General Liability

  • November 21, 2022

    1st Circ. Reverses Lionbridge Insurer's Coverage Win

    Lionbridge Technologies Inc.'s insurer had a duty to defend the translation services company after a trade secrets lawsuit filed in New York sketched out a defamation claim, the First Circuit said Monday in reversing a pretrial win for Valley Forge Insurance Co.

  • November 18, 2022

    Insurers Ask 11th Circ. To Dodge Fla. Atty Malpractice Claims

    A pair of insurance companies told the Eleventh Circuit that they should not have had to defend a Florida attorney in a now-dismissed state case accusing him of conspiring to defraud a client during an alleged scheme to invest in a "super car" company.

  • November 18, 2022

    W.Va. Justices Find Insurer Has $1M Obligation, Not $25K

    A man accused of backing a truck into a worker is eligible for $1 million in insurance coverage from a Progressive unit after the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals found that a state law voids an exclusion rather than allowing it to kick in after the law's $25,000 coverage minimum is met.

  • November 18, 2022

    Bad Faith Bill Could Dull NY's 'Pro-Insurer' Edge

    The perception of New York courts as pro-insurer venues has made the state a top choice for insurers across the country to litigate coverage disputes. A nearly decadelong legislative effort to tilt the scales back in favor of policyholders, however, remains an uphill battle.

  • November 18, 2022

    Mich. Panel Frees Insurers From Covering Store Fight Suit

    Two insurers were relieved of covering a grocery store employee seeking defense in a personal injury suit, after a Michigan appeals court ruled Thursday that a lower court erred in its interpretation of the policies.

  • November 18, 2022

    Texas High Court Won't Review Fracking Fire Coverage Row

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday shot down Ironshore Specialty Insurance's request to review a $24 million coverage dispute stemming from a fracking well fire, leaving in place a lower court's order for a proportional allocation of coverage and forcing the insurer to cough up more than $10 million.

  • November 18, 2022

    Texas High Court Takes Up Policy Misrepresentation Query

    The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that it would review an insurer's coverage dispute over available life insurance benefits after an appellate court ruled that carriers seeking to rescind a policy based on a material misrepresentation must prove the insured's intent to deceive under the state's insurance code.

  • November 17, 2022

    Calif. Justices Open Door For TCPA Coverage In CGL Policies

    The California Supreme Court held Thursday that commercial general liability policies, like the ones held by Yahoo in its dispute with an AIG insurer, may cover liability for right-to-seclusion violations brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as long as coverage is consistent with an insured's reasonable expectations.

  • November 17, 2022

    Nursing Home Virus Cases Are Multiple Events, Court Rules

    The insurer for a national nursing home company accused of causing the wrongful deaths of numerous clients during the COVID-19 pandemic does not have to treat COVID-19 as a single event as it relates to at least 43 underlying claims against the company, a Pennsylvania federal judge found.

  • November 17, 2022

    Insurer Seeks 5th Circ. Reversal In Strip Club Ads Dispute

    A Munich Re unit urged the Fifth Circuit to reverse a Texas federal court's ruling that it must cover three strip clubs held liable for using professional models' images in advertising materials without their consent, arguing the lower court wrongly interpreted two exclusions pertaining to advertising injuries.

  • November 17, 2022

    Ga. Panel Frees Insurer From $3M Wrongful Death Judgment

    An insurer is entitled to a quick win in a suit brought by a woman seeking to recover a $3 million judgment against an oncology center in a wrongful death action, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled, saying the policy was not in effect when the underlying suit began.

  • November 16, 2022

    9th Circ. Told To Reignite Fight Over Fire Loss Coverage

    Hanover American Insurance Co. must fully cover the costs from an explosion of a tank wash center on a Montana property, a tank trailer company argued to the Ninth Circuit, maintaining that the policy covering the company insured the entire parcel of land where the center was located.

