Insurance Law Section
ILS Events Calendar



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (Austin)

10:00am - 2:00pm Offices of McGuire Woods LLP, Austin, TX



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (Houston)

10:00am - 2:00pm Offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Houston, TX



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (San Antonio)

5:00pm - 7:00pm Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, San Antonio, TX



14th Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course

June 8-9, 2017 @ Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas (More)

Texas Supreme Court Denies Rehearing in U.S. Metals v. Liberty Mutual
by Robert Witmeyer

On June 17, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court denied the parties’ motions for rehearing in U.S. Metals v. Liberty Mutual, No. 14-0753, 2015 WL 7792557 (Tex. Dec. 4, 2015).  The Court’s opinion represents the current law in Texas for “property damage” and the “impaired property” exclusion under a CGL policy.  But the Court’s opinion likely will be most cited for an issue that the Court did not fully analyze—insurance coverage for “rip and tear” costs.       

The dispute arose from U.S. Metals’ sale of approximately 350 custom-made flanges to ExxonMobil for use in constructing non-road diesel units at ExxonMobil’s refineries.  The flanges were supposed to meet industry standards and were designed to be welded to piping.  The pipes and flanges were then covered with a special high temperature coating and insulation after they were welded together.  In post-installation testing, several flanges leaked.  Upon further investigation, it was determined that the flanges did not meet industry standards.  ExxonMobil decided it was necessary to replace all of the flanges to avoid the risk of fire and explosion.  For each flange, this process involved stripping the temperature coating and insulation (destroyed in the process), cutting t...(Continue)

Recent Decisions
Plea to the Jurisdiction Decided in State's Favor  
Morales v. Texas Department of Insurance-Workers Compensation Division Tx 3-Austin 1/13/17—
The appellate court ruled than an injured worker cannot challenge a decision by the workers' compensation division adopting his designated doctor's impairment rating.
Jury Verdict for Insurer in Mold Case Affirmed  
Knoderer v. State Farm Lloyds Tx 6-Texarkana 1/13/17—
An appellate court has affirmed a jury verdict finding an insured intentionally flooded his house to collect under his mold coverage endorsement but vacated an award of attorneys' fees after finding the insurer waived its fee claim.
Trial Court Abused Its Discretion By Denying Appraisal  
In re State Farm Lloyds Tx 14-Houston 1/10/17—
An insurer does not waive its right to an appraisal by denying coverage and demanding a jury trial.
District Court Denies Interpleader Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Opinion Regarding Proceeds in Dispute  
Jackson National Life Insurance Co. v. Dobbins ND Tx 1/10/17—
Court finds that insurer's alleged error on amount of benefit owed is a dispute that makes the insurer an interested stakeholder and claim is not available to an interpleader plaintiff.
Supreme Court Will Consider Meaning of Actual Trial, Application of Gandy  
Great American Insurance Co. v. Hamel Tx Sup 1/6/17—
The Supreme Court has granted a petition for review of a 2014 decision finding that a non-execution agreement between the insured and the underlying plaintiff entered into prior to trial did not void the insured's post-judgment assignment.
District Court Grants Summary Judgment Motion for Insurer regarding Coverage for Sexual Assault Case  
Century Surety Co. v. Deari ND Tx 1/4/17—
Court finds that "liquor liability" and "intentional acts" exclusions bar coverage under Coverage A and Coverage B of general liability policy.
Court Holds that ERISA Pre-Emption Applies to Claims under the Texas Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act  
Shanker v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co. SD Tx 1/3/17—
Court finds that similarity of goals triggers pre-emption.
Court Awards Health Insurer Multi-Million Dollar Recovery because of Hospital Kickback Scheme  
Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Humble Surgical Hospital SD Tx 12/31/16—
Court finds that health insurer was entitled to elect remedies as a result of hospital's improper billing and kickbacks.
Southern District Holds that Attorneys' Fees Award is not Damages, Rules against Collateral Estoppel  
Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc. SD Tx 12/30/16—
Court finds that fee-shifting statute does not render attorneys' fees "damages because of property damage" and finds that insurer is not collaterally estopped from requiring segregation of fees.
Insurer Prevails in Prompt Payment Dispute  
Gusma Properties, L.P. v. Travelers Lloyds Insurance Co. Tx 14-Houston 12/29/16—
An insurer did not incur prompt payment penalties when it timely issued a check for an appraisal award to the insured and its attorney, even if the attorney converted the funds because the attorney was the insured's agent.
More Recent Decisions
Section News
Recent Insurance Law Hot Topic Webinars Available Online

Did you miss the recent hot topic webinars hosted by the Insurance Law Section? The April, May & June 2016 webinars are all available for purchase online here via the Texas Institute of CLE website. For a limit... (Continued)

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