General 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.

  • February 08, 2024

    NTSB Accused Of Withholding Derailed Train Parts

    Rail car leasing firm GATX Corp. and chemical firm OxyVinyls LP asked an Ohio federal judge to force the National Transportation Safety Board to let them examine parts from the Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine last year, claiming the agency is holding out on them.

  • February 08, 2024

    Esurance Pockets Totaled Vehicles' Sales Tax, Suit Says

    Auto insurer Esurance stole from customers by routinely failing to cover sales tax on totaled vehicles, a policyholder said in a proposed class action filed in New York federal court.

  • February 08, 2024

    Landscaper, Insurer Agree To Kill Herbicide Coverage Claims

    A lawn care company and its insurer agreed to drop the remaining claims in the company's bid to secure $5 million in coverage after accidentally damaging its customers' lawns with an herbicide, according to a notice filed in a South Dakota federal court.

  • February 07, 2024

    Insurer Ducks Some Coverage Of Dredge Tank Defect Suit

    A Wisconsin federal judge Wednesday ruled partially in favor of an insurer seeking a declaration that it needn't cover a metal fabricator's defense in an underlying arbitration over allegedly defective dredge tanks.

  • February 07, 2024

    'Family' Exclusion Nixes Coverage For Menards, 8th Circ. Says

    An Iowa Menards home improvement retailer doesn't have coverage under the insurance of a customer who launched an injury suit against it, an Eighth Circuit panel ruled in a published opinion, finding intrafamily immunity applied, even if the shopper was unrelated to the employee who allegedly dropped lumber on her.

  • February 07, 2024

    Wyndham Gets Joint Employer Claim Cut From Trafficking Suit

    An Ohio federal judge has partly granted Wyndham's motion to dismiss an anonymous accuser's claims that the hotel giant's inaction facilitated sex trafficking, reasoning the hotel company didn't exercise enough control over a franchise location's employees to be held liable as a joint employer.

  • February 07, 2024

    Repair-Shop Slip Triggers Auto Coverage, Mich. Justices Say

    A woman who fell into a service pit during an oil change is entitled to personal injury protection benefits under Michigan's auto insurance law, the state's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, finding the accident was sufficiently related to car maintenance.

  • February 07, 2024

    No Coverage For Apt. Complex In Negligence Row, Court Told

    The owner and managers of a Kansas City, Missouri-area apartment complex can't get coverage for a proposed class action brought by its tenants over claims of putrid living conditions, an insurer told a federal court, claiming several exclusions in its policies bar any recovery.

  • February 07, 2024

    Insurers Reach Agreement In School Construction Injury Suit

    Travelers has ended its dispute over whether another insurer must defend a general contractor, school district and construction manager in a worker's personal injury lawsuit as additional insureds, after a New York federal judge on Wednesday approved the parties' mutual request to drop the action.

  • February 07, 2024

    NC Panel Reverses Doctor's Malpractice Coverage Win

    The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s decision that found a doctor was entitled to defense coverage under his medical malpractice policy for a state medical board investigation, ruling that the doctor failed to timely notify the insurer of the investigation and therefore did not deserve coverage.

  • February 07, 2024

    Travelers Must Cover $2M Tainted Benzene Load, Co. Says

    A multinational chemical company accused Travelers in New York federal court of unreasonably denying coverage for over $2.1 million it lost from a contaminated benzene shipment, saying the insurer must also cover costs incurred from suing at-fault parties since it further evaded its subrogation obligations.

  • February 07, 2024

    Insurer Asks 9th Circ. To Rehear Wildfire Pollution Ruling

    An insurer urged the Ninth Circuit to rehear a dispute over its obligation to defend a contractor against a truck driver's lung injury suit, arguing that the majority wrongfully relied on a 2003 California Supreme Court ruling to find a pollution exclusion didn't apply.

  • February 06, 2024

    AIG Owes Coverage In $5.4M Contamination Suit, Co. Says

    A Houston-based plastics manufacturer told a Texas federal court that an AIG unit must defend and indemnify it in a $5.4 million lawsuit over contaminated plastic containers, saying the insurer has failed to tender defense costs despite agreeing to defend the company almost a year ago.

  • February 06, 2024

    Delta Insurer Seeks Cleaner Repayment For Slip-And-Fall Row

    A janitorial services company must reimburse an insurer for expenses incurred defending Delta Air Lines in an underlying slip-and-fall personal injury suit, the insurer told a Georgia federal court, maintaining that the company agreed to defend or indemnify Delta for any claims arising out of its actions.

  • February 06, 2024

    Insurer Says Claims NJ Diocese Knew Of Abuse Bar Coverage

    An insurer doesn't have to indemnify the Diocese of Trenton in over 200 lawsuits alleging sexual molestation by diocese clergy, it told a New Jersey federal court, maintaining that the underlying suits asserted that the diocese had knowledge of the incidents.

  • February 06, 2024

    4th Circ. Cites W.Va. Justices As It Affirms Coverage Win

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday upheld a chemical storage company's win for coverage of three former workers who said their cancer was caused by exposure to toxic fumes after the West Virginia Supreme Court recently found the state would apply the continuous trigger theory to long-tail injury claims.

  • February 06, 2024

    2nd Circ. Mulls Revival Of Insurer's $2.5M Software Co. Fight

    The Second Circuit seemed poised Tuesday to reverse a software company's win in an insurer's suit seeking indemnification for $2.5 million in costs associated with an underlying class action claiming the insurer's use of the company's vehicle valuation software resulted in underpayment for totaled vehicles.

