• June 16, 2016

    Theater Co. Sues Broker Over Botched Haunted Barge Policy

    A Chicago-based theater company says its insurance broker failed to obtained the proper policy to cover $1.5 million in damages related to a haunted house tourist attraction located on a barge in Lake Michigan that subsequently sank during a 2014 storm, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in Illinois federal court.

  • June 15, 2016

    Penn-America Looks To Escape Coverage In RV Club Suit

    Penn-America Insurance is looking to get out of covering a $1.85 million class action settlement against a defunct South Carolina RV resort, saying Tuesday the claims that the resort converted to a public club after selling private memberships aren’t covered by its policy.

  • June 15, 2016

    Shakespeare Fest’s Wildfire Loss Is Covered, Judge Says

    Whether coverage by Great American Insurance Co. for lost profits after wildfires forced the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Association to cancel shows was to be, or not to be, is no longer the question, as an Oregon federal judge sided with the performance group, finding that poor air quality constituted physical damage.

  • June 15, 2016

    Data Breach Costs Rise To $7M Per Incident, Study Says

    U.S. companies now pay an average of just over $7 million for a standard data breach, according to a new study from IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the second-highest average in the 11 years the two have been doing the study.

  • June 15, 2016

    Attys Fight Sanctions In USAA Class Settlement Suit

    Attorneys facing possible sanctions from an Arkansas federal judge accusing them of shorting a class in an insurance claims settlement with the United Services Automobile Association urged him on Wednesday to avoid such penalties, saying the accusations have already cost them enough. 

  • June 15, 2016

    Insurer Takes Condo Coverage Fight To 11th Circ.

    Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co. on Wednesday said it would appeal to the Eleventh Circuit a judge’s decision to keep intact a Florida federal jury’s finding that Core Construction Services was entitled to defense coverage in an underlying condominium damage lawsuit.

  • June 15, 2016

    Texas Court Says BP Opinion Doesn't Apply In Pipeline Blast

    A Texas federal judge on Tuesday rejected Ace American Insurance Co.'s argument that a recent state Supreme Court opinion denying BP $750 million in coverage applies in its dispute with Lexington Insurance Co. over pipeline explosion litigation and nixed Ace's bid for reconsideration.

  • June 15, 2016

    U. Of Pittsburgh Says Delayed Campus Project Is Covered

    The University of Pittsburgh urged a New York federal court Wednesday to find Lexington Insurance Co. was properly notified of a claim for damages caused by construction delays at a historic campus landmark, saying the insurer wrongfully cited inadequate notice to deny coverage.

  • June 15, 2016

    Aetna Can't Recoup Medical Costs From Hanover: NY Justices

    New York's highest court ruled Tuesday that Aetna can't seek reimbursement from auto insurer Hanover Insurance Co. for payments it made to health care providers that treated a car crash victim, holding that the state's no-fault law doesn't allow a health insurer to pursue such a claim.

  • June 15, 2016

    5 Tips To Strengthen Your Insurance Legal Writing

    Making a clear, concise argument in a written brief or memorandum poses a challenge for any attorney. But insurance lawyers can face a particularly tough task in distilling into an easily readable form, the daunting legal jargon and tangled webs of contractual relationships that are intrinsic to the field. Here, attorneys discuss how insurance lawyers can strengthen their writing.

  • June 15, 2016

    Insurers Fight Coverage For Petroterminal's Pier Damage

    A Liberty Mutual unit and a slew of other insurers urged a New York federal court Tuesday to rule that they don't have to cover the cost of replacing a collapsed steel support at one of Petroterminal de Panama SA's piers, arguing that the loss falls squarely within a policy exclusion for gradual deterioration.

  • June 15, 2016

    Ex-NFLer's Claims Trimmed In Disability Benefits Suit

    A California federal court on Tuesday trimmed a breach of fiduciary duty claim from a suit brought by a former pro football player accusing two NFL retirement plans of repeatedly denying his application for total disability benefits despite his doctors’ diagnoses, saying he hasn’t shown a planwide injury.

  • June 14, 2016

    Insurer Off Hook For Suit Against Financial Firm

    St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. needn't indemnify troubled Hershare Financial Corp. for an investor lawsuit because the financial services company "flunks each of the unambiguous notice requirements" the insurer stipulated, an Illinois federal judge ruled Monday.

  • June 14, 2016

    Continental Looks To Dodge Attys' Fees In Superfund Suit

    Continental Casualty Co. on Monday asked the Ninth Circuit to revisit and undo the attorneys' fees portion of a $14.8 million award Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. won in their defense cost coverage dispute tied to environmental cleanup efforts at an Oregon Superfund site, which the appellate court affirmed last month.

  • June 14, 2016

    Insurer Wrong On Definition Of 'Collapse,' Building Co. Says

    The insurance company for a Seattle apartment building is wrong about the definition of the term “collapse” as it applies in Washington courts, and because of that the insurer should have to pay for repairs, the building’s owners told a Washington federal court Monday.

