General Liability

  • April 02, 2024

    Consultant, Insurer's Pesticide Coverage Row Headed To Trial

    A dispute over coverage must continue following a $1.8 million judgment against a pesticide consulting company blamed for negligent pest control of a wheat crop, an Arizona federal judge ruled, denying an insurer's quest for an early win.

  • April 01, 2024

    7th Circ. Affirms $672K Payout In Illinois Delivery Driver Crash

    A Seventh Circuit panel on Monday affirmed an Illinois federal court's decision awarding a delivery driver $672,000 from an insurer following his 2017 work-related crash with an underinsured motorist.

  • April 01, 2024

    AIG Unit Can't Toss Conn. Utility's $3M Defense Cost Bid

    An AIG unit can't escape the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative's third-party suit seeking to recoup $3 million in legal expenses, a Connecticut federal court ruled, saying the cooperative has standing to pursue coverage on behalf of its former CEO who was convicted of stealing public funds.

  • April 01, 2024

    Insurer Can't Avoid Indemnity Payments Over Grocery Fire

    West Bend Mutual cannot avoid making extra indemnity payments to a Detroit grocery store over a fire or collect its insured's unpaid premium from another insurer, a Michigan federal court ruled after previously compelling both insurers to provide coverage because their policies were active when the fire occurred.

  • April 01, 2024

    Insurer Defends Gas Station Cleanup Exclusion To 11th Circ.

    An insurer has asked the Eleventh Circuit to reject a Florida gas station owner's bid to make it pay for contamination caused by a leaking underground fuel tank, telling the appeals court the station's policy doesn't cover an incident discovered well before the policy went into effect.

  • March 29, 2024

    Liberty Units Lose $13.3M Motel Murder Coverage Bid

    CNA and Chubb units have no duty to reimburse two Liberty Mutual units for a $13.3 million judgment stemming from a motel murder, an Ohio federal court ruled, saying no bad faith claim was asserted against the Liberty Mutual units triggering their errors and omissions policies.

  • March 29, 2024

    2nd Circ. Backs Insurer In Sanitizer Ad Injury Coverage Suit

    An insurer doesn't owe coverage to a company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces, the Second Circuit ruled Friday, affirming a lower court's decision that the underlying class action can't be "reasonably construed" to substantially allege a claim of disparagement.

  • March 29, 2024

    Baltimore Diocese Sues Insurers For Abuse Claims Coverage

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore, its parishes and schools have filed an adversary action in Maryland bankruptcy court against its insurance carriers, alleging they failed to live up to their contractual obligation to defend against and pay for sexual abuse claims.

  • March 28, 2024

    Baltimore Bridge Collision Raises Massive Insurance Fallout

    A container ship collision that destroyed Baltimore's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge caused a level of death, injury, destruction and economic harm that will likely cost the insurance sector billions of dollars and leave many without closure or compensation for years.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Won't Pay Half Snow Remover's Fraud Coverage Suit

    An insurer avoided paying for half of a nearly $360,000 wire fraud scheme targeting a snow removal company Thursday, after a Minnesota federal judge found its policy precluded coverage for a variety of reasons.

  • March 28, 2024

    Q&A: Former Calif. Insurance Chief On Climate & Rate Setting

    From intense wildfires to devastating floods, the effects of climate change on California's insurance market cannot be understated, a fact that experts point to often as regulators weigh how to bring insurers back to business in the Golden State.

  • 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

    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

    Insurer Can't Escape Strip Club, Models' $2M Ad Settlement

    An insurer can't evade covering a nearly $2 million settlement between a Rhode Island strip club and a group of models who sued the club for misusing their images in advertisements, a federal judge ruled, holding that the club did not breach its contract when entering into the agreement. 

  • 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

    Insurer Settles $900K Chinese Dehumidifier Fire Suit

    A Chinese appliance manufacturer and a U.S. distributor known for selling fire-prone dehumidifiers settled an insurer's $900,000 suit over a policyholder's house fire, the insurer told a North Carolina federal court.

  • 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 27, 2024

    Camden Diocese Insurers Demand Ch. 11 Plan Be Halted

    Several insurers of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden told a New Jersey bankruptcy judge Wednesday that the approval of the debtor's third modified Chapter 11 plan stripped the insurers' rights and urged the court to implement a stay on the order.

  • March 27, 2024

    Smucker Needn't Pay Multiple Limits For Tainted Jif Row

    J.M. Smucker Co. does not have to satisfy the retained limit for 225 underlying claims seeking damages for salmonella-contaminated Jif peanut butter individually before being eligible for coverage, an Ohio federal judge ruled, holding that the underlying claims constituted a single occurrence.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer Wants $29M Treble Damages Ruling Reversed In NC

    An insurer has asked a North Carolina state appeals court to overturn a nearly $29 million ruling penalizing it for failing to defend an employee who crashed a company truck, killing his colleague, citing a policy exclusion for employee injury cases it said the trial court ignored.

