General Liability

  • February 29, 2024

    State Farm Must Face Bad Faith Claims In $3M Crash Row

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday clarified a prior ruling reviving bad faith claims against State Farm for rejecting an offer to settle a car crash injury suit that led to a $3 million verdict, saying the insurer could still have acted in bad faith in handling the settlement offer even if it had no obligation to accept it.

  • February 29, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Texas Supreme Court found that a handful of insurers may be on the hook for a $220 million bankruptcy settlement, while another state Supreme Court said it will take on underpayment claims against Geico, as insurance experts heed emerging privacy risks and prepare for more PFAS litigation. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • February 29, 2024

    Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance

    A deadly apartment fire in Valencia, Spain, is drawing renewed attention to the use of flammable materials on building exteriors, a global problem that insurance experts say implicates complicated webs of liability and a need for strong government oversight.

  • February 29, 2024

    Texas Justices' Unusual Remedy Presents A Win For Insurers

    The Texas Supreme Court handed several carriers a victory in its ruling that a $220 million settlement between now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. and its investors is not binding on the energy company's insurers to establish coverage, a decision notable for the unusual relief granted by the state justices, experts say.

  • February 29, 2024

    New AI Risks Pressure Policyholders To Fill Coverage Gaps

    Growing scrutiny from the public and regulators in the U.S. over artificial intelligence use and rising threats of AI-enabled schemes are sending insurance experts scrambling to evaluate their coverage options in a rapidly changing risk environment.

  • February 29, 2024

    SVB Parent's Counsel Booted From Fraud Coverage Row

    The bankrupt parent company of Silicon Valley Bank cannot use Farella Braun & Martel LLP as counsel in litigation over the parent company's claims that it alone must be covered for a fraud scheme that caused over $73 million in losses, a North Carolina federal court ruled.

  • February 28, 2024

    Travelers, Fridge Co. To Settle $950K Dispute Over Ship Fire

    Travelers and a refrigerator manufacturer told a Texas federal court that they have agreed to dismiss litigation over the insurer's bid to recoup $950,000 it paid to its insured to cover a ship fire, which Travelers said was caused by a defective refrigerator unit in the ship's galley.

  • February 28, 2024

    BASF Says Insurers Owe Coverage For PFAS Suits

    Major chemical manufacturer BASF Corp. told a South Carolina court Wednesday that 23 insurers should cover thousands of lawsuits that alleged a chemical the company produced for firefighting foam caused pollution and injuries.

  • February 28, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Rehear Pfizer Shareholder Suit Coverage Row

    Pfizer won't get a second shot at arguing its insurer should indemnify it in a settlement stemming from a 2003 shareholder class action, with the Third Circuit on Wednesday declining the pharmaceutical company's request for an en banc rehearing.

  • February 27, 2024

    Company Escapes Coverage Row Over Lethal Ammonia Leak

    A contractor's affiliate whose employee died in an ammonia leak at a North Carolina cold storage facility needn't face claims stemming from the accident, the North Carolina Business Court said in a lawsuit originally brought against three insurers and others over coverage for the leak.

  • February 27, 2024

    Insurer Misled Lockheed On Contamination Suit, Court Told

    Lockheed Martin has told a Maryland federal court that its insurer "lured" it into believing for months that it would defend the company against claims that Lockheed's release of various toxic substances contaminated property and injured individuals near its Orlando, Florida, weapons manufacturing facility.

  • February 27, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Reconsider Coverage Ruling For Deli Stabbing

    The Third Circuit declined to review its decision that an insurer for a Philadelphia deli does not owe coverage for a $900,000 settlement reached with a man stabbed on the premises.

  • February 26, 2024

    Atty's Letter Is Not A Claim For Damages, Del. Justices Rule

    An attorney's presuit letter claiming that Syngenta's herbicide Paraquat caused his clients' Parkinson's disease does not constitute a "claim for damages" under the company's insurance policies with a pair of Zurich units, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Monday.

  • February 26, 2024

    Colo. Justices To Hear If Insurers Can Withhold Some Payouts

    The Colorado Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether the state's insurance code allowed Geico, following unsuccessful settlement attempts, to refuse paying noneconomic damages to a policyholder for his underinsured motorist claim, given what Geico said is the "inherently subjective" nature of such damages.

  • February 26, 2024

    Liberty Cuts Off Drivers' Rentals Too Soon, Suit Claims

    Liberty Mutual systematically and arbitrarily ends replacement transportation coverage after seven days for policyholders whose vehicles are totaled in collisions, in violation of its own policy language, a proposed class action alleges.

  • February 26, 2024

    Texas Justices Say $220M Cobalt Deal Is A Loss Under Policy

    A $220 million settlement that now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. reached with a group of investors constitutes a loss under the energy company's insurance policies, but the agreement is not binding on Cobalt's insurers to establish coverage, the Texas Supreme Court ruled.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    From maritime contracts’ choice-of-law provisions to a question on how far an agency can steer companies from contracting with controversial groups, the past week saw two insurance-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, plus litigation over a mass shooting and a casino operator’s claims that its “unique” policy covers pandemic losses. Here, Law360 recaps the week's top insurance news. 

  • February 23, 2024

    The New BIPA? Attys Warn GIPA Is A 'Live Grenade'

    After notable appellate victories in biometric privacy cases, Illinois plaintiffs have seized upon a previously little-used law protecting workers' genetic privacy, leaving defense attorneys wondering if history will repeat itself and open companies to potentially explosive liability. 

