Archive for the ‘Case Updates’ Category

Provision Excluding Insurance Coverage For Wrongful Acts of a Coinsured Limited By California Supreme Court

California Insurance Code section 533 provides that an insurer is not liable for a loss caused by the willful act of an insured. This is consistent with California’s public policy of denying coverage for intentional acts of wrongdoing. However, when there is more than one insured, this policy can lead to inequitable results. Case in point is the situation presented in Century National Insurance Company v. Garcia, 2011 Cal. LEXIS 1392 (decided February 17, 2011).

California Supreme Court Rules That Zip Codes Are Personal Identification Information

Retail stores across California routinely ask customers to provide a ZIP code when making a purchase.  This practice may now be prohibited following the California Supreme Court decision in Pineda vs. William Sonoma, __ Cal. 4th__ (February 10, 2011), holding that ZIP codes are “personal identification information” for the purposes of the Song-Beverly Credit Card […]

California Supreme Court Extends CGL Insurer’s Duty to Defend “Suits” To An Administrative Proceeding

In a closely watched case the California Supreme Court recently expanded the scope of a comprehensive general liability insurer’s (CGL) duty to defend “suits” to an adjudicative proceeding before the former United States Department of Interior Board of Contract Appeals (now the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals).  Ameron International Corp. v. Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, et […]

District Court Provides Additional Guidance on Scope of Discovery Under Glenn

In the last several years, the scope of discovery in ERISA cases has been a point of contention between plaintiff and defense counsel.  Plaintiffs typically want free range to conduct discovery on any potentially relevant information addressing the conflict of interest issue while defense counsel would like discovery requests to be as narrow as possible.  Generally, […]

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Applies Montour To The Conflict of Interest Analysis

In the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court holding in Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, __ U.S. __, 128 S.Ct. 2343, 2348 (2008), the courts have struggled to apply this holding.  The Ninth Circuit did so in Montour v. Hartford Life & Accid. Ins. Co., 582 F.3d 933 (9th Cir. 2009).  In turn, […]

Unfair Insurance Practices Act Can Give Rise To Private Cause Of Action Under UCL

The California Court of Appeal recently addressed the question of whether a violation of the Unfair Insurance Practices Act can give rise to a civil cause of action under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”).  The court answered the question in the affirmative.  In Zhang v. Superior Court, 178 Cal. App. 4th 1081 (2009), Plaintiff Zhang […]

Insured Not Required To Ask For Attorney Fees In The Complaint

In Riordan v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., __ F.3d __, 2009 WL 4674139 (9th Cir. 2009), the insured made a claim for benefits based on injuries he and his wife sustained during a motor vehicle accident.  His insurer, State Farm, did not dispute the claim and agreed to pay benefits totaling $30,586.59.  However, […]

Insurer Did Not Breach The Duty to Defend by Sending Adjuster Rather Than An Attorney To A Meditation Conference

In Farmers Ins. Exchange v. Johnson, __ P.3d __, 2009 WL 4981857 (Mont., 2009), the Montana Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether an insurer breached its duty to defend by sending an adjuster rather than an attorney to meditation conference. Farmers Insurance Exchange (“Farmers”) provided insurance to Daniel and Linda Johnson.  Daniel Johnson was […]

Denial of Class Certification in Annuity Case Overruled Under a De Novo Standard of Review

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a District Court decision denying class certification in Yokoyama v. Midland National Life Insurance Company, __ F.3d __, 2009 WL 2634770 (9th Cir. August 28, 2009). Yokoyama concerns a class action involving the sale of annuities to senior citizens where the Ninth Circuit addressed, for the […]

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