General Liability

  • 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.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer Wants $29M Treble Damages Ruling Reversed In NC

    An insurer has asked a North Carolina state appeals court to overturn a nearly $29 million ruling penalizing it for failing to defend an employee who crashed a company truck, killing his colleague, citing a policy exclusion for employee injury cases it said the trial court ignored.

  • March 26, 2024

    2nd Circ. Pushes Co. For Case Law In Ad Injury Coverage Row

    The Second Circuit questioned Tuesday whether implicit disparagement is enough to trigger coverage under a commercial general liability policy, challenging a company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective to prove that a nonspecific reference to competitors' products falls within the scope of coverage.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer's Intervention In Sex-Trafficking Coverage Suit Limited

    Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. can intervene in another insurer's suit against a hospitality company over coverage for sex trafficking allegations, but only if the other carrier's policy isn't rescinded and the case proceeds to a second phase of litigation, a Texas federal court has ruled.

  • March 26, 2024

    UK Marine Insurer Investigating Baltimore Bridge Crash

    Britannia, a British marine insurer, confirmed Tuesday that it is working with authorities in Baltimore after a container ship destroyed the city's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge in a collision that experts say is likely to cost the insurance sector billions of dollars in claims.

  • March 25, 2024

    NC Justices Undo Stacking Auto Insurance Coverage

    The North Carolina Supreme Court has overruled 30 years of intermediate appellate court adherence to "stacking" underinsured motorist policies, ruling the plain language of a state law only allows that type of coverage to be combined among policies on a vehicle involved with a collision.

  • March 25, 2024

    Colo. Justices Say Insurer's Vintage Car Exclusion Holds Up

    Colorado's justices on Monday ruled that specialty insurance policies for vintage cars can limit uninsured motorist coverage when they work "in tandem" with a policy for a regular-use vehicle, with the court finding that antique car policies warrant "different treatment."

  • March 25, 2024

    Geico Beats COVID-19 Auto Rebate Class Action On 2nd Try

    A California federal judge has granted Geico's bid for victory in a certified class action alleging the insurance company owed additional refunds to drivers who overpaid their auto insurance premiums during COVID-19 shutdowns, saying the company's rebate program was adequate and did not violate the state's insurance code.

  • March 25, 2024

    Tesla, Travelers Settle Wrongful Death Coverage Dispute

    Tesla and a Travelers unit reached an agreement in the parties' dispute over coverage of a wrongful death lawsuit involving a construction worker at a company factory in Austin, shortly after a Texas federal judge declined to strike three of the insurers' defenses.

  • March 25, 2024

    NC High Court Vacates Workers' Comp For Weight Loss Surgery

    A divided North Carolina Supreme Court has adopted a test for determining when someone is entitled to workers' compensation for treatment related to their workplace injury and, in doing so, reversed a ruling finding a preschool must pay for an employee's weight loss surgery.

  • March 25, 2024

    Divided NC High Court Backs Insurer's Mailer Coverage Win

    A deadlocked North Carolina Supreme Court has left undisturbed a lower court's ruling that an insurer needn't cover a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act by using personal information to market legal services to crash victims.

  • March 22, 2024

    Insurer Urges 9th Circ. To Reverse LA Port Co.'s Defense Win

    United National Insurance Co. urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to reverse a ruling that the insurer was obligated to defend a Los Angeles port company against pollution claims brought by the city, saying the lower court erroneously failed to enforce the policy's qualified pollution exclusion.

  • March 21, 2024

    AI Presents Risk To Insurers And Policyholders, Panelists Say

    The growing use of artificial intelligence presents a risk to both insurers and insureds, experts said during a webinar Thursday, advising policyholders and their attorneys on how to navigate novel issues arising from the use of AI in the insurance industry.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Panel Revives Diner's COVID Sanitization Coverage Bid

    A California state appeals court revived a diner's bid for property insurance coverage of COVID-19 losses after it determined the restaurant credibly alleged direct physical losses and that the policy's language covering losses attributable to a virus applied to COVID-19 sanitization efforts.

  • March 21, 2024

    2nd Circ. To Weigh 'Claim' Meaning In Family Share Dispute

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether a New York federal court erred in finding that a contract exclusion barred any duty a Liberty Mutual unit had to defend a propane company and two of its executives in a family shareholder dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    6 Questions For ZestyAI CEO Attila Toth

    As California regulators push proposals aimed at luring back insurance companies to the state's challenged market, advanced modeling techniques have taken a prominent place in the debate over how to best price risk as traditional methods lose relevance. Here, Law360 talks to Attila Toth, chief executive officer of ZestyAI, a risk modeling company that sells artificial intelligence-based risk models to insurers seeking to refine their risk assessment capabilities.

