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Insurance Law

Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3148

AC40643 - Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Barros ("The defendants, Arly Barros and Anthony’s Services, LLC, appeal from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, Government Employees Insurance Company, on its claim for equitable subrogation. On appeal, the defendants claim that the court erred by concluding that the statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes § 52-577 or General Statutes § 52-584 does not apply to bar the plaintiff’s claim for equitable subrogation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3141

AC39217 - Carson v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of North America ("The plaintiff, Elizabeth Carson, Trustee, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the defendant, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly concluded that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether her action was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Specifically, the plaintiff argues that fraudulent concealment on the part of the defendant’s agent, David Faubert, and the continuing course of conduct doctrine tolled the applicable statute of limitations. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3121

SC20020, SC20021 - Tannone v. Amica Mutual Ins. Co. ("In these appeals, we again consider whether an automobile insurance policy containing underinsured motorist coverage, as required by state law, can validly exclude benefits to the insured when the owner of the underinsured vehicle is a rental car company designated as a ‘self-insurer’ by the Insurance Commissioner (commissioner) pursuant to General Statutes § 38a-371 (c). We first addressed this issue in Orkney v. Hanover Ins. Co., 248 Conn. 195, 202–206, 727 A.2d 700 (1999), and upheld the validity of § 38a-334-6 (c) (2) (B) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, which authorizes an exclusion from the underinsured motorist coverage requirement for ‘uninured or underinsured vehicle[s] . . . owned by . . . a self-insurer under any motor vehicle law . . . .’ We came to this conclusion because self-insurers are statutorily required to prove their ability to pay judgments when liable, rendering underinsurance coverage unnecessary in those situations. Orkney v. Hanover Ins. Co., supra, 204–206; see General Statutes §§ 14-129 (b) and 38a-371 (c). Therefore, we decided in Orkney that there was ‘nothing inconsistent between the public policy underlying underinsured motorist coverage and a regulation that permits a coverage exclusion’ for vehicles owned by self-insurers. Orkney v. Hanover Ins. Co., supra, 206.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3099

AC39966 - Hilario's Truck Center, LLC v. Rinaldi ("The principal issue in this appeal is whether a company that provided automobile towing services to an insured motorist has standing as a third-party beneficiary to bring a direct breach of contract action against the insurance company that provided automobile liability coverage to the insured. We conclude, under the circumstances of this case, that the company is not an intended third-party beneficiary of the insurance contract and therefore lacks standing to bring a direct action against the insurer.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3076

AC39834 - DAB Three, LLC v. LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc.("In this action arising from the alleged breach of contract for the procurement of an environmental insurance policy, the plaintiff, DAB Three, LLC, appeals from the judgments rendered in favor of the defendants LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. (LFG), LandAmerica Environmental Insurance Service Agency, Inc. (LEISA), Sandra Fitzpatrick, and Debra Moser. The plaintiff claims that the trial court erred (1) in dismissing its breach of contract claim against LFG for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and (2) in rendering summary judgment in favor of LEISA, Fitzpatrick and Moser on the plaintiff’s breach of contract claims against them. We agree with the plaintiff that the summary judgment rendered in favor of LEISA cannot stand. We disagree, however, with the plaintiff’s claims of error as to the dismissal of its claim against LFG and the rendering of summary judgments in favor of Fitzpatrick and Moser. Accordingly, we reverse in part and affirm in part the judgments of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3036

SC19964 - Samelko v. Kingstone Ins. Co. ("In this case, we must decide whether a Connecticut court may properly exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state insurer whose only significant contacts with this state are the inclusion of Connecticut within the coverage territory of an automobile insurance policy and the occurrence of an automobile collision in Connecticut involving its insured. The defendant, Kingstone Insurance Company, a company domiciled in New York, contractually agreed to defend and indemnify its insured nationwide. After a vehicle driven by the insured collided in Connecticut with a vehicle driven by the plaintiffs, Jerzy and Sylvia Samelko, however, the defendant failed to defend its insured and failed to provide indemnity after a judgment was rendered against the insured for damages resulting from the collision. The plaintiffs were subrogated to the rights of the insured under the policy issued by the defendant pursuant to General Statutes § 38a-321 and brought this action directly against the defendant to recover damages.

"The trial court dismissed the action on the ground that it lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant. We conclude, however, that exercising personal jurisdiction over the defendant insurer is permitted by our corporate long arm statute, General Statutes § 33-929 (f) (1), and comports with the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment to the United Statutes Constitution. See U.S. Const., amend. XIV, § 1. Accordingly, we disagree with the trial court's contrary conclusion and, therefore, reverse and remand the case with direction to deny the defendant’s motion to dismiss and for further proceedings."


