East Coast CM Report of Recent Decisions – 2019 Volume 4

January 21, 2020 / CM Reports

Connecticut Court Holds That Homeowner Has No Coverage Under Property Policy For Defective Foundation

In Jemiola v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 2019 Conn. LEXIS 340, 2019 WL 5955904 (Nov. 12, 2019), Edith Jemiola (“Ms. Jemiola”), a homeowner in Northeastern Connecticut, brought a coverage lawsuit against Hartford Casualty Insurance Company (“Hartford”), her homeowner’s property insurance carrier.

First Department Opens Door To Allow Consideration Of Circumstantial Facts In Duty To Defend Cases

The New York State Court of Appeals ruled that courts must look at the allegations of the complaint and the terms of the policy in determining an insurer’s duty to defend its insured. Technicon Elec. Corp. v. Am. Home Assurance Co., 74 N.Y.2d 66, 73 (1989).

Pennsylvania Chooses Case-By-Case Approach For Landlord-Tenant Implied Co-Insured Question

Pennsylvania’s appellate court recently applied a case-by-case approach to determine whether a property insurer can pursue a subrogation claim against a tenant who negligently caused damage to the property. In Joella v. Cole, 2019 PA Super. 313 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2019), the Court reviewed three methods other courts have used to determine when an insurer may pursue recovery against negligent tenants: the pro-subrogation approach; the anti-subrogation approach; or the case-by-case approach.

New York Appellate Term Establishes 150-Day Deadline To Issue A No-Fault Denial Based Upon An Applicant’s Failure To Comply With A Verification Request

A New York Appellate Court denied insurer MVAIC’s cross-motion for summary judgment, dismissing the claim as premature and finding that under no-fault regulation 11 NYCRR 65-3.5, the deadline to issue a denial based upon the grounds that an applicant failed to provide complete verification is 150 days after the initial request for verification. Chapa Prods. Corp. v. MVAIC, 2019 NY Slip Op 29341 (App. T. 2d Dep’t).

Plaintiff Unable To Seek Personal Injury Protection Coverage From Tortfeasor’s Relatives

In Nesby v. Fleurmond, 2019 N.J. Super. LEXIS 162 (App. Div. November 18, 2019), the New Jersey Appellate Division determined whether a Plaintiff with limited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage could target the insurance policies of a Defendant’s relatives, when Defendant is uninsured.

Icy Reception For Landlords: New York’s Highest Court Refuses To Shift Responsibility For Sidewalk Maintenance To Third-Parties

Like many municipalities throughout the United States, New York City enacted a statute which imposes on real property owners the duty to maintain city owned sidewalks that abut their properties in a reasonably safe condition. The purpose of the law is to shift responsibility for injuries to property owners and away from the municipality.

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