General Liability

  • April 02, 2024

    Chubb Asks Panel To Revive Archdiocese Abuse Coverage Suit

    Counsel for Chubb urged a New York state appeals court at a hearing Tuesday to undo a trial court decision finding it owed insurance coverage to the Archdiocese of New York for myriad childhood sexual abuse claims against the church.

  • April 02, 2024

    Consultant, Insurer's Pesticide Coverage Row Headed To Trial

    A dispute over coverage must continue following a $1.8 million judgment against a pesticide consulting company blamed for negligent pest control of a wheat crop, an Arizona federal judge ruled, denying an insurer's quest for an early win.

  • April 01, 2024

    7th Circ. Affirms $672K Payout In Illinois Delivery Driver Crash

    A Seventh Circuit panel on Monday affirmed an Illinois federal court's decision awarding a delivery driver $672,000 from an insurer following his 2017 work-related crash with an underinsured motorist.

  • April 01, 2024

    AIG Unit Can't Toss Conn. Utility's $3M Defense Cost Bid

    An AIG unit can't escape the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative's third-party suit seeking to recoup $3 million in legal expenses, a Connecticut federal court ruled, saying the cooperative has standing to pursue coverage on behalf of its former CEO who was convicted of stealing public funds.

  • April 01, 2024

    Insurer Can't Avoid Indemnity Payments Over Grocery Fire

    West Bend Mutual cannot avoid making extra indemnity payments to a Detroit grocery store over a fire or collect its insured's unpaid premium from another insurer, a Michigan federal court ruled after previously compelling both insurers to provide coverage because their policies were active when the fire occurred.

  • April 01, 2024

    Insurer Defends Gas Station Cleanup Exclusion To 11th Circ.

    An insurer has asked the Eleventh Circuit to reject a Florida gas station owner's bid to make it pay for contamination caused by a leaking underground fuel tank, telling the appeals court the station's policy doesn't cover an incident discovered well before the policy went into effect.

  • March 29, 2024

    Liberty Units Lose $13.3M Motel Murder Coverage Bid

    CNA and Chubb units have no duty to reimburse two Liberty Mutual units for a $13.3 million judgment stemming from a motel murder, an Ohio federal court ruled, saying no bad faith claim was asserted against the Liberty Mutual units triggering their errors and omissions policies.

  • March 29, 2024

    2nd Circ. Backs Insurer In Sanitizer Ad Injury Coverage Suit

    An insurer doesn't owe coverage to a company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces, the Second Circuit ruled Friday, affirming a lower court's decision that the underlying class action can't be "reasonably construed" to substantially allege a claim of disparagement.

  • March 29, 2024

    Baltimore Diocese Sues Insurers For Abuse Claims Coverage

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore, its parishes and schools have filed an adversary action in Maryland bankruptcy court against its insurance carriers, alleging they failed to live up to their contractual obligation to defend against and pay for sexual abuse claims.

  • March 28, 2024

    Baltimore Bridge Collision Raises Massive Insurance Fallout

    A container ship collision that destroyed Baltimore's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge caused a level of death, injury, destruction and economic harm that will likely cost the insurance sector billions of dollars and leave many without closure or compensation for years.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Won't Pay Half Snow Remover's Fraud Coverage Suit

    An insurer avoided paying for half of a nearly $360,000 wire fraud scheme targeting a snow removal company Thursday, after a Minnesota federal judge found its policy precluded coverage for a variety of reasons.

  • March 28, 2024

    Q&A: Former Calif. Insurance Chief On Climate & Rate Setting

    From intense wildfires to devastating floods, the effects of climate change on California's insurance market cannot be understated, a fact that experts point to often as regulators weigh how to bring insurers back to business in the Golden State.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    A marine insurer confirmed it's cooperating with Baltimore authorities after an insured cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, music festival South by Southwest's class action coverage efforts were renewed, and North Carolina justices dismantled 30 years of intermediate appellate court adherence to "stacking" underinsured motorist policies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Foxwoods Tribal Owner Loses $76M COVID Insurance Appeal

    The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, did not meet a key burden when suing its insurer for more than $76 million in losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's intermediate-level appeals court ruled Thursday in declining to revive the litigation.

