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Jan 15, 2019

Insurance: Duty to Defend and Indemnify-Diversity Jurisdiction-Notice of Nonrenewal

Plaintiff filed a declaratory-judgment action against defendant, its insured, seeking a ruling that it was not obligated to defend and indemnify defendant in a class-action suit against defendant. The district court ruled that the scope of plaintiff’s policy did not cover the claims against defendant. On appeal, the class representative in the underlying class action […]

Jan 15, 2019

Insurance: Disability Insurance-Underlying Cause of Disability-Limitation on Benefits

Plaintiff applied to defendant, her disability insurer, for disability benefits. Defendant concluded that “mental disorders” caused plaintiff’s disability, which limited plaintiff to two years of benefits under her plan. Plaintiff filed suit against defendant but the district court granted summary judgment to defendant. Where plaintiff’s medical record lacked objective findings supporting [...]

Jan 8, 2019

Insurance: Replacement-Cost Homeowner’s Insurance-Deduction of Labor Depreciation-Class Certification

Plaintiffs filed a putative class action challenging defendant’s practice of withholding labor depreciation from actual cash-value payments under defendant’s replacement-cost homeowner- insurance policies. The district court granted plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. On appeal, defendant argued that plaintiffs could not demonstrate predominance and superiority because each plaintiff[...]

Jan 8, 2019

Insurance: Duty to Defend-Individual vs. Official Capacity-Policy Exclusion

Plaintiffs filed suit against defendant, alleging it owed a duty to defend them from an underlying breach-of-contract suit pursuant to an insurance policy upon the corporate plaintiff. The district court granted defendant summary judgment, ruling it had no duty to defend plaintiffs. Where liability arose solely from plaintiff’s contract and defendant’s policy excluded claims for […]

Nov 28, 2018

Insurance: Underinsured Motorist-Coverage Limits-Specified Dollar Amount

Where a driver injured in an auto accident argued that he was entitled to motor-vehicle insurance coverage under a temporary binder of insurance issued to him by insurer, summary judgment for the insurer is reversed and remanded because there was no specified dollar amount attributed to the underinsured motor vehicle coverage limits within the binder […]

Nov 28, 2018

Insurance: Bad Faith-Burden of Proof

Plaintiff’s home burned, and defendant insurer denied the claim and canceled the policy. Plaintiff sued defendant for breach of contract and bad-faith denial/investigation. Where the district court did not improperly shift the burden of proof on the claim to defendant and plaintiff met his burden of proving a bad-faith claim under Nebraska law, the court […]

Nov 21, 2018

Insurance: Substantial Evidence-Credibility Determinations

The district court affirmed the denial of disability insurance benefits and supplemental security income sought by Gammage. Where substantial evidence on the record as a whole supported the decision and the ALJ’s credibility findings were entitled to deference, the district court’s decision was affirmed. Judgment is affirmed. Gammage v. Commissioner, Social Security Administration (MLW No. [&h[...]

Nov 12, 2018

Bad-faith claim results in $11M verdict

A Clay County jury has awarded an Excelsior Springs man $11 million in his bad-faith suit against American Family Insurance Co. The jury returned the verdict Nov. 8 following a four-day trial. The jury unanimously awarded Paul Skow $1 million in actual damages. Nine of the twelve approved $10 million in punitive damages. Skow was […]

Oct 26, 2018

Insurance: Breach of Contract- Failure to Notify- Indemnification

Defendant canceled a homeowners’ Insurance policy for nonpayment and notified LexisNexis of the cancellation, pursuant to an agreement to notify mortgagees of actions taken against defendant’s policies. When the formerly insured home suffered a fire, the mortgagee filed suit, arguing defendant was liable for the loss under its policy. Defendant unsuccessfully sought indemnity from LexisNexis [[...]

Oct 17, 2018

Insurance: Fire Loss- Damages- Prejudgment Interest

Where a homeowner who suffered a partial fire loss challenged a directed verdict against her on her claims for the structure, personal property and prejudgment interest, the homeowner failed to make a submissible case on the issue of damages on her structure claim, and the directed verdict was also appropriate on the personal-property claim because […]

Oct 1, 2018

Insurance: Homeowners’ Insurance- Coverage- Vexatious Refusal to Pay

Plaintiffs appealed the grant of summary judgment to plaintiffs’ homeowners insurer after their insurer declined to pay losses arising from the construction of an addition to plaintiffs’ residence. Plaintiffs challenged the circuit court’s conclusion that there was no coverage under plaintiffs’ policy for their loss and finding no vexatious refusal to pay by the insurer. […]

Oct 1, 2018

Insurance: Business-Liability Policy- Equitable Garnishment- Duty to Indemnify

Plaintiffs appealed from the grant of summary judgment to defendant on plaintiffs’ equitable garnishment action, after plaintiffs obtained a judgment against defendant’s insured, after defendant denied coverage under a business-liability policy. Plaintiffs argued defendant had a duty to defend its insured, whose failure to deliver college degrees to plaintiffs constituted “property damage.�[...]

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