RECENT INSURANCE COVERAGE LITIGATION 

The following is a sampling of insurance coverage litigation handled by the firm: 

Tower Insurance Co. v. A. Apicella Fish Co. Et al.
Index #: 102731/2012, Supreme Court, New York County

January 2016 - Favorable global settlement after successful summary judgment decision in declaratory judgment action and simultaneous appeal in underlying personal injury action, both of which were handled by firm.  
Opposing insurer argued that “insured contract” provision did not apply based on its interpretation of a policy provision and upon an unfavorable decision in the underlying personal injury action.  Firm succeeded in overturning unfavorable decision on appeal (Heredia v. 1454 St. Nicholas Ave. Associates, 125 AD3d 550 (1st Dep’t 2015), and in defeating summary judgment in declaratory judgment action, leading to settlement.

 

Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. P.I.I., LLC. 
Index #: 102731/2012, Supreme Court, New York County

August 17, 2015 - Favorable settlement.
Insurer disclaimed coverage under a CGL policy for an accident which arose from a fall while unloading a truck.  Based on the fact that plaintiff’s complaint in the underlying action did not refer to a vehicle, firm successfully argued that insurer had a duty to provide a defense up until resolution of factual issues. Case also involved question of insurer’s indemnity obligation under K2 Investment Group, LLC v. Amer. Guarantee & Liab. Ins. Co., 21 NY3d 384 (2013), prior to that decision being recalled and vacated by the Court of Appeals.

 

American Home Assurance Co. v. Rent a Unit, et al. 

Index #: 309463/2010, Supreme Court, Bronx County

June 11, 2014 - Favorable settlement at mediation. 

Complex declaratory judgment action involving three insurers, all of which had disclaimed or partially disclaimed coverage, raising numerous legal issues under various policy provisions.  

 

Charter Oak Fire Ins. Co. v. UTC Risk Management Svcs., et al. 

Index #: 015723/2010, Supreme Court, Nassau County

April 10, 2014 - Summary judgment granted in favor of client-insurer against co-insurer for full amount of indemnity and defense costs demanded plus almost $100,000 in statutory interest.  

 

Lancer Ins. Co. v. Saravia et al.

Index #: 10492/2011, Supreme Court, Kings County

February 18, 2014 - Motion to reargue granted in favor of client-insurer, overturning prior determination granting attorneys’ fees to defendant in a declaratory judgment action.

Client-insurer commenced declaratory judgment action against group of claimants and medical providers on basis that there was no coverage for fraudulent no-fault claims.  Pre-appeal motion to reargue was successful in overturning potential bad precedent upholding claim for attorneys’ fees to medical provider arising out of declaratory judgment. 

 

Office Depot, Inc. v. National Retail Properties, Inc. 

Index #: 27328/2010, Supreme Court, Westchester County

January 3, 2013 - Summary judgment granted in favor of client-insured declaring that self-insured plaintiff was obligated to provide additional insured coverage.

 

Contreras v. Travco Ins. Co. et al.

Index #: 1683/2007, Supreme Court, Westchester County

April 4, 2012 - Favorable settlement at mediation made possible by 3-way split among defendants.

Action by homeowner for property insurance coverage for house which collapsed. Coverage disclaimed by client-insurer based on termite and rot damage.  Litigation focused on coverage issues as well as prosecution of cross-claims against co-defendants, home inspector and exterminator.

 

Zavales v. Travelers Prop. Casualty Co.

Index #: 026269/2008, Supreme Court, Queens County

January 30, 2012 - Summary judgment granted in favor of client-insurer in declaratory judgment action on the basis that dog bite incident in vehicle did not arise out of the use or operation of the vehicle under auto policy.

 

Fahed v. Charter Oak Fire Insurance

Index #:  022628/2006, Supreme Court, Bronx County

October 5, 2011 - Summary judgment granted in favor of client-insurer in declaratory judgment action based on late notice disclaimer.

 

Greater New York Mutual v. St. Paul Travelers

Index #: 115873/2007, Supreme Court, New York County

September 19, 2011 - Favorable settlement of declaratory judgment action brought by co-insurer to recover defense and indemnity costs.

Underlying action involved injuries arising from exposure to mold over a period of time. Client-insurer disclaimed coverage based on lack of exposure during policy period.

 

AKW Holdings, LLC v. Travelers Prop. Casualty

Index #: 4011/2010, Supreme Court, Rockland County

August 31, 2011 - Summary judgment granted in favor of client-insurer on the basis that late notice disclaimer issued 47 days after notice was not untimely under circumstances.