  • March 28, 2024

    Wash. Appeals Court Asked To Mull COVID Coverage Question

    A Washington state court has halted litigation over the University of Washington's bid for COVID-19 business interruption coverage from a Liberty Mutual unit, asking a state appeals court to first determine whether the presence of COVID-19 satisfies UW's policies' direct physical loss or damage requirement and if a contamination exclusion applies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Flood Risk Disclosure Law Uptick Offers Insurance Upsides

    A growing trend of states adopting and implementing flood risk disclosure laws must continue, experts say, touting such laws as protecting consumers and informing efforts to mitigate climate change costs through insurance and other risk management efforts.

  • March 28, 2024

    5th Circ. Limits Broad Contract Liability Exclusions In SXSW

    The Fifth Circuit awarded policyholders a major victory over a thorny issue when it ruled that Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer owed defense coverage for a ticket holder class action over unpaid refunds from the canceled 2020 festival.

  • March 28, 2024

    NC Justices' Split Leaves Willful Violation Question Unsolved

    A dispute over coverage for a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act provided an opportunity for the North Carolina Supreme Court to interpret a policy exclusion for the willful violation of a statute, but experts say a deadlocked decision will leave the issue for another day.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Ordered To Defend Legionnaires' Suits

    The insurer of a nonprofit providing housing to at-risk individuals in New York City must defend it in three underlying lawsuits alleging that numerous residents contracted Legionnaires' disease at two properties in the Bronx, a New York federal court ruled, finding a communicable disease exclusion inapplicable.

  • March 27, 2024

    Insurer Can't Escape Strip Club, Models' $2M Ad Settlement

    An insurer can't evade covering a nearly $2 million settlement between a Rhode Island strip club and a group of models who sued the club for misusing their images in advertisements, a federal judge ruled, holding that the club did not breach its contract when entering into the agreement. 

  • March 27, 2024

    NC Commissioner Says Insurance Mogul's Argument 'Mistaken'

    The North Carolina insurance commissioner asked the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow him to give his take on a group of insurers' lawsuit against embattled mogul Greg Lindberg that alleges he pilfered the insurance companies as owner, saying if the court lets him submit an amicus brief he'll explain how Lindberg's main argument is "mistaken."

  • March 27, 2024

    Insurer Settles $900K Chinese Dehumidifier Fire Suit

    A Chinese appliance manufacturer and a U.S. distributor known for selling fire-prone dehumidifiers settled an insurer's $900,000 suit over a policyholder's house fire, the insurer told a North Carolina federal court.

  • March 27, 2024

    2nd Circ. Weighs Broadening 'Claim' In Shareholder Dispute

    The Second Circuit questioned Wednesday whether it should use a New York state appeals court ruling to broaden the meaning of "claim" in a propane company's directors and officers policy with a Liberty Mutual unit, including not just an entire underlying lawsuit but the individual causes of action within.

  • March 27, 2024

    Camden Diocese Insurers Demand Ch. 11 Plan Be Halted

    Several insurers of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden told a New Jersey bankruptcy judge Wednesday that the approval of the debtor's third modified Chapter 11 plan stripped the insurers' rights and urged the court to implement a stay on the order.

  • March 27, 2024

    Smucker Needn't Pay Multiple Limits For Tainted Jif Row

    J.M. Smucker Co. does not have to satisfy the retained limit for 225 underlying claims seeking damages for salmonella-contaminated Jif peanut butter individually before being eligible for coverage, an Ohio federal judge ruled, holding that the underlying claims constituted a single occurrence.

