Specialty Lines

  • January 19, 2023

    4th Circ. Rejects Woman's Claim For More Crash Coverage

    A Fourth Circuit panel capped the amount of coverage a woman can obtain from a landscape company's auto policy after she was rear-ended by a company truck, rejecting her argument that she is entitled to another $1 million because the truck was hauling a trailer.

  • January 18, 2023

    Insurance Market Still Strong Despite Challenges, Prof Says

    Despite persistent inflation, high catastrophe losses and the potential for a recession in 2023, the property and casualty insurance industry remains strong and stable, a leading industry observer and professor told a Travelers top executive Wednesday in a webinar.

  • January 18, 2023

    CBD Co. Not Covered In Investor Fraud Dispute, Insurer Says

    A CBD business is not entitled to coverage for underlying actions alleging that the company's directors and officers committed securities fraud by misleading investors to purchase over $74 million in debentures, an excess insurer told an Oregon federal court, saying the conduct took place before its policy was in effect.

  • January 18, 2023

    Pollution Incident Before Policy Not Covered, Insurer Says

    A gas station operator cannot get coverage for cleanup costs from a pollution incident at a Florida gas station because the incident was not "discovered" during the policy period and happened before the policy was effective, a Berkley unit told a Florida federal court.

  • January 18, 2023

    Broker Can't Escape HOA's Policy Dispute, Insurer Says

    An insurer seeking to rescind a policy it issued to a homeowners association should be able to sue the HOA's broker as well, it told a California federal court, arguing the broker knew its client was making misrepresentations but submitted the policy application anyway.

  • January 18, 2023

    Liberty Mutual Wants Court To Toss Pa. Spyware Suit

    Liberty Mutual asked a Pennsylvania federal court to dismiss a proposed class action accusing the insurer of wiretapping, arguing that the lead plaintiff did not show that the court had any jurisdiction over the case.

  • January 18, 2023

    Duke University, Insurer Settle Antitrust Coverage Dispute

    Duke University and its excess insurer have settled a coverage dispute over two antitrust class actions accusing the university of suppressing faculty wages, the insurer told a North Carolina federal court.

  • January 18, 2023

    Insurer Must Defend Yacht Co. Against Worker's Injury Suit

    An insurer cannot escape covering a yacht broker in an underlying suit brought by a subcontractor who was injured while repairing a vessel, a Florida federal judge said, finding that the carrier can't rely on a pair of employment-related exclusions.

  • January 18, 2023

    Insurer Tells 4th Circ. No Fraud Coverage Owed To Practice

    An insurer told the Fourth Circuit that it doesn't owe coverage to a defunct child therapy practice after one of the practice's employees was accused of faking her license, saying that under Virginia law it doesn't need to show that the practice subjectively believed the answers were false.

  • January 17, 2023

    No Coverage For Naval Ship Repairs, Insurers Tell 9th Circ.

    Two insurers urged the Ninth Circuit to find they have no coverage obligations to a federal defense contractor for damage it caused to a vessel owned by the U.S. Navy during a torpedo retrieval mission, arguing the company's marine liability policy doesn't cover repair costs.

  • January 17, 2023

    Med Center May Have Coverage Despite Unlicensed Doctors

    A California federal judge rejected an insurer's bid for a judgment that it doesn't have to defend a medical center accused of allowing unlicensed physicians to treat a patient, finding that there are questions around whether a licensure exclusion in the center's policy should apply.

  • January 17, 2023

    Toy Co. Says It's Entitled To Coverage For Rapper TI's IP Suit

    A toy company's insurer cannot rely on an intellectual property exclusion to disclaim coverage of a lawsuit filed by rapper T.I. and his wife, singer-songwriter Tiny Harris, because the exclusion is ambiguous, the company told a California federal court.

  • January 17, 2023

    Insurers Can't Get Resolution Yet In Acquisition Dispute

    A Massachusetts federal court tossed opposing bids to end a dispute between two insurers over a 2007 deal in which Sparta Insurance Co. acquired American Employers' Insurance Co., saying certain questions can't be resolved in a motion for judgment on the pleadings.