  • November 16, 2022

    Insurer Asks Supreme Court To Review Exxon's $25M Award

    An insurer asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit's refusal to vacate ExxonMobil's $25 million arbitration award by a judge who belatedly realized he held stock in Exxon's parent company when he was presiding over the case.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • The Misinterpretation Of Pa.'s Bad Faith Claims Handling Rule

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    Courts applying Pennsylvania law in insurance coverage disputes, such as the recently decided Walker v. Foremost Insurance, and finding that where an insurer establishes that the subject claim is not covered by the insurer’s policy there can also be no bad faith claim by the insured, are inaccurately interpreting state law, say George Stewart and Max Louik at Reed Smith.

  • 3 Insurance Lessons From Target Data Breach Ruling

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    In Target v. ACE American Insurance, a Minnesota federal court recently recognized that commercial general liability policies cover losses arising from data breaches, providing useful lessons for policyholders, including a perspective on occurrence and loss of use, say attorneys at Pasich.

  • Del. Related Claims Ruling Is Good News For Insurers

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    The Delaware Supreme Court recently denied coverage for a shareholder class action in First Solar v. National Union First Insurance, rejecting the test for assessing relatedness-based coverage issues, and opening the door for insurers to rely on specific policy wording when evaluating related claims, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • How Sonic Boom Risk Informs 'Physical Loss' For COVID Era

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    Applied to today's COVID-19 business interruption insurance battles, insurers' historical treatment of damage associated with sonic booms — or explosive sounds stemming from supersonic airplane speeds — may call into question the many court rulings barring coverage for pandemic-related losses on narrow physical loss grounds, say Peter Kochenburger at the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey Stempel at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  • Justices Must Apply Law Evenly In Shadow Docket Rulings

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    In recent shadow docket decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has inconsistently applied the requirement that parties demonstrate irreparable harm to obtain injunctive relief, which is problematic for two separate but related reasons, says David Hopkins at Benesch.

  • Where NY Regulator's Insurance Investigation Is Headed

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    The New York Department of Financial Services' recent inquiry into property and casualty insurers' usage of credit information in underwriting could precede a number of actions addressing the practice, say Matthew Gaul and Maxfield Fey at Willkie.

  • What Cos. Can Glean From Early Cyber Policy Cases

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    Insurance claims for cyberattacks under cyber-specific policies have thus far been less contested than claims brought under commercial, crime and professional liability policies, however that may be changing, as cyber losses and liabilities continue to escalate and the market hardens, says Daniel Healy at Anderson Kill.

  • A Guide To Extrinsic Evidence In Determining Duty To Defend

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    As the eight-corners rule for the duty to defend is increasingly riddled with exceptions to its strict formulation of confining the analysis to only the language of the insurance policy and the underlying complaint, Richard Mason at MasonADR discusses the newest notable decisions and offers strategies for attorneys litigating the duty to defend.

  • What Insureds Should Look For In Excess Policies

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    A recent California appellate court decision, Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Cement, demonstrates how courts will protect policyholder expectations against primary insurance carriers' actions that might restrict available excess coverage, and highlights how insureds should be diligent in reviewing excess policies on primary erosion, say Courtney Horrigan and Elizabeth Taylor at Reed Smith.

  • New 'Bad Faith' Claim Law Holds NJ Insurers Accountable

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    New Jersey’s recently enacted Insurance Fair Conduct Act, giving policyholders a bad faith cause of action for claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, is an important step toward countering unfair insurer advantage and expanding consumer protections, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Insurance Implications Of Texas '8 Corners' Rulings

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    Two recent Texas Supreme Court opinions resolve a long-pending question by reaffirming the so-called eight-corners rule as the primary means for determining an insurer's duty to defend, which should provide greater consistency between future state and federal decisions, says Susan Kidwell at Locke Lord.

  • Why I'll Miss Arguing Before Justice Breyer

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    Carter Phillips at Sidley shares some of his fondest memories of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer both inside and out of the courtroom, and explains why he thinks the justice’s multipronged questions during U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments were everything an advocate could ask for.

  • Defense Counsel Must Alter Tactics To Fight Outsize Verdicts

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    If defense counsel continue to use the same strategies they’ve always relied on without recognizing plaintiffs attorneys’ new playbook, so-called nuclear verdicts, such as the recent $730 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case in Texas, will continue to proliferate, says Robert Tyson at Tyson & Mendes.