(Reuters) – Here are some events of interest to the Insurance Law community this week. All times are local unless otherwise noted.
Monday, July 12
10 a.m. – U.S. District Judge Brantley Starr is scheduled to start a jury trial in Dallas for Double Diamond Delaware Inc’s breach of contract and bad-faith claims against Homeland Insurance Co of New York. The litigation arose after tornadic activity destroyed hundreds of trees at The Retreat, a Double Diamond golf course and resort in Cleburne, Texas, in 2015. Double Diamond estimated its loss at $157 million, based on the cost to replace the trees and remove debris. Homeland, however, estimated the actual cash value of the trees was no more than $1.5 million, and said debris removal was subject to a $1 million sublimit in an underlying policy. Double Diamond is seeking Homeland’s policy limits of $95 million for contractual damages and treble damages for bad faith, along with attorneys’ fees, under the Texas insurance code. The case is Double Diamond Delaware Inc v. Homeland Insurance Co of New York, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas No. 17-1403. For Double Diamond: Darryl Silvera of The Silvera Firm and Ernest Martin Jr of Haynes & Boone. For Homeland Insurance: Kerry Brown and Kristin Cummings of Zelle and Chris Martin of Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom.
Tuesday, July 13
11:15 a.m. – Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston will hear argument on Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co’s motion for summary judgment against Chemicals Inc, seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend Chemicals against “hundreds” of lawsuits by military and civilian firefighters who claim injuries resulting from exposure to the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFAS in aqueous film-forming products. The actions were consolidated as MDL No. 2873 in 2018, but none of the underlying complaints “identify any relevant dates,” such as the dates of the plaintiffs’ exposure or first symptoms, the insurer says. It argues that this precludes any potential coverage because its policies were written on an occurrence basis with an express condition that if the date of occurrence could not be determined, it would be deemed to precede the policy period. Crum & Forster acknowledges that “no cases have addressed” the condition but says the “plain language of the policy should control.” The case is Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co v. Chemicals Inc, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, No. 20-3493. For CFSIC: Christopher Avery and Brian Martin of Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons. For Chemicals Inc: Rebecca DiMasi and Lee Shidlofsky of Shidlofsky Law Firm.
Wednesday, July 14
9 a.m. PT – Forensic economist Nora Ostrofe, vice president of the J.S. Held global consulting firm, explains “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Forensic Economics (But Were Afraid to Ask)” in a one-hour webinar hosted by The Bar Association of San Francisco. Ostrofe will cover fundamental concepts and calculations, discuss how to read and evaluate an economist’s report, and offer practice pointers on minimizing economic-expert fees, obtaining economic data through discovery, and questioning the opposing side’s economics expert at deposition or on cross-examination. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/2SXTJKS
2 p.m. ET – The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presents “It’s All Fun and Games Until Your Credit Card Gets Stolen: Video Game Fraud, Identity Theft Insurance, and the Need for Personal Cyber Coverage.” Cyberscout’s Eduard Goodman discusses the growth of video-gaming fraud and other emerging risks that legacy identity-theft expense policies are unlikely to cover, and the emergence of personal cyber policies that cover a broader range of personal fraud perils. The session is part of NAMIC’s Underwriting Webinar Series; for details, go to https://bit.ly/3dQWx3w
Thursday, July 15
8:15 a.m. – After a Wednesday-night welcome reception, the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL)’s three-day summer meeting in Boston opens in earnest with a mix of committee meetings to discuss model laws and recent trends, and general sessions on topics including surplus lines markets, new medical treatments for obesity, and “The Delicate Balance of Legislative Oversight.” Saturday’s program features the latest installment of the NCOIL Innovation Series, “Cyber Insurance: The Challenges of Ransomware and Beyond.” Kentucky State Representative Bart Rowland moderates the discussion with panelists Peter Halprin of Pasich; Justin Herring of the New York Department of Financial Services; Matthew McCabe of Marsh McLennan; John Pendleton of the U.S. Government Accountability Office; and assistant professor of cybersecurity policy Josephine Wolff of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. For the full agenda (marked “30 Day Materials”) and registration information, go to https://bit.ly/3dQbQK0
Know of an event that could be included in Week Ahead in Insurance Law? Contact Alexia Garamfalvi at [email protected]