Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds That Vehicle Dismantling Exclusion Does Not Apply to Liability Insurance Claim Regarding Fueling Accident

In Tuscarora Wayne Ins. Co. v. Hebron, Inc., the Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed a declaratory judgment action brought by a commercial general liability insurer regarding an incident at the insured’s vehicle dismantling facility. While one of the policyholder’s employees was fueling a flatbed truck, a fire started that caused damage to the facility, as well as neighboring vehicles and businesses. The subject policy contained an endorsement providing that the insurance did not apply to “property damage arising out of” the policyholder’s operations, which were identified as “vehicle dismantling.” The term “vehicle dismantling” was not defined in the policy. The liability
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New Jersey Appellate Division Holds That Restaurant Landlord Is Not Liable for Accident Resulting from Obstruction of Doorway

In Gross v. Fotinos Enterprises, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, examined an action arising from an accident at a restaurant where the plaintiff worked. The plaintiff tripped and fell over a cinder block used to prop open an exterior door at the restaurant, sustaining injuries to her arm and shoulder. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the building’s landlord, claiming that the landlord breached a duty to inspect the property pursuant to the lease agreement and enforce lease violations. The lease agreement was a triple-net lease that required the lessee to maintain and repair the property. The
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New Jersey Appellate Division Holds That Condominium Association Has No Duty to Plow Roadways During Snowstorm

In Kerton v. Society Hill at Droyers Point Condo. Ass’n, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division examined a lawsuit arising from an accident at a condominium development. After responding to a medical emergency during a snowstorm, a police officer slipped on a snow-covered road, landing on her back and hitting her head on the road. The police officer sued the condominium association and the contractor retained to remove snow from the development. Under the terms of its contract with the association, the contractor was required to plow snowfalls of two inches or more, and was required to make an
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New York Supreme Court Denies Motion for Protective Order Regarding Instagram Account

In Smith v. Brown, the Supreme Court of Bronx County, New York examined a motion for protective order regarding requests for admissions pertaining to the plaintiff’s Instagram account. The underlying case concerned a motor vehicle accident that purportedly resulted in serious injuries. The defendant served the plaintiff with requests for admission as to whether a certain Instagram account belonged to the plaintiff, whether the plaintiff had recently changed the account to “private,” and whether certain photographs and videos on the account belonged to the plaintiff and were taken after the subject accident. While most of the photographs on the account
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Pennsylvania Federal Court Holds Shopping Center Tenant’s Insurer Has No Duty to Defend Landlord and Property Manager as Additional Insureds With Regard to Accident That Occurred Outside Tenant’s Premises

In Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Selective Ins. Co. of America, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania considered a demand for defense and indemnification of a lawsuit concerning an accident at a shopping center. An employee of a tenant was seriously injured after falling on a purportedly defective sidewalk outside the tenant’s establishment during a break from work. The employee and his wife filed a negligence action against six entities that owned and/or managed the center. These entities referred the action to their liability insurer, which in turn demanded defense and indemnification from the tenant’s
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Eastern District of Pennsylvania Holds Insurer’s Denial of Uninsured Motorist Claim Brought by Policyholder Injured While Attempting to Prevent Robbery Was Not in Bad Faith

In Smerdon v. Geico Cas. Co., the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania examined an automobile insurer’s denial of an uninsured motorist claim. The claim concerned injuries sustained by the policyholder when she attempted to apprehend a robber of a store. Along with several other individuals, the policyholder chased the robber into the store’s parking lot. After the robber entered the vehicle, the policyholder opened the passenger door in an attempt to remove the keys from the ignition. The robber then started the vehicle, running over the policyholder and causing her to suffer serious injuries that
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California Appellate Court Reinstates Regulation Stipulating That Unfair Insurance Practices Act Claim May be Based Upon a Single Violation

In Pacificare Life and Health Ins. Co. v. Jones, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District reversed a trial court decision enjoining three recent regulations enacted by the California Insurance Commissioner with regard to the unfair claims settlement provisions of the state’s Unfair Insurance Practices Act. The first regulation at issue stated that the Act may be violated if a prohibited claims settlement practice is either “knowingly committed on a single occasion,” or “performed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice.” The plaintiff insurer contended that this regulation was inconsistent with the Unfair Insurance Practices
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Middle District of Florida Applies Bar/Tavern Exclusion to Claim Tendered by Security Company

In Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. Tactic Security Enforcement et al., the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida examined a claim for the defense and indemnification of two lawsuits against the policyholder security company, alleging inadequate security with regard to shooting incidents at a facility where the policyholder provided services. The subject policy contained language excluding coverage for “[a]ny and all operations involving bars, taverns, gentlemen’s clubs and nightclubs.” The plaintiff insurer brought an action seeking a declaratory judgment that it was not required to provide coverage. At trial, the sole issue for the jury was
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New Jersey Court Remands Summary Judgment in Favor of Insurers in Superstorm Sandy Policy Dispute Due to Trial Court’s Failure to Specify Grounds for Decision

In Doerfler v. Federal Ins. Co., the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court examined lawsuits brought by a policyholder against two insurers with regard to the denial of claims for damage to a residence arising from Superstorm Sandy. In each case, the insurer had denied coverage based upon the policy’s surface water exclusion. The policyholder asserted breach of contract and bad faith claims against the insurers. The bad faith claims were severed pending resolution of the breach of contract claims. Following discovery, the trial court granted the defendant insurers’ motions for summary judgment and denied the plaintiffs’ cross-motions
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Pennsylvania Superior Court Reverses $21 Million Verdict Against Automobile Insurer Regarding Decision to Repair Rather Than Total Vehicle

In Berg v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., the Pennsylvania Superior Court examined a lengthy dispute arising from a first-party automobile insurance claim. After an accident, the initial damage estimate determined that the insured vehicle should be declared a total loss. The insurer subsequently concluded that the vehicle was repairable and directed a collision facility to undertake repairs. The plaintiff policyholders alleged that the repairs were insufficient and that the vehicle was left with permanent frame damage rendering it unable to withstand a collision. The policyholders filed suit against the insurer and repair facility, asserting claims for breach of contract, insurance
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