In a case on which we previously reported, a federal court in New York recently denied plaintiff insurer’s motion to reconsider the court’s order granting defendant reinsurer’s motion for partial summary judgment. In that order, the court granted defendant Clearwater Insurance Company’s (Clearwater) motion for partial summary judgment because it found that the Liability Clauses in the facultative reinsurance certificates that Clearwater issued to plaintiff Utica Mutual Insurance Company (Utica) established limits on Clearwater’s liability. Specifically, these clauses capped Clearwater’s overall liability for losses (amounts an insurer pays to indemnify its policyholder) and expenses (amounts an insurer pays to defend its policyholder). Applying New York law, the court concluded that the contract was unambiguous and that the caps should be honored.

In its motion for reconsideration, Utica asked the court to deny Clearwater’s motion for partial summary judgment, arguing that a recent Second Circuit order represented an intervening change in controlling law. The court, however, denied Utica’s motion for three reasons: (1) because it was untimely; (2) because the order cited in Utica’s motion did not constitute an intervening change in controlling law; and (3) because even if the order were such an intervening change, it was distinguishable from the case at bar. Utica Mutual Ins. Co. v. Clearwater Ins. Co., No. 6:13-cv-01178 (USDC N.D.N.Y. July 23, 2015).

This post written by Whitney Fore, a law clerk at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt in Washington, DC.

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