial Monday that he’s “just some dumb judge” who would need expert testimony on coverage guidelines to give him “a road map” for their case.

  • October 16, 2017

    Excess Insurer Must Face $4M Data Breach Coverage Suit

    A California state judge on Friday ruled that Cottage Health System's excess insurance carrier must face the hospital network's suit seeking coverage for more than $4 million in data breach-related costs, rejecting the insurer's argument that the action is premature because Cottage's primary insurance policy hasn't been exhausted.

  • October 16, 2017

    Celanese's $2.4M Coverage Award Nixed By Mass. Court

    A Massachusetts appeals court on Monday vacated a decision ordering OneBeacon to repay Celanese Corp. for about $2.4 million the chemical company had paid to defend asbestos and other personal injury claims, finding that Celanese lost its right to reimbursement when it refused to let the insurer take control of its defense.

  • October 16, 2017

    9th Circ. Urged To Punt MetLife Disclosure Issue To State

    A proposed class of consumers told the Ninth Circuit on Monday that the California Supreme Court should weigh in on whether MetLife and other insurers are exempt from disclosing compound interest charges on policy loans, arguing that the state law at issue is unclear and prior case law doesn’t provide much guidance on the issue.

  • October 16, 2017

    Insurer's Dispute With Firm Belongs In State Court: Judge

    A New Jersey federal judge on Monday dismissed an insurer’s complaint seeking to dodge coverage of a lawsuit accusing Connolly Connolly & Heun LLP of estate mismanagement, ruling that the action belongs in state court, where the mismanagement claim is lodged.

  • October 16, 2017

    Insurers Sue Saudi Arabia For $1.5B In Losses After 9/11

    A group of 17 insurance companies from the U.S., Europe and Canada sued Saudi Arabia, two Saudi financial institutions and the construction company founded by Osama bin Laden’s father on Friday in New York federal court over their alleged roles in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, seeking compensation exceeding $1.5 billion.

  • October 16, 2017

    Insurer Must Pay Med Mal Judgment Against Absent Doctor

    A doctor’s failure to take part in his malpractice trial does not excuse his insurance company from its duty to pay into the $2.6 million judgment against him, a Maryland federal court found Monday.

  • October 16, 2017

    Class Seeks Final OK On $98.3M Bon Secours ERISA Deal

    Thousands of class members affected by seven Bon Secours Health System Inc. pension plans that were allegedly in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act asked a Maryland federal court Friday to give final approval to a settlement that would require the health care organization to provide $98.3 million to bolster funding.

  • October 16, 2017

    Wells Fargo Wins Temporary Bar In Client-Poaching Dispute

    A Pennsylvania state judge on Friday agreed to temporarily bar a group of ex-Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. employees from attempting to lure away any of the company’s clients to their own newly formed insurance business.

  • October 13, 2017

    19 AGs Sue Trump Over Halted ACA Subsidies

    Eighteen states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration late Friday over its decision to halt billions of dollars in Affordable Care Act subsidies, saying the sudden move wasn’t explained properly and unconstitutionally disregarded mandatory spending.

  • October 13, 2017

    Cigna Tells 11th Circ. 'Interloper' Is 'Looting' $25M Deal

    Cigna Healthcare Inc. has pressed the Eleventh Circuit to address its concerns that a claims processor misappropriated at least part of $25 million it paid in a class action settlement with medical providers who claimed that it conspired to keep reimbursements low.

  • October 13, 2017

    AIG, Office Depot Case May Limit Coverage In Fraud Cases

    AIG has asked the Ninth Circuit to affirm that a California law precluding coverage for willful acts means Office Depot can’t be indemnified for defense and possible settlement costs in a suit alleging it overbilled public agencies, and attorneys say a decision in favor of the insurer could lead to widespread coverage denials for fraud-based claims.

  • October 13, 2017

    9th Circ. Judge Balks At Blue Shield Customers’ Cert. Bid

    Blue Shield of California customers urged the Ninth Circuit at a hearing Friday to certify a class of beneficiaries who say the insurer illegally refused to cover residential treatment for mental health disorders, prompting one judge to note that the appellate court “isn’t in the business” of making original certification decisions.

  • October 13, 2017

    Trump Executive Actions Make Short-Term ACA Deal Likely

    President Donald Trump’s actions on health care this week will likely drive up premiums nationwide and push insurers out of the Affordable Care Act market exchanges, experts say, bringing “new urgency” to a brewing bipartisan deal to restore premium support and alter insurance rules.

  • October 13, 2017

    Texas Man Arrested In $25M Health Care Fraud Scheme

    A 54-year-old man from Fort Worth, Texas, accused of perpetrating a $25 million health care fraud scheme by submitting false claims for medical services to insurance companies has been arrested by FBI agents, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

  • October 13, 2017

    DC Circ. Partially Remands Barred Broker's Appeal To SEC

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday partially remanded a former Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. broker-dealer’s appeal of a lifetime ban by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for filing false expense reports, asking the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to consider whether the punishment was excessive.

