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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Franks v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.

This case presented the Pennsylvania Superior Court with a matter of first impression: Whether the removal of a vehicle from an auto insurance policy providing non-stacked UIM coverage for three vehicles constituted the “purchase” of coverage as contemplated by section 1738(c) of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Laws (MVFRL), such…

Franks v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

This case presented the Pennsylvania Superior Court with a matter of first impression: Whether the removal of a vehicle from an auto insurance policy providing non-stacked UIM coverage for three vehicles constituted the “purchase” of coverage as contemplated by section 1738(c) of the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Laws (MVFRL), such that the insured must be… Continue reading Franks v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.

Dianoia’s Eatery. LLC v. Motorists Mutual Ins. Co.
3rd Circuit

Insurance coverage and coronavirus were at the core of this case. In these consolidated appeals, three restaurants sued in state court seeking a declaration that their respective insurer was obligated to provide coverage for COVID-19-related losses. Each insurer removed its case to federal court, invoking diversity jurisdiction. Then, each District Court exercised its discretion under… Continue reading Dianoia’s Eatery. LLC v. Motorists Mutual Ins. Co.

In re Penn Treaty Network America Ins. Co. (In Liquidation)
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

The Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, in her capacity as Statutory Liquidator of Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company and American Network Insurance Company (together, the Companies), applied to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court for a declaration that she was authorized under Article V of The Insurance Department Act of 1921 to allocate assets from the Companies’ estates… Continue reading In re Penn Treaty Network America Ins. Co. (In Liquidation)

Fisher v. Erie Ins. Exchange
Pennsylvania Superior Court

After a car accident, the Fishers sued Mr. Green and included an underinsured motorists claim against Erie Insurance. The trial court ordered an in camera review of certain documents after Erie objected to a discovery request. Erie filed an interlocutory appeal and argued that the order for an in camera review was immediately appealable under… Continue reading Fisher v. Erie Ins. Exchange

Van Divner v. Sweger
Pennsylvania Superior Court

Van Divner sued Sweger and Progressive Insurance Co. after a car accident. The trial court granted Progressive’s preliminary objections and transferred venue per its interpretation of the forum selection clause in Van Divner’s auto insurance policy. The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed, finding that the trial court erroneously construed the forum selection clause in the policy.

Penn Psychiatric Ctr., Inc. v. United States Liab. Ins. Co.
Pennsylvania Superior Court

This was an appeal from an order dismissing an insurance coverage action. Penn Psychiatric (Insured) claimed that it was entitled to coverage under an employment practices insurance policy for an action brought against Insured and one of its therapists by two former patients who had no employment relationship with Insured. The trial court sustained United… Continue reading Penn Psychiatric Ctr., Inc. v. United States Liab. Ins. Co.

Cadre v. Proassurance Cas. Co.
New Jersey Appellate Division

Forget your clients, lawyers. This opinion is important for you. An attorney sued her professional liability insurer and broker after the insurer declined to provide coverage when a paralegal misappropriated about $800,000 in client funds. Rule 1:21-1B requires coverage for attorneys for all damages from any claim by a client, but the insurance policy procured… Continue reading Cadre v. Proassurance Cas. Co.

Huggins v. Aquilar
New Jersey Supreme Court

In September 2016, Defendant Trend Motors, Ltd. (Trend) provided Defendant Aquilar with a loaner vehicle for her personal use while her vehicle was serviced. Aquilar’s negligent operation of the loaner vehicle caused it to strike Plaintiff Huggins’s car. As a result, Plaintiff sustained serious injuries. Trend held a garage policy with Federal Insurance Company (Federal)… Continue reading Huggins v. Aquilar

Gibson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.
3rd Circuit

In Gibson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., the Third Circuit confronted an issue of Pennsylvania law regarding underinsured motorist coverage. Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 1734, an insured Pennsylvanian can reduce her premium by opting for a lower amount of UIM so long as she makes a “request in writing.” Here, the insured had… Continue reading Gibson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.

Crystal Point Condo. Assoc. v. Kinsale Ins. Co.
New Jersey Appellate Division

In Crystal Point Condo. Assoc. v. Kinsale Ins. Co., the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a critical ruling on arbitration and direct actions against insurance companies. A condominium in Jersey City was found to have structural issues. So, the condo association sued certain professionals responsible for the sub-par construction and received default judgments because both… Continue reading Crystal Point Condo. Assoc. v. Kinsale Ins. Co.