General Liability

  • June 30, 2022

    Insurer Must Defend 'Lottery Lawyer' In Criminal Case

    Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. will have to provide a defense for "Lottery Lawyer" Jason Kurland, a New York federal judge found Wednesday.

  • June 30, 2022

    3rd Circ. OKs Future Talc Claims Rep. In Imerys Ch. 11

    The Third Circuit rejected a bid by insurers of Imerys Talc America's predecessors to boot an attorney serving as a representative for future asbestos claimants from the company's Chapter 11 case, reasoning that they waived conflict-of-interest concerns over his firm's representation of the insurers in a separate case.  

  • June 30, 2022

    Insurer Asks 5th Circ. To Uphold Win In Pipeline Death Suit

    An insurer asked the Fifth Circuit on Thursday to affirm a lower court's ruling that freed it from covering a utility contractor in a wrongful death suit, saying the court properly interpreted its commercial general liability policy's provisions.

  • June 30, 2022

    4th Circ. Vacates Insurance Exec's Bribery Conviction

    The Fourth Circuit ordered a new trial for the owner of an insurance conglomerate and his consultant, who were convicted in 2020 of conspiring to bribe North Carolina's insurance commissioner by offering millions of dollars to reassign a regulator overseeing the conglomerate.

  • June 29, 2022

    6th Circ. Reverses Injunction Against Musician's $2.5M Award

    The Sixth Circuit reversed a lower court's injunction against a musician's Tennessee state court case over the distribution of a $2.5 million jury award against Hanover American Insurance Co., finding that the Anti-Injunction Act applies.

  • June 29, 2022

    La. High Court Says Logging Co. Can't Trim Crash Suit

    The Louisiana Supreme Court overturned a logging company's partial win Wednesday in a suit involving a crash between one of its drivers and another individual, finding that the company must face direct negligence and vicarious liability claims at this stage in the litigation.

  • June 29, 2022

    Rochester Diocese $147M Ch. 11 Deal To Be Heard In Jan.

    A $147 million sex abuse claim settlement the bankrupt Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester reached with its insurers has been set for a discovery timeline, with a settlement hearing scheduled for late January 2023.

  • June 29, 2022

    Insurer Looks To Slip Coverage Over Fatal NC Golf Cart Crash

    Travelers Indemnity Co. said Wednesday it doesn't owe coverage to a man facing a wrongful death lawsuit over a golf cart accident that killed an 18-month-old in North Carolina, arguing the claims are explicitly barred under his insurance policies.

  • June 29, 2022

    Trucking Co. Says Insurer Must Pay $22M Accident Award

    A Tennessee-based trucking company told a Georgia federal court that its insurer is on the hook for a $21.6 million judgment awarded in an underlying suit over catastrophic injuries caused by an employee, saying the insurer put its own financial interests above the interests of its insured.

  • 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

    General Liability Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2022

    State high courts are poised to answer a number of wide-ranging questions in the coming months that will have an impact on insurance coverage, including whether an insurer has a duty to defend an opioid wholesaler in Ohio and if liability policies cover alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in California.

  • 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

    Geico Asks 5th Circ. To Ax Class Cert. In Total-Loss Suit

    Geico and a slew of affiliates urged the Fifth Circuit to reverse a Texas federal judge's ruling certifying a class action accusing the insurer of underpaying policyholders for the actual cash value of their totaled vehicles, saying the lower court made a number of distinct errors.

Expert Analysis

  • Recent Decisions Are Eroding All-Risk Insurance Coverage

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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.