General Liability

  • February 14, 2024

    Hospitality Cos. Seek To Sink Trafficking Survivor's Suit

    Choice Hotels International Inc., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc. and other hotel companies are urging an Ohio federal judge to end a suit from a sex trafficking survivor alleging they allowed crimes against her to continue, with Choice Hotels eyeing dismissal and the other defendants seeking early wins.

  • February 14, 2024

    $600K In Dairy Queen Fire Damages Not Covered, Court Told

    A Dairy Queen franchisee is attempting to overstep boundaries by asking for more coverage than the policy provides, its insurer told a Texas federal court, saying the restaurant's claim stems from the business's personal property damage from a fire at a leased location.

  • February 14, 2024

    Homebuilder, Insurer Settle Coverage Suit Over Fatal Fire

    A builder accused of causing the deaths of two people by failing to install working smoke detectors in a home it constructed has settled its dispute with an insurer over $1 million in coverage for underlying litigation related to the deaths in California federal court.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Can't Toss Claims As Sanctions In Hotel Fire Suit

    A Colorado federal judge has rejected an insurer's request to toss a construction contractor's counterclaims as sanctions for discovery failures in a dispute over a $3 million hotel fire, with the judge finding no problems with a magistrate judge's decision to instead award attorney fees and costs.

  • February 13, 2024

    Kidde-Fenwal Row Not For Bankruptcy Court, Insurers Say

    A group of insurers have asked that a Delaware federal court, rather than a bankruptcy court, handle their dispute with Kidde-Fenwal Inc. over whether they owe a defense in thousands of suits the fire-suppression company is facing over so-called forever chemicals.

  • February 13, 2024

    $3.3M Loss Of Stolen Nokia Phones Not Covered, Insurer Says

    An insurer told a Florida federal court Tuesday it doesn't owe coverage to a trucking company for an underlying lawsuit seeking over $3.3 million for a shipment of Nokia cellphones stolen during transport, arguing that the phones weren't in the company's custody at the time of the loss.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Must Face Bad Faith Claim In Premium Refund Suit

    A Liberty Mutual unit can't escape a proposed class action's remaining claim that the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to adequately adjust auto insurance premiums collected during the COVID-19 pandemic, a California federal court ruled.

  • February 13, 2024

    Dallas Venue Not Covered For Shooting Death, Insurer Says

    The property owner of a Dallas event space is not owed defense or indemnity for an underlying wrongful death lawsuit, an insurer told a Texas federal court, arguing that negligent inaction by the property owner triggers two exclusions barring coverage.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Says Fire Co. Owes $3.7M For Hotel Water Damage

    A fire protection and security services company must pay more than $3.7 million for water damage at an Ohio hotel, a Liberty Mutual unit told an Ohio federal court, arguing that the damage was caused by the company's negligence in maintaining a fire sprinkler system.

  • February 12, 2024

    Trailer Owner Covered Under Driver's Policy, 9th Circ. Affirms

    A Berkshire Hathaway unit must cover a trucking company that was sued over a fatal car accident involving one of its trailers, the Ninth Circuit found Monday, affirming a California federal court's finding and saying the company qualifies as an insured under the policy without exception.

  • February 12, 2024

    Ex-McCarter & English Client Can Pursue $20M Loan Claims

    A Connecticut state court judge has denied a bid by McCarter & English LLP and a former partner for an early win in an insurance company's multimillion-dollar malpractice suit, ruling that the continuing representation doctrine allowed the plaintiff to toll the statute of limitations and continue to press its case.

  • February 12, 2024

    NM Dry Cleaner Says Policy Covers Chemical Cleanup Costs

    The property owner of a New Mexico dry cleaner told a federal court Monday that State Farm has refused to defend it against an investigation and demand for remediation from the state's environmental protection agency after the discovery of chlorinated solvent contamination in its property's soil.

  • February 12, 2024

    Three-State Test Critical To Evaluating Carrier Climate Risk

    An analysis finding that insurers' investment portfolios are at risk of losing billions of dollars under delayed climate-transition plans is an important step to fully understanding how well carriers' business activities are aligned with climate goals, experts say.

