Specialty Lines

  • January 27, 2023

    Homebuilder Can't Ax Insurer's Pollution Coverage Suit

    A homebuilder must face a declaratory judgment suit by an insurer of an oil company that the developer is accusing of pollution, an Alabama federal judge ruled, finding that the coverage dispute isn't moot because of allegations made in the underlying suit.

  • January 26, 2023

    Insurer Can't Duck Sotheby's Theft Suit Coverage, Judge Says

    An insurer can't duck coverage of a Sotheby's real estate unit facing claims that one of its agents stole $3.7 million in a real estate deal, a Florida federal judge ruled, adopting a magistrate judge's report despite the carrier's objections.

  • January 26, 2023

    Ross Virus Coverage Suit Paused For Calif. High Court Ruling

    A California state judge put Ross Stores Inc.'s COVID-19 coverage suit against Zurich, AIG and other insurers on hold until the California Supreme Court decides on a similar case sent to it by the Ninth Circuit.

  • January 26, 2023

    Broker Slams Insurer For Trying To 'Whitewash' Case Details

    Landmark American Insurance Co. shouldn't be allowed to remove the names of individual customers from the caption of a suit the insurer filed against a broker over coverage for an employee's theft, the broker told a Louisiana federal judge, accusing the carrier of trying to "whitewash" case details. 

  • January 26, 2023

    Judge Trims Misconduct Claims From Fire Loss Suit

    An Oregon federal judge tossed a renter's claims of intentional misrepresentation and infliction of emotional distress against Allstate Indemnity Co., narrowing the scope of her multimillion-dollar fire damage suit to as little as $100,000.

  • January 26, 2023

    Insurer Can't Duck Injury Coverage, Crum & Forster Says

    Great American can't duck coverage of an injured truck driver by passing coverage that should be available under its workers' compensation policy onto Crum & Forster's contract liability policy, Crum & Forster said, arguing that its policy is meant to be a "gap filler" solution, not primary coverage.

  • January 25, 2023

    Ransomware Shift Among Top Cyberinsurance Risks For '23

    Ransomware will likely continue to plague policyholders in 2023, as bad actors turn their efforts toward leveraging sensitive data, while advancements in artificial intelligence and evolving privacy risks could expose companies and carriers to increased litigation, insurance industry experts say.

  • January 25, 2023

    Title Insurer Wants Policy Redo Over Drafting 'Mistake'

    A homebuilder shouldn't be able to get coverage for easement claims made against a piece of land it purchased, an insurer told an Indiana federal court, arguing that the builder's insurance policy needs to be updated because the sides made a "mutual mistake" while drawing up the contract.

  • January 25, 2023

    Walmart Not Covered For Trucking Death Suit, Insurer Says

    Walmart isn't covered for a lawsuit alleging it was negligent in contracting with a shoddy trucking company whose driver caused a fatal accident, an insurer told a Texas federal court, arguing that the retailer can't make use of an additional-insured provision in the trucking company's policy.

  • January 25, 2023

    Tech Co. Drops Suit Over Wire Fraud Coverage

    A technology manufacturer for medical device and industrial markets told a Pennsylvania federal court that it is throwing out its coverage dispute over losses and expenses it incurred from fraudulent wire transfers.

  • January 25, 2023

    Coverage Fight Over Inmate Death To Remain In Federal Court

    A staffing company must battle General Star Indemnity in federal court for coverage of an underlying suit over the death of a jail inmate, a South Carolina federal judge ruled Wednesday, rejecting the company's claim that the insurer's declaratory action should be tossed because the underlying dispute is unresolved.

  • January 25, 2023

    Aquatics Teacher, Broker Settle Coverage Case

    A therapeutic aquatics instructor and her insurance broker have settled a dispute over coverage of a lawsuit accusing her of stealing clients from another business, the parties told a Texas federal court.

  • January 24, 2023

    4th Circ. Affirms Prudential's Early Win In Web Domain Suit

    The Fourth Circuit affirmed Prudential's win in a cybersquatting suit against a Chinese company that registered a domain name identical to the insurance giant's trademark, ruling Tuesday that a company specializing in foreign exchange trading should have known that PRU was Prudential's New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol.

