Property

  • September 21, 2022

    Ill. Panel Upholds Insurer's Win In Bad Workmanship Suit

    American Family Mutual Insurance has no duty to defend a landscaper accused of botching its work for a pair of homeowners, an Illinois appeals court affirmed, finding that the homeowners failed to allege property damage outside the landscaper's own work.

  • September 21, 2022

    Insurer Ducks Coverage In Unpermitted Demolition Row

    A California federal judge ruled a Berkshire Hathaway unit isn't responsible for covering a state court judgment related to unauthorized demolitions at a historic San Francisco building, finding the damages won in the underlying suit are excluded under its policy.

  • September 21, 2022

    Insurers Wrongly Denied COVID Claim, Del. Justices Told

    An attorney for a multi-state water park venture told Delaware's Supreme Court on Wednesday that a lower court wrongly tossed its challenge to an insurer's rejection of COVID-19 business loss coverage based on an "overly interpreted and expanded" policy exclusion covering pollutants.

  • September 21, 2022

    Insurer Urges Ill. Justices To Sink Tenants' Fire Defense Bid

    Auto-Owners Insurance Co. urged the Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday to keep a rental property's tenants from taking "a wrecking ball" to the duty to defend and reverse a lower court's finding that it should defend them in a handyman's fire negligence suit.

  • September 21, 2022

    5th Circ. Affirms Dismissal Of Jeweler's Virus Coverage Suit

    The Fifth Circuit declined to revive a New Orleans jeweler's COVID-19 pandemic business interruption suit against Axis Surplus Insurance Co., finding that a previous decision by the court doomed the jeweler's arguments in favor of coverage.

  • September 21, 2022

    Bankrupt Restaurant's COVID-19 Coverage Suit Tossed

    A California federal judge has rejected bankrupt restaurant chain Garden Fresh's claims that its insurance covers losses caused by government-ordered COVID-19 shutdowns, saying it is making arguments that have been tried and rejected in numerous prior cases.

  • September 21, 2022

    Chocolatier Asks Court To Set Aside Verdict Over Sandy Claim

    A chocolatier asked a New York federal court to set aside a recent jury verdict and rule that a policy issued by a Chubb unit provides coverage for the company's Superstorm Sandy losses, saying the jury returned the verdict "without a scintilla of valid extrinsic evidence."

  • September 21, 2022

    NY AG James Sues Trump, Alleging $250M Business Fraud

    New York Attorney General Letitia James filed suit Wednesday against former President Donald Trump, his children and company executives, seeking the return of $250 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains from a 10-year scheme to defraud banks using misleading financial statements.

  • September 20, 2022

    CBD Extractor's Claims Invalid Under W.Va. Law, Insurer Says

    A cannabidiol company's insurer asked a West Virginia federal court weeks before its scheduled jury trial to toss the CBD business's counterclaims accusing it of bad faith and violating state unfair trade practices in not covering a 2019 Halloween blaze at its warehouse.

  • September 20, 2022

    Calif. Construction Firm Adds Appellate Specialist Team

    Berding & Weil has launched a new appellate team with more than 60 years of combined experience, the firm announced in a news release Tuesday.

  • September 20, 2022

    LA Developer Drops $5.9M Superfund Cleanup Coverage Suit

    A Los Angeles County developer agreed to drop its lawsuit against Chubb Custom Insurance Co. that sought $5.9 million for remediation costs at a property it purchased.

  • September 20, 2022

    Cigna Slams NJ Lab's 'Contempt' In COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. said a radiology lab has turned over deficient patient claims information in pursuing a New Jersey federal lawsuit seeking about $1.5 million for COVID-19 services, citing the entity's allegedly "flagrant contempt" of court processes in other Garden State cases.

  • September 20, 2022

    Calif. Footwear Co. Urges 9th Circ. To Revive Virus Suit

    A California federal court wrongfully tossed a COVID-19 business interruption coverage suit brought by a footwear boutique owner, the company told the Ninth Circuit, arguing its claims that the virus physically damaged its property were sufficient to avoid dismissal.

