Archives for Complex Insurance Liability

United States District Court for the Western District of New York Grants Summary Judgment to Insurer After Additional Insured Fails to Provide Proof of DamagesDuring Coverage Period

In Welliver McGuire, Inc and Technology Ins. Co. Inc. v. Ace American Ins. Co., the United States District Court for the Western District of New York addressed a case where a general contractor (“Welliver”), brought a declaratory judgment action seeking coverage as an additional insured under Defendant’s (“Ace”) insurance policy with a subcontractor. Holding that the incident giving rise to damages occurred after the termination of the policy, the court granted summary judgment to Ace. This case arose when Welliver was hired to be the general contractor for a construction project for apartment buildings.Pursuant to a contract dated April 30,
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Western District of New York Grants Summary Judgment to Federal Insurance in Suit Brought by an Insured Seeking Additional Criminal Defense Costs Under Insurance Policy

In Korn v. Federal Ins. Co., the District Court for the Western District of New York addressed a case in which an insuredbrought suit against his insurer seeking additional criminal defense costs under his Directors and Officers liability policy. Under the policy, the limits of liability were reduced by the payment of defense costs. The insured sued Federal Insurance Company after the policy limits were exhausted during six years of litigation by the defense costs and he owed defense counsel additional amounts. After analyzing the evidence submitted by both parties, which included the policy, emails exchanged by the parties, and
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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Grants Summary Judgment to National Fraternity Organization and Local Fraternity Chapter in Survival and Wrongful Death Action

In Hall v. Millersville University, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment to the Acacia National Fraternity (“Acacia”) and Acacia Fraternity, Millersville (“Chapter 84”) in a survival and wrongful death action filed by the estate of a student (“Hall”)who was murdered by her boyfriend (“Orrostieta”) in her university dorm after attending a fraternity party together. The court found that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had “unequivocally held that a national fraternity is not liable under the social host doctrine for acts of its chapters.” The court also found that although the social host doctrine
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Commonwealth Court of PA Affirms Commissioner’s Holding that PLHIGA Act Provision Authorizing PLHIGA to Make Assessments Against Medicare Parts C and D Premiums is Preempted by Federal Law

In Pennsylvania Life & Health Ins. Guar. Ass’n v. Pennsylvania Ins., the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania addressed an appeal by the Pennsylvania Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association (PLHIGA) of the decision by the Insurance Commissioner (“Commissioner”) to sustain the appeals of nine member health insurers and reverse assessments imposed by PLHIGA on the health insurers’ Medicare Parts C and D premium accounts. During the initial agency adjudication, the Commissioner determined that the assessments, which PLHIGA imposed on all member insurers pursuant to its enabling act, were preempted by federal law. The Commonwealth Court agreed with the Commissioner’s order and
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New Jersey Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court Ruling That A Tenant’s Insurer Has No Duty to Provide Coverage to a Landlord’s Real Estate Manager As An Additional Insured

In Diaz v. Chrys S. Norwood Family, LP, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to an insurer in a personal injury suit that included a declaratory judgment cross-claim by one of the defendants for insurance coverage. In this case, the Plaintiff was an employee of a tenant who was injured when he slipped on ice and brought suit against the landlord, the landlord’s property manager, and another third party. The property manager sought defense and indemnification from the tenant’s insurer as an additional insured on the basis that the tenant’s policy included coverage
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New Jersey Appellate Court Affirms Insured Win in Declaratory Judgment Action on Basis That the Language of the Assault and Battery Exclusion Was Ambiguous

In CMS Investment Ventures, Inc. et al. v American European Insurance Company et al., the New Jersey Appellate Division examined a trial court’s granting of declaratory judgment in favor of an insured. The insured landlord filed a claim for defense and indemnification after a tenant who was sexually assaulted in her apartment filed suit under a theory of premises liability. The insurer denied coverage under the Assault and Battery Exclusion of the policy. The trial court found in favor of the insured, holding that the Exclusion was ambiguous and that the insurer was estopped from denying coverage due to a
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New Jersey Grants Summary Judgment to Insurer in Coverage Dispute by Another Insurer Seeking Reimbursement of Defense and Indemnification Costs for a Mutual Insured

In Ace American Insurance Company v. Penn National Insurance Company, the New Jersey Superior Court, Bergen County, considered a coverage dispute between two insurers providing insurance to a mutual insured for reimbursement of defense and indemnification costs associated with the settlement of a suit against the insured general contractor. The court held that the suit was barred by the applicable six-year statute of limitations, which began to accrue when an enforceable settlement was reached in the underlying action, and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant insurer. In this case, Ace provided general liability insurance to the insured, while
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Eastern District of Pennsylvania Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Action Brought by Insurer to Determine Its Duty to Defend and Indemnify as Premature

In First Specialty Insurance Corp. v. Hudson Palmer Homes, Inc., the district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania considered a declaratory judgment action brought by an insurer to determine the scope of its duty to defend and indemnify the insured, a home builder, in connection with ten construction defect lawsuits brought against it. None of those cases had been ruled upon when the declaratory judgment action was filed. The insured filed a Motion to Dismiss on the basis that the insurer’s action was not ripe for adjudication. The court, applying the three factors set forth in Step-Saver Data Sys.,
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New Jersey Appellate Division Finds in Favor of Tenant and its Insurer in Coverage Dispute Between a Tenant and Its Insurer Against the Landlord

In Lopez v. Palin Enterprises, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, considered a tenant’s duty to defend its landlord against a personal injury suit brought by the tenant’s employee. In this insurance coverage dispute, the landlord filed a third-party action against the tenant and its insurer, Wausau, seeking primary coverage as an additional insured under the Wausau policy and contractual indemnification from the tenant. The trial court determined that Wausau was required to provide the landlord with primary coverage and that the tenant was required under the terms of the lease to indemnify the landlord for its own negligence.
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New Jersey Law Division Holds That Waiver in Condominium Bylaws Precludes Insurer of Unit From Pursuing Subrogation Claim Against Condominium Association

In Universal North American Ins. Co. v. Bridgepointe Condominium Ass’n, the Law Division of the New Jersey Superior Court for Middlesex County examined a subrogation action brought by an insurer arising from a fire at a condominium unit. After paying a claim for damage to the unit, the insurer commenced a subrogation action against the condominium association and other entities for the failure to maintain the property. The condominium association filed a motion for summary judgment, contending that its by-laws precluded insurers of condominium residents from pursuing subrogation claims against the association. The Court began its analysis of the motion
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