Justia Insurance Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
United States v. Great Am. Ins. Co
In 1997, the U.S. Department of Commerce determined, under 19 U.S.C. 1673b, that freshwater crawfish tail meat from China was being sold in the U.S. at less than fair value and directed Customs to suspend final computation of duties on such entries and to require a deposit or bond to cover estimated duties. In 2000-2001, New Phoenix made entries of the product. The exporters were subject to “new shipper” review to determine whether they were entitled to antidumping-duty rates distinct from the default rate. Each of five bonds issued by Great American to cover anticipated duties was for $1,219,458 and was signed by Davis and accepted by the government, although the power-of-attorney filed with Customs indicated a limit of $1 million on his authority. Great American later revoked his authority. In 2003, Commerce published final results, finding that the exporter was not entitled to a different rate and sought payment from New Phoenix and Great American. The amount owed is greater than the amounts of the bonds. The trial court granted the government summary judgment, without pre- and post-judgment interest, finding that the government did not timely address those issues. The Federal Circuit affirmed that the bonds were not enforceable beyond Davis’s stated authority and the denial of pre-judgment interest View "United States v. Great Am. Ins. Co" on Justia Law
Bancorp Servs., L.L.C. v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada
Bancorp owns the 792 and 037 patents, for tracking value of life insurance policies in separate accounts, under which the policy owner pays a premium beyond that required for the death benefit and specifies types of assets in which additional funds are invested. Corporations use the policies to insure employees’ lives and fund retirement benefits on a tax-advantaged basis. The value of a separate account policy fluctuates; owners must report the value of their policies. The patents provide a computerized means for tracking book and market values and calculating stable value guarantee. Bancorp sued Sun Life for infringement. In another suit, the court invalidated the 792 patent for indefiniteness. Bancorp and Sun Life stipulated to conditional dismissal on collateral estoppel. The Federal Circuit reversed the other case. The district court vacated dismissal then granted summary judgment of invalidity under section 101 (ineligible abstract ideas) without addressing claim construction and analyzing each claim as a process claim. Applying “the machine-or-transformation test,” specified computer components are only objects on which claimed methods operate, and the central processor is a general purpose computer programmed in an unspecified manner for a process that can be completed manually. The claims “do not transform the raw data into anything other than more data and are not representations of any physically existing objects.” The Federal Circuit affirmed. View "Bancorp Servs., L.L.C. v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada" on Justia Law
Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co. v. United States
A contractor, renovating military housing, obtained a performance bond under the Miller Act (40 U.S.C. 3131 (b)) and abandoned the project after completing 12 percent of the work. The government had paid 40 percent of the contract price. The surety contracted for completion, but the second contractor discovered code violations and incurred penalties for late completion. Costs were reimbursed by the surety, which filed suit under the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. 1491. The Federal Circuit held that the Claims Court lacked jurisdiction. The court previously held that the Claims Court has jurisdiction under the Act over sureties' claims based on a theory of equitable subrogation; this case does not involve equitable subrogation because the government made payments at issue before receiving notice of the contractor's default. The waiver of sovereign immunity under the Act does not extend to impairment of suretyship claims apart from the theory of equitable subrogation. The Contract Disputes Act, 41 U.S.C. 601, applies to a surety's claim against the government arising from a takeover agreement between the government and surety for completion of a bonded contract following the principal obligorâs default; the surety failed to satisfy CDA jurisdictional prerequisites.