General Liability

  • August 26, 2022

    Insurer Insists Pollution Coverage Issue Can Be Decided Now

    Allied World Surplus Lines Insurance Co. urged an Alabama federal court to reject an oil disposal company's bid to toss the insurer's suit seeking to avoid coverage of two underlying pollution suits, arguing that a coverage determination can be made even if the two suits are pending.

  • August 26, 2022

    Asbestos Trusts May Leave Insurers Out In Cold

    Legislation allowing companies facing massive asbestos liabilities to create a settlement trust during bankruptcy to compensate people injured after exposure to the substance provided much-needed relief for policyholders, but legal experts say insurers are skeptical of where they fit into the agreements.

  • August 26, 2022

    Mass. Justices Urged To Deny Coverage For Prevention Costs

    A Zurich unit urged Massachusetts' highest court to reject a bid by salad dressing manufacturer Ken's Foods for recovery of uncovered expenses incurred to prevent an imminent covered loss, saying that creating such an extra-contractual duty would violate fundamental principles of state law.

  • August 25, 2022

    Fla. Justices Allow Mintz Truppman To Pursue Fee Fight

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday reopened the way for Mintz Truppman PA to pursue a state court lawsuit against Lexington Insurance Co. and Cozen O'Connor over an attorney fee award, ruling that an intermediate appellate court improperly issued a writ prohibiting the suit.

  • August 25, 2022

    AIG Moves Exxon's Benzene Coverage Fight To Federal Court

    A Texas federal court will hear a dispute between ExxonMobil and an AIG unit over whether the gas giant can avoid millions in policy retentions as it seeks coverage for claims made by workers who alleged they were exposed to benzene, after the insurer removed the suit from state court.

  • August 25, 2022

    Amber Heard Coverage Suits Should Be Merged, Insurer Says

    A Travelers unit asked a California federal court to consolidate its lawsuit against another insurer with that insurer's coverage dispute with actress Amber Heard over her loss in the defamation lawsuit brought by her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

  • August 25, 2022

    Apt. Cos.' Insurers Must Cover $54M Award, 11th Circ. Told

    A pair of apartment management companies told the Eleventh Circuit that a lower court erred in absolving their insurers from paying $54 million in arbitration awards in a tenant dispute, saying several issues of material fact should have foreclosed summary judgment.

  • August 25, 2022

    Insurer Doesn't Owe Defense To Car Rental Co. In TM Suit

    A Nationwide unit has no duty to defend a car rental franchisee in an underlying suit accusing it of trademark infringement, a California federal court ruled, finding that coverage is barred by the commercial general liability policy's breach of contract exclusion.

  • August 24, 2022

    Insurers Unmoved By Boy Scouts' Proposed Ch. 11 Changes

    Insurance companies that have objected to the Boy Scouts of America's Chapter 11 plan reiterated their opposition on Wednesday, telling a Delaware bankruptcy judge that the proposed changes to the plan don't address underlying flaws that affect the insurers' rights.

  • August 24, 2022

    Blue Bell Execs' Insurance Bid Denied In Listeria Outbreak

    Blue Bell Creameries Inc. and its subsidiaries aren't entitled to coverage from two insurance companies for their fight with shareholders over actions during a fatal 2015 listeria outbreak, a Texas federal judge has ruled.

  • August 24, 2022

    Judge Strikes Fraudulent Claims From $1B Surfside Deal

    The Florida judge overseeing the consolidated litigation over the Champlain Towers South collapse struck hundreds of fraudulent claims made on the $1 billion global settlement by people with no connection to the condominium after they failed to show up Wednesday to testify under oath.

  • August 24, 2022

    Life Insurance Co. Must Face Suit Over Faulty Tax Reporting

    A man can proceed with part of his suit against a life insurance company that incorrectly reported to the Internal Revenue Service that he made a $549,000 capital gain, resulting in litigation with the agency, a Connecticut federal court found.

  • August 24, 2022

    Builder's 'Soft Costs' Coverage Bid Can Proceed, Judge Rules

    Homebuilder KB Home has provided enough evidence to potentially persuade a jury that construction delays due to rainstorms in January 2017 caused it to suffer "soft costs" like extra advertising expenses and interest on borrowed funds, a California federal judge ruled, allowing its suit against a Chubb unit to proceed.

