• December 5, 2014

    Rock Band Tool's Insurer Denied Quick Win In Coverage Row

    A California judge has refused to find that Clarendon National Insurance Co. doesn't have a duty to indemnify the rock band Tool in a graphic designer's suit claiming copyright infringement and defamation, ruling that the insurer failed to show that any of the exclusions in its commercial general liability policy bar coverage.

  • December 5, 2014

    Fla. Appellate Puts Insurer On Hook In Doctor Defamation Row

    A Florida appeals court said Old Dominion Insurance Co. must defend four doctors fighting a defamation claim brought by their former medical practice's founder, whom they're suing for breach of contract, ruling Friday that an employment-related exclusion didn't preclude coverage.

  • December 5, 2014

    La. Backs Couples' Bid For High Court Marriage Ban Review

    Couples who lost their trial court bid to overturn Louisiana's gay marriage ban are correct that the “extraordinary” step of U.S. Supreme Court intervention in their case before an intermediate appellate ruling is appropriate, Louisiana has told the high court, citing a “spiraling national controversy.”

  • December 5, 2014

    Sentry Aims To Nix Bid To Cover Edible Arrangements IP Row

    Sentry Insurance asked a California federal court on Thursday to side with it in a coverage dispute with online retailer Provide Commerce Inc., which wants Sentry to defend it against cut fruit retailer Edible Arrangement LLC’s trademark infringement suit over online search ads.

  • December 5, 2014

    Chrysler Wins Reversal On $50M Ch. 11 Tax Dispute

    A New York federal judge has reinstated Chrysler Group LLC’s attempt to claw back more than $50 million that three Midwestern states have collected in unemployment insurance taxes that the carmaker says it was freed from by virtue of its 2009 trip through Chapter 11.

  • December 5, 2014

    Insurer Blasts Gawker Coverage Bid In Hogan Sex Tape Feud

    Gawker Media LLC's argument that Nautilus Insurance Co. must defend and indemnify it in a suit over the release of a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan conflicts with controlling Second Circuit precedent, the insurer told a New York federal court Thursday, the latest salvo in the coverage battle.

  • December 5, 2014

    Cincinnati Insurance Wants Out Of Cookie Co. False Ad Suit

    Cincinnati Insurance Co. sued Bodacious Food Co. in Florida federal court Thursday, saying it shouldn't have to defend the company from an underlying proposed class action accusing it of falsely marketing its cookies as "all natural" because its policy bars coverage for litigation stemming from knowingly publishing misleading statements.

  • December 5, 2014

    Progressive Gets Builder’s Claims Pared In Atty Choice Row

    A Florida federal judge pared claims Thursday in a home builder’s suit against Progressive Express Insurance Co. alleging the auto insurer breached its duty to defend the builder in an injury suit by providing conflicted or unsuitable counsel, finding its declaratory claim moot because the underlying controversy is now resolved.

  • December 5, 2014

    Minority Powerbrokers Q&A: Shell's Donny Ching

    I tell my lawyers not to keep trying to impress their bosses and advance their careers. It's much more powerful and gratifying to become a role model to the many people seeking leadership and guidance. These are the best leaders and role models for firms, says Donny Ching, legal director of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the first Asian member of its eight-person executive committee.

  • December 5, 2014

    Kaiser Permanente To Pay $5.4M To End TCPA Class Action

    Kaiser Permanente will pay $5.35 million to settle a class action accusing the health care organization of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unsolicited prerecorded messages to former customers’ cellphones, according to an order signed by a California federal judge Thursday.

  • December 4, 2014

    Sandy Victims Accuse Hartford, Law Firm Of Racketeering

    Hartford Insurance Co. of the Midwest and its law firm Nielsen Carter & Treas LLC were hit by a proposed class action Thursday in New York federal court from homeowners who claim that the companies and others engaged in racketeering to falsely deny claims from Hurricane Sandy.

  • December 4, 2014

    HHS Says $2B Hinges On New Policy Choices

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday released an in-depth report aimed at driving Americans to shop around for better deals on Affordable Care Act marketplaces, saying that more than $2 billion hangs in the balance.

  • December 4, 2014

    Lawmakers Urge High Court To Hear ACA Panel Challenge

    A group of Congress members urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to hear a petition challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s cost-control panel, saying that the provision is already causing harm to an Arizona physician who is a plaintiff in the case.

  • December 4, 2014

    Common Interest Privilege Doesn't Start With Pending Suit

    A New York appeals court on Thursday said the threat of litigation isn’t necessary to invoke the common interest doctrine protecting attorney-client communications involving a third party, handing a win to Bank of America Corp. in an insurer’s $1 billion lawsuit over toxic residential mortgage-backed securities.

  • December 4, 2014

    Treasury Official Urges Banks To Buy Cyberrisk Insurance

    A top U.S. Treasury Department official, speaking at a conference of the Texas Bankers' Association on Wednesday, urged banks to consider purchasing cyberrisk insurance in light of the recent string of high-profile data breaches targeting JPMorgan Chase & Co. and major retailers.