Expert Analysis

  • Pollutant Insurance Case Holds Clues For Ohio Train Litigation

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    A recent Rhode Island Supreme Court decision in Regan Heating v. Arbella could mean that the wide-reaching impacts of the February train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, will trigger the enforcement of any total pollution exclusion contained in Norfolk Southern's commercial general liability policy, says Kayla O’Connor at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Establishing A Record Of Good Faith In Mediation

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    Viacom v. U.S. Specialty Insurance, and other recent cases, highlight the developing criteria for determining good faith participation in mediation, as well as several practical tips to establish such a record, says Richard Mason at MasonADR.

  • Using ChatGPT To Handle Insurance Claims Is A Risky Move

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    ChatGPT gets some insurance law questions surprisingly wrong, and while it handles broader coverage concepts significantly better, using it to assist with coverage questions will likely lead to erroneous results and could leave insurers liable for bad faith, says Randy Maniloff at White and Williams.

  • Fla. Bill Would Rein In Personal Injury Litigation Excesses

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    A recently proposed bill in the Florida House that would change bad-faith laws and the admissibility of medical bills for services performed under a letter of protection would provide reasonable checks on practices that are far too common in personal injury cases in the Sunshine State, say attorneys at Baker Donelson.

  • Takeaways From Tree-Clearing Co.'s 11th Circ. Insurance Win

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent decision in Frankenmuth Mutual v. Brown's Clearing, interpreting the extent of knowledge required to trigger an insured's notice obligations under a commercial general liability policy, is both a welcome sign and a cautionary tale for corporate policyholders, say Garrett Nemeroff and Christopher Kuleba at Reed Smith.

  • High Court Ax Of Atty-Client Privilege Case Deepens Split

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent dismissal of In re: Grand Jury as improvidently granted maintains a three-way circuit split on the application of attorney-client privilege to multipurpose communications, although the justices have at least shown a desire to address it, say Trey Bourn and Thomas DiStanislao at Butler Snow.

  • Why General Liability Carriers Are Wary Of SEC Climate Rule

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rule to require companies to formally report climate change risks could come into play in five areas that should be concerning to companies and their general liability insurers, says Eric Scheiner at Kennedys.

  • Wis. High Court Ruling May Open Door To Coverage Exception

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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dostal v. Strand finding that an insurer had to defend a civil action following the defendant's criminal conviction on the same facts nonetheless may suggest an exception to the complaint test for determining an insurance company's defense obligation, say David Hollander and Clementine Uwabera at Stafford Rosenbaum.

  • A Litigation Move That Could Conserve Discovery Resources

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    Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben proposes the preliminary legal opinion procedure — seeking a court's opinion on a disputed legal standard at the outset, rather than the close, of discovery — as a useful resource-preservation tool for legally complex, discovery-intensive litigation.

  • Trial Lawyers Rejoice: Justices May Clarify Issue Preservation

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent grant of certiorari in Dupree v. Younger should be a boon to trial and appellate lawyers as the decision will likely standardize a rule for appellate issue preservation, bringing much-needed clarity to an area critical to general litigation success, says Jeremy Christiansen at Gibson Dunn.

  • Policyholder Lessons From 1st Circ. Duty To Defend Ruling

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    In Lionbridge Technologies v. Valley Forge Insurance, the First Circuit recently held that the obligation to defend an insured is not limited to the specific causes of action expressly stated in a complaint, providing policyholders with persuasive arguments in support of the duty to defend, say Catherine Doyle and Caroline Meneau at Jenner & Block.

  • The 7th Circ.'s Top 10 Civil Opinions Of 2022

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    Attorneys at Jenner & Block examine the most significant decisions issued by the Seventh Circuit in 2022, and explain how they may affect issues related to antitrust, the False Claims Act,​ ​federal jurisdiction and more.

  • Cultivating Good Relationships With Insurance Regulators

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Insurers can develop mutually beneficial working relationships with insurance regulators by following some simple tips for streamlining communication, knowing how and when to ask for help, and treating regulatory staff with professional courtesy, says Layna Rush at Baker Donelson.