  • January 17, 2023

    Insurer Drops Cyberattack Suit In Federal Court

    A Lloyd's underwriter ditched its suit in Connecticut federal court against a group of footwear brands over a $5.6 million cyberattack claim, just two months after the insurer urged the court not to toss the action because of a parallel state court suit.

  • January 17, 2023

    Wash. Hotel Builder's $7.5M Water Damage Claim Axed

    A pair of insurers don't need to cover a contractor's claim for over $7.5 million in storm-related damage to a Hilton hotel it was building, a Washington federal judge ruled, citing the policies' rain damage exclusions.

  • January 13, 2023

    A Year After War Exclusion Ruling, Cyber Coverage Uncertain

    One year after Merck v. Ace's holding that a war exclusion does not bar coverage for cyberattacks, coverage of state-backed cyber incidents remains uncertain despite the insurance industry's efforts to clarify the scope of both cyber and noncyber policies.

  • January 13, 2023

    11th Circ. Can Hear Sleep Co.'s Negligent Death Coverage Suit

    A Georgia federal judge said the Eleventh Circuit has jurisdiction over a dispute concerning whether a sleep study company has insurance coverage for a wrongful death lawsuit, finding that the parties properly alleged they were from different states.

  • January 13, 2023

    Law360 Names Practice Groups Of The Year

    Law360 would like to congratulate the winners of its Practice Groups of the Year awards for 2022, which honor the attorney teams behind litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry this past year.

  • January 13, 2023

    Del. High Court Sides With Insurers In $20M D&O Dispute

    The Delaware Supreme Court upheld a ruling that Stillwater Mining Co. doesn't have insurance coverage for its $20 million-plus legal bill stemming from a 2017 stockholder appraisal lawsuit, rejecting the company's argument that Montana law should apply to the dispute.

  • January 13, 2023

    Insurer Says Judge Misread Policy In Sotheby's Theft Dispute

    An insurer urged a Florida federal judge to overrule a magistrate judge's findings that the carrier should defend a Sotheby's real estate unit facing claims that one of its agents stole $3.7 million in a real estate deal, arguing the report skipped over key language in an exclusion.

  • January 13, 2023

    Insurer, Spa Settle Over Botched Skin Treatment Coverage

    An insurer and a medical spa settled their coverage fight over an underlying suit accusing the spa of a botched skin treatment, they told a Connecticut federal court.

  • January 12, 2023

    5th Circ. Says Insurer Required To Cover $750,000 For Crash

    The Fifth Circuit said Thursday that an insurer must only pay up to $750,000 in coverage for a fatal tractor-trailer crash, agreeing with a Mississippi federal judge that a surety endorsement caps the amount beneficiaries can receive because the trailer involved was not a covered auto under the policy.

  • January 12, 2023

    SC High Court Says No UM Coverage For Co-Worker's Crash

    A woman cannot seek uninsured motorists' coverage for an auto accident caused by her co-worker while on the job, the South Carolina Supreme Court said, finding that she could only seek relief under the state's workers' compensation act.

  • January 12, 2023

    Chancery Sends Ex-SandRidge Execs' Fee Fight To Oklahoma

    Two former SandRidge Energy Inc. executives who sued it in Delaware's Court of Chancery to cover a $17 million securities fraud class action settlement payment will have to litigate the matter in Oklahoma, the Delaware chancellor said Thursday.

  • January 12, 2023

    Transport Co. Says Insurer Shouldn't Be Rewarded For Breach

    After years of refusing to cover dozens of trailers stolen from a transportation company, Markel Insurance Co. shouldn't be rewarded by being allowed to pay a much lower amount in damages than the losses are now worth, the company told a Pennsylvania federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • Bankruptcy Case May Help Define Surety Executory Contract

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    Next week’s Fifth Circuit oral argument in Argonaut Insurance v. Falcon V is of great interest to the surety industry as this case presents an opportunity for the court to address several unsettled questions on whether a tripartite arrangement, such as a surety bond program, is an executory contract for bankruptcy purposes, say Lisa Tancredi at Womble Bond and Laura Murphy at Travelers.