  • August 24, 2022

    Insurer Needn't Cover $3M Judgment Over Fatal Car Accident

    Mercury Insurance has no extra-contractual liability for not settling claims that resulted in a $3 million excess judgment against a policyholder over a traffic fatality, a California state appeals court said, finding the insurer's failure to accept a $15,000 policy limit demand did not constitute bad faith.

  • August 23, 2022

    Insurance Broker Says No Teeth To Builder's Neglect Claim

    An insurance broker for the developer of a Seattle high-rise apartment complex cast doubt Tuesday in a Washington federal court brief on a subcontractor's insurance claims for damage to a duct bank and sewer line, saying the latter has not designated an expert standard-of-care witness.

  • August 23, 2022

    6th Circ. Calls For Prorated Property Damage Coverage

    The Sixth Circuit ruled that Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. isn't obligated to solely provide coverage for a business's property damage, saying both the tenant's insurer and landlord's insurer must cover the loss at an amount to be prorated by a Tennessee federal judge.

  • August 23, 2022

    Sushi Bar Says Insurer Must Cover Suit Over Mislabeled Fish

    A Chicago sushi restaurant urged an Illinois federal court to deny Society Insurance's bid to avoid coverage of a proposed class action accusing the restaurant of fraudulently mislabeling some of its offerings in place of cheaper, inferior fish.

  • August 23, 2022

    Insurer Says No Coverage For Real Estate Co.'s Text Blasts

    An insurer shouldn't have to defend a real estate brokerage from an underlying class action alleging that the company violated Washington's consumer protection laws by sending unsolicited promotional text messages, it told a Washington federal court, pointing to an exclusion for violations of those types of statutes.

  • August 23, 2022

    These Firms Have The Most Women In Equity Partnerships

    Law firms still have a long way to go when it comes to closing the gender gap, particularly at the top. But at these firms, women have made inroads into the upper ranks, and are smashing the glass ceiling that has long kept women from making it into leadership roles.

  • August 22, 2022

    Insurers Must Face $345M School Abuse Suit, Victims Say

    Former students of a Georgia private school who were sexually abused by a teacher and two others asked a state court to deny motions filed by several insurers seeking to end a consolidated case for coverage of a $345 million consent judgment entered in favor of the students.

  • August 22, 2022

    Abuse Suit Coverage Row Belongs In State Court, Judge Says

    Nautilus Insurance Co.'s suit seeking to avoid coverage of a day care center and one of its employees facing child abuse allegations should proceed in state court, a Kentucky federal judge ruled, finding that a number of disputed facts make a federal court's exercise of jurisdiction inappropriate.

  • August 22, 2022

    $8.5M Condo Defect Suit Names Wrong Insurer, Court Hears

    An insurer urged a federal court on Monday to toss a Jacksonville, Florida, condo association's attempts to tag the company with an $8.5 million bill for a contractor's shoddy work, saying it didn't issue the policy under which the association is seeking coverage.

  • August 22, 2022

    Insurer Fights Bid To Toss Suit Over $54M FCRA Settlement

    A Nationwide unit urged a Missouri federal court to reject a request by a background-reporting company and class of consumers to throw out a coverage dispute over a $54 million settlement related to violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, arguing that the court should retain jurisdiction and dispose of all issues between the parties.

  • August 22, 2022

    Ky. Panel Relieves Nationwide Of Covering Truck Accident

    Nationwide owes no coverage to a woman injured by a Kentucky man who crashed a truck owned by his wife's logging company, the state's appeals court said, reversing a lower court decision and finding that an exclusion in the man's auto policies applies to the vehicle in question.

  • August 22, 2022

    NY Victims' Families Bill Could Cause Insurance Cost Spike

    As New York's Grieving Families Act awaits the governor's signature, some experts said insurance costs could potentially increase in the Empire State due to the bill's allowance of recovery by extended family members for emotional damages such as grief or anguish.

Expert Analysis

  • Pandemic-Era Civil Jury Trials Require Constitutional Scrutiny

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    Courts should carefully consider the constitutional rights of litigants before restarting civil jury trials amid the pandemic, because inadequate remote voir dire procedures and evidentiary handicaps due to health safety measures could amount to the denial of a fair trial by an impartial jury, say attorneys at Rumberger Kirk.

