Denial of Insurance Benefits Based on Criminal Act Exclusion Upheld, Plus Criminal Matters
Progressive Ins. Co. v. McDonough, No. 09-2520, involved an action against an insurance company for policy proceeds arising out of a car accident. The court affirmed summary judgment for defendant, holding that the criminal-act exclusion in the policy precluded recovery because the perpetrator pled guilty to intentionally hitting plaintiff with his car.
In US v. Cochrane, No. 09-2191, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's sentence for aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, on the ground that, although the district court addressed defendant's objections at the sentencing hearing, the district court failed to put the burden on the government to prove defendant's disputed theft conviction, and the district court also failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing on the disputed theft conviction.
In US v. Mitchell, No. 09-3161, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's bankruptcy fraud sentence, holding that, in a complicated proceeding such as this, the district court must reasonably approximate the value of the assets that the defendant fraudulently sought to preserve.