  • Assessing NFT Insurance Coverage Options And Gaps

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    Because non-fungible tokens do not come bundled with insurance policies, and until NFT-specific insurance policies become more common, NFT owners should proactively protect against risk by drawing upon existing frameworks, despite potential coverage gaps, say Brian Scarbrough and Edward Crouse at Jenner & Block.

  • Insurer Implications As 3 Climate Suits Return To State Courts

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    Three federal circuit courts recently remanded climate change lawsuits brought by state and local governments against major energy corporations back to state courts, where plaintiffs are more likely to succeed, thus significantly increasing their insurers' and reinsurers' exposure to defense costs and judgments, say José Umbert and Jason Reeves at Zelle. 

  • 6 Rulings Reinforce BIPA Coverage For Illinois Policyholders

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    Six well-reasoned recent decisions in the Northern District of Illinois have considerably strengthened policyholders’ arguments for commercial general liability coverage in lawsuits brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, say attorneys at Neal Gerber.

  • How Boards Can Address Insurance-Based Caremark Risk

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    Recent bankruptcy proceedings, such as Purdue Pharma's, highlight that insurance is critical to ensuring an organization's solvency and ability to pay claimants, making it important for boards to prioritize adequate insurance and risk-management as core Caremark responsibilities, say attorneys at Cooley.

  • 4th Circ.'s Allen Trust Opinion: A New Class Action Primer

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    The Fourth Circuit's recent opinion in Allen Trust v. Banner Life Insurance is likely to become an oft-cited instruction manual for Rule 23(b)(3) class action certification and settlement in the circuit, because of how it effectively addresses the three major issues that dominate class action litigation, say David Anthony and Justin Golart at Troutman Pepper.

  • What Microcaptive Reporting Ruling May Mean For The IRS

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    In CIC v. Internal Revenue Service, a Tennessee federal court’s decision to set aside an IRS requirement to disclose microcaptive insurance arrangements may be a step toward evidentiary standards to show that the potential for abuse in a lawful transaction is sufficient to support heightened disclosure requirements, says Samuel Lauricia at Weston Hurd.

  • 7 Policy Terms Defensive IP Coverage Buyers Should Note

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    To maximize defensive intellectual property insurance — coverage that will defend and indemnify the insured against suits alleging infringement — the technology startups driving the post-pandemic economic recovery should be focusing on specific terms within the manuscripted policies, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes and Boone.

  • 3 Insurance Lessons From Target Data Breach Ruling

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    In Target v. ACE American Insurance, a Minnesota federal court recently recognized that commercial general liability policies cover losses arising from data breaches, providing useful lessons for policyholders, including a perspective on occurrence and loss of use, say attorneys at Pasich.

  • Del. Related Claims Ruling Is Good News For Insurers

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    The Delaware Supreme Court recently denied coverage for a shareholder class action in First Solar v. National Union First Insurance, rejecting the test for assessing relatedness-based coverage issues, and opening the door for insurers to rely on specific policy wording when evaluating related claims, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • How Sonic Boom Risk Informs 'Physical Loss' For COVID Era

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    Applied to today's COVID-19 business interruption insurance battles, insurers' historical treatment of damage associated with sonic booms — or explosive sounds stemming from supersonic airplane speeds — may call into question the many court rulings barring coverage for pandemic-related losses on narrow physical loss grounds, say Peter Kochenburger at the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey Stempel at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  • Justices Must Apply Law Evenly In Shadow Docket Rulings

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    In recent shadow docket decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has inconsistently applied the requirement that parties demonstrate irreparable harm to obtain injunctive relief, which is problematic for two separate but related reasons, says David Hopkins at Benesch.

  • Preparing For New Mandatory Cyber Reporting Rules

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    The requirements of a new federal law mandating cyber incident reporting for critical infrastructure will not become operational for several months, but affected companies should begin assessing whether their response plans incorporate critical policies and procedures to ensure compliance, say Steven Stransky at Thompson Hine and Lacy Rex at Oswald Companies.