  • December 4, 2014

    7th Circ. ‘Trigger’ Ruling May Up Risks For Property Insurers

    The Seventh Circuit's recent ruling that Chubb Indemnity Insurance Co. must pay a claim for water damage sustained over 16 years under Wisconsin's "continuous trigger" theory could leave property insurers with broadly worded policies on the hook for losses not detected during a policy period, experts say.

  • December 4, 2014

    Reckitt Can't Escape Antitrust Case Over 'Product-Hopping'

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Wednesday trimmed a multidistrict class action against Reckitt Benckiser Inc. but said direct purchasers of the drug sufficiently backed their claim that the drugmaker used an anti-competitive “product-hopping” scheme to keep generic rivals to its opiate addiction treatment Suboxone off the market.

  • December 4, 2014

    Calif. Same-Sex Benefits Suit Axed Due To New Rights

    A California federal judge on Thursday tossed a putative class action alleging the state's employee benefits system treats public workers with same-sex domestic partners unfairly, saying marriage rights granted to same-sex couples since the suit's initial filing have removed discriminatory barriers to the benefits.

  • December 4, 2014

    Hartford Off Hook For $6.5M Organix False-Ad Deal

    A Florida federal judge on Thursday tossed Vogue International LLC’s suit asking Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. to cover a $6.5 million settlement in an underlying class action accusing the hair care company of falsely marketing its Organix products as organic, after Vogue said it couldn’t establish jurisdiction.

  • December 4, 2014

    Workers' Comp Exclusion Keeps Family From Collecting $9.5M

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the family of a landscaping employee killed on the job is barred from collecting a $9.5 million tort judgment from his employer's insurer, Zenith Insurance Co., because of a workers' compensation exclusion in the employer's liability policy.

Expert Analysis

  • ACA-Compliant 'Skinny Plans' Hold Promise For Employers

    Eric D. Fader

    By covering preventive services required by the Affordable Care Act but excluding pricier inpatient hospitalization and other benefits with so-called skinny plans, employers with large numbers of low-wage workers can offer their employees a low-cost, technically compliant health plan and avoid play-or-pay penalties, says Eric Fader of Day Pitney LLP.

  • High Court Measures Up Yard-Man In Oral Arguments

    Stuart M. Gerson

    Given the tenor of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett, it is not unlikely that the Yard-Man presumption will be negated, but also that the literalism sought by both parties will be rejected as well, leaving a fact-specific test where there is ambiguity in a collective bargaining agreement, says Stuart Gerson of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Cyberattack Reimbursement Doesn't Require Insurer Consent

    Matthew L. Jacobs

    A Pennsylvania district court's recent ruling in First Commonwealth Bank v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., which involved a cyberattack on an oil company, is significant because it demonstrates that insurance coverage is available when the insured is complying with the law governing its response obligations to hacking, regardless of whether the insured received the insurer’s written consent, say Matthew Jacobs and Daniel Johnson o... (continued)

  • Setback For Pa. Insurers In Product Liability Cases

    Sergio F. Oehninger

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in Indalex v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh Pa. is a substantial hurdle for insurers looking to evade their duty to defend claims arising from negligently designed or faulty products and limits the reach of Kvaerner Metals Division of Kvaerner U.S. Inc. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., say Sergio Oehninger and Michael Levine of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Ambac Ruling Raises New Questions For RMBS Litigators

    R. James De Rose III

    A New York court’s decision in Ambac Assurance Corp. v. EMC Mortgage LLC clarifies the way courts will treat certain direct claims under repurchase provisions in contracts that govern residential mortgage-backed securities, but raises questions about whether they will entertain similar claims directed by an insurer at parties with standing to exercise these same provisions, say attorneys with Locke Lord LLP.

  • Growing Gov't Crackdown On Health Care Fraud: Part 3

    Hilary H. LoCicero

    In light of recent enforcement trends, health care stakeholders that work with government-sponsored health care programs should protect against even the appearance of irregularity in billing, coding and compensation by, among other things, seeking feedback on audits, tracking peer reviews and focusing on informed patient consent, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells US LLP.

  • Growing Gov't Crackdown On Health Care Fraud: Part 2

    Hilary H. LoCicero

    While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has always used data mining tools to track millions of claims, prosecutors and regulators are now using such tools to identify health care practitioners that stand out based on high reimbursement claims under the theory that they are submitting fraudulent charges, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells US LLP.

  • 5 Ways To Uncover Bias During Jury Selection

    Joshua Dubin

    Failing to identify and elicit suppressed biases hinders practitioners’ ability to de-select prospective jurors during jury selection. Five strategies can help mitigate the effects of prospective jurors’ tendency to “self-enhance,” says Joshua Dubin, principal of Dubin Research & Consulting.

  • How Senate Without Filibuster-Proof Majority Avoids Gridlock

    William R. Nordwind

    Even without a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, it is likely to be a very active session for the Republican Congress next year — especially if they take advantage of some key legislative tools available to a congressional majority, say former congressional counsel now with Venable LLP.

  • Growing Gov't Crackdown On Health Care Fraud: Part 1

    Hilary H. LoCicero

    The U.S. Department of Justice's use of the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act and its aggressive view of what constitutes fair market value under the Stark Law point to prosecutors expanding their investigatory reach with a host of aggressive, sometimes novel, interpretations of statutes and regulations, say attorneys at Hogan Lovells US LLP.