• February 26, 2015

    Oracle Hits Ex-Gov.’s Staffers With $33M Cover Oregon Suit

    Oracle America Inc. hit five campaign advisers for disgraced former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber with a $33 million suit in state court on Thursday, accusing them of secretly interfering with Oregon’s failed health care exchange in order to help Kitzhaber win re-election last year.

  • February 26, 2015

    3rd Circ. Nixes Intervention Bid In Bad Faith Dispute

    The Third Circuit on Wednesday denied Leonetti's Frozen Foods Inc.'s bid to intervene in a bad faith suit brought by a sausage maker against an excess insurer over a $3.2 million judgment, which had been rendered in an underlying dispute between the two food companies.

  • February 26, 2015

    AIG Unit Off Hook For Plane Worker's $6M Deal Over Lost Leg

    An American International Group Inc. unit doesn't have to defend or indemnify EVA Airways Corp. in a suit over a plane wheel's severing of an EVA employee's leg, a California federal judge ruled Thursday, saying the insurer's policy wasn't triggered because the case settled for $5.75 million — within another policy's limits.

  • February 26, 2015

    St. Paul Owes $6.3M In Atty Fees In Katrina Insurance Beef

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday awarded oil field operator Cox Operating LLC nearly $6.3 million in attorneys' fees and costs resulting from a dispute with St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Co. over Hurricane Katrina cleanup coverage.

  • February 26, 2015

    3 More Insurance Cos. Off Hook In Shipbuilder FCA Suit

    A Louisiana federal court on Thursday cleared three insurance companies of any obligation to cover Bollinger Shipyards Inc.’s costs from a False Claims Act suit that accused the shipbuilder of botching a $78 million U.S. Coast Guard vessel modification job.

  • February 26, 2015

    Insurer Doesn't Have To Pay If Property Owner Lied: Court

    A New York appeals court on Wednesday held that CastlePoint Insurance Co. doesn't have to cover fire damage to a Brooklyn residence because the insurance policy application falsely stated that the property would be occupied by the owner, regardless of whether the owner authorized the misrepresentation.

  • February 26, 2015

    Recovery Of Superfund Defense Costs Follows A Paper Trail

    An Oregon federal court on Wednesday said that to win defense costs associated with a cleanup dispute over a Portland Superfund site from a massive group of insurers, a group of ironwork companies and their voluntary insurer need to itemize the costs and prove their characterization as defense costs.

  • February 26, 2015

    JSW Can't Nix Duty To Defend Claim Over $156M Judgment

    A Texas federal judge on Thursday wouldn’t dismiss Chartis Specialty Insurance Co.'s claim that it has no duty to defend JSW Steel (USA) Inc. in an appeal of a $156 million judgment, rendered after a jury found the company conspired to drive a competitor out of business.

  • February 26, 2015

    Marshall Dennehey Can't Dodge Ex-Associate’s ADA Claims

    Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin must continue to fight claims from a former insurance associate who alleged that she was terminated because of a medical condition, after a Pennsylvania federal judge on Wednesday rejected the bulk of the firm’s motion for dismissal.

  • February 26, 2015

    5th Circ. Tosses Anco's Bid For Asbestos Coverage

    The Fifth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a lower court’s ruling that National Union Fire Insurance Co. isn't liable for defense costs stemming from a string of asbestos-related suits against Anco Insulations Inc., ruling that the court correctly found that Anco failed to timely render its claims.

  • February 26, 2015

    Troutman Sanders’ New SF Office Pads West Coast Expansion

    Troutman Sanders LLP will unveil its fourth West Coast outpost in six years when it opens its new San Francisco office on April 1, focusing on energy, finance, insurance, intellectual property, litigation and China inbound and outbound work, the firm announced Wednesday.

  • February 26, 2015

    Continental Can't Prorate Duty To Defend, La. Court Affirms

    A Louisiana appeals court on Wednesday affirmed that Continental Casualty Co. must provide a full defense to American Sugar Refining Inc. in litigation brought by employees who allege they suffered hearing loss at one of the company's refineries, finding that Continental can't prorate its duty to defend based on coverage time frames.

  • February 26, 2015

    GOP Voices Doubt On Lack Of ACA Backup Plan

    House Republicans on Thursday said they've learned that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a 100-page document outlining options if the U.S. Supreme Court curtails Affordable Care Act tax credits, even as the agency claims to have no remedies for such a ruling.

  • February 26, 2015

    Reed Smith Wants Mansion Fire Malpractice Row Arbitrated

    Reed Smith LLP said in a Pennsylvania court filing Wednesday that a malpractice suit accusing the firm of botching a $20.5 million insurance settlement tied to a fire at a historic suburban Philadelphia mansion belongs in arbitration.

  • February 26, 2015

    NC Senate Absolves Judges From Gay Marriage Duties

    The North Carolina Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would allow judges to refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies on religious grounds, even though the marriages have been legal in the state since a federal judge’s October ruling.

  • February 26, 2015

    NY AG To Push Whistleblower Rewards Program

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday unveiled plans for legislation to create a program to reward and protect whistleblowers who report information about financial frauds to the state’s top cop.

