General Liability

  • June 28, 2022

    Calif. Panel Won't Disqualify Law Firm In Pipe Maker's Fight

    A California appellate panel upheld on Tuesday a lower court's refusal to disqualify Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP from representing Victaulic Co. in its multimillion dollar coverage fight with three AIG units, rejecting arguments that the firm's attorneys obtained relevant confidential information on AIG while at a previous firm.

  • June 28, 2022

    No Coverage For Oil Co.'s Pollution Lawsuits, Insurer Says

    An oil disposal company accused in two different lawsuits of polluting a river is not entitled to insurance coverage in those cases because it failed to timely report the pollution incidents, the company's insurer told an Alabama federal court.

  • June 28, 2022

    Split 11th Circ. Revives Bad-Faith Dispute On $12M Judgment

    A Florida federal court erred in a motorcycle crash victim's bad-faith suit seeking to collect a $12.6 million judgment from the at-fault driver's insurer when it failed to instruct the jury that an insurer not only has a duty to settle claims for its insured, but also to properly advise them, the Eleventh Circuit ruled Tuesday.

  • June 28, 2022

    Ga. Judge Won't Rethink Pond Pollution Coverage Ruling

    A Georgia federal judge doubled down Tuesday on his ruling that a subdivision developer's insurance policy doesn't cover its alleged pollution of a nearby pond, rejecting its bid to amend or alter a final judgment in favor of the insurer.

  • June 28, 2022

    Apt. Insurer Says It Has No Duty To Defend In Fatal Shooting

    An insurer asked a Georgia federal court to find that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the owner of an apartment complex over a wrongful death suit after a man was shot and killed on the property last year, saying the policy's firearms exclusion bars coverage.

  • June 27, 2022

    Insurer Can't Recoup $1.1M Malpractice Payment, Co. Says

    A medical imaging firm's insurer cannot recoup a $1.1 million medical malpractice settlement because it can't claw back a voluntarily made payment and it had not proven the firm knowingly made misrepresentations in its insurance application, the firm told a New Jersey federal court.

  • June 27, 2022

    Skechers Says HDI Tripped Over Trade Dress Claims Defense

    Skechers told a California federal court that HDI Global Insurance Co. prematurely terminated its defense in an underlying trade dress and slogan dispute over its Commute Time shoes and failed to reimburse the shoe giant for over $3 million in defense costs.

  • June 27, 2022

    Liberty Mutual Unit Must Face Condo's Irma Damage Claim

    A Florida federal judge ruled that a condominium association sufficiently pled its breach of contract claims against a Liberty Mutual subsidiary in a suit alleging that the insurer refused to cover Hurricane Irma damage to a dozen units, but tossed the policyholder's declaratory judgment claim as duplicative.

  • June 27, 2022

    Travelers Policies Don't Cover Fatal Plane Crash, Court Told

    Two Travelers units shouldn't have to cover a company for costs stemming from a fatal airplane crash, they told a Louisiana federal court, saying commercial general liability policies contained a "very broad" aircraft exclusion that can't be defeated by an exception for chartered flights.

  • June 27, 2022

    Parishes Added To Long Island Diocese's Ch. 11 Mediation

    The mediator facilitating Chapter 11 plan negotiations in the bankruptcy case of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre has added more than 130 non-debtor parishes to the talks, a day before unsecured creditors gained consensual access to internal audit reports about the organization's financial situation on Monday.

  • June 27, 2022

    Auto Policy Doesn't Cover HPV Transmission, Geico Says

    Geico shouldn't have to cover a $5.2 million arbitration award over a woman's claim she contracted HPV during sexual encounters in a policyholder's car, the insurer told a Missouri federal court, arguing its policy covers only bodily injury arising from the normal use of an automobile.

  • June 24, 2022

    Insurer Seeks To Recoup $1.1M Over Malpractice Settlement

    An Illinois-based insurer urged a New Jersey federal court on Friday to let it recoup the $1.1 million that it paid to settle a medical malpractice case, after it said its policyholder falsely stated in insurance applications that the medical imaging firm knew of no circumstances that could result in such a claim.

