Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Lincoln Benefit in a declaratory judgment action over an insurance policy. Considering sua sponte whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction, the panel held that the district court properly exercised jurisdiction; the district court did not abuse its discretion in deciding to strike plaintiff's expert report and plaintiff has not shown how an expert opinion could have been helpful in this case; there was no genuine dispute about whether plaintiff needed to pay certain sums to keep his policy from lapsing or whether Lincoln Benefit mailed the required notice at least 30 days before the policy lapsed; the policy was unambiguous and the district court's reading of the policy was proper; and because there was nothing to gain by deposing the Lincoln Benefit official most knowledgeable on policy lapses, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiff's request to delay consideration of the motion. View "Elhouty v. Lincoln Benefit Life Co." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit certified the following questions of state law to the California Supreme Court: 1. Are the lenders identified in Article XV of the California Constitution, see Cal. Const. art. XV, 1, as being exempt from the restrictions otherwise imposed by that article, nevertheless subject to the requirement in section 1916-2 of the California Civil Code that a lender may not compound interest "unless an agreement to that effect is clearly expressed in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith"? 2. Does an agreement meet the requirement of section 1916-2 if it is comprised of: (1) an application for insurance signed by the borrower, and (2) a policy of insurance containing an agreement for compound interest that is subsequently attached to the application, thus constituting the entire contract between the parties pursuant to section 10113 of the California Insurance Code? View "Wishnev v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit certified the following question of law to the Nevada Supreme Court: Under Nevada law, if a plaintiff has filed suit against an insurer seeking damages based on a separate judgment against its insured, does the insurer's liability expire when the statute of limitations on the judgment runs, notwithstanding that the suit was filed within the six-year life of the judgment? View "Nalder v. United Automobile Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The panel certified the following questions of state law to the Oregon Supreme Court: 1. If the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services approves a contractual limitations provision in an insurance policy under Oregon Revised Statutes 742.021, does the language of the policy always control or do the standard provisions of the Oregon Insurance Code apply if the standard provisions are more favorable than the approved insurance policy provision? 2. If the Oregon standard provisions do apply, when does "the period for which the insurer was liable" under Oregon Revised Statutes section 743.429 end? View "Raynor v. United of Omaha Life Insurance" on Justia Law