General Liability

  • February 20, 2024

    Policyholder Attys Say Firm's Mailer Row Merits Coverage

    The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over whether a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act by using personal information to market legal services to crash victims is entitled to coverage under an excess policy, as policyholder attorneys anticipate a win for the firm. Here, Law360 breaks down the case in advance of the hearing.

  • February 20, 2024

    Insurers Say Pollution Exclusion Bars Cancer Suits Defense

    An oil company accused of causing four people to develop cancer through exposure to harmful chemicals should not have coverage for its defense of the claims, according to four Nationwide units that told an Illinois federal court the company has no pollution coverage.

  • February 16, 2024

    State Farm 'Bad Deal' Can't Save Policyholders' Suit

    The Tenth Circuit on Friday refused to revive a proposed class action accusing State Farm of illegally denying full uninsured motorist coverage for policyholders, relatives and passengers, saying that the insurer may have sold them a "bad deal" but that they agreed to it.

  • February 16, 2024

    Barge Co., Insurer End Pollution Cleanup Coverage Fight

    A Washington barge company and its insurer reached an agreement in a dispute over coverage of legal expenses stemming from claims that the company was liable for environmental pollution at an EPA cleanup site, according to a notice filed in Washington federal court.

  • February 15, 2024

    Damaged Champagne Cargo Row Can Proceed, Judge Says

    A New Jersey federal judge preserved the majority of a $930,000 coverage dispute over a damaged champagne shipment Thursday, denying a logistics company's bid for dismissal while giving an insurer the opportunity to put forth an alternate pleading.

  • February 15, 2024

    Second Carrier Seeks To Toss Four Seasons Coverage Row

    A subcontractor's insurer joined another carrier in urging a New York federal court to dismiss a general contractor's lawsuit seeking coverage in a $1 million underlying action over damage to a Four Seasons hotel in midtown Manhattan, arguing that the faulty workmanship claims don't constitute an occurrence under its policy.

  • February 15, 2024

    Oil Trader Says Cargo Storage Expenses Are Covered

    An oil and gas trader slammed Liberty Mutual's attempt at an early win in a $2.4 million coverage dispute over losses related to a contaminated oil shipment, telling a New York federal court Thursday it is entitled to recover both barge storage expenses and attorney fees.

  • February 15, 2024

    Zurich Owes $554K Over Faulty Construction Work, Erie Says

    Erie Insurance Co. told a D.C. federal court Thursday that a Zurich unit wrongly denied coverage to Erie-insured subcontractors for over $554,000 in damage stemming from faulty work at a government agency renovation project, arguing Zurich has cited the wrong coverage form to deny liability.

  • February 15, 2024

    Insurer Says Repair Co. Owes $650K For Ferry Engine Failure

    A vessel repair company must pay over $657,000 for costs stemming from the failure of a ferry engine during routine maintenance, the insurer for a Boston ferry operator told a Massachusetts federal court Thursday, saying the company's negligence caused the mishap.

  • February 14, 2024

    9th Circ. Skeptical Of Basis For LA's Pollution Coverage Args

    The Ninth Circuit appeared reluctant Wednesday to revive the City of Los Angeles' bid for environmental contamination coverage from a defunct boat repair company's insurers, probing the city's counsel on whether his arguments for coverage were at odds with the underlying factual record.

  • February 14, 2024

    University Not Covered In Baseball Injury Row, Insurer Says

    An insurer told an Illinois federal court Wednesday that Northwestern University is not owed coverage for an underlying lawsuit brought by a man injured during a baseball tournament held at the university, maintaining that Northwestern is not an additional insured under the policy issued to the tournament's operator.

  • February 14, 2024

    Progressive Unit Seeks Win Against Uber, Widower Of Driver

    A Progressive unit asked a North Carolina federal court Wednesday to grant it a win in its attempt to get out of providing coverage for an UberEats driver who was killed in a car crash, asserting that its policy for Uber doesn't cover injuries caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists.

