The United States District Court for the District of Nevada, applying Nevada law, has held that the court’s prior favorable coverage determination was evidence that an insurer did not act in bad faith when refusing to defend or provide coverage under a policy.  My Left Foot Children’s Therapy, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, 2019 WL 1810956 (D. Nev. Apr. 23, 2019).

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A Washington federal district court, applying Washington law, has held that an insurer who issued a public officials and employment practices liability policy to a utility had a duty to defend the insured in an action stemming from damages to a refinery after a power outage, despite the policy’s property damage exclusion.  Indian Harbor Ins. Co. v. City of Tacoma, Wash. Dep’t of Pub. Util., 2018 WL 6304767 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 3, 2018).  The court found that the underlying complaint was ambiguous as to whether the refinery sought any damages other than those for property damage.

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The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, applying New Mexico law, has held that an insurer owed no duty to defend a title and escrow agent against a demand by a title insurer because no civil proceeding had been brought against the insured.  The court also held that the insured owed no duty to indemnify due to a prior knowledge exclusion in the policy.  Aztec Abstract & Title Ins., Inc. v. Maxum Specialty Group, et al., 2018 WL 734285 (D.N.M. Feb. 6, 2018).

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Applying Mississippi law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that an exclusion in a bankers’ professional liability policy barred coverage for class claims alleging that the insured bank wrongfully maximized overdraft fees charged to its customers.  BancorpSouth, Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co., 2017 WL 4546144 (7th Cir. Oct. 12, 2017).  The court also concluded that the bad faith claim against the insurer failed because of the absence of coverage in the first instance.

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The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, applying Mississippi law, has held that a bankers’ professional liability insurance policy did not cover a class action suit against a bank alleging that it wrongfully maximized overdraft fees charged to its customers.  Bancorpsouth, Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co., 2017 WL 373300 (S.D. Ind. Jan. 26, 2017).  The court also dismissed the bad faith claim made against the insurer because of the absence of coverage in the first instance.

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The United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has held that, under Oklahoma law, a policy’s “no action” clause does not apply to an insured’s breach of contract claims against its insurer premised on a breach of the duty to defend the underlying claim.  Wilbanks Securities Inc. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144761 (W.D. Okla. Oct. 19, 2016).  In so holding, the court explained that the “no action” clause “is a provision that applies to the claims of third parties” and specifically those claims “seeking recovery of settlements or judgments and not declaratory judgments regarding the duty to defend.”

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Applying California law, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California has held that a policyholder stated a claim against the claims administrator for a policy because the plaintiff had pleaded a plausible factual allegation that the claims administrator issued the policy, which was sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss.  Reno v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., 2016 WL 4595955 (S.D. Cal. July 27, 2016).
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A California intermediate appellate court has held that an insurer is liable for bad faith failure to settle, even though it had made a timely offer to settle for its full policy limits, where the insurer declined to agree to release terms proposed by the claimants to which the insured refused to agree. Barickman v. Mercury Cas. Co., 2016 WL 4274674 (Cal. Ct. App. July 25, 2016).
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Applying Mississippi law, a federal district court has held that a participant in an employee stock ownership plan cannot pursue his claims against the insurer of the plan fiduciaries because those claims were previously released in a settlement agreement between the plan fiduciaries and the insurer. Sealey v. Beazley Ins. Co. Inc., et al., 2016 WL 4392624 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 17, 2016).
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A Minnesota federal district court has held that an insurer was entitled to summary judgment in a breach of contract suit brought by its policyholder after the insurer denied coverage because the policyholder failed to provide notice of the suit “as soon as practicable” in accordance with the terms of the policy. Food Market Merch., Inc. v. Scottsdale Indem. Co., 2016 WL 3976606 (D. Minn. July 22, 2016).
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