R.P. Family v. Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company

 on November 26th, 2014

Action by insured fee owner to recover damages based on title policy. Underwriter’s motion for summary judgment based on 3(a) exclusion in the policy, denied. The title underwriter bears the burden to demonstrate the facts come wholly within the policy exclusion. Fact issues precluded summary judgment.

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Sun Life Insurance v. Dean G. Braslow

 on June 30th, 2012

Life insurer sought to interplead death benefit in light of conflicting claims to the benefit among various beneficiaries. One claimant interposed a counterclaim for negligence claiming the insurer failed to properly process the beneficiary designation forms. The Appellate Division rendered summary judgment dismissing the claims and directed the deposit of the benefit into court. The insurance underwriter had no contract with the beneficiaries and consequently no duty of care. The underwriter was also awarded counsel fees as a disinterested stakeholder.

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Peter Seitzman, M.D. v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada

 on June 29th, 2012

One of the very few ERISA cases in which the Court awarded counsel fees the plan administrator incurred in defending a claim for disability benefits. Second Circuit affirmed District Court’s award of 50% of administrator’s counsel fees on the basis the claimant presented false testimony and the claim was presented in bad faith.

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