Property

  • 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

    Mercedes, Insurer Don't Owe Reimbursement For Vehicle Fire

    Mercedes-Benz's North American research arm and its insurer don't owe reimbursement to a commercial real estate operator's insurer for $1 million in damages stemming from a vehicle fire at a testing facility, a Michigan federal judge ruled, finding that Mercedes' insurer issued commercial general liability coverage, not property protection insurance.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer's $1.37M Suit Over Stolen Walmart Flare Gun Misfires

    An Oregon federal judge has thrown out a $1.37 million suit from Ascot Specialty Insurance Co. against Walmart Inc. seeking to hold the retailer liable for a fire started by a stolen flare gun, saying the insurer has failed to show how Walmart is responsible for a third party's criminal acts.

  • 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

    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

    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 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

    No Coverage for Pa. ATV Accident, Insurer Says

    Truck Insurance Exchange has told a Pennsylvania state court it should owe no coverage to a policyholder facing a personal injury suit over an all-terrain vehicle accident, saying the policyholder's insurance agent "intentionally" failed to disclose the accident before Truck issued the policy.

  • 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.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Regulators' Pitch On Insurance Reform Draws Scrutiny

    Two regulations proposed to help lure insurers back to California's market by speeding up the state's rate approvals and allowing insurers to use catastrophe models to set rates are drawing scrutiny as industry and consumer groups weigh their potential effects.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sanitizer Co. Faces Tough Ad Injury Coverage Bid In 2nd Circ.

    A company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces faces an uphill battle, experts say, as the Second Circuit is poised to hear oral arguments Monday over whether the company is owed coverage under its commercial general liability policy for an underlying class action.

  • March 19, 2024

    8th Circ. Won't Rethink Mo. City's COVID-19 Coverage Loss

    The Eighth Circuit shot down a Missouri city's request to reconsider a panel ruling denying its request for coverage of sales tax revenue losses stemming from pandemic-related shutdowns, rejecting the city's argument that the panel misinterpreted policy terms and skewed its review in favor of the insurer.

  • March 18, 2024

    Justices Tilt Toward NRA In Free Speech Row With Regulator

    A cautious U.S. Supreme Court seemed poised Monday to rule in favor of the National Rifle Association in a case over allegations that a former New York state official pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association in violation of its free speech rights.

  • March 18, 2024

    Colo. HOA Not Covered In Travelers Repair Payment Row

    A Colorado federal judge ruled a Travelers unit doesn't have a duty to defend or indemnify a Denver homeowners association seeking coverage for a dispute with a different Travelers unit that alleged it overpaid for a hailstorm property damage claim.

Expert Analysis

  • Navigating High Court's Options In Insurer Choice Of Law

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    Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court approaches the question of when insurers may invoke choice-of-law clauses in maritime contracts to dodge state-specific liability, the Great Lakes v. Raiders Retreat Realty decision may mean significant changes not only for admiralty law disputes, but for the insurance industry more broadly, say Lara Cassidy and Adriana Perez at Hunton.

  • How Cannabis Cos. Can Comply With NJ Industrial Site Law

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    As New Jersey’s recreational cannabis market flourishes, manufacturers that may be subject to a state environmental law must take extra precautions to mitigate potential liabilities and costs, including for historical contamination, says Matthew Karmel at Offit Kurman.

  • As EVs Surge, Regs For Charger Warranties Remain Murky

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    Even as electric vehicles move rapidly into the mainstream, extended warranties for EV chargers do not always fit clearly into existing regulatory categories — but how such contracts are classified can have serious implications for the companies that issue and sell them, say attorneys at Locke Lord.

  • Tips For Plaintiffs Attorneys Ahead Of Expanded Fire Season

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    With the expansion of fire season — both in length of time and geography — plaintiffs lawyers can expect fire-related litigation to increase this coming year and need to prepare themselves and their clients for claims that are complex, time-consuming and costly, says Gerald Singleton at Singleton Schreiber.

  • 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.

  • Insureds Must Prep For Drought-Related Service Interruptions

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    Amid the ongoing U.S. water crisis, corporate policyholders must prepare for the emerging risk of service interruption property damage and time element loss, including through careful examination of their current and renewal property policies, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes Boone.

  • 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.

  • A Missing Issue In 'Blank Space' Insurance Ruling

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    As Norwegian Hull Club v. North Star heads to trial in Florida federal court, the most interesting part of the court opinion denying summary judgment is the argument it doesn't address — contra proferentem, which could have been used to resolve the case's blank space ambiguity in the policyholder's favor, say Jeffrey Mikoni and Scott Greenspan at Pillsbury.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Minimizing Landlord Exposure To NY's Gray Cannabis Market

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    As New York rolls out its legal adult-use cannabis regime, landlords renting to as-yet unlicensed cannabis establishments may face liability under two statutes — but a few commonsense steps can help protect them from this risk, say attorneys at Carter Ledyard.

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