Expert Analysis

  • In Ga., Promptness Is Key To Setting Aside Default Judgments

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    The Georgia Court of Appeals' recent vacating of a lower court's decision to set aside a default judgment against Samsung Electronics America is a reminder of the processes and arguments provided by Georgia's statutes for challenging default judgments — including the importance of responding quickly, says Katy Robertson at Swift Currie.

  • 1st Circ. Harvard Ruling Provides Primer On Policy Provisions

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    In its recent finding of no coverage for Harvard due to the school's failure to give Zurich American Insurance timely notice of its claim, the First Circuit provides a good analysis of the distinctions between occurrence and claims-made policies, including the rationale for differences in notice provisions, says Andrew Paliotta at Cozen O'Connor.

  • SEC's New Rules Likely Will Affect Cyber, D&O Insurance

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted cybersecurity incident disclosure rules that could create new challenges that affect how public companies assess the risk of securities, corporate governance and cyber-related lawsuits, which may implicate novel insurance coverage issues, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Potential Marijuana Status Change Would Shift Industry Risks

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    Cannabis companies and their insurers should pay close attention to how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' move toward marijuana reclassification plays out, and the potential for a shakeup in the landscape for cannabis regulation at the state and federal levels, says Ian Stewart at Wilson Elser.

  • Key Provisions In Florida's New Insurer Accountability Act

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    Florida's recent bipartisan Insurer Accountability Act introduces a range of new obligations for insurance companies and regulatory bodies to strengthen consumer protection, and other states may follow suit should it prove successful at ensuring a reliable insurance market, say Jan Larson and Benjamin Malings at Jenner & Block.

  • Next Steps For Insurers After Ky. OKs Early 3rd-Party Claims

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    While insurers in Kentucky may face more statutory bad faith claims after a recent state Supreme Court decision clarified that third parties may bring these torts even before determination of coverage is finalized, insurers can adopt a variety of approaches to reduce their exposure, says Jason Reichlyn at Dykema Gossett.

  • Insurers, Prepare For Large Exposures From PFAS Claims

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    With thousands of lawsuits concerning per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances pending across the country, several large settlements already reached, and both regulators and the plaintiffs bar increasingly focusing on PFAS, it is becoming clear that these "forever chemicals" present major exposures to insurers and their policyholders, say Scott Seaman and Jennifer Arnold at Hinshaw.

  • What To Know About Duty To Settle Insurance Claims In Texas

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    Laura Grabouski of Holden Litigation examines the parameters of Texas insurers' duty to settle liability claims within the limits of the primary policy, as knowledge of the requirements — and the potential exposure from insureds, judgment creditors or excess creditors — can pay dividends in the era of nuclear verdicts.

  • Ga. Mirror-Image Rule Makes Settlements Fraught For Insurers

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    The Georgia Court of Appeals' recent decision in Pierce v. Banks shows how strictly Georgia courts will enforce the rule that an insurer's response to a settlement demand must be a mirror image of the demand — and is a reminder that parties must exercise caution when accepting such a demand, says Seth Friedman at Lewis Brisbois.

  • Insurance Ruling Shows Notice Letters Need Close Review

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    A Texas appeals court's recent disapproval of an insured’s presuit notice letter to Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance — which refused to quantify an alleged injury — should prompt courts to probe deeper when considering whether such a letter gives the insurer the information needed to resolve the claim or make a settlement offer, say Jennifer Martin and Timothy Delabar at Wilson Elser.

  • 11th Circ. Ruling May Impede Insurers' Defense Cost Recoup

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent Continental Casualty v. Winder Laboratories ruling that insurers cannot obtain reimbursement of defense costs from their insureds where the policy itself does not require such reimbursement is likely to be cited as persuasive authority in Georgia and other states without clear precedent on the issue, say Christy Maple and Robert Whitney at Phelps Dunbar.

  • Groundbreaking Nev. Law May Alter Insurance Landscape

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    The Nevada Legislature recently passed a law prohibiting insurers from issuing liability policies with eroding limits provisions that has the potential to create massive shifts in the marketplace — and specifically in areas like professional liability, cyber, and directors and officers insurance, says Will Bennett at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Insurance Insights From 5th Circ. Blue Bell Coverage Ruling

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    The Fifth Circuit's recent ruling that denied Blue Bell insurance coverage for the defense costs incurred from a shareholder lawsuit underscores the importance of coordination of different coverages and policies across programs, and the potential perils of seeking recovery for losses under nontraditional policies, say Geoffrey Fehling and Casey Coffey at Hunton.