  • January 24, 2023

    Insurers Holding Relatively More Debt, AM Best Report Says

    The amount of debt held by property and casualty insurers has increased compared to their capital holdings, partly as a result of rising interest rates and unrealized losses, according to a report released Tuesday by market analyst AM Best.

  • January 24, 2023

    Insurer Must Cover Row Between Farming Orgs., 9th Circ. Told

    The California chapter of a farmers association told the Ninth Circuit that an insurer must cover the costs of a judgment it won against a rival organization in a property conversion suit, arguing the organization's management liability policy covered all claims made in the underlying case.

  • January 24, 2023

    9th Circ. Doubtful Of Coverage For Sheriff Retaliation Claims

    A Ninth Circuit panel seemed unpersuaded by Sacramento County's argument that its insurer should foot the bill for the settlement of retaliation claims brought by four Sheriff's Office employees on the grounds that a California law that bars coverage for willful misconduct is inapplicable.

  • January 24, 2023

    Design Co. Says Insurer Can't Duck $850K Arbitration Award

    The insurer for a design and marketing company cannot escape coverage of an $850,000 arbitration award to a former CEO, the company told a California federal court, saying there was no finding of a deliberate fraudulent act that would exclude coverage of the underlying dispute.

  • January 24, 2023

    Atty Covered For Trust Mismanagement Suit, Court Told

    An exclusion in an attorney's insurance policy doesn't clearly bar coverage for damages arising from the undervalued sale of farmland, a man who sued the attorney in state court on allegations of mismanaging a trust fund told a New Mexico federal court.

  • January 24, 2023

    Car Dealer Cleared To Press Faulty-Engine Coverage Claims

    A car dealership can continue seeking insurance coverage for a $217,000 arbitration award it owes to a mother and daughter who bought a used car with a faulty engine, a Washington federal judge said, finding the dealer didn't necessarily intend to mislead its customers about the vehicle.

  • January 24, 2023

    1st Circ. Reels Aetna Back Into Knee Implant Libel Suit

    The First Circuit on Monday revived medical device maker Conformis Inc.'s trade libel claims against Aetna Inc., finding that the insurer's policy claim that the company's knee implants were "experimental" and "investigational" can plausibly be considered actionable product disparagement.

  • January 23, 2023

    9th Circ. Set To Examine Scope Of Covering Willful Acts

    Whether an insurance company should cover a policyholder's willful misconduct will take center stage in two cases before the Ninth Circuit in the coming weeks, with legal experts eager to find out how liberally the court says a state statute can be construed. Here, Law360 breaks down the cases ahead of oral arguments.

  • January 23, 2023

    Ill. Grocer Says Policy Exclusion Doesn't Apply To BIPA Suit

    A grocery chain told an Illinois federal court its insurer can't evade coverage for an underlying suit accusing it of violating the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act, arguing that its policy's exclusion for the violation of laws doesn't extend to BIPA allegations.

  • January 23, 2023

    11th Circ. Claims No Jurisdiction In $24M Coverage Row

    The Eleventh Circuit cannot hear an appeal from a defunct mortgage servicer that sought coverage from AIG and Starr Insurance units for a nearly $24 million settlement with the federal government, a three-judge panel ruled Monday, finding a Florida district court's decision left one counterclaim from Starr unresolved. 

  • January 23, 2023

    Ex-Jones Day Staffer Out Of Benefits, Unum Says In Bias Suit

    A former Jones Day employee who alleged her termination was discriminatory is not entitled to more disability benefits under the law firm's insurance policy and was actually overpaid, Unum Life Insurance Co. of America said.

  • January 23, 2023

    Vizio Tells 9th Circ. It's Owed Excess Coverage For $17M Deal

    Vizio asked the Ninth Circuit to find that its excess insurer must contribute coverage to a $17 million settlement in multidistrict litigation that accused the company of selling data without consumers' consent, arguing there isn't a requirement for it to provide a post-exhaustion notice to the insurer.