  • February 12, 2024

    Tree Removal Mixup Merits Coverage, Homebuilder Tells Court

    A homebuilder's insurer must defend it in litigation over the accidental removal of 66 trees in an adjacent lot, the homebuilder told a Texas federal court, arguing the tree removal was accidental and thus an occurrence under its commercial general liability policy.

  • February 12, 2024

    Travelers Says No Coverage For $1.8M Pollution Cleanup

    A Travelers unit said it has no duty to reimburse an oil and gas company over $1.8 million for costs it incurred cleaning up 1,600 barrels of spilled brine water, telling a Pennsylvania federal court the company failed to meet its policies' reporting requirements.

  • February 09, 2024

    No Coverage In Home Remodel Row, Insurer Says

    State National Insurance Co. should have no duty to defend or indemnify a general contractor accused of submitting fraudulent invoices for a home remodel, the insurer told a California federal court, arguing that two faulty work exclusions are applicable.

  • February 09, 2024

    Fruit Of The Loom Entity Seeks Pay For Sports Complex Work

    Fruit of the Loom subsidiary Russell Brands LLC said it's owed $256,000 for its work on the construction of an Ohio sports complex, telling an Ohio federal court that the builder, property owner and surety have failed to tender payment nearly a year after the work was completed.

  • February 09, 2024

    Insurer, Day Care Battle Coverage For $21.6M Death Judgment

    A day care's insurer told a Florida federal court it owes no coverage for a $21.6 million judgment over an infant's death because the day care's premium-financing company canceled the policy "several weeks" before, while the day care argued that the financing company lacked the power to do so.

  • February 09, 2024

    New York Teacher Pays $75K For Mock Slave Auction Harm

    A northern New York teacher will pay $75,000 for holding a mock slave auction of Black students in her classroom, settling a federal suit over a lesson a 10-year-old student's mother said emotionally damaged her son.

  • February 09, 2024

    Widow Can Sue Trucking Co.'s Agent Over Policy, Panel Says

    The widow of a man who died in a trucking accident may proceed with her suit accusing the company's insurance agent of negligently procuring an excess policy, a Michigan state appeals court held, finding that an assignment of rights to the widow did not release the company from liability.

  • February 08, 2024

    'Utter Chaos' If Duty To Defend Ruling Is Upheld, 5th Circ. Told

    Upholding a Texas district court's ruling that Kinsale Insurance Co. must defend wrongful death claims stemming from an amateur racing event because of policy ambiguities would create "utter chaos," the insurer told the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, noting the policy at issue involved standard-form exclusionary endorsements.

  • February 08, 2024

    Insurer Says Policy Won't Cover $1.3M Title Agency Defense

    An insurer wants a North Carolina federal court to rule that a policy excludes defending a title insurance agency in an underlying lawsuit alleging the agency worked with an unapproved and financially questionable law firm, costing an underwriter at least $1.25 million.

  • February 08, 2024

    11th Circ. Won't Undo State Farm's Shooting Coverage Loss

    The Eleventh Circuit refused Thursday to hear State Farm's challenge to a lower court decision ordering it to cover an $877,660 judgment for a gas station employee shot on the premises that he obtained against his employers, finding it lacked jurisdiction since the decision wasn't final or immediately appealable.

  • February 08, 2024

    Mass Shooting Survivor Loses $17M Judgment On Appeal

    A Texas appellate court has overturned a mass shooting victim's $17 million judgment she won against a restaurant after accusing one of its managers of not sufficiently intervening, ruling that the food joint can't be held to account because the manager wasn't found to have had a responsibility to control the shooter.

  • February 08, 2024

    Insurance Orgs. Say Bill Would Prevent CFPB Overreach

    Bipartisan legislation seeking to clarify the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has drawn support from insurance regulators and industry trade groups who say the bureau has encroached upon state-based insurance regulation despite clear statutory limitations.

