(Reuters) – Here are some events of interest to the insurance law community this week. All times are local, unless otherwise noted.
Tuesday July 6
9 a.m. – The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear cross-appeals from former NFL cornerback Charles Dimry III and player pension plan Bert Bell / Pete Rozelle NFL to an order that has referred Dimry’s claim for Total and Permanent Disability (T&P) benefits for a third round to the Plan’s board of directors. Dimry, whose 12-year playing career ended with the San Diego Chargers in 1999, applied for T&P benefits after undergoing cervical fusion procedures in 2014. The board found he didn’t was not disabled, but a San Francisco federal judge ruled that the council abused its discretion by placing undue weight on the opinions of doctors chosen by the regime. In 2019, without asking Dimry for further comment, the board again denied the request. Last September, U.S. trial judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ruled that the board had abused its discretion in several ways, but ordered another referral, adding that when the board would consider the request for Dimry in a “full and fair” manner, she “expects” to find him disabled. On appeal, the regime says Corley should have upheld the council’s findings, while Dimry says Corley should have simply granted him benefits. The case is Dimry v. The Bert Bell / Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals No. 20-17049. For Dimry: Terrence Coleman of Pillsbury & Coleman. For the plan: Michael Junk of Groom Law Group.
Wednesday July 7
9 a.m. – Yacht pilot Trevor Griffiths, who has obtained a verdict of common law fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty against a former client and his start-up, will argue in the 5th Court of US appeal that Arch Insurance and National Union Fire Insurance violated Texas law and failed in its contractual obligations to defend its policyholders against its claims. Griffiths had invested $ 150,000 in Tatiana Golovina’s start-up, Environmental Packaging Technologies Ltd (EPT) in 2005, but never received the stake he was promised. He obtained the company’s title as part of a post-verdict settlement of his lawsuit, then sued insurers in federal court in Houston in 2018. Last year, the district court ruled in in favor of insurers on the basis of exclusions for fraud and ill-gotten profits. in their D&O policies. On appeal, EPT argues that the exclusions only apply to “willful fraud” and that common law fraud in Texas incorporates irresponsible misrepresentation, creating a potential for coverage that has triggered the insurers’ duty to defend. .
The case is Environmental Packaging Tech. Ltd. et al. vs. Arch Insurance Co. et al., 20-20431. For EPT Ltd. and Griffiths: Marcy Hogan Greer of Alexander Dubose & Jefferson. For Arch: Christopher Dove from Locke Lord. For the National Union: Debra Donaldson of the Hudgins Law Firm.
12:00 p.m. CT – DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar presents “Igniting Materials – Investigating Spontaneous Combustion,” which he describes as “an often overlooked and poorly understood route to ignition for an accidental fire “. Engineers at science consulting firm Exponent will examine materials that can generate enough heat inside to spontaneously ignite – including residential laundry, hazardous waste, and industrial chemicals – and identify questions to ask when investigation of fires, explosions and reactive chemical incidents. For more information, click here: https://bit.ly/3hoIkvG
4:00 p.m. – Today is the deadline for Society Insurance Co., the Insurance Services Office, and plaintiffs who have subpoenaed 50 years of records on ISO’s development of standard form viruses and environmental exclusions to brief U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer in New Jersey on whether to decide the Society’s motion to quash the subpoena or transfer it to U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang in Chicago, who is presiding Society Insurance COVID-19 Business Interruption MDL. The company and ISO say the subpoena is too broad and irrelevant because company policies do not contain virus exclusions. Complainants say the material is relevant in showing that policies without exclusions cover virus-related losses.
The MDL is In re Society Insurance Co. COVID-19 Business Interruption Protection Insurance Litigation (No. 2964), US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, No. 20-5965. The company’s motion to quash is filed with the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey No. 20-5965. For the company: April Ross and Allyson McKinstry of Crowell & Moring. For the Plaintiffs: Arthur Turner Jr. of Edelson (Liaison Counsel); Adam Levitt of DiCello Levitt Gutzler; W. Mark Lanier of the Lanier law firm; Timothy Burns of Burns Bowen Bair; Shelby Guilbert Jr. of King & Spalding; Shannon McNulty of Clifford Law Firms. For ISO: James Irving McClammy of Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Thursday July 8
9:00 a.m. – The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the appeal of sausage subsidiary HM International against a ruling that its insurer D&O, Twin City Fire Insurance Co., had no obligation to the compensate for having settled with the victim of a scam by bank transfer. six months after the expiration of the two-year limitation period for the victim’s potential claim. HMI provides management and accounting services to companies affiliated with the family of its founders. In January 2015, HMI’s administrative director received what appeared to be an email from long-time customer Gregory Geib and transferred $ 1 million to his wife’s bank account as reported. The Geibs sent a formal notice later in April. HMI forwarded it to Twin City, which declined coverage based on several policy exclusions. The Geibs never sued HMI; instead, the Geibs and HMI jointly sued Twin City in federal court in Houston in January 2017. In July, HMI reached a $ 470,000 settlement with the Geibs. The district court said the D&O policy did not cover the settlement because HMI was not legally obligated to pay a prescribed claim.
The case is HM International LLC v Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 5th United States Court of Appeals, No. 20-20122. For IHM: Aaron Davidson of Cole Schotz. For Twin City: Steven Knight of Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry.
Do you know of an event that could be included in Week Ahead in Insurance? Contact Alexia Garamfalvi at [email protected]
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.