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Insurance Law

Feb 4, 2020

Insurance: Negligence-Insurers’ Duty Independent of Policy

Plaintiff filed a negligence action against defendant insurers on a claim of negligence, alleging that they negligently hired a contractor to remediate a leak in plaintiff’s home that subsequently caused plaintiff to become ill. The trial court granted summary judgment to defendants, finding that they owed plaintiff no duty independent of the insurance policy. Where […]

Jan 10, 2020

Insurance: Loss Coverage-‘Building Decay’-Cave Storage Facility

Where the primary insurer for the operator of an underground limestone-cave storage facility sought a declaration that losses related to collapses of the cave’s roof were not covered under the relevant policy, the cause of the losses was not “building decay” within the meaning of the policy, so there was no coverage, and the judgment […]

Jan 3, 2020

Insurance: Uninsured-Motorist Coverage-Diversity Action-Declaratory Judgment

Defendant appealed from the denial of his motion for summary judgment and the grant of plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment in a declaratory-judgment action relating to uninsured-motorist-coverage benefits. Where the district court correctly interpreted Missouri law governing UM benefits, it properly granted plaintiff summary judgment. Judgment is affirmed. GEICO Casualty Company v. Wal[...]

Jan 3, 2020

Insurance: ERISA-Denial of Benefits-Discretionary Power

Plaintiff appealed from the adverse grant of summary judgment in her ERISA claim arising from the denial of benefits. Where the plan reserved discretionary power to construe terms or make eligibility determinations, the district court properly granted summary judgment to defendant where there was no abuse of discretion. Judgment is affirmed. Presi v. Ascension Health […]

Dec 26, 2019

Insurance: Equitable Garnishment-Ambiguity

Where insurers challenged a partial summary judgment to respondent awarding an equitable garnishment of more than $5 million to respondent in a dispute arising from respondent’s claims of malicious prosecution and civil-rights violations against a city and police defendants, the trial court did not err in finding that the policy language unambiguously provided coverage for […]

Nov 22, 2019

Insurance: Uninsured-Motorist Coverage-Stacking

Defendant appealed from the declaratory judgment entered in favor of plaintiff, finding that plaintiff was an insured under his father’s uninsured-motorist coverage under four policies issued by defendant and that the UM coverages could be stacked. On appeal, defendant argued that the term “owned” in the policies was not ambiguous and therefore UM coverage was […]

Oct 14, 2019

Insurance: Property Damage-Expert Testimony-Deterioration

Where a homeowner sought coverage for property damage after the brick veneer on an exterior wall of his home collapsed, the grant of summary judgment to the insurer is affirmed because a policy exclusion provides that the policy does not cover losses caused by “wear and tear” and “deterioration,” and the homeowner conceded facts through […]

Sep 18, 2019

Insurance: Underinsured-Motorist Coverage-Exhaustion of Coverage Limits-Stacking

Plaintiff appealed from the dismissal of her claim against defendant, her insurer. Plaintiff suffered severe injuries in a car accident and sought coverage under her underinsured-motorist coverage when the other driver’s policy limits were too low to cover her losses. Defendant paid the policy maximum, but plaintiff demanded three times that amount because her family […]

Sep 18, 2019

Insurance: ERISA-Payment of Benefits to Domestic Partner-Deference to Plan Administrators

Defendants appealed from the declaratory judgment that ruled that defendants paid group life-insurance benefits to the wrong person. Terry Engle died in a car crash while holding accidental death and life-insurance policies with defendants. Defendants contacted Terry’s mother, who informed defendants that Terry lived with a domestic partner; defendants interpreted the plans to consider a [&helli[...]

Sep 18, 2019

Insurance: Motor-Vehicle Accident-Insurer’s Motion to Intervene

Plaintiff suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a rental truck driven by Patricia Hollandsworth and rented by Daniel Clymens. Hollandsworth was moving her belonging from Clymens’ house; Clymens had an auto policy issued by defendant. Hollandsworth rejected defendant’s offer of a defense subject to reservation of rights. Hollandsworth ultimately assigned her rights under […]

Sep 17, 2019

Insurance: D&O Policy-Defense Costs

Where executives of an energy company, who were covered by a directors and officers policy, challenged an adverse grant of summary judgment for the insurer in a declaratory-judgment action seeking to allocate defense costs among insured and uninsured parties, the district court properly considered the only issue properly raised before it, which was the executives’ […]

Sep 5, 2019

Insurance: CGL Policy-Sexual-Abuse Exclusion-Excess Liability Policy

Where an insurer that had issued a commercial general liability policy sought indemnity from the insurer that issued an excess liability policy in a dispute arising from the sexual abuse of a child at the insured’s day care facility, and the excess insurer brought an action seeking a declaratory judgment that the policy’s sexual abuse […]

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