Expert Analysis

  • Capturing Insurance Coverage For Climate Change Suits

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    As municipalities increasingly file suits seeking damages from oil companies in connection with climate change, the companies should consider filing actions to forestall insurer denials of commercial general liability coverage based on theories of novelty or inapplicable pollution exclusions, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • After Climate Rulings, Insurers May Go On Coverage Offense

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    As climate change lawsuits progress, coverage litigation quickly follows — as evidenced by two recently filed suits, Aloha Petroleum v. National Union Fire Insurance and Everest Premier Insurance v. Gulf Oil — and insurers will likely become more proactive in seeking to limit their exposure, say Jose Umbert and Hernan Cipriotti at Zelle.

  • What NJ Insurance Disclosure Law Could Mean For Litigation

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    Thomas Wester and Christian Cavallo at Goldberg Segalla discuss the potential presuit negotiation and litigation implications of a recently enacted New Jersey law requiring automobile insurers to disclose policy limits before the start of a lawsuit, aimed at promoting claim settlement.

  • The Lawyer Personalities That Make Up Joint Interest Groups

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    As multiparty litigation rises and forces competing law firms to work together, George Reede at Zelle looks at the different personalities — from tactful synthesizers to misguided Don Quixotes — that often make up joint representation groups, and how lawyers can overcome the tensions in these and other team settings.

  • NJ High Court Ruling Doesn't Negate Insurer Duty To Defend

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    The New Jersey Supreme Court's decision in Norman v. Admiral Insurance, finding a narrow exception to the duty to defend, doesn't allow insurers to skip out on their litigation defense obligations, say Eric Jesse and Seth Fiur at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Fla. Evidence Code Update Lowers Burden For Image Use

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    Florida's recent evidence code change permits judicial notice of images and certain other graphics, a hugely meaningful development for litigants across a wide range of practice areas, though the effect will likely be immediately felt in property insurance cases, say Eve Cann and David Levin at Baker Donelson.

  • 7th Circ. 'Reasonable Costs' Ruling Is A Win For Policyholders

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    The Seventh Circuit's decision in USA Gymnastics v. Liberty Insurance last month establishes useful precedent for policyholders, affirming and expanding on its rule that defense costs are presumed to be reasonable and necessary when insurers breach their duty to defend, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • A Road Map To Insurance For PFAS Claims And Suits

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    In light of an uptick in regulation and litigation surrounding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, product manufacturers potentially facing down massive liability settlements must properly investigate and understand the full scope of insurance available, says Jodi Green at Miller Nash.

  • Forecasting A Rise In 11th Circ. State Court Class Actions

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    Two recent opinions from the Eleventh Circuit have created an unusual landscape that may result in a substantial increase of class action litigation in state courts, particularly in Florida, that will be unable to utilize removal tools such as the Class Action Fairness Act, says Alec Schultz at Hilgers Graben.

  • Readying Companies For PFAS Regulation And Liability

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    Managing the uptick in regulatory oversight of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and the potential civil liability for companies will require action now, from performing audits and reviewing insurance coverage to considering the Texas two-step merger method, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • Contra Proferentem Will Remain Alive And Well In NY

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    Although a recent Law360 guest article argues that a New York state court's decision in Brooklyn Union Gas v. Century Indemnity creates a blanket exception to the principle that contractual ambiguities are construed against the drafter, leading appellate decisions suggest that the exception would only be applied under narrow circumstances, say attorneys at Pillsbury.

  • Pa. Cannabis Banking Law Won't Allay Finance Industry Fears

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    Though a new Pennsylvania law allows financial institutions and insurers to provide services to the state’s legal cannabis industry, it’s unlikely to assuage most financial industry operators’ fears of federal reprisal, and their reluctance to work with cannabis businesses will surely persist, says Michael Sampson at Leech Tishman.

  • NY Insurance Ruling Reveals Limits Of Contra Proferentem

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    A New York state court's decision in Brooklyn Union Gas v. Century Indemnity, finding that there's no need to construe an ambiguous policy against an insurer when the policyholder is a sophisticated company, shows that contesting the application of the contra proferentem rule is gaining more traction in courts, say John Ewell and Joanna Roberto at Gerber Ciano.