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Will the Ancient Document Exception to the Hearsay Rule become Ancient History?

The federal judiciary has proposed amending the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) by abrogating Rule 803(16) regarding the “ancient documents” exception to the hearsay rule (the Rule)....more

Kentucky Federal Court Sustains Hospital Insurer’s Denial of Claim Due to Untimely Notice, Declines to Require Insurer Show...