  • February 26, 2024

    New York Pandemic Coverage Ruling Offers Few Surprises

    Businesses seeking insurance coverage for their pandemic losses were dealt yet another loss recently by New York's top court, a ruling that didn't surprise attorneys watching to see whether the Empire State might buck the trend of carrier victories.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance M&A Partner From Sidley Joins Kirkland

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP has added a corporate partner in its insurance transactions and regulatory and financial institutions practice groups, bringing on a former Sidley Austin LLP attorney who said he "couldn't be more excited" to join the firm's Chicago office.

  • February 23, 2024

    Agent Didn't Owe Mich. Co. Coverage Advice, Panel Says

    An insurance agent did not have a duty to advise a business that was damaged in a 2020 dam collapse that its insurance coverage might be inadequate, a Michigan state appeals court ruled, finding there is no special relationship between the parties that triggered that responsibility.

  • February 26, 2024

    Justices' Maritime Insurance Ruling Retains Tilted Status Quo

    When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that an insurer can enforce choice-of-law provisions in a marine insurance policy it issued to the owner of a yacht that ran aground, it upheld existing practices that give insurers the upper hand over policyholders.

  • February 21, 2024

    Fatal Crash Payout Flouts Insurance Law, NC Justices Told

    North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance urged the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to undo a trial court's decision that it owes $50,000 to a policyholder whose car caused a fatal wreck, arguing that his liabilities didn't trigger underinsured motorist coverage.

  • February 21, 2024

    NC Justices Hint At Coverage For Firm's Driver Privacy Row

    The North Carolina Supreme Court seemed skeptical Wednesday of an insurer's contention that mailers sent by a law firm to car crash victims based on public accident reports couldn't be considered coverage-triggering publication of material that violates a person's right to privacy.

  • February 21, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Subrogation Loss In Fieldwood Energy Sale

    The Fifth Circuit has ruled that a group of insurers that issued surety bonds to bankrupt Fieldwood Energy in a sale of its assets are not entitled to subrogation rights because the bankruptcy court's order stripping their rights could not be challenged under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, a protection that limits appellate review of an approved sale.

Expert Analysis

  • Why General Liability Carriers Are Wary Of SEC Climate Rule

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rule to require companies to formally report climate change risks could come into play in five areas that should be concerning to companies and their general liability insurers, says Eric Scheiner at Kennedys.

  • 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.

  • A Litigation Move That Could Conserve Discovery Resources

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    Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben proposes the preliminary legal opinion procedure — seeking a court's opinion on a disputed legal standard at the outset, rather than the close, of discovery — as a useful resource-preservation tool for legally complex, discovery-intensive litigation.

  • 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.

  • Policyholder Lessons From 1st Circ. Duty To Defend Ruling

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    In Lionbridge Technologies v. Valley Forge Insurance, the First Circuit recently held that the obligation to defend an insured is not limited to the specific causes of action expressly stated in a complaint, providing policyholders with persuasive arguments in support of the duty to defend, say Catherine Doyle and Caroline Meneau at Jenner & Block.

  • The 7th Circ.'s Top 10 Civil Opinions Of 2022

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    Attorneys at Jenner & Block examine the most significant decisions issued by the Seventh Circuit in 2022, and explain how they may affect issues related to antitrust, the False Claims Act,​ ​federal jurisdiction and more.

  • Cultivating Good Relationships With Insurance Regulators

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Insurers can develop mutually beneficial working relationships with insurance regulators by following some simple tips for streamlining communication, knowing how and when to ask for help, and treating regulatory staff with professional courtesy, says Layna Rush at Baker Donelson.

  • More Stringent Calif. Claim Law Could Benefit Policyholders

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    Although a new California statute that imposes additional requirements for policyholder presuit demands — effective Jan. 1 — was ostensibly passed as a bad faith liability shield for insurers, used correctly it may provide a more specific road map for plaintiff recovery, says Shanti Eagle at Farella Braun.

  • Yahoo TCPA Coverage Case Protects 'Sophisticated Insureds'

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    The California Supreme Court's recent decision in Yahoo v. National Union, finding coverage for Telephone Consumer Protection Act claims despite Yahoo's status as a so-called sophisticated insured, highlights why policyholder-friendly rules of construction are not just logical, but necessary, say David Kroeger and Steven Tinetti at Jenner & Block.

  • NY Panel's COVID Nursing Home Case Order Spurs Questions

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    The New York Litigation Coordinating Panel's recent final order to coordinate the resolution of COVID-19 nursing home cases leaves critical parameters for the cases coming under the order undefined, such as time frame and injury, say Christopher Potenza and Elizabeth Adymy at Hurwitz Fine.

  • Check This List Twice: 4 Steps To Abate Coverage Concerns

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    This holiday season give your company the gift of following easy administrative steps to avoid the far-too-common clerical errors that could lead to forfeited insurance coverage, say Vivek Chopra and Mattison Kim at Perkins Coie.

  • Lessons On Notice From 7th Circ. Claims-Made Policy Ruling

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    The Seventh Circuit's recent decision in Hanover Insurance v. R.W. Dunteman contains broad lessons for policyholders — as many claims-made policies include similar aggregation and claims notice provisions as the one at issue — on how to preserve coverage, say Brian Scarbrough and Maura Smyles at Jenner & Block.

  • Trends And Opportunities In Canada's Insurance M&A Market

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    Laurie LaPalme and Derek Levinsky at Dentons discuss the results of a survey regarding Canada's insurance mergers and acquisitions market, and their expectations for the next year in this space — including an increased focus on accident and sickness insurance, and technology-focused assets.