Wargo French is pleased to share several successful results for its London market insurance clients (“Underwriters”), which have recently been unsealed and are now public. Scottsdale Insurance Co. initiated this matter against Underwriters regarding allocation of a $64 million judgment against a former partner of Dickstein Shapiro LLP.
Underwriters had settled the lawsuit but Scottsdale did not participate, challenging whether Underwriters had exhausted their limits (a requirement for Scottsdale’s Policy to be triggered) and filing this action for declaratory relief. On March 13, 2019, the Central District of California, issued a sweeping 37-page summary judgment order granting summary judgment for Underwriters in part, addressing numerous undeveloped areas in the law. The Court found among other things, “Scottsdale has no independent right to veto a reasonable settlement decision made by [Underwriters].” Scottsdale sought reconsideration, claiming the Court “significantly misunderstood” the arguments. The Court recently reaffirmed and awarded $350,000 in fees against Scottsdale in favor of their mutual insured. These decisions are now unsealed and published at Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Dickstein Shapiro LLP, 389 F. Supp. 3d 794 (C.D. Cal. 2019).
Underwriters have now initiated a new action against Scottsdale, on September 12, alleging Scottsdale’s non-compliance with the Court’s Order. The complaint seeks bad faith damages and attorney’s fees under Brandt v. Superior Court, 37 Cal. 3d 813 (1985) and the Court’s statutory and inherent power to punish for contempt.
These actions have been reported by the Mealey's insurance journals at the following links: