General Liability

  • November 16, 2022

    Geico Says Class Can't Get Jury Trial Under 7th Amendment

    Geico asked a federal court Tuesday to toss a jury trial request in a suit affecting millions of California policyholders, arguing that under the Seventh Amendment and the state's Unfair Competition Law, a jury trial does not apply to the class' sole remaining equitable claim.

  • November 16, 2022

    Condiment Co. Not Covered For BIPA Suit, Insurer Says

    An insurer doesn't have to defend a condiment manufacturer in a proposed class action filed by its employees accusing the company of violating Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act, the carrier told an Illinois federal court, pointing to several policy exclusions and arguing that the company gave late notice.

  • November 16, 2022

    Berkshire Hathaway Unit Wins Policy Rescindment Dispute

    A California federal judge entered final judgment in favor of a Berkshire Hathaway unit Monday, allowing the insurer to rescind its professional liability policy issued to a medical center accused of failing to disclose medical malpractice suits in its insurance renewal application.

  • November 16, 2022

    Ill. Court Finds Auto Exclusion Bars Coverage For Crash Injury

    A woman who was injured when a carpenter struck her and her car with his truck cannot seek coverage under his commercial general liability policy, an Illinois state appeals court ruled, holding that an auto exclusion applied since the carpenter was acting as an employee when operating the vehicle.

  • November 15, 2022

    Cleaning Virus Like Mopping Floor, Insurer Tells 10th Circ.

    An attorney for Cincinnati Insurance Co. asked the Tenth Circuit on Tuesday to affirm the dismissal of an Aspen, Colorado, restaurant's COVID-19 coverage suit, comparing cleaning the coronavirus to mopping a floor.

  • November 15, 2022

    Insurers Not Liable For Cook's Sewage-Based Foot Infection

    A Massachusetts federal judge ruled insurers do not have to cover costs associated with an underlying suit over a cafeteria worker's foot infection, which he says was caused by bacteria from sewage that backed up from a floor drain in his workspace in 2016.

  • November 15, 2022

    State Farm Says Primary Insurer Must Cover Defamation Suit

    The primary insurer for a college board member is on its own in defending the board member in an underlying defamation suit, State Farm told an Illinois federal court, saying its excess policy to the member wasn't triggered.

  • November 15, 2022

    Blue Bell Tells 5th Circ. Shareholder Suit Triggers Coverage

    Blue Bell Creameries Inc. urged the Fifth Circuit to overturn a Texas district court's finding that two Travelers units had no duty to defend the ice cream maker in a shareholder suit following a fatal listeria outbreak, arguing that the lower court failed to focus on the suit's core factual allegations.

  • November 15, 2022

    Insurer Says No Need To Certify DC Virus Damage Question

    Factory Mutual Insurance asked the D.C. Circuit to deny George Washington University's request to certify a question on whether the presence of COVID-19 can cause physical loss or damage to property, pushing back on the university's attempt to continue its $1 billion business interruption coverage bid.

  • November 15, 2022

    DC Law Firm Denied Coverage For Timeshare False Ad Suit

    Hanover Insurance Co. does not owe coverage to a Washington, D.C., law firm accused of misleading consumers into thinking they could easily get out of their timeshare contracts, a Florida federal court ruled Monday, finding the firm's claim was made before its policy period began.

  • November 15, 2022

    4th Circ. Seeks W.Va. Justices' Input In Chemical Injury Suit

    The Fourth Circuit has said it needs guidance in an appeal brought by Westfield Insurance Co. over coverage for injuries suffered by individuals who allegedly developed illnesses after being exposed to chemicals that leaked from a policyholder's storage tanks, asking the West Virginia high court to weigh in.

  • November 15, 2022

    Insurer Wins Default In Hurricane Dispute With Dredging Co.

    A Texas federal judge granted an AmeriTrust unit's bid for default judgment in its coverage suit against a dredging company accused of exacerbating flood damage during Hurricane Harvey, which comes after the company failed to respond to the insurer's complaint.

  • November 14, 2022

    EBay Not Covered For Stalking Mass. Bloggers, Insurer Says

    EBay Inc.'s insurer asked a California federal court to find it isn't responsible for defending the online marketplace or its former executives in an underlying suit by a Massachusetts blogging couple who were stalked and threatened with funeral wreaths, fetal pigs and live insects by eBay employees.

  • November 14, 2022

    Defects Without Property Damage Not Covered, Judge Finds

    A Hawaii federal judge agreed with Travelers units that they don't owe coverage for claims of defective work that didn't cause property damage at a development, but declined to put a dollar amount on that portion of the allegedly defective work.

  • November 14, 2022

    Publix Says Insurers Should Defend Opioid Suits

    Publix Super Markets told a Florida federal judge that its primary, excess and umbrella insurers should defend it in suits brought by governments over the opioid epidemic, arguing that the underling actions were brought because of potentially covered bodily injuries.

  • November 14, 2022

    Policyholders Ask 3rd Circ. To Revive Stacked Coverage Suits

    Geico and USAA policyholders asked the Third Circuit to revive their proposed class actions seeking to recoup premiums paid for stacked uninsured and underinsured coverage that they allegedly did not benefit from, saying the insurers have been permitted "to reap a windfall, to the detriment of the individual consumer."

  • November 14, 2022

    Insurer Asks 1st Circ. To Affirm Defect Suit Coverage Win

    An insurer asked the First Circuit to uphold a ruling that relieved it from defending a contractor in a suit over the mismanagement of a construction project, arguing the costs associated with correcting the contractor's faulty work are not covered by its policies or supported by Massachusetts law.

  • November 10, 2022

    Accuser Wants Insurer's Sex Abuse Coverage Suit Tossed

    A Virginia federal court should turn away American Alternative Insurance Corp.'s lawsuit seeking to avoid covering two organizations in an underlying suit brought by a woman who alleged that she was sexually abused by the groups' president, she said in a memorandum Thursday.

  • November 10, 2022

    Insurer Wants Out Of Gas Driller's Row With Green Grower

    An insurer told a West Virginia federal judge it had no duty to defend a solar- and wind-powered greenhouse business against claims its structures prevented a company with leased oil and gas rights from drilling new wells.

  • November 10, 2022

    Insurer Says It Won't Cover Kind Bar Death Settlement

    Hanover American Insurance Co. told a Nebraska federal court Thursday that it is no longer responsible for covering a settlement between Kind LLC and the estate of a child who died from an allergic reaction after eating a Kind bar because the food company excluded it from negotiations.

  • November 10, 2022

    Medical Co. Can't Get Coverage For BIPA Suit, Insurers Say

    A medical device manufacturer is not covered in an underlying class action alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, two insurers told an Illinois federal court, citing exclusions and a failure to timely notify them of the suit.

  • November 10, 2022

    Senior Care Co. Not Covered In EEOC Suit, Insurer Says

    A senior care facility is not covered in an equal employment opportunity lawsuit alleging it allowed its employees to be harassed and retaliated against them for complaining, an insurer and its agent told a Colorado federal court.

  • November 10, 2022

    Victims, Insureds Move To Settle Fatal Crash Appeal In 1st Circ.

    An XL Specialty unit along with policyholders and victims of a fatal crash at an auto auction asked the First Circuit to dismiss two appellate actions over coverage of the 2017 incident, saying the parties resolved the issues in dispute by way of a confidential settlement.

  • November 10, 2022

    Sports Celebrations Can Raise Slew Of Coverage Claims

    The Houston Astros' World Series win over the Philadelphia Phillies didn't lead to rioting in either city, but sports fans' rowdy reactions to championship results have resulted in property damage ⁠— and insurance claims ⁠— in the past.

  • November 09, 2022

    State Farm Drops $1.2M Suit Against Tesla Over Garage Fire

    Two State Farm units agreed Wednesday to drop their more than $1.2 million lawsuit against Tesla Inc. in Indiana federal court, which levied accusations that the automaker was responsible for a defective car that caught fire while charging in a family's garage.

Expert Analysis

  • IRS Should Use Tax Law To Combat The Opioid Epidemic

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    The IRS, which enforces anti-trafficking tax laws against state-regulated cannabis businesses, should be fair and apply the same policy against pharmaceutical companies that illegally market their opioids, says Kat Allen at Wykowski Law.

  • Maximizing Insurance Recovery For Energy Companies

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    Two recent cases from Texas showcase some of the unique insurance challenges faced by the energy industry. Oil and gas companies must carefully craft their insurance programs to account for economic, political and societal pressures, say Robin Cohen and Lauren Varnado of McKool Smith.

  • Preet Bharara On The Human Factor In The Justice System

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    A key theme in Preet Bharara's new book is the enormous role the human element plays in the administration of justice. The former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York discussed this theme, among other topics, in a recent conversation with White and Williams attorney Randy Maniloff.

  • Climate Change And Insurance: Learn From MTBE, Asbestos

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    While climate change litigation is a relatively nascent development, liability insurers have historically faced emerging risks like claims arising from methyl tertiary butyl ether and asbestos. Climate change suits will likely present similar issues, say Kristin Suga Heres and Jeffrey Gordon of Zelle LLP.

  • 5 Key NJ Insurance Coverage Decisions From 2018

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    From a policyholder's perspective, last year's insurance coverage decisions left New Jersey state law scattered at best. Three decisions forged ahead, expanding policyholder rights, while two other decisions took a step backward from established law, say Robert Chesler and Christina Yousef of Anderson Kill PC.

  • Insuring The Ever-Growing Cannabis Industry: Part 1

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    As the cannabis industry continues to blossom, so too will the need for insurance coverage to protect cannabis-related companies. In the first part of this series, Jodi Green and Patricia Daza-Luu of Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP discuss the present state of cannabis insurance and the variables potentially impacting the market.

  • Climate Change And Insurance: Litigation Risks For Insurers

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    Liability insurers should respond to recent climate change lawsuits proactively by offering a dedicated climate change policy that can more accurately measure the exposure and rate the risk of climate change, say Jason Reeves and Jose Umbert of Zelle LLP.

  • Courts Are Getting It Right On Litigation Funding Discovery

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    Earlier this month, a California federal court denied discovery into the identification of third-party funders with a financial interest in the outcome of an underlying patent infringement action. This decision in MLC v. Micron follows a long line of well-reasoned precedent across U.S. federal courts, say Matthew Harrison and Sarah Jacobson of Bentham IMF.

  • Legal Finance Is Underutilized In The Insurance Field

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    Legal finance remains underutilized in the insurance space, but can be a transformative instrument for policyholders that allows for the aggressive pursuit of recovery on valid claims while reducing risk, improving accounting treatment and maximizing settlements and awards, says Andrew Lundberg of Burford Capital LLC.

  • What Conn. Opioid Ruling Means For Liability Insurers

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    In New Haven v. Purdue, a Connecticut state judge ruled last week that opioid manufacturers are not liable for cities' emergency and social services costs. This decision protects liability insurance from being transformed into a funding mechanism for social problems that it was not designed to cover, say Patrick Bedell and Kevin Harris of BatesCarey LLP.

  • More State Issues The Blue Wave May Shape In 2019

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    In the second installment of this three-part legislative preview, Rich Ehisen of State Net Capitol Journal examines a number of issues that should keep state lawmakers occupied next year.

  • Property And Casualty Insurers Face A Genomics Revolution

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    Plaintiffs attorneys are winning big in civil litigation by invoking genomic susceptibility arguments, and trends suggest that property and casualty insurers will face more and larger claims as a result. But genomic data can assist both plaintiffs and defendants, say David Schwartz of Innovative Science Solutions and William Wilt of Assured Research.

  • A Post-Election Survey Of The Health Care Ecosystem

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    Health care featured prominently in the 2018 midterm election campaign. Here, attorneys with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP offer thoughts on what the election results and a divided Congress mean for different sectors of the health care industry.