Westlaw Journals

Hole-in-one payoffs not covered by indemnity policy, insurer says

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage: A group of underwriters say in a federal court complaint that an indemnity policy does not cover prize payments to fans after two golfers hit holes-in-one at a PGA event in West Virginia because the par-3 18th hole allegedly was not long enough.

Talbot 2002 Underwriting Capital Ltd. and two others also claim in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia that Old White Charities, the nonprofit that allegedly handled the finances for the event, did not make a required premium payment.

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Insurer’s coverage denial based on ‘missing property’ exclusion isn’t bad faith

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Bad Faith: An insurer did not act in bad faith when it refused to provide coverage for items missing from a policyholder’s storage facility based on a “missing property” exclusion, a New Jersey federal judge has ruled.

However, U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson of the District of New Jersey said the insurer’s summary judgment motion is premature as to causes of action for declaratory judgment and breach of contract.  Consequently, she ruled that the policyholder is entitled to discovery on those claims.

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Mexican states ask Supreme Court to resolve oil spill claims

From Westlaw Journal Environmental:  Three Mexican states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a 5th Circuit ruling that they cannot recover damages from BP for alleged property and economic losses caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In May the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Louisiana federal court decision that the Mexican states could not proceed with negligence claims because they did not have a proprietary interest in the property allegedly damaged by discharged oil, as required by U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

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Court reinstates $120 million CDO claim against Goldman Sachs

From Westlaw Journal Derivatives: A bond insurer can continue its $120 million lawsuit accusing Goldman Sachs of lying about the quality of a collateralized debt obligation’s underlying assets, which were allegedly destined to fail, a New York state appeals court has determined.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, 1st Department, determined that ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. adequately alleged Goldman Sachs fraudulently induced the company into insuring the CDO deal known as Abacus 2007-AC1.

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Dunkin Donuts Pays $905K for Coffee Burns

Dominic Santarelli, an adult male, allegedly suffered lap burns which resulted in scarring and disfigurement and a quality of life loss from spilled hot coffee he purchased from a drive-through window at a Dunkin Donuts owned by defendant Al-Karim Donuts, Inc. (more…)

Mom can’t blame website for estranged dad’s fraudulent fundraiser for ‘sick’ son

From Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet: A woman cannot hold a fundraising website liable for a fraudulent online campaign engineered by her son’s estranged father, who sought donations for a heart condition the 8-year-old did not have, a Maryland federal judge has ruled.

Website owner GiveForward Inc. filed a declaratory judgment action against Kena Hodges, seeking to clarify its potential liability over the fraudulent campaign, U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz of the District of Maryland said.

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Insurer must defend Abercrombie & Fitch in gift card suits

By Jason Schossler, Contributor, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage: Insurer ACE European Group must provide a defense to Abercrombie & Fitch Co. for three class-action lawsuits alleging the clothier fraudulently canceled unused promotional gift card balances, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling that Abercrombie is entitled to a defense in the underlying suits and that ACE acted in breach of contract when it failed to provide a defense.

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Baltimore jury finds for John Crane in 2 meso cases

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: John Crane Inc. has won defense verdicts in two lawsuits consolidated for trial in a Baltimore court, a jurisdiction well known for “being plaintiff friendly,” the company’s lawyers said in a statement.

After a nearly three-week trial, a jury in the Baltimore City Circuit Court took just 26 minutes to return two verdicts in the company’s favor, according to a statement from the law firm representing John Crane, O’Connell, Tivin, Miller & Burns in Chicago.

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Lack of causation testimony dooms benzene exposure case

From Westlaw Journal Expert and Scientific Evidence: The maker of a benzene-containing cleaning solvent has won summary judgment in a failure-to-warn lawsuit because the judge’s exclusion of expert witness testimony means the plaintiff failed to establish causation.

“Due to the complex nature of her lawsuit, [the plaintiff] must bring forth expert testimony to establish that the chemical properties within [the cleaner] generally and specifically caused [her husband’s] leukemia,” U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts of the Eastern District of Michigan said in an Aug. 13 order.

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Court approves NLRB’s expedited union election rule

From Westlaw Journal Employment:  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups failed to show that the National Labor Relations Board’s recent final rule aimed at expediting the union election process is unconstitutional and violates federal labor law, a federal judge has ruled.

The groups’ “broad” and “dramatic” statements about the NLRB’s rule were “predicated on mischaracterizations of what the final rule actually provides,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia said.

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