Insurance Ruling Clarifies Excess Coverage For Opioid Suits

Law360 (May 26, 2021, 4:56 PM EDT) -- In a 50-page reconsideration of its Nov. 9, 2020, order, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania concluded on Tuesday that an opioid policyholder cannot use its payment of defense costs to erode either its own self-insured retention or the limits of its primary insurance. 

This ruling in Giant Eagle v. American Guarantee, et al.,[1] reverses an earlier finding that two excess insurers had duties to defend triggered. The ruling provides invaluable assurance to excess carriers that opioid defendants facing millions of dollars in defense costs cannot use those costs as a means to leapfrog their primary coverage...

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