Courts Are Not Confused About Opioid Insurance Suits

By Bernard Bell, Tab Turano and Tae Andrews (November 18, 2020, 5:39 PM EST) -- A recent Law360 guest article by Adam Fleischer argued that confusion has seeped into a string of recent decisions holding that commercial general liability, or CGL, policies cover the defense of opioid-related lawsuits.

There are now five decisions, including two appellate decisions, holding that the allegations in the opioid complaints — including the public nuisance claims — are "because of" bodily injury, and therefore potentially covered under standard consumer general liability policy language, triggering the duty to defend.[1]

Conversely, no decision that remains good law holds that insurers need not defend opioid complaints. There is no confusion. The courts have not blurred the...

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