  • September 20, 2022

    La. Hospital Loses COVID-19 Coverage Suit

    A Louisiana federal judge sided with an insurer in a hospital's suit for coverage of COVID-19 pandemic losses, finding that despite a state appellate ruling favoring a restaurant in a COVID-19 coverage suit, controlling precedent still favors insurers when defining property damage.

  • September 20, 2022

    Wash. Condo Group Sues Nationwide For 'Hidden' Damages

    A Washington-based condominium association sued Nationwide for over $700,000 in coverage for repairing hidden water damages, saying the insurer unreasonably denied it coverage despite findings of long-term damage, according to the association's suit.

  • September 20, 2022

    NYC Seeks Defense In 3 Suits Against City Contractors

    The city of New York urged a New York federal court to order Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. to defend it in three suits, arguing that it qualifies as an additional insured under three separate policies issued to nonprofit agencies contracting with the city to provide foster care, housing assistance or educational programs.

  • September 20, 2022

    3rd Circ. Orders Jurisdiction Probe In Suit Over Fire Coverage

    A Third Circuit panel said federal courts should consider the citizenship of all the members of a reciprocal insurance exchange when deciding whether diversity jurisdiction exists, sending two insurers' lawsuit over a deadly Pennsylvania nursing home fire back to the district court Tuesday.

  • September 19, 2022

    Ill. Panel Upholds Insurer's Win In COVID-19 Coverage Dispute

    An Illinois state appeals court affirmed a lower court's decision siding with Society Insurance in a suit brought by bars and other businesses seeking coverage for losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • September 19, 2022

    Defect Exclusion Sinks Allied's $3M Facility Damage Suit

    A Florida federal judge ruled in favor of Travelers in a suit brought by Allied World Assurance Co., finding that an exclusion for design defects barred coverage for more than $3.1 million in losses and expenses related to work on a water treatment plant.

  • September 19, 2022

    Allstate Says No Coverage For Tenant In Stabbing Incident

    Allstate doesn't have to cover a woman accused of stabbing someone at her apartment complex, the insurer told a Georgia federal court, raising several defenses to coverage including a criminal acts exclusion.

  • September 19, 2022

    Geico Beats Tenn. Driver's Suit Over High COVID Premiums

    A Tennessee federal judge became the latest to let auto insurer Geico off the hook in a policyholder's proposed class action accusing the company of overcharging premiums during the COVID-19 pandemic, when government stay-at-home orders kept cars off the road, thus reducing the number of accidents. 

  • September 19, 2022

    Insurer Says No Coverage For Contractors In Injury Suit

    A Markel unit sued a pair of construction companies in New York and New Jersey federal courts, arguing that it has no duty to cover defense costs related to an underlying suit from an injured worker.

  • September 19, 2022

    Insurer Says Motel Not Covered For Fentanyl Death Suit

    A Florida motel is not entitled to coverage for an underlying suit filed by the family of a woman who died of a fentanyl overdose on the motel's premises, an insurer told a Florida federal court, saying coverage is barred by the policy's pollution and chemical materials exclusions.

  • September 16, 2022

    Fla. Panel Rejects Air Quality Co.'s Insurance Dispute

    A Florida state appellate panel rejected an air quality company's appeal against American Integrity Insurance Co. of Florida, finding that its agreement to pursue reimbursement for a hurricane damage assessment on behalf of homeowners was invalid.

  • September 16, 2022

    Florida Insurers Relying More On Reinsurers, Report Says

    Losses paid by U.S. reinsurers to Florida personal property specialist insurers have more than quadrupled in the past three years, topping $1 billion in 2021, according to a new report from AM Best.

Expert Analysis

  • Biz Interruption Insurance Considerations After Texas Storms

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    Businesses that have suffered losses from the snow and utility interruptions in Texas should consider the broad range of commercial property insurance policy triggers that may apply, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes and Boone.