  • February 06, 2024

    Complex Not Covered For $4M Shooting Claim, Insurer Says

    A Nationwide unit told a Georgia federal court it doesn't owe coverage to an Atlanta apartment complex for a tenant's bid to hold it liable for injuries she suffered during a shooting, claiming the complex waited nearly a year to notify the insurer.

  • February 05, 2024

    Fla. Legislative Session: Property Insurance Bills Roundup

    Florida lawmakers have put forward dozens of proposals to address insurance challenges in the state, from a bill that would expand coverage from the state's last resort insurer to another that contemplates mangroves as bulwarks against flooding.

  • February 05, 2024

    Wendy's Not Covered In Freezer Injury Suit, Insurer Says

    The insurer for an HVAC company told an Illinois federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the operators of a Chicago-area Wendy's restaurant in an underlying lawsuit brought by a man who was injured while performing maintenance on a walk-in freezer.

Expert Analysis

  • Justices May Hesitate To Review Calif. Fraud Coverage Case

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    In Adir International v. Starr Indemnity, the policyholders are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review their challenge of a California law prohibiting insurers from defending insureds in certain consumer protection claims, but the court may not be ready to decide the issue at this time, says Greg Mann at Rivkin Radler.

  • Court Split On Amazon's Seller Liability Could Be Moot

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    Courts across the country have split on Amazon's liability for products sold on its marketplace, but if more e-commerce platforms follow its lead on insurance coverage requirements for vendors, it may not matter how courts resolve the seller liability issue, says Thomas Kurland at Patterson Belknap.

  • JP Morgan Ruling May Have Broad Insurance Implications

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    The New York Court of Appeals' recent decision in J.P. Morgan Securities v. Vigilant Insurance — that settlement funds paid to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission did not constitute a penalty for insurance purposes — could have far-reaching application in other types of insurance litigation where plaintiffs could be characterized as seeking equitable relief, say Robert Shulman and Cristen Rose at Paley Rothman.

  • Insurers Should Honor Astroworld Coverage Obligations

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    While insurers may be eager to shift blame on Astroworld showrunner Travis Scott for conditions that resulted in 10 deaths and dozens of injuries, arguments suggesting the tragedy shouldn't be covered appear baseless in light of the facts and the law, says Benjamin Massarsky at Miller Friel.

  • Resolving Asbestos Suits Faster In The Pandemic And Beyond

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    Trial delays due to COVID-19 are an incentive for asbestos plaintiffs and defendants to adopt litigation reforms that can help bring cases to verdicts or settlements faster — changes that will be valuable even after the pandemic ends, says Lisa Oberg at Husch Blackwell.

  • Priority Of Coverage Lessons From 2nd Circ. Insurance Ruling

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    The recent Second Circuit decision in Century Surety v. Metropolitan Transit Authority — holding that, for priority of coverage determination, a contractual indemnity agreement governs over an insurance policy's terms — highlights the importance of understanding how the dynamics between commercial contracts and insurance policies may help shift liability, say Syed Ahmad and Yaniel Abreu at Hunton.

  • Insurance Commissioner's Agenda: NY On Industry Diversity

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    My Chi To, executive deputy superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services Insurance Division, discusses steps her agency is taking to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the insurance industry and suggests practices for companies to consider adopting.

  • Insurance Considerations Amid Increased Use Of Drones

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    The growing use and rapidly evolving regulation of drone technology across industries raise tricky insurance coverage questions and increase exposure to third-party liability and first-party loss, say attorneys at Covington & Burling.

  • Nursing Homes May See Litigation Spike After 7th Circ. Ruling

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    The Seventh Circuit’s recent Federal Nursing Home Reform Act ruling in Talevski v. Health and Hospital Corp. opens skilled nursing facilities to federal litigation from private plaintiffs and could require exhaustion of administrative remedies before invoking state or federal court jurisdiction, say Randall Fearnow and Edward Holloran at Quarles & Brady.

  • 2 Cases Will Help Shape Opioid Litigation Insurance Coverage

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    Upcoming decisions from the Ohio and Delaware high courts in Acuity v. Masters Pharmaceutical and Rite Aid Corp. v. ACE American Insurance, respectively, on whether insurers must defend policyholders in prescription opioid litigation filed by government entities are sure to provide precedent for resolution of these coverage issues nationwide, say Courtney Horrigan and Kateri Persinger at Reed Smith.

  • Pa. Lawmakers Must Save Medical Liability Venue Rule

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    The Pennsylvania Legislature should stop the state's Civil Procedural Rules Committee from rolling back a rule banning medical malpractice forum shopping, to avoid a return to rampant liability claims in high-verdict courts, sky-high insurance premiums for doctors and less public access to care, says Curt Schroder at the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform.

  • What 9th Circ. Arbitration Case May Mean For Insurance

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    If the plaintiffs in CLMS Management Services v. Amwins Brokerage of Georgia appeal the Ninth Circuit's recent decision that state law does not bar the enforcement of arbitration clauses in insurance contracts, the case may have a significant effect on the different dispute resolution options for insurers and policyholders, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Enviro Review Standard Tweaks May Clarify Cleanup Liability

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    Forthcoming revisions to the standard for Phase I environmental site assessments will likely afford property owners and operators clearer protection from liability for hefty environmental cleanups, so interested parties in real estate and M&A deals should pay close attention, say Lorene Boudreau at Ballard Spahr and Mitchell Wiest and Sara Redding at Roux Associates.