  • June 24, 2022

    Judge OKs $34M Avis Rental Insurance Settlement

    A Florida federal judge recommended granting preliminary approval Friday on a $34 million settlement Avis Budget Car Rental LLC struck with rental car purchasers that would end the long-running class action over alleged insurance coverage fraud.

  • June 24, 2022

    UnitedHealth Overpayment Recovery Defies ERISA, Suit Says

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. regularly offsets overpayments to providers from certain health plans by withholding payments to those providers from other health plans, a practice that lines the pockets of the insurer and violates federal benefits law, according to a proposed class action filed Friday in Minnesota federal court

  • June 24, 2022

    AIG Settles Fight With Colonial Pipeline Over $67M Gas Leak

    AIG Specialty Insurance Co. and Colonial Pipeline Co. have settled their dispute in the Northern District of Georgia in relation to a $67 million gas pipeline leak, following a mixed bag ruling at the summary judgment stage.

  • June 23, 2022

    Steel Co.'s Insurer Wins Coverage Fight Over Injury Suit

    A New York federal judge ruled that a general contractor facing personal injury claims by a steel subcontractor's employee can't tap into additional-insured coverage under the subcontractor's policy.

  • June 23, 2022

    Judge Approves $1B Surfside Deal, Holds Off On Fee Request

    The judge overseeing the consolidated litigation over the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida, approved a $1.02 billion global settlement on Thursday, but said he would not rule on a $100 million fee request from class counsel until after he had completed the claims process with victims.

  • June 23, 2022

    Cyprus Mines Wins Ch. 11 Stay Of Actions Against Parent

    Talc producer Cyprus Mines Corp. received approval Thursday from a Delaware bankruptcy judge to extend the automatic stay of litigation against its nondebtor parent company to stop the prosecution of claims for talc injury against the parent.

  • June 23, 2022

    Developer Asks Judge To Rethink Pollution Exclusion Ruling

    A land developer and its owner urged a Georgia federal judge to rethink a ruling awarding summary judgment to an insurer in a coverage fight over runoff that allegedly damaged a woman's pond, arguing a trial should determine if sediment is a pollutant excluded by the policy.

  • June 22, 2022

    Insurer Doesn't Want To Cover PPE Maker In PFAS Suits

    Admiral Insurance Co. wants a federal judge to say it does not have to cover the defense and possible payouts a northeast Ohio protective gear maker faces in lawsuits filed by firefighters who said they were exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.

  • June 22, 2022

    Insurer Owed LA Port Operator Defense From City, Judge Says

    A Los Angeles company that formerly ran a city-owned port won a partial judgment against United National Insurance Co. on Tuesday when a California federal court found that the insurer was obligated to defend it in an underlying lawsuit from the city.

  • June 22, 2022

    Ga. Judges Uphold Insurer's Settlement In Auto Injury Dispute

    The Georgia Court of Appeals reversed on Wednesday a lower court's ruling denying a Progressive unit's bid to enforce a settlement agreement in an underlying auto injury dispute after an injured driver switched lawyers and tried to negotiate a higher settlement amount.

  • June 22, 2022

    Zurich Wants Out Of Workers' Asbestos Liability Suit

    A suit brought by a group of workers suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure should be dismissed, Zurich American Insurance Co. told a Montana federal court, saying the workers' allegations failed to make it "reasonably clear" that coverage is warranted.

  • June 22, 2022

    2nd Circ. Upholds Insurer's Win In Varvatos Pay Bias Row

    A Liberty Mutual unit doesn't have to pay former John Varvatos menswear employees to cover a $2.1 million judgment against the clothing brand in a pay discrimination suit, a Second Circuit panel ruled Wednesday, agreeing with a lower court on the applicability of a prior acts exclusion.

  • June 22, 2022

    Travel Insurer Asks 2nd Circ. To Uphold Virus Coverage Ruling

    Travel insurer Generali urged the Second Circuit to affirm its win in New York federal court over pandemic-related trip cancellation coverage, arguing that the proposed class actions it faces should be tossed because the policyholders' claims are expressly excluded or fall outside what the policy deems a "covered event."