  • February 14, 2024

    Insurer Wants Out Of Covering SC Club Shooting

    A Nationwide unit has told a South Carolina federal court it doesn't have to defend a nightclub operator against a former patron's negligence suit, arguing that an assault and battery exclusion in its liquor liability policy bars coverage for the claimant's shooting-related injuries.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • What Insureds Should Look For In Excess Policies

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    A recent California appellate court decision, Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Cement, demonstrates how courts will protect policyholder expectations against primary insurance carriers' actions that might restrict available excess coverage, and highlights how insureds should be diligent in reviewing excess policies on primary erosion, say Courtney Horrigan and Elizabeth Taylor at Reed Smith.

  • New 'Bad Faith' Claim Law Holds NJ Insurers Accountable

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    New Jersey’s recently enacted Insurance Fair Conduct Act, giving policyholders a bad faith cause of action for claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, is an important step toward countering unfair insurer advantage and expanding consumer protections, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Insurance Implications Of Texas '8 Corners' Rulings

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    Two recent Texas Supreme Court opinions resolve a long-pending question by reaffirming the so-called eight-corners rule as the primary means for determining an insurer's duty to defend, which should provide greater consistency between future state and federal decisions, says Susan Kidwell at Locke Lord.

  • Why I'll Miss Arguing Before Justice Breyer

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    Carter Phillips at Sidley shares some of his fondest memories of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer both inside and out of the courtroom, and explains why he thinks the justice’s multipronged questions during U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments were everything an advocate could ask for.

  • Defense Counsel Must Alter Tactics To Fight Outsize Verdicts

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    If defense counsel continue to use the same strategies they’ve always relied on without recognizing plaintiffs attorneys’ new playbook, so-called nuclear verdicts, such as the recent $730 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case in Texas, will continue to proliferate, says Robert Tyson at Tyson & Mendes.

  • Policyholder Wins Push Boundaries Of Insurer Duty To Defend

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    A recent string of federal and state appellate court decisions, expanding insurers' broad duty of defense to cover inferences, implications and reasonable interpretations raised by the underlying suit, should encourage policyholders seeking coverage, says Tae Andrews at Miller Friel.

  • Examining Event Cancellation Coverage As COVID Lingers

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    Recent pandemic-related postponements from the NBA, NFL and Grammys, coupled with COVID-19 being excluded from new event cancellation policies, highlight the need for event organizers to explore cancellation risks and how specialty coverage can serve as a tool for mitigation, say Jorge Aviles and Andrea DeField at Hunton.

  • Using Insurance Coverage To Fund Early Settlement

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    A recent settlement between health care company Vision Path and the Federal Trade Commission shows that settling early is a prudent consideration to avoid defense costs and preserve the bulk of the insurer budget for a settlement or judgment, say Jason Callen and Beau Creson at K&L Gates.

  • Fla.'s New Appeal Rule Will Cause More Harm Than It Cures

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    Florida's new procedural rule, permitting interlocutory appeals of orders that allow complaint amendment to add punitive damages, champions an unnecessary and often overly broad solution at the expense of the timely administration of justice, say Hugh Lumpkin and Wesley Butensky at Reed Smith.

  • Federal Courts Are Right Venue For COVID Insurance Cases

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    Two recent Law360 guest articles positing that state, not federal, courts should be deciding COVID-19 insurance coverage disputes incorrectly assume that these cases contain novel insurance law issues, say attorneys at Dentons.

  • What Pa. Procedure Rule Change Means For 'Snap Removals'

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    In light of Pennsylvania's recent civil procedure rule amendment significantly decreasing defendants' time to remove cases from state to federal court, Shari Milewski and Donald Kinsley at Maron Marvel offer some practical tips for maintaining snap removal as a viable defense tool.

  • How NJ Bad Faith Auto Insurance Bill Compares To Pa.'s

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    The recently enacted New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act, is in some ways narrower and in other ways broader than Pennsylvania's notoriously strict bad faith statute and leaves open many fundamental questions, which took Pennsylvania decades of litigation to resolve, say Kristin Jones and Brian Callaway at Troutman Pepper.

  • Del. High Court Gets It Right With Opioid Nuisance Ruling

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    In ACE v. Rite Aid, the Delaware Supreme Court has issued a groundbreaking insurance ruling that helps define the fundamental bargain at the heart of commercial insurance coverage and demonstrates why such coverage does not extend to public nuisance claims, says Adam Fleischer at BatesCarey.