  • Restaurant Virus Coverage Ruling Is An Outlier

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    Though a Missouri federal court allowed a group of hair salons and restaurants to sue for COVID-19 business interruption losses, Studio 417 v. Cincinnati Insurance is easily distinguishable from other virus insurance coverage cases, contradicts existing case law and offers prospects for minimal recovery at best, say Keith Moskowitz and Erin Bradham at Dentons.

  • Restaurant Virus Coverage Ruling Offers Insight For Insureds

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    A Missouri federal court’s recent decision allowing hair salon and restaurant owners to pursue COVID-19 insurance coverage class action claims in Studio 417 v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co. reminds policyholders of the importance of arguing that COVID-19 is a physical substance, and that physical loss and physical damage must be defined separately, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Lessons From Asbestos Can Help Resolve Opioid Liabilities

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    The effects of opioid litigation and settlements on pharmaceutical companies, insurers and others could be financially devastating, so affected entities should consider a practice used by companies with asbestos liabilities — a restructuring that separates those liabilities from ongoing operations, say consultants at Nathan Associates and Financial Asset Recovery Analytics.

  • Ambiguity Favors Insureds In COVID-19 Coverage Disputes

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    The rule that ambiguous insurance policy language should be construed against the carrier serves as a strong argument for policyholders in business interruption coverage litigation related to COVID-19, but the assertion has been invoked infrequently, say Jay Angoff and Joshua Karsh at Mehri & Skalet.

  • Cos. Can Sell Future Asbestos Liabilities To Avoid Bankruptcy

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    Bankruptcy has become an increasingly common solution for asbestos defendants, but the sale of contingent liabilities to a third party may provide a less complex and costly resolution of asbestos claims, say Milan Ceppi and Charles Oswald at Financial Asset Recovery Analytics.

  • Mich. Ruling Isn't Last Word On COVID-19 Insurance Claims

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    Although a Michigan state court dismissed the plaintiff's business interruption claim in Gavrilides Management v. Michigan Insurance, distinguishing features of the first dispositive decision in a COVID-19 coverage dispute will limit its impact on similar insurance litigation, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • Ohio Ruling Adds To Insurance Uncertainty For Opioid Suits

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    An Ohio appeals court's recent decision in Acuity v. Masters Pharmaceutical fails to address an insurer's duty to indemnify policyholders embattled in opioid litigation, only amplifying the uncertainty surrounding insurance coverage for opioid judgments and settlements, say attorneys at Nicolaides.

  • How COVID-19 May Change Environmental M&A Due Diligence

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    As M&A transactions face increased scrutiny in the pandemic-stressed economic landscape, environmental due diligence must address changing business imperatives and reflect evolving health and safety concerns, says Michael Bittner at Ramboll.

  • Regulatory Estoppel Does Not Invalidate The Virus Exclusion

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    Some policyholders seeking coverage for losses stemming from COVID-19 are arguing that virus exclusions are invalid due to regulatory estoppel, but this theory lacks substance and threatens to undermine formal clarifications of insurance policy intent, say Jonathan Schwartz and Colin Willmott at Goldberg Segalla.

  • Leaving The Tort System Behind Via Corporate Risk Transfer

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    With an increasingly litigious tort environment for corporate defendants, companies holding legacy liabilities would do well to investigate a capital markets solution for transferring their risks, say Mark Hemmann at FARA LLC and Peter Kelso at Roux Associates.

  • History Can Inform Pandemic Biz Interruption Insurance Cases

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    Historical catastrophes like the SARS epidemic, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and asbestos exposure provide helpful context for understanding the scale of current insurance litigation stemming from coronavirus-related business interruption, say Anne Gron and Georgi Tsvetkov at AlixPartners.

  • 'Notice Of Circumstances' May Preempt Virus Insurance Denial

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    Insurance policyholders impacted by COVID-19 should consider proactively sending notices of circumstances to their insurers in order to preempt new pandemic policy exclusions, although this tactic carries certain risks as well, say Richard Milone and Jennifer Romeo at Milone Law Firm.