  • An In-House Counsel's Guide To Better Work Management

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    Amid economic uncertainty and increasing pressure on corporate legal departments to do more with less, work management processes should be aimed at tracking legal teams' every contribution, including routine matters that can be reallocated to nonlegal staff, says Aaron Pierce at LexisNexis CounselLink.

  • Building A Law Firm Knowledge Bank For Thought Leadership

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    Marketing professionals often do not have firsthand knowledge of current legal trends and client issues, so law firms need to commit to an ongoing knowledge extraction process — a series of steps to draw out attorney insights that can help marketers create effective and frequent thought leadership content, says Michelle Calcote King at Reputation Ink.

  • Let's Emerge From The Pandemic As Legal Innovators

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    The pandemic forced a digital reckoning on the legal profession — which switched to remote workforces, paperless workflows and digital signatures seemingly overnight — and law firms and corporate legal departments can keep up the innovation momentum with three guiding principles, says Kevin Clem at HBR Consulting.

  • This Black History Month, Law Firms Should Challenge Norms

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    With so little progress made in the diversification of the legal industry, Black History Month is a good time for law firms to adjust their organizational cultures, ensuring that diversity and inclusion goals are transparent and measured in the same way billable hour and other core targets are — through written, enforceable policies, says Paulette Brown at Locke Lord.

  • Law Firm Penalties On Departing Partners Just Got Riskier

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    A D.C. appeals court's recent decision in Jacobson Holman v. Gentner sharply limiting the ability of law firms to financially penalize departing partners continues a clear trend among court rulings and bar ethics opinions, and should encourage firms to review their partnership agreements for any ethical land mines, says Alan Kabat at Bernabei & Kabat.

  • Tips For Protecting Privilege When Working With Outside PR

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    As lawsuits stemming from companies' COVID-19 responses grow and businesses hire public relations firms to manage the fallout, companies and their counsel should consider strategies to best protect themselves in court — and in the court of public opinion — without stepping on a privilege land mine, say Daniella Main and Mia Falzarano at Alston & Bird.

  • An OFAC Compliance Checklist For Ransomware Payments

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    As the U.S. government heightens its scrutiny of ransomware payments, victims that pay extortion demands can follow 12 steps to help establish the requisite mitigation and due diligence to avoid penalties from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, says cybersecurity consultant John Reed Stark.

  • Remote Bar Exams Pose New Learning Disability Challenges

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    New bar exam formats necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis — going from paper to computer, in-person to remote, human to artificial intelligence proctoring — may exacerbate shortcomings in disability assessments for learning-disabled test takers seeking accommodations, says Rebecca Mannis at Ivy Prep.

  • Don't Let Lies Infiltrate The Mediation Process

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    The pandemic-era rise in mediation brings about the increased risk that participants will engage in dishonest behavior with the expectation that settlement negotiations will be kept confidential, but lawyers should beware that state confidentiality protections differ, and that courts have applied ethical rules in the mediation context, say Jennifer Gibbs and Amanda Rodriguez at Zelle.

  • Judges On Race: Lack Of Data Deters Criminal Justice Reform

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    Many state courts' failure to gather basic data on sentencing and other important criminal justice metrics frustrates efforts to keep checks on judges’ implicit biases and reduce racial disparities, say Justice Michael Donnelly at the Ohio Supreme Court and Judge Pierre Bergeron at the Ohio First District Court of Appeals.

  • Law Firms Should Note GCs' Growing Focus On Biz Strategies

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    Amid the challenges of the pandemic, a shifting digital landscape, and increasing calls for diversity and inclusion, general counsel responsibilities are expanding into six new areas, highlighting the need for both in-house and outside counsel to serve as strategic and empathetic business leaders, say Wendy King at FTI Consulting and David Horrigan at Relativity.

  • Economic Loss Is Key To Pandemic Insurance Suits

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    Decades of case law distinguishing between economic loss and property damage may support commercial property insurance policyholders in litigation with insurers who argue that COVID-19-related losses do not constitute physical damage, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes and Boone.

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