Texas Insurance Law Newsbrief - September 28, 2021

September 28, 2021

COURT DENIES UIM INSURER’S MOTION TO DISMISS AND WARNS OF SANCTIONS

Last week, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas denied Allstate’s motion to dismiss an insured’s declaratory judgment action for underinsured motorist benefits, and warned Allstate that further motions to dismiss based on the same losing position may be met with sanctions.  Read more...

COURT DISMISSES INSURED’S CLAIMS AFTER PAYMENT OF APPRAISAL AWARD

Last week, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted Allstate’s motion for summary judgment, based on Allstate’s payment to the insured of the appraisal award.  Read more...

COURT CONCLUDES THAT FLOOR MAT WAS NOT AN UNREASONABLY DANGEROUS CONDITION; DISMISSES PREMISES-LIABILITY CLAIM

Last week, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas concluded that a floor mat at the entrance of a Skechers store was not an unreasonably dangerous condition, and dismissed customer’s premises-liability claim.  Read more...

COURT CONCLUDES THAT WATER ON FLOOR FOR TEN MINUTES IS LEGALLY INSUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE OF THE CONDITION; DISMISSES PREMISES-LIABILITY CLAIM

Last week, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas concluded that the presence of water on the floor of a Kroger store for ten minutes was legally insufficient to establish that Kroger had constructive notice of the alleged dangerous condition.  Read more...

FEDERAL COURT IN SAN ANTONIO ISSUES BACK-TO-BACK RULINGS IN FAVOR OF UIM INSURER

Recently, the District Court for the Western District of Texas – San Antonio Division issued two orders in favor of an insurer faced with a dispute over whether a insured is entitled to UIM coverage.  Read more...

FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES INSURED’S CAUSES OF ACTION AGAINST INSURER FOR NOT BEING PLED WITH SPECIFICITY BUT GIVES INSURED SECOND CRACK AT BAT

A federal court in San Antonio recently granted an insurer’s partial motion to dismiss because the insured failed to plead certain causes of action with factual particularity.  Read more...

FEDERAL JUDGE IN MCALLEN ISSUES REBUKE ON 542A REMOVALS

As our regular readers know, federal courts of Texas have been grappling with the removal of weather-based insurance cases that name local adjusters under Texas Insurance Code § 542A.006 since it was passed in late 2017.  Read more...

FIFTH CIRCUIT OVERTURNS INSURER WIN IN WIRE FRAUD CASE

The Fifth Circuit recently overturned a summary judgment in favor of a liability insurer on a claim involving a fraudulently-induced wire transfer of money.  Read more...

FEDERAL JUDGE IN HOUSTON ENFORCES ANTI-ASSIGNMENT CLAUSE, RETAINS JURISDICTION

Recently, a federal judge in Houston demonstrated some federal courts will carefully examine the totality of the circumstances when considering their jurisdiction, and will not be swayed by manipulative corporate shell games sometimes intended to deprive them of jurisdiction.  Read more...

COURT CONCLUDES THAT LAMBORGHINI WAS BEING TEST-DRIVEN, NOT PLEASURE-DRIVEN, AT THE TIME OF LOSS; COURT GRANTS SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON POLICY EXCLUSION FOR USE “OTHER THAN OCCASIONAL PLEASURE USE”

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas recently granted summary judgment in favor of insurer, after concluding that the insured’s Lamborghini was being test-driven, not driven for occasional pleasure, at the time of the collision.  Read more...

U.S. DISTRICT COURT DISMISSES CLAIMS AGAINST INSURANCE AGENCY AS PLAINTIFF FAILED TO MEET THE PLEADING REQUIREMENTS

The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas recently dismissed claims against an insurance agency due to the plaintiff’s failure to meet the pleading requirements.  Read more...

FEDERAL COURT DENIES INSURER’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, AGREEING WITH INSURED THAT FACT ISSUES EXISTED AS TO WHETHER THE INSURER ACTED IN BAD FAITH AND DENYING THE INSURER’S REQUEST TO LIMIT DAMAGES IN THE INSURED’S SWORN PROOF OF LOSS

A federal court recently denied an insurer’s motion for summary judgment, which sought to dismiss an insured’s bad faith claims, and should coverage be proven, to limit the insured’s damages to the amounts in his pre-suit demand letter and sworn proof of loss statements.  Read more...

DALLAS FEDERAL COURT JOINS CHORUS OF COURTS NATIONWIDE IN DISMISSING COVID-19-RELATED BUSINESS LOSS CLAIMS DUE TO LACK OF “DIRECT PHYSICAL LOSS”

The Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas recently granted an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s COVID-19-realted business loss claim, adding its voice to a growing list of courts dismissing such claims based on policy language requiring a “risk of direct physical loss.”  Read more...

FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS CLARIFIES THAT, WHILE AN INSURED’S ACCEPTANCE OF AN APPRAISAL AWARD PRECLUDES A BREACH OF CONTRACT CLAIM, AN INSURER MAY STILL BE LIABLE UNDER THE TEXAS PROMPT PAYMENT OF CLAIMS ACT IF THE APPRAISAL PAYMENT WAS NOT TIMELY

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed in part and reversed in part a district court’s ruling on an insurer’s motion for summary judgment, holding that the acceptance and payment of an appraisal award bars an insured from suing an insurer for breach of contract but not from making a claim under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act.  Read more...