Coverage Litigation - Declaratory Judgment Actions

The United States District Court of Connecticut, applying federal law, has denied an insured’s motion to dismiss or stay the insurer’s first-filed declaratory judgment action in deference to a subsequently filed, substantially similar coverage action filed by the insured in California state court, holding that the relevant factors weighed in favor of retaining jurisdiction over the first-filed declaratory judgment action.  Continental Cas. Co. v. Phoenix Life Ins. Co., No. 19-cv-1448 (D. Conn. August 10, 2020).

Continue Reading Connecticut Federal Court Declines to Dismiss First-Filed Declaratory Judgment Action in Deference to Insured’s California State Court Action

An Arizona federal district court has held that an insurer is entitled to an award of approximately $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees incurred in successful coverage litigation with an insured.  11333, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 2018 WL 1570236 (D. Ariz. Mar. 30, 2018).

Continue Reading Insurer Entitled to Coverage Litigation Attorneys’ Fees Under Arizona Statute

Judge Martin Glenn of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has held that a Bermuda insurer must post a bond pursuant to N.Y. Ins. Law § 1213 after it filed a motion to compel arbitration.  MF Global Holdings Ltd. v. Allied World Assur. Co., Ltd., 2017 WL 2533353 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. June 12, 2017).

Continue Reading Bermuda Insurer Required to Post Bond to Compel Arbitration Against New York Insured

The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota has held that a coverage dispute must be transferred to federal court in Washington, in deference to the insured’s later-filed coverage action pending in that court. Everest Indem. Ins. Co. v. Ro, 2016 WL 4007578 (D. Minn. Jul. 26, 2016). The court also concluded that, under 28 U.S.C. § 1391, venue was improper because no substantial events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred in the District of Minnesota.
Continue Reading Minnesota Federal Court Rejects First to File Rule and Transfers Coverage Litigation to Washington Despite Issuance of Policy in Minnesota

A New Jersey federal district court has held that a declaratory judgment and breach of contract action against a professional liability insurer was not subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim based on the policy’s conversion of funds exclusion as a matter of law because the court could not conclude whether conversion occurred, or whether the claim arose out of conversion, at such an early stage in the proceeding. ABL Title Ins. Agency, LLC v. Maxum Indem. Co., 2016 WL 3610163 (D.N.J. June 30, 2016).
Continue Reading Declaratory Judgment Complaint Not Subject to Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Based on Conversion of Funds Exclusion

A federal district court in Virginia has denied an insured’s motion to dismiss or stay an insurer’s declaratory judgment coverage action in favor of the insured’s parallel state court coverage action, citing the insured’s earlier praise of the federal court as the “superior forum” for the dozens of underlying suits filed against the insured. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., No. 4:14-cv-00034 (E.D. Va. Sept. 4, 2015).
Continue Reading Insurer’s Declaratory Judgment Action Stays in Federal Court Despite Parallel State Court Proceeding Initiated by Insured

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that a third-party claimant who steps into the insured’s shoes to establish a liability insurer’s duty to defend is entitled to its attorneys’ fees under New Jersey law, even if the claimant does not ultimately recover from the insured. Occhifinto v. Olivo Construction Co., Case No. A-77-13, 07-13, 0717 (N.J. May 7, 2015).
Continue Reading Claimant Who Successfully Establishes Coverage But Loses Liability Suit Is a “Prevailing Party” for New Jersey’s Fee Statute

A federal district court in Washington has denied two insureds’ motions to abstain or stay a declaratory judgment action brought by their insurer, finding that concurrent adjudication would not require duplicative factual or legal determinations nor prejudice the insureds’ underlying defense.  Evanston Ins. Co. v. Workland & Witherspoon, PLLC, 2014 WL 4715879 (E.D. Wash. Sept. 22, 2014)
Continue Reading Federal Court Declines to Put Coverage Litigation on Hold