General Liability

  • 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

    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

    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

    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.

Expert Analysis

  • Ore. Insurance Ruling Opens Door To Extracontractual Claims

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    The Oregon Supreme Court's recent Moody v. Oregon Community Credit Union decision expanding an insurer's potential liability when adjusting life insurance policies exposes insurers to extracontractual tort liability, and the boundaries of this application will likely be tested through aggressive legal action, says Tessan Wess at GRSM50.

  • Strict Duty To Indemnify Ruling Bucks Recent Trend

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    A South Carolina federal court's recent decision that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to decide an insurer's duty to indemnify prior to the finding of insured liability sharply diverges from the more nuanced or multipronged standards established by multiple circuit courts, says Richard Mason at MasonADR.

  • How Merck Settlement Can Inform Cyberinsurance Approach

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    This month's settlement in Merck v. ACE spotlights how cyber exclusions have evolved since the significant decision in the case — allowing for insurance coverage despite the presence of a policy war exclusion — and where else corporate risk managers may look for coverage in case of a cyberattack, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • What's In NY's Draft Guidance On AI Use In Insurance

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    Last week, the New York State Department of Financial Services released proposed guidance for insurers on the use of artificial intelligence systems and external consumer data and information sources for underwriting and pricing purposes, and these standards will likely help form the basis of an eventual nationwide insurance regulatory framework on AI, say attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell.

  • How States Vary On The Fireman's Rule And Its Applicability

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    A recent decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals, reviving a firefighter’s suit, is illustrative of changes in the application and interpretation by state courts and legislatures of the Fireman’s Rule, which bans first responders from recovering for injuries sustained on the job, says Shea Feagin at Swift Currie.

  • Insured Takeaways From 10th Circ. Interrelated Claims Ruling

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    The Tenth Circuit's recent ruling in American Southwest Mortgage v. Continental Casualty that multiple claims arising from consecutive audit years were interrelated — and thus subject to a per claim limit — creates a concerning precedent for policyholders, so companies should negotiate relevant policy language, says Michael Stockalper at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Protections May Exist For Cos. Affected By Red Sea Attacks

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    Companies whose ships or cargo have been affected by the evolving military conflict in the Red Sea, and the countries under whose flags those ships were traveling, may be able to seek redress through legal action against Yemen or Iran under certain international law mechanisms, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Time To Step Up PFAS Due Diligence In Cross-Border M&A

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    Regulations in the U.S. and EU governing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances will likely evolve to become global standards out of necessity and scale, so PFAS due diligence — particularly for buyers, sellers, and lenders and investors involved in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions — will be essential in 2024, say attorneys at Shipman & Goodwin.

  • 3 Significant Ohio Insurance Updates From 2023

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    The past year saw some significant changes and developments in Ohio's insurance coverage landscape, from new bad faith discovery mechanisms relating to out-of-state property to the Ohio Supreme Court's interpretation of what constitutes an assault or battery for coverage purposes, say Jenna Pletcher and William Peseski at Brouse McDowell. 

  • Ill. Justices Set New Standard For Analyzing Defect Claims

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    The Illinois Supreme Court's recent ruling in Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago has effectively changed the landscape for how insurers may respond to construction defect claims in the state, so insurers should carefully focus their coverage analysis on whether the business risk exclusions are applicable, say Bevin Carroll and Julie Klein at Kennedys.

  • Policyholders Must Object To Insurer Reorganizations

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    When insurance companies reorganize, policies often take years to ultimately pay out a fraction of what is owed, so policyholders should organize and urge insurance commissioners to take action when retroactive reinsurance deals are announced, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • Ill. BIPA Ruling May Spark Violation-Of-Law Exclusion Fight

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    An Illinois appeals court's recent holding in National Fire Insurance v. Visual Pak that a violation-of-law exclusion didn't preclude coverage for an underlying Biometric Information Privacy Act suit contradicts an earlier Seventh Circuit decision that aligns with long-standing insurance law principles — which may lead the state's high court to weigh in, says Tae Andrews at Pasich.

  • 3 Pointers From Tilton Case To Help Win Advancement Suits

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    The Delaware Superior Court’s refusal to let Lynn Tilton sue her advancers for legal fees, ruling she had not yet attempted to negotiate in good faith, suggests that policyholders may fare better if they attempt proactive strategies to narrow disputes over advancement agreements before taking their insurers to court, says Evan Bolla at Harris St. Laurent.