  • February 25, 2015

    Texas Pol Files Judicial Complaint Over Austin Gay Wedding

    A Texas state representative on Wednesday filed a judicial complaint with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct in response to an Austin judge’s decision to allow the state’s first legal same-sex marriage last week, with the lawmaker asking the commission to investigate.

  • February 25, 2015

    DOJ Says Plaintiffs' Atty Revealed Draft Docs In Sandy Suits

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday asked a New York federal court to strike a letter from plaintiffs’ counsel outlining certain confidentiality provisions contained in draft settlement negotiations between Hurricane Sandy victims and insurance companies, saying that the letter revealed information from private discussions.

  • February 25, 2015

    Sony Tells NY Appeals Court Insurers Must Cover Data Breach

    Sony Corp. of America on Wednesday asked a New York state appeals court to reverse a landmark ruling that freed Zurich American Insurance Co. and other insurers from covering the infamous PlayStation Network data breach, saying its policy covered it for information published in any manner.

  • February 25, 2015

    SEC Cites 'Misleading' Life Partners Release In Trustee Bid

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday told a Texas bankruptcy court that a "grossly misleading" news release issued by Life Partners Holdings Inc. earlier this week suggests its former top brass may still be involved in management roles, further underpinning the need for a Chapter 11 trustee.

Expert Analysis

  • Unmasking Justice Roberts' Umpire Metaphor In ACA Fight

    Robert B. Hoffman

    What is so concerning about King v. Burwell is that an issue of statutory construction regarding the Affordable Care Act has become so politically driven — the fact that, in all likelihood, the split will hew closely to the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal and conservative blocs on how to interpret a statute is a troubling sign of the times, says Robert Hoffman of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • 2 Years Of Clapper: Takeaways From 12 Data Breach Cases

    Andrew Hoffman

    Feb. 26 marks the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA. Federal district courts in at least 12 data breach cases have applied Clapper, and while the majority have concluded that Clapper mandates dismissal for a lack of standing, some courts have found that standing exists, says Andrew Hoffman of InfoLawGroup LLP.

  • Additional-Insured Concerns Surface In Deepwater Horizon

    Micah E. Skidmore

    The Texas Supreme Court's recent ruling in the matter of Deepwater Horizon will inevitably prompt more questions regarding the importance of “certificates of insurance” as well as how explicit a reference within an insurance policy must be or what nexus that reference must have with a coverage limitation before additional-insured status is circumscribed, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • NY Courts Are Both Affirming And Limiting Bellefonte

    Robert A. Kole

    Despite several challenges over the years, federal and state courts in New York have consistently reaffirmed the core holding in Bellefonte Reinsurance v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. However, the Second Circuit's recent ruling in Utica Mutual Insurance v. Munich Reinsurance America held that Bellefonte's presumption of cost-inclusiveness can be rebutted, say Robert Kole and Kevin Finnerty of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • This Week In Congress: Avoiding A DHS Funding Showdown

    Richard A. Hertling

    One major change in the debate over U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding — which expires this Friday — is that a Texas federal district judge has issued an injunction against the Obama administration’s immigration policy, essentially putting it on hold. This may be an opportunity for the Senate to avoid the policy riders and pass a clean funding bill, says Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • In-House Counsel's Dirty 'Little' Secret: Data Leakage

    Jennifer Topper

    Not every data breach is a massive headline-grabbing theft of consumer credit card information. As significant as these events may seem, the more dangerous and prevalent threats are the least visible — occurring through "data leakage." Put simply, this is raw meat awaiting a strike by the plaintiff’s bar, says legal industry adviser Jennifer Topper.

  • 'Loss' In Translation: Insurers Beware

    Jose M. Umbert

    Reviewing an English translation of a Spanish language insurance policy is simply not enough as even experienced vendors based in civil law jurisdictions may not appreciate the assumptions of (re)insurers more familiar with common law policies and claim-adjusting expectations. Seemingly innocuous peculiarities should not be ignored, say Jose Umbert and Jason Reeves of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Recasting Claims Under CGL Policies Is Rough In 5th Circ.

    Jon T. Neumann

    The Fifth Circuit’s rejection of the Gum Tree defendants’ argument in Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Gum Tree Property Management LLC that misappropriation of a business’ proprietary information is akin to violation of a “person’s” privacy rights under a general commercial liability policy has immediate significance for policyholders who may face claims for misappropriation of trade secrets from business competitors, say Jo... (continued)

  • Presidential Summit Reveals Cybersecurity Concerns, Trends

    Angelique Kaounis

    To be adequately informed about and prepared for cybersecurity threats — and to minimize loss of intellectual property and potential liability for data breaches — companies should carefully consider relevant practices described at last week's White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, says Angelique Kaounis of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Dim Future For Ill. Bright-Line Competition Restrictions

    Robert R. Duda Jr.

    Employers seeking to enforce competition restrictions in Illinois federal court may take advantage of Bankers Life and Casualty Co. v. Miller by making a strong argument for a case-by-case assessment of whether there is sufficient consideration, rather than application of a bright-line test, say Robert Duda Jr. and Terry Smith of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.