  • October 13, 2017

    Chartis Unit Seeks To Reverse $25M Flood Payment Order

    A Chartis Inc. unit Thursday asked the Sixth Circuit to find it doesn’t have to pay $25 million for the flood-related shutdown of an auto parts plant in Thailand, saying a flooding sublimit in the policy applies to both property loss and lost production.

  • October 13, 2017

    Travelers Unit Says It Needn't Cover Hotel Breach Claim

    A Travelers unit told a Florida federal court Thursday that it has no duty to defend a hotel company's information technology subsidiary against a claim for losses relating to a data breach, saying the situation doesn’t constitute personal injury or property damage covered by a pair of general liability policies.

  • October 13, 2017

    Tax Pros Seeking Clues On Small Captive Insurance Cos.

    As the Internal Revenue Service continues to scrutinize the tax treatment of small captive insurance companies, tax practitioners are looking to a trio of cases before the U.S. Tax Court to discern where the lines will be drawn between legitimate insurers and shams.

Expert Analysis

  • Evolution Of A Crisis: Opioid Claims Pick Up Speed

    Adam Fleischer

    On Sunday, the results of a six-month joint investigation by "60 Minutes" and The Washington Post concluded that "the drug industry, with the help of Congress, turned the opioid epidemic into a full blown crisis." In the coming months, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers are expected to undertake new and innovative efforts to control and disincentivize the use and prescription of opioids, says Adam Fleischer of BatesCarey LLP.

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.

  • Opinion

    Time To Lift Student Loan Counseling Restrictions

    Christopher Chapman

    While it lends more than $100 million each year to our nation’s college students — including law students — the U.S. Department of Education surprisingly limits loan counseling to one-time entrance counseling for first-time student borrowers. Is this rational? asks Christopher Chapman, president of AccessLex Institute, a nonprofit focused on access to legal education.

  • Default Dates Of 1st Exposure Can Lead To Conflict

    Jim Dorion

    Troubling issues can arise when an umbrella or excess insurer refuses to accept claims of primary policy exhaustion because allocation of loss is based on a default date of first exposure. A Connecticut appellate court's decision in Vanderbilt v. Hartford earlier this year shows how practicality and fairness weigh into resolution of DOFE coverage issues, say Jim Dorion of Willies Towers Watson PLC and Stephen Hoke of Hoke LLC.

  • NY Insurance Case Highlights Importance Of Specific Wording

    Alexander Bandza

    The New York Supreme Court's decision in National v. TransCanada last month held that coverage under an "all-risks" policy extended to losses resulting from a precipitating cause that occurred prior to the policy period. This case underscores that the specific wording of an insurance policy can be outcome-determinative, say Jan Larson and Alexander Bandza of Jenner & Block LLP.

  • Why You Should Consider Hyperlinking Your Next Brief

    Christine Falcicchio

    The shift to electronic filing has somewhat eased the task of reviewing briefs and their supporting files. An e-brief takes e-filing to the next level, says Christine Falcicchio, a principal at Strut Legal Inc.

  • Series

    What I Learned In My 1st Year: Listen Carefully, Speak Up

    Marcy Rothman

    When I graduated from law school, I landed at an old-line firm in the Golden Triangle of Texas. Two significant things happened to me around that time. One pertained to learning to listen, and the other pertained to refusing to participate in what I heard, says Marcy Rothman of Kane Russell Coleman Logan PC.

  • The Clock Is Ticking For US Reinsurance Credit Laws

    David Alberts

    Last month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Trade Representative and the European Union executed the covered agreement finalizing approaches regarding controversial areas of insurance regulation. The U.S. must begin deliberations on the federal preemption of state insurance laws inconsistent with the covered agreement by July 2020, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Asian-Americans Facing Challenges In The Legal Industry

    Goodwin Liu

    Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing minority in the legal profession, but recent studies confirm their underrepresentation among partners, prosecutors, judges and law school administrators. We must take action, say Goodwin Liu, associate justice of the California Supreme Court, and Ajay Mehrotra of the American Bar Foundation.

  • A BigLaw Ladies’ Guide To Becoming A 1st-Chair Trial Lawyer

    Sarah Rathke

    Judge Shira Scheindlin recently published an op-ed in The New York Times discussing the statistical truth that law firms have poor representation of female attorneys as first-chair trial lawyers. Backed by data collected by the New York State Bar Association, Judge Scheindlin’s observation is not merely anecdotal. But it doesn’t have to be inevitable, says Sarah Rathke, a partner and trial lawyer at Squire Patton Boggs LLP.