Blog Archives

Court Permits Parties to Cure Defective Diversity Jurisdiction in Suit Against Underwriters at Lloyd’s

In MAve Hotel Investors LLC d/b/a The MAve Hotel, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, et al., 2024 WL 2830909, (S.D.N.Y. 2024), to preserve diversity jurisdiction, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York permitted a plaintiff insured to drop non-diverse, dispensable defendant Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London (“Underwriters”) which subscribed to a commercial property insurance policy. About The Authors

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What Is Reasonable Care for Maintaining Heat in an Unoccupied Home?

The New York Supreme Court recently weighed in on what constitutes “reasonable care” to maintain heat in the context of a first-party insurance policy exclusion requiring such reasonable care. In Michael Zimmerman v. Leatherstocking Cooperative Insurance Company, CV-23-0362, 2024 NY Slip Op 02113 (April 18, 2024), the Plaintiff was in the process of selling his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. The house was insured under a homeowners policy issued by Leatherstocking Cooperative Insurance Company. On January 2, 2019, a real estate broker arrived at the house and discovered extensive water damage. Plaintiff, who had left for an extended vacation a month prior, notified Leatherstocking of the loss. About The Authors

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Court Differentiates Vandalism from Theft in First Party Insurance Policy

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington decided an insurance coverage case involving Plaintiffs Benny and Guangying Cheung and Defendant Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Company.  Cheung v. Allstate Vehicle & Prop. Ins. Co., No. C22-1174 TSZ, 2023 WL 9000432 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 28, 2023). The Court considered whether the Plaintiffs’ loss was caused by theft or vandalism, as neither term was defined in the policy. About The Author

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Court Issues First LEG3 Defects Exclusion Decision

Introduction In a case of first impression, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (applying Illinois law) rejected a LEG3 exclusion as ambiguous.  See S. Capitol Bridgebuilders “SCB” v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176573 (D.D.C. Sep. 29, 2023).  The London Engineering Group (“LEG”) is a consultative body for insurers of engineering class risks.  Nearly 30 years ago, LEG introduced a series of defects exclusions, including LEG1, LEG2, and LEG3 (which was revised in 2006).  Each provides increasing levels of coverage, with LEG3 being the broadest.  Generally, while preserving some coverage, LEG3 purports to exclude costs incurred to improve defects of “material workmanship, design, plan, or specification.”  Until now, despite frequent usage in builder’s risk

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Trouble Brewing: Florida Federal Court Dismisses Beer Distributor’s Claim for COVID-19 Losses

Insurance claims arising out of COVID-19-related commercial losses have been hotly contested, and lawsuits have been filed across the country by policyholders seeking coverage for lost business income.  These claims typically raise similar coverage questions – whether the spread of a virus could constitute “direct physical loss,” whether civil authority coverage is triggered, and whether virus exclusions preclude coverage.  In Harvest Moon Distributors, LLC v. Southern-Owners Insurance Company, Case no. 6:20-cv-1026-Orl-40DCI, Judge Paul Byron of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida recently granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss in a different type of COVID-19 claim, relating to spoliation of product after a contract fell through.  The insured, Harvest Moon Distributors, LLC (“Harvest Moon”), is a wine

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Posted in Coverage, Direct Physical Loss or Damage
About The Property Insurance Law Observer
For more than four decades, Cozen O’Connor has represented all types of property insurers in jurisdictions throughout the United States, and it is dedicated to keeping its clients abreast of developments that impact the insurance industry. The Property Insurance Law Observer will survey court decisions, enacted or proposed legislation, and regulatory activities from all 50 states. We will also include commentary on current issues and developing trends of interest to first-party insurers.
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