Category Archives: Subrogation

Large Property Loss

Indiana Court of Appeals Holds That Lease Terms Bar Landlord’s Carrier From Subrogating Against Commercial Tenant


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In Youell v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2018 Ind. App. LEXIS 497 (2018), the Court of Appeals of Indiana considered whether a landlord’s carrier could bring a subrogation claim against a commercial tenant for fire-related damages when the lease, which did not reference subrogation, explicitly required the landlord to maintain fire insurance coverage for the leased premises. The court held that subrogation was barred because the provision requiring the landlord to maintain fire insurance established an agreement to provide both parties with the benefits of insurance. The Youell case establishes that, in Indiana, if the lease explicitly states that the landlord will maintain fire casualty insurance for the building, the lease evidences an agreement by the parties to shift the risk of loss to the insurer. This agreement bars a landlord’s insurance carrier from subrogating against a commercial tenant in the event of a casualty. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Contracts, Indiana, Landlord-Tenant, Subrogation and tagged , .
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Minnesota Reaffirms Statutory Anti-Subrogation Rule


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In Depositors Ins. Co. v. Dollansky, 919 N.W.2d 684 (Minn. 2018), the Supreme Court of Minnesota considered whether the anti-subrogation rule set forth in Minn. Stat. §60A.41(a) precluded a motor home lessor’s insurer, Depositors Insurance Company (Depositors), from proceeding against the motor home lessee. Finding that the lessee was an insured under the lessor’s policy, the court held that Depositors could not pursue subrogation. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Anti-Subrogation Rule, Minnesota, Subrogation and tagged , , .
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California Court of Appeals Holds Subrogating Carrier Cannot Assert Claims of Its Suspended Insured


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In Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. v. Engel Insulation, Inc., 29 Cal. App. 5th 830 (2018), the Third District Court of Appeals of California addressed whether a subrogating carrier can assert the rights of its corporate insured while the insured is suspended and thus barred from doing so itself. The court rejected the argument that Cal. Rev & Tax Code § 19719(b) (1998), which exempts subrogating carriers from the penalties for asserting the rights of a suspended corporation set forth in its own subsection (a), eliminated the prohibition against carriers bringing an action based on the subrogation rights of its suspended insured. Because Travelers’ claims were based solely on its derivative rights of subrogation and its corporate insured was suspended, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling that Travelers had no right to bring its suit. The court’s holding reaffirms California case law that denies subrogating carriers any rights greater than those of their insureds. See Truck Ins. Exch. v. Superior Court, 60 Cal. App. 4th 342 (1997). Continue reading

This entry was posted in California, Parties, Subrogation and tagged .
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“Bad Kamara/Good Karma” — Life After Hartford v. Kamara


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How the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Decision in Kamara Changes the Legal Landscape for Workers’ Compensation Subrogation and Successfully Moving Forward

On November 21, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, reversed the Superior Court stating a right of action in Pennsylvania remains with the injured employee. Specifically, the court held that “unless the injured employee assigns her cause of action or voluntarily joins the litigation as a party plaintiff, the insurer may not enforce its statutory right to subrogation by filing an action directly against the tortfeasor.” Continue reading

This entry was posted in Pennsylvania, Subrogation, Workers' Compensation and tagged , , .
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A Tort Claim Is Not a Debt Within the Meaning of the Colorado’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


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In Ybarra v. Greenberg & Sada, P.C., 2018 CO 81, 2018 Colo. LEXIS 828 (Oct. 15, 2018), Francis Ybarra (Ybarra) filed a complaint against the law firm retained by State Farm Auto Insurance Company (State Farm) to pursue subrogation against Ybarra. In his suit, Ybarra alleged that the law firm violated Colorado’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) when it secured a default judgment against Ybarra. The Supreme Court of Colorado, agreeing that State Farm’s subrogation claim was not a transaction giving rise to a debt within the meaning of the FDCPA, held that the trial court properly dismissed Ybarra’s complaint for failure to state a claim. Continue reading

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Cargo

Carmack Amendment Loss Claims Should Indicate a Specified or Determinable Amount of Money


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In N.Y. Marine & Gen. Ins. Co. v. Estes Express Lines, Inc., 719 Fed. Appx. 691 (9th Cir. 2018), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Appeals Court) addressed the question of whether an insurer, N.Y. Marine & General Insurance Company (N.Y. Marine), could recover from a cargo carrier under the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706, if the insured’s loss claim did not state a specified amount of money. Finding that § 14706 requires that a party filing a cargo loss claim state a specified or determinable amount of money, the Appeals Court affirmed the district court’s holding that neither the carrier, Estes Express Lines, Inc. (Estes) nor the broker, Exfreight Zeta, Inc. (Zeta), was liable to N.Y. Marine. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Cargo - Transportation, Subrogation and tagged , .
Transportation

New York Federal Court Holds That the Montreal Convention Does Not Allow a Party to Recover Inspection Costs Where Cargo Suffers No Physical Damage


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In Indemnity Ins. Co. of N. Am. v. Agility Logistics Corp., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104179 (S.D.N.Y.), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York considered the “novel question” of whether the Montreal Convention allows recovery of inspection costs when there is no physical damage to the cargo at issue. Although acknowledging that its holding was, arguably, absurd, the court held that, based on the plain language of Article 18 of the Montreal Convention, the subrogating insurer could not recover the inspection costs its insured incurred. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Cargo - Transportation, Subrogation and tagged , , , .
Construction Defect

Northern District of Mississippi Finds That Non-Work Property Damages Are Not Subject to AIA’s Waiver of Subrogation Clause


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In recent months, the Northern District of Mississippi has grappled with how to interpret waivers of subrogation in American Institute of Architects (AIA) construction industry contracts and, specifically, how they apply to work versus non-work property. The distinction between work and non-work property has been commonly litigated and remains a hotly debated topic when handling subrogation claims involving construction defects. Continue reading

This entry was posted in AIA Contracts, Construction Defects, Mississippi, Subrogation, Waiver of Subrogation and tagged , , .
Water Loss

Connecticut Supreme Court Holds That Landlord’s Insurer Can Pursue Equitable Subrogation If Lease Requires Tenant Have Insurance and Holds Tenant Responsible for Damage


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In Amica Mutual Insurance Company v. Muldowney, 328 Conn. 428 (2018), the Connecticut Supreme Court considered whether a landlord’s insurance carrier could subrogate against the landlord’s tenants for property damage when the lease did not specifically authorize subrogation. The court held that, while subrogation was not expressly allowed, the language in the lease requiring the tenants to have liability insurance and holding them liable for damage was sufficient to overcome Connecticut’s common law presumption that a landlord’s carrier cannot subrogate against a tenant. This case emphasizes the importance of analyzing every aspect of a lease when determining the true intent of the parties with respect to subrogation. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Connecticut, Landlord-Tenant, Subrogation, Subrogation – Equitable and tagged , .
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Utah’s Supreme Court Addresses When an Insurer Can, Despite the Made Whole Doctrine, Proceed in Its Own Name


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In Wilson v. Educators Mut. Ins. Ass’n, 2017 UT 69, the Supreme Court of Utah considered whether an insurer had the right to bring a subrogation action in its own name despite the fact that its insured had not yet been made whole. The court held that, although the common law made whole doctrine generally bars an insurer from proceeding in its own name until after the insured has been made whole, the terms of an insured’s insurance policy can change the made whole doctrine. The Wilson case highlights the importance of reviewing the applicable insurance policy, in conjunction with the law of the applicable jurisdiction, to determine an insurer’s subrogation rights. Continue reading

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