Archives for Insurance Law

USDC for New Jersey Grants Summary Judgment to Casualty Insurer in Property Coverage Dispute Stemming from Superstorm Sandy for Filing Suit After the Expirationof the Suit Limitations Provision

In G. Matts Hospitality, LLC t/a Sands Motel v. Scottsdale Insurance Company and John Doe 1-100, the Federal District Court of New Jersey addressed a case in which an Insured suedits commercial insurer for property damage caused by Superstorm Sandy. The action was brought more than three years after the Insured received a coverage determination letterfrom the Insurer that partially denied coverage. The Insured filed a Complaint against the Insurer asserting a cause of action for breach of contract seeking consequential damages due to the alleged failure to pay a covered loss. The Court found that the Insurance Policy’s suit
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New Jersey Appellate Division Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment to Allstate in Declaratory Judgment Action to Determine Liability Coverage Under an Auto Insurance Policy

In Allstate New Jersey Property & Casualty Insurance Company v. Estate of Sean McBride, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court reversed the trial court’s decision that summary judgment be granted to Allstate in a case seeking a declaration that Allstate was not obligated to provide liability insurance coverage to the Estate of McBride for claims arising from a car accident. The trial court had determined that no genuine issues of material fact existed and held that no coverage was available for McBride under the Allstate policy. The Appellate Division disagreed and found that there were genuine issues of material
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USDC for Western District of New York Grants Summary Judgment to Homeowner’s Insurer in Property Coverage Dispute and Finds that Demolition Costs Should Be the Responsibility of the Property Owner

In Porter v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., the District Court for the Western District of New York addressed a case in which Plaintiff brought suit against her homeowner’s insurer following a fire that destroyed the insured property. Plaintiff sought coverage under the policy for replacement cost, rental income, personal property coverage and debris removal. The matter was assigned to a Magistrate Judge, who analyzed the coverage issues and submitted a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) that the Court grant State Farm’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Plaintiff’s claims for replacement cost, rental income and personal property coverage 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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Pennsylvania Supreme Court To Review Superior Court Decision Regarding the Payment of General Contractor Overhead and Profit

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted certiorari in Wintersteen v. Truck Insurance Exchange to examine the appellate court’s holding that general contractor overhead and profit (“GCOP”) was not required to be factored into two homeowners’ actual cash value payments from their insurer for property damage. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s holding that GCOP was required by state law to be included in actual cash value payments. The Supreme Court granted review to address one issue: whether the Superior Court erred as a matter of law in finding that the limitation of payment of GCOP from actual cash value in
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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 Supreme Court Holds That Injured Motorists Cannot Recover PIP Benefits In Excess of Policy PIP Limits

In Haines v. Taft, the New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether injured motorists who chose the $15,000 insurance minimum for PIP benefits can seek admission of evidence regarding medical expenses in excess of the minimum amount. The Court examined whether the New Jersey Legislature intended to deviate from its highly regulated no-fault system of first-party self-insurance to cover medical expenses arising from automobile accidents when it amended the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (“AICRA”) to allow an insured to elect smaller amounts of PIP coverage. Finding that there was no evidence of a clear intent by the Legislature to deviate
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USDC for the Middle District of Florida Holds That A Policyholder Must First Prove Breach of the Policy Before Pursuing a Claim for Bad Faith

In Grey Oaks Country Club v. Zurich American Insurance Company, the District Court for the Middle District of Florida examined whether a policyholder could sustain a cause of action for bad faith against an insurer simultaneously with a coverage action. Relying on well-settled Florida case law, the court held that plaintiff’s bad faith claim was premature because a bad faith cause of action does not accrue until there is a determination of both liability and damages in the coverage case. Accordingly, plaintiff’s bad faith count was dismissed without prejudice. Grey Oaks Country Club brought suit against Zurich for damages to
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New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer in Coverage Dispute Seeking Payment for Personal Property Loss Following a Fire at the Insured Property

In Thomas v. Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, considered a coverage dispute between the insurer and a person living at the insured property for loss of personal property. Plaintiff was not a named insured under the policy and was not a relative of the named insured. The court affirmed the trial court’s award of summary judgment to the insurer, agreeing with the trial court that coverage was not owed because plaintiff was neither a named insured under the policy or a resident of the household who was related to the named insured. Plaintiff
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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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