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3002

AC39738 - General Ins. Co. of America v. Okeke ("In this declaratory action, the defendants Agatha Okeke and her son, Michael Okeke, appeal from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the plaintiff, General Insurance Company of America. The defendants claim that the court improperly concluded (1) that the plaintiff did not owe a duty to defend and indemnify them in certain judicial proceedings, and (2) that the plaintiff’s claim against Michael was not moot. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC39708 - Puente v. Progressive Northwestern Ins. Co. ("In this action to recover underinsured motorist benefits pursuant to an insurance policy issued by the defendant, Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company, to Wilson Roofing, LLC (Wilson Roofing), the plaintiff, Wilson Puente, appeals from the judgment of the trial court granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff claims that the trial court improperly granted the motion because a genuine issue of material fact existed regarding whether (1) he was a named ‘insured’ within the meaning of the policy issued to Wilson Roofing or (2) even if he was not the named insured, he is still entitled to recover pursuant to the policy because he was ‘occupying’ a vehicle covered by the policy when he sustained his injuries. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Landlord / Tenant Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=2942

SC19794 - Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v Muldowney ("This appeal concerns the right of a landlord’s insurer to use the doctrine of equitable subrogation to bring an action against a tenant for damage the tenant caused to the rented property. In DiLullo v. Joseph, 259 Conn. 847, 851, 854, 792 A.2d 819 (2002), this court announced a ‘default rule,’ pursuant to which a landlord’s insurer has no right of subrogation unless the landlord and tenant have made a ‘specific agreement’ otherwise, ‘leaving it to the specific agreement of the parties if they wish a different rule to apply to their, or their insurers’, relationship.’ In the present case, the parties dispute what sort of ‘specific agreement’ is required to overcome DiLullo’s presumption against subrogation. Id., 854. Specifically, they disagree whether the lease must expressly state that a landlord’s insurer has a right of subrogation against the tenant, or whether it is sufficient for the lease to notify the tenant explicitly that he is responsible for any damage to the leased property and to allocate to the tenant the responsibility to provide liability and property damage insurance. The trial court and the Appellate Court both concluded that it was sufficient for the lease to allocate to the tenant responsibility for damage caused by the tenant and to require the tenant to obtain insurance, even without a specific agreement authorizing subrogation. We agree with those courts, and we therefore affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=866

SC19728 - Ridgaway v. Mount Vernon Fire Ins. Co. ("Trial court judges have the difficult task of maintaining order over the judicial proceedings before them and ensuring the integrity of those proceedings. To do so, judges have broad discretion to impose the sanctions necessary to ensure parties’ compliance with court orders and the rules of the court. In this certified appeal, the defendant, Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Company, contends that the Appellate Court improperly determined that the trial court abused its discretion when it rendered a judgment of nonsuit against the plaintiffs, William P. Ridgaway, Sr., individually and as administrator of the estate of William P. Ridgaway, Jr., and Rita Grant, for their counsel’s conduct in relation to counsel’s failure to comply with an order of the court. The plaintiffs contend, as an alternative ground for affirmance, that the trial court based its sanction of nonsuit on facts that were not supported by the record. Although we agree with the plaintiffs that certain factual findings were not supported by the record, we cannot determine as a matter of law whether the trial court would have imposed the same sanction in the absence of those facts. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court insofar as that court reversed the judgment of nonsuit, but we direct that court to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings to consider a sanction proportionate to the facts supported by the record.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=810

AC39253 - Doyle v. Universal Underwriters Ins. Co. ("The plaintiff, Robert Doyle, appeals from the summary judgment rendered by the trial court in his favor in the amount of $5924 in this action to recover underinsured motorist benefits under an automobile insurance policy issued by the defendant, Universal Underwriters Insurance Company (Universal). The plaintiff suffered injuries in a collision between his automobile and that of an underinsured motorist, Neil Nilson. On appeal, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly determined that he was collaterally estopped from relitigating the amount of damages awarded to him in binding arbitration with Nilson. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=793

SC19618 - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak ("This declaratory judgment action concerns whether an insurer is obligated to indemnify a business owner under a personal insurance policy for liability arising from his false imprisonment of his company’s employee at her workplace and the evidentiary basis on which such a determination is to be made. In this certified appeal, the defendant Jeffrey S. Pasiak challenges the Appellate Court’s determination that such liability fell under the business pursuits exclusion to coverage under his personal umbrella policy. The plaintiffs, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, contend that coverage not only is barred under the business pursuits exclusion, but also that (1) coverage is barred under policy exclusions for workers’ compensation obligations and for mental abuse, (2) construing the policy to provide indemnification for common-law punitive damages arising from intentional wrongdoing violates public policy, and (3) the trial court improperly limited the scope of discovery and the declaratory judgment trial, depriving the plaintiffs of a trial de novo on coverage issues that they could not litigate in the underlying tort action.