Expert Analysis

  • Recent Decisions Are Eroding All-Risk Insurance Coverage

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    All-risk insurance coverage is under siege by insurers' broad interpretations of established exclusions, and recent decisions in New Jersey and New Hampshire have shown that courts may not protect coverage despite the policies' text and intent, says Nicholas Insua at Reed Smith.

  • The Insurance Industry's Growing Potential Role In Gun Safety

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    This year has seen two unprecedented events — the passage of a municipal requirement for gun owners' liability insurance, and the Sandy Hook class action settlement — that may motivate insurers to help regulate firearms, but several reasons could hold them back, says Peter Kochenburger at UConn.

  • Opioid Case May Guide Climate Change Insurance Suits

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    A recent opioid case in California federal court that defined "accident" narrowly is based on allegations analogous to those in many climate change lawsuits, and may help insurers assess whether they have a duty to defend, say Dennis Anderson and Nick Dolejsi at Zelle.

  • 2 Calif. Insurance Decisions Question Boundaries Of Fortuity

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    Last month, California state and federal courts revisited fortuity issues in two decisions that show how the occurrence requirement and the California Insurance Code's prohibition on coverage for an insured's willful acts can be exceedingly difficult to apply to lawsuits alleging novel legal theories, say Jodi Green and Sophia von Bergen at Miller Nash.

  • Insurer Implications As 3 Climate Suits Return To State Courts

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    Three federal circuit courts recently remanded climate change lawsuits brought by state and local governments against major energy corporations back to state courts, where plaintiffs are more likely to succeed, thus significantly increasing their insurers' and reinsurers' exposure to defense costs and judgments, say José Umbert and Jason Reeves at Zelle. 

  • 6 Rulings Reinforce BIPA Coverage For Illinois Policyholders

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    Six well-reasoned recent decisions in the Northern District of Illinois have considerably strengthened policyholders’ arguments for commercial general liability coverage in lawsuits brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, say attorneys at Neal Gerber.

  • 'Take Home' COVID And Emerging Liability Insurance Issues

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    Plaintiffs may face an uphill battle in take-home COVID-19 suits — cases filed against employers when employees contract the virus at work and then infect their family members — but insurers could still be on the hook for defense costs in protracted litigation, say Melissa D'Alelio and Michael Collier at Robins Kaplan.

  • The Misinterpretation Of Pa.'s Bad Faith Claims Handling Rule

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    Courts applying Pennsylvania law in insurance coverage disputes, such as the recently decided Walker v. Foremost Insurance, and finding that where an insurer establishes that the subject claim is not covered by the insurer’s policy there can also be no bad faith claim by the insured, are inaccurately interpreting state law, say George Stewart and Max Louik at Reed Smith.

  • 3 Insurance Lessons From Target Data Breach Ruling

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    In Target v. ACE American Insurance, a Minnesota federal court recently recognized that commercial general liability policies cover losses arising from data breaches, providing useful lessons for policyholders, including a perspective on occurrence and loss of use, say attorneys at Pasich.

  • Del. Related Claims Ruling Is Good News For Insurers

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    The Delaware Supreme Court recently denied coverage for a shareholder class action in First Solar v. National Union First Insurance, rejecting the test for assessing relatedness-based coverage issues, and opening the door for insurers to rely on specific policy wording when evaluating related claims, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • How Sonic Boom Risk Informs 'Physical Loss' For COVID Era

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    Applied to today's COVID-19 business interruption insurance battles, insurers' historical treatment of damage associated with sonic booms — or explosive sounds stemming from supersonic airplane speeds — may call into question the many court rulings barring coverage for pandemic-related losses on narrow physical loss grounds, say Peter Kochenburger at the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey Stempel at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  • Where NY Regulator's Insurance Investigation Is Headed

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    The New York Department of Financial Services' recent inquiry into property and casualty insurers' usage of credit information in underwriting could precede a number of actions addressing the practice, say Matthew Gaul and Maxfield Fey at Willkie.

  • What Cos. Can Glean From Early Cyber Policy Cases

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    Insurance claims for cyberattacks under cyber-specific policies have thus far been less contested than claims brought under commercial, crime and professional liability policies, however that may be changing, as cyber losses and liabilities continue to escalate and the market hardens, says Daniel Healy at Anderson Kill.