Expert Analysis

  • How D&O Insurers Can Limit Bankruptcy Exclusion Risks

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    Amid challenging economic conditions, directors and officers underwriters can't always rely on insolvency exclusions to protect against insured's bankruptcy claims, but there are ways to limit risk exposure, like by adding creditor exclusions or sublimiting coverage, say Kristine Christ at Crum & Forster, and Scott Schechter and Joshua DiLena at Kaufman Borgeest.

  • Questions Remain On Computer Fraud Coverage For Phishing

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    There are questions regarding the applicability of computer fraud coverage to phishing scheme losses in the wake of the Ninth Circuit's decision in Ernst & Haas v. Hiscox earlier this year, with a backdrop of differing case results and evolving fact patterns over the past few years, say Robert Callahan and Melissa D’Alelio at Robins Kaplan.

  • Insurers Must Be Vigilant About Cannabis Lounge Risks

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    Because cannabis lounges face a number of unique risks, such as overserving cannabis to patrons, insurers and risk management providers must be able to recognize and properly address the full range of potential liabilities, say Jonathan Isaacson and Adam Nicolazzo at Kaufman Dolowich.

  • Insurers Should Beware Risks From Digital Asset Losses

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    Personal lines insurers should not underestimate the potential severity of future exposure to digital asset loss claims, and should consider protecting themselves with new underwriting practices and policy exclusions, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • State Ransomware Payment Laws Raise Insurance Questions

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    Recent Florida and North Carolina statutory prohibitions on government agencies' ransomware payments will not just affect public entities' response to ransomware incidents, but also require consideration from insurers whose policies may cover ransom payments, say Ted Brown and Mallory Meaney at Wiley.

  • Anti-Kickback Circuit Split Holds Implications For Defendants

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    The Eighth Circuit's recent decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical represents a significant step toward holding plaintiffs to more exacting burdens of proof in Anti-Kickback Statute False Claims Act suits, and the outcome of the resulting circuit split could decrease estimated damages for defendants, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • 8th Circ. Ruling Raises Bar For Anti-Kickback FCA Claims

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    The Eighth Circuit's decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to claim that a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute supports False Claims Act liability, but an emerging circuit split and uncertainty regarding evidentiary requirements must be considered when developing a defense strategy, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • Insurance Tips For Cos. Offering Reproductive Health Benefits

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    Post-Dobbs state laws allowing legal action against anyone who facilitates an abortion could lead to claims against employers providing reproductive health benefits, so companies must ensure their insurance policies afford sufficient protection for any novel claims, say Heather Habes and Gretchen Hoff Varner at Covington.

  • Texas Tax Talk: Ruling May Erode Pro-Taxpayer Presumption

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    Following the recent Texas Supreme Court opinion in Hegar v. Health Care Service, the state comptroller may try to limit the utility of a long-standing presumption that ambiguous tax statutes must be construed strictly against the taxing authority and liberally for the taxpayer, say attorneys at Baker Botts.

  • Understanding Legal Considerations In Cannabis M&A Deals

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    Zachary Turke and Peter Park at Sheppard Mullin discuss the unique set of challenges for both buyers and sellers in cannabis industry merger and acquisition deals, given the rapidly changing economic conditions, the ever-changing regulatory landscape and new market entrants.

  • Cybersecurity Basics Are Key to Combating Ransomware

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    Recent prohibitions on ransom payments and other public policy measures vastly underestimate the breadth and complexity of the ransomware problem and will only work if organizations adopt basic cyber defenses, says Kate Margolis at Bradley.

  • How M&A Insurers Can Increase Smaller Deal Servicing

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    As the number of M&A deals in the $50 million to $200 million range continues to grow, lawyers, insurance brokers and clients must address the trend away from covering these smaller transactions by working together to make it easier for carriers to consider submissions and to insure these types of risks, says Hilary Weiss at Liberty Global.

  • Lessons From Calif. Liability Claim Recoupment Ruling

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    A recent California federal court decision in Evanston Insurance v. Winstar Properties illustrates the perils of insurer recoupment and underscores the importance of assessing recoupment rights, if any, throughout the claims process, say Geoffrey Fehling and Veronica Adams at Hunton.