We hold that the case must be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings, limited to the issue of whether the business pursuits exclusion applies. We conclude that neither the Appellate Court nor the trial court employed the correct standard for determining whether the defendant’s tortious conduct was an occurrence 'arising out of' the business pursuits of the insured and that further factual findings would be necessary to determine whether this exception applies under the correct standard. We further conclude that the plaintiffs cannot prevail on their alternative grounds regarding the other exclusions and public policy as a matter of law. Finally, we conclude that the plaintiffs are not limited to the evidentiary record in the underlying tort action to establish that the business pursuits exclusion barred coverage. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court with direction to remand the case to the trial court for a trial de novo on that issue.")

  • SC19618 Concurrence & Dissent - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=738

AC39060 - 21st Century North American Ins. Co. v. Perez ("This appeal concerns the cancellation of an automobile insurance policy. The plaintiff, 21st Century North America Insurance Company, appeals from the judgment of the trial court in favor of the defendants, Glenda Perez, Ariel Seda, Gregory C. Norsiegian, the administrator of the estate of Leoner Negron (administrator), Orlando Soto, Carmello Pacheco, Edgardo Contreras, Eric Valentin, John Skouloudis, and PV Holding Corporation (corporation). Because it allegedly complied with all applicable cancellation requirements contained in both the insurance policy and the General Statutes, the plaintiff claims that the court improperly failed to conclude that it validly had cancelled that policy. The plaintiff further claims that the court improperly applied the doctrine of substantial compliance to excuse nonpayment of the amount due to avert cancellation. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=671

AC38846 - Amica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Piquette ("The defendant Rebecca Piquette appeals from the trial court’s summary judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff, Amica Mutual Insurance Company, in this declaratory judgment action brought to determine the proper scope of coverage provided by an automobile insurance policy issued by the plaintiff. The critical question in this appeal is whether, under the terms of an automobile insurance contract providing coverage for bodily injury, a loss of consortium claim is entitled to a separate per person liability limitation from the principal bodily injury claim of another person from which the loss of consortium claim arises. The defendant argues that the trial court’s ruling was improper because the language of the policy at issue is ambiguous and the matter should be remanded for further proceedings to determine the scope of the policy. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the resolution of this appeal is controlled by our Supreme Court’s decision in Izzo v. Colonial Penn Ins. Co., 203 Conn. 305, 524 A.2d 641 (1987), and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court, which properly applied Izzo.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=621

SC19803 - Kellogg v. Middlesex Mutual Assurance Co. ("In this appeal, we consider whether the trial court properly vacated an arbitration award setting the amount of an insured loss caused by a tree falling on the insured’s home. We conclude that the trial court improperly substituted its judgment for that of the appraisal panel, and we therefore reverse the trial court’s judgment.")


Judicial Branch Now Publishing Headnotes for its Supreme & Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=534

The Judicial Branch has announced that it is now publishing a syllabus (headnote) at the top of each Supreme and Appellate Court opinion:

The Judicial Branch is now posting online headnotes for both Supreme and Appellate Court opinions. These headnotes, which accompany individual Supreme and Appellate Court decisions, include a short summary of the ruling and the procedural history of a case. The Reporter of Judicial Decisions prepares the headnotes, which are not part of the opinion. As such, the opinion alone should be relied upon for the reasoning behind the decision [Emphasis added].

Subscribe to a case law category (or categories) of your choice through our Email Digest or RSS delivery services to receive the latest cases from the Supreme or Appellate Courts delivered directly to your inbox.


Tort Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Mazur, Catherine

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=462

AC37869 - Chicago Title Ins. Co. v. Accurate Title Searches, Inc. (Negligence; "This is an action by the plaintiff, Chicago Title Insurance Company (Chicago Title), to recover damages from the defendant, Accurate Title Searches, Inc., for losses allegedly incurred by Ticor Title Insurance Company (Ticor Title), another title insurer with which the plaintiff later merged, due to the defendant's negligence in performing a title search as to a parcel of real property in Hartford (property). This is an action by the plaintiff, Chicago Title Insurance Company (Chicago Title), to recover damages from the defendant, Accurate Title Searches, Inc., for losses allegedly incurred by Ticor Title Insurance Company (Ticor Title), another title insurer with which the plaintiff later merged, due to the defendant's negligence in performing a title search as to a parcel of real property in Hartford (property)...."