  • June 14, 2016

    6th Circ. Denies Dealership Coverage For Repair History Suit

    The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday found that a used Mercedes dealership’s policy with Motorists Mutual Insurance Co. doesn’t require the insurer to defend it from a suit brought by an individual alleging that the dealership misrepresented that the car he bought hadn't previously been damaged.

  • June 14, 2016

    Aveta Assails $1B Medicare Advantage FCA Suit

    Aveta Inc. on Monday attacked a False Claims Act suit that accuses its Medicare Advantage plans of collecting $1 billion in government overpayments, telling a Puerto Rico federal judge that whistleblower allegations are based on privileged documents and are lacking in specifics.

  • June 14, 2016

    Pa. High Court To Rule On Terminated Atty Contingency Fees

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a dispute over the enforceability of termination payments in attorney contingency fee agreements when a client secures new counsel before resolving a case, allowing a personal injury firm to advance its bid for payment from a former client.

  • June 14, 2016

    Mass. Court Flips Insurer's Win In Kids' Book Contract Spat

    A Massachusetts appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court’s quick judgment that U.S. Liability Insurance Co. doesn’t have to cover a nearly $600,000 default judgment Winbrook Communications obtained against its policyholder for a children’s book development deal gone wrong, finding that policy exclusion questions still remained.

  • June 14, 2016

    Stranger-Originated Life Policy Is Invalid, 7th Circ. Hears

    Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada told the Seventh Circuit on Monday that a court was wrong to rule in favor of U.S. Bank over a $6 million life insurance policy that Sun Life said showed strong signs of being taken out by a stranger to the person who died.

Expert Analysis

  • Ill. Appeals Court Ruling Could Mute TCPA Class Actions

    Bruce M. Lichtcsien

    In First Mercury Insurance v. Nationwide Security Services, an Illinois state appeals court called for a change in how attorneys' fees are calculated for Telephone Consumer Protection Act class actions, which could signal the death knell for profitable TCPA litigation in Illinois, says Bruce Lichtcsien at Hinkhouse Williams Walsh LLP.

  • 5 Tips For Negotiating And Drafting Joint E-Discovery Plans

    Anthony J. Rospert

    Courts often require parties to develop a joint e-discovery plan. But even when they are not court-imposed, parties should consider using joint e-discovery plans to promote transparency and streamline the discovery process, say Anthony Rospert and Jake Evans of Thompson Hine LLP.

  • Why FEMA's Sandy Claims Review Process Isn't Working

    Douglas J. Pepe

    Concerns over the administration and implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program following Superstorm Sandy resulted in a novel, ad hoc procedure for the adjustment and payment of previously closed flood claims, but the review process that was promised differs greatly from the process currently in practice, says Douglas Pepe at Joseph Hage Aaronson LLC.

  • 2 Things D&O Insurers Regularly Get Wrong

    Kevin M. LaCroix

    Kevin LaCroix of RT ProExec explains why the wording commonly used in the contractual liability and the professional liability exclusions in private company directors and officers insurance policies is problematic.

  • Unclaimed Property Auditors Move Beyond Life Insurers

    Wilson G. Barmeyer

    The same contingency-fee unclaimed property auditors that targeted life insurance companies are now turning their focus to other types of insurance, like health insurance and property and casualty insurance, raising a host of unique issues, say Wilson Barmeyer and Mary Jane Wilson-Bilik at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • Panama Papers: Reminders About Law Firm Cybersecurity

    Sean Doherty

    Nowhere is the attractiveness of law firms as cybercrime targets more evident than the recent Mossack Fonseca hack, believed to be the most significant data theft event in history. Firms represent a treasure trove of information and historically have had dreadful cybersecurity practices. There has been some progress, but firms can also commit to better defending their information by taking a simple, three-step approach, says Sean D... (continued)

  • Insurers Shouldn't Overreach In Gov't Investigations

    Nicholas P. Basco

    Insurance companies should be careful not to coordinate too closely with state agencies when assisting on insurance fraud investigations, so as to prevent possible civil rights and constitutional claims from individuals who may be investigation targets, like in Patel v. Allstate at the Third Circuit, says Nicholas Basco at Bressler Amery & Ross PC.

  • OPINION: Sotomayor's Solution To Pro Bono Is Incomplete

    David A. Lash

    In calling for mandatory pro bono service, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is effectively using her bully pulpit to advance the cause of access to justice for the poor. Her courageous leadership is a clarion call to action that must be heeded. But bold as it may be, the pronouncement is incomplete, says David Lash, managing counsel for pro bono at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Creating Barclay Damon: Lessons From A Law Firm Merger

    John P. Langan

    Joining two firms with long histories meant not only combining cultures, philosophies and deeply rooted ways of doing business, but also combining two IT systems, two accounting systems, and two ways of handling many other administrative functions. It didn't help that the firms had different fiscal year ends, says John Langan, managing partner of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • Why Mediations Fail And What To Do About It

    Cecilia H. Morgan

    The standard responses for why mediations fail are “wrong people, wrong time, no joint session,” but in interviews with colleagues and fellow mediators, Cecilia Morgan at JAMS ADR takes a look at other common reasons why mediation are unsuccessful, and the best ways to guide a mediation to a satisfactory conclusion.