  • March 21, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court considered the NRA's free speech rights and whether an insurer had standing in bankruptcy court, Geico was slammed with a $164 million payout, the Sixth Circuit seemed hesitant to force Amway to pay its own defense costs and Metallica's COVID-19 coverage case faded to black.

Expert Analysis

  • SEC, NY Cybersecurity Rules Create Complexity For Insurers

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    Two separate cybersecurity rules recently adopted by the New York Department of Financial Services and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pose distinct challenges for insurance industry participants, with important interactions, and potential tensions, for those required to comply with both frameworks, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • 5 Trends To Watch In Property And Casualty Class Actions

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    In 2023, class action decisions have altered the landscape for five major types of claims affecting property and casualty insurers — total loss vehicle valuation, labor depreciation, other structural loss estimating theories, total loss vehicle tax and regulatory fees, and New Mexico's uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage sale requirements, say Mark Johnson and Mathew Drocton at BakerHostetler.

  • Why Courts Are Nixing Insurer Defense Recoupment Claims

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    Following a recent trend, the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision in St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. Bodell Construction Co. provides a concise explanation of the argument that an insurer generally may not recoup costs for defending claims, based on three considerations, says Bradley Nash at Hoguet Newman.

  • Insurer's '600-Lb. Life' Win Shows Why Fraud Suits Don't Stick

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    A Texas federal court’s recent ruling that Philadelphia Indemnity Co. did not fraudulently induce Megalomedia, the production company behind reality show “My 600-Lb. Life,” into purchasing insurance, demonstrates why a policyholder’s fraudulent inducement claim against an insurer will rarely succeed, says Robert Tugander at Rivkin Radler.

  • Insurance Considerations For Cos. Assessing New AI Risks

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    Because no two businesses will have the same artificial intelligence risk profile, they should consider four broad risk categories as a baseline for taking a proactive approach to guarding against AI-related exposures, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • AI Brings New Insurance Concerns For Healthcare Providers

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    As the healthcare industry increasingly invests in medical artificial intelligence tools, it confronts a variety of liability risks that necessitate careful consideration and potential recalibration of providers' insurance programs, say Marialuisa Gallozzi and Megan Mumford Myers at Covington.

  • Superfund Site Reopenings Carry Insured Risk, Opportunity

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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's reported plans to reopen certain Superfund sites citing the presence of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances raise notable liability concerns, but may also present unique opportunities for policyholders under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • 3 AI Regulation Developments Insurers Must Follow

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    Insurance regulators continue to actively develop regulations and guidance on the use of artificial intelligence, so insurers should be aware of recent developments from the Colorado Division of Insurance, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the New York Department of Financial Services, say attorneys at Willkie.

  • Harvard's Broker Fight Shows Active Risk Management Is Key

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    Harvard University’s recently filed suit against its insurance broker for alleged malpractice in handling the Students for Fair Admissions claim illustrates that risk management requires the concerted effort of policyholders, brokers and insurers to protect against disastrous losses, say William McMichael and David Klein at Pillsbury.

  • Illinois Trump Tower Ruling Illuminates Insurance 'Occurrence'

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    In Continental Casualty v. 401 North Wabash Venture, an Illinois appellate court found that Trump Tower was not entitled to insurance coverage for operating its HVAC system without a permit, helping to further define a widely litigated general liability insurance issue — what constitutes an "occurrence," say Robert Tugander and Greg Mann at Rivkin Radler.

  • How Shareholder Activists Are Targeting Insurers

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    As shareholder activists take a closer look at the insurance industry, they are pushing insurers to take value-enhancing and climate-related measures — but insurers can prepare by anticipating activist concerns, maintaining robust shareholder engagement, and considering changes in response to the universal proxy rules, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • Breaking Down Insurers' Improper Recoupment Efforts

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    In a recent trend, insurance companies have sought to recoup defense costs from their policyholders, but there are four counterarguments that policyholders can deploy to fend off these concerning recoupment efforts, say William Passannante and Nicholas Bradley at Anderson Kill.

  • Insurers Should Prepare For 'Black Swan' Climate Disasters

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    As rapid climate change results in increased risk of casualties and property loss from rare, severe weather events, the insurance industry should take five crucial steps toward evolving and continuing operations, including advanced analytic techniques and investments in alternative energy sources, say Stephen Brown and Irena Maier at Wilson Elser.