"On the record before us, we agree with the trial court, Bright, J., that the plaintiff’s claim sounds in negligence, not in common-law identification, and thus that the defendant’s arguments as to what proof is required to prevail on a claim for indemnification are inapplicable to this case. On the other hand, we disagree with the trial court, Wiese, J., that the plaintiff’s claim for damages to compensate it for the attorney’s fees and expenses it incurred to defend its insured in prior litigation is barred in this action by the American rule. Accordingly, although we reverse the court’s judgment denying the plaintiff's claim for compensatory damages in the amount of its prior attorney's fees and expenses and remand this case for further proceedings on that claim, we affirm the court’s judgment in all other respects.")


Insurance Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=377

SC19585 - Gold v. Rowland ("This certified class action, which arises from a dispute over the proceeds of the 2001 demutualization of the defendant Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. (Anthem Insurance), comes before this court for the second time. The plaintiffs are a class of state employees and retirees who, at the time of the demutualization, were enrolled in an Anthem Insurance group health care insurance plan. They contend that their participation in that plan entitled them to membership in Anthem Insurance and a share of the demutualization proceeds, and that Anthem Insurance and the other insurance company defendants; see part I E of this opinion; breached their contractual obligations by not paying the plaintiffs for their membership interests and instead distributing their share of the proceeds to the defendant state of Connecticut. The first time we considered this case, we concluded that all of the plaintiffs’ claims against the named defendant, John Rowland, the former governor of Connecticut, and the state were barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity or otherwise should have been dismissed. See Gold v. Rowland, 296 Conn. 186, 205, 209–11, 994 A.2d 106 (2010). Following our decision and a subsequent trial to the court of the plaintiffs’ breach of contract claims against the remaining defendants, the trial court, Bright, J., rendered judgment for those defendants. On appeal, the plaintiffs contend that the trial court incorrectly concluded that the relevant contract provisions were ambiguous and improperly consulted extrinsic evidence to determine their meaning. Finding no error, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=344

AC37936 - Holmes v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America ("The plaintiffs, Oliver Holmes and Hannah Sokol-Holmes, appeal from the summary judgment rendered in favor of the defendant, Safeco Insurance Company of America, on the plaintiffs’ claim for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in connection with the defendant’s failure and refusal to pay their claim for coverage under their homeowners’ insurance policy with the defendant for losses due to ice damming on their property in February of 2011. The court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiffs failed to commence an action within one year of the reported date of loss, as required by the time limitation provision of the subject homeowners’ insurance policy. On appeal, the plaintiffs argue, as they did before the trial court, that the one year time limitation provision of their policy was superseded as a matter of law by the eighteen month limitation provision of Connecticut’s standard fire insurance policy, as set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 2011) § 38a-307, because the scope of coverage undertheir homeowners’ policy extended to losses caused by fire, which are governed by that statute. For the following reasons, we agree with the trial court that that claim must be rejected in this case, which does not arise from or concern a fire loss, and thus that the court’s judgment for the defendant must be affirmed.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=325

AC36749, AC37140, AC37141, AC37142, AC37143, AC37144, AC37145, AC37146, AC37147, AC37148, AC37149, AC37150, AC37151 - R.T. Vanderbilt Co. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. ("The present action arises from thousands of underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from exposure to industrial talc mined and sold by the plaintiff, R.T. Vanderbilt Company, Inc. (Vanderbilt), that purportedly contained asbestos. In this interlocutory appeal, Vanderbilt and the defendants, approximately thirty insurance companies that issued comprehensive general liability insurance policies to Vanderbilt between 1948 and 2008, are seeking, among other things, a declaratory judgment determining their respective obligations with regard to the underlying actions. Through a series of bifurcation orders, the trial court, Shaban, J., divided the trial into four phases, and the case reaches us now, following the second phase of the trial, on the parties’ appeals and cross appeals from several decisions of the court. Before the trial proceeds further, the parties ask that we address approximately twenty issues—primarily questions of law—that will significantly impact the adjudication of the remaining trial phases. These issues present a number of questions of first impression in Connecticut and, in some instances, nationally. Although most relate to the methodology by which insurance obligations are to be allocated with respect to long latency asbestos related claims that implicate multiple policy periods, the parties also challenge the trial court’s rulings with respect to the interpretation of various scope of coverage and exclusion provisions in the Vanderbilt policies, whether certain of the primary policies have been exhausted, and other evidentiary and miscellaneous issues. As detailed more fully hereinafter, we affirm in part and reverse in part the rulings of the trial court.")


Insurance Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=286

AC37828 - Aurora Loan Services, LLC v. Hirsch ("The substitute plaintiff, Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, appeals from the judgment of the trial court rendered, in part, in favor of the defendant, Connecticut Attorneys Title Insurance Company. The plaintiff claims that the court erred in: (1) its calculation of damages; (2) declining to award attorney’s fees; and (3) calculating prejudgment interest pursuant to General Statutes § 37-3a from the return date on the summons. We disagree and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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