Obama Administration Seeking Full D.C. Circuit Rehearing to Address Obamacare Circuit Split; Plaintiffs in Fourth Circuit Seek Cert from Supreme Court

On Friday, August 1, the Obama Administration filed its much anticipatedpetition for rehearing en banc with the D.C. Circuit in Halbig v. Burwell.  The petition asks for the full D.C. Circuit bench to reconsider and overturn the original ruling by the three judge panel based on a what the Administration has characterized as a misconstruction of the statutory language at issue.

The D.C. Circuit’s three judge panel determined that the Affordable Care Act provision permitting subsidies unambiguously restricts its applicability only to state-based …

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NAIC Launches “Protecting the Future” to Highlight the Benefits of State-based Insurance Regulation and Issues RFP for Outside Consultant

On July 16, 2014, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) announced it was launching an educational initiative called “Protecting the Future” to educate the public and other insurance supervisory bodies on the benefits of the U.S. state-based system of insurance regulation.  This program is being “deployed in Washington, D.C.; Brussels, the capital of the European Union; and in Basel, Switzerland, the seat of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) for the G-20.”

The announcement notes that “[o]f the 50 largest insurance markets in the world, …

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Eighth Circuit Keeps the Faith: Utmost Good Faith Admiralty Insurance Rule Cannot be Pre-empted

Thursday July 17, Judge Murphy of the Eighth Circuit concluded that the doctrine of utmost good faith is a judicially established federal admiralty rule, thus preempting the application of state laws.

In February of 2011, The Mark Twain, a cement barge, sank to the bottom of the Mississippi River.  Just four months prior, its owner, Continental Cement Co, applied to Starr Indemnity & Liability for a marine insurance policy to cover all of its barges.  Continental, however, neglected to submit a 2008 general condition survey …

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New York Court Reaffirms Limitations on Policy Claims Arising Out of Superstorm Sandy

In Sikarevich Family L.P. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-cv-05564, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92254 (E.D.N.Y. July 3, 2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York addressed a policyholder’s claims for:  (1) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (2) unjust enrichment, (3) consequential damages, and (4) punitive damages.  Notably, the policyholder alleged a breach of contract cause of action. The policyholder’s claims arose out of Nationwide’s denial of coverage for the policyholder’s first party …

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Primary Insurer Cannot Use Equitable Indemnification To Rewrite Unambiguous Terms Of Its Policy

The plaintiff, Arch Insurance Company (Arch), brought a declaratory judgment action against Illinois Union Insurance Company and Harleysville Worcester Insurance Company the defendants, seeking indemnification for payments made to settle a personal injury claim brought by Enio Rodrigues, an employee of the defendants’ insured, Erie Painting & Maintenance, Inc., against Arch’s insured, the New York State Thruway Authority (Authority).

The court found, and Arch conceded, that Arch could not seek contribution from other insurers for its payment to the Authority because the terms of the …

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The Latest Insurance Law Decisions – Goldberg Segalla’s CaseWatch: Insurance is Now Available

Please click here for the latest edition of CaseWatch Insurance.

CaseWatch: Insurance provides timely summaries of and access to insurance law decisions and legislation.  For ease of reference, we have organized cases by topic.

If you would like to receive future editions of CaseWatch: Insurance directly by email, please contact Sarah Delaney at [email protected].…

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‘Super Sized’ Ruling: IL Federal Court Upholds Application of ‘Super’ Intellectual Property Exclusion Under Coverage B

In Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. Dental USA, Inc., No. 13-C-7637, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85529 (N.D. Il. June 24, 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently upheld as enforceable and not against public policy a “super” intellectual property exclusion.

The coverage dispute arose out of the following circumstances.  Since 2008, Dental USA, Inc. had been insured by Hartford Insurance Company, which issued general liability policies for Dental’s business as a supplier of dental instruments. Dental commenced two lawsuits …

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“Other Insurance” Analysis Unnecessary If Policies Do Not Insure The Same Risk At The Same Level Of Coverage

This coverage dispute between the plaintiff,  Progressive, and the defendant, St. Paul, concerns their respective rights and obligations to their mutual insured Sonoma Valley Bancorp, in an underlying lawsuit. Progressive covered the cost of the defense and settlement of the underlying lawsuit and now seeks contribution from St. Paul.

The court noted that Progressive’s policy was a primary policy, with an “other insurance” provision. On the other hand, St. Paul’s policy was an excess and umbrella policy with an “other insurance” clause obligating St. Paul …

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Insurers’ Disclaimer Involving Environmental Damage Not Subject To Insurance Law §3420(d) Notice Requirements

This environmental coverage action involved a dispute over whether the insurers had a duty to provide coverage for the remediation of environmental damage at several manufactured gas plant (MGP) sites formerly owned by Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) and the timeliness of the excess insurers late notice defense asserted as an affirmative defense in its answer.  Defendants issued excess insurance policies to LILCO that required, as a threshold condition for coverage, LILCO to provide prompt notice of any occurrence that potentially implicated defendants’ duty of …

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Superfund Site Results in $3 Million Coverage Row

An Oregon Judge required RLI Insurance to reimburse three other insurers more than $2.9 million in defense costs surrounding litigation over a Portland Oregon Superfund site. The other insurers defended Northwest Pipe Co. in its litigation over the Superfund site after Northwest’s facility was identified as part of the superfund site by the EPA and state departments. Northwest’s insurers expended money in the required investigation of the site and facility as well as the defense to claims brought by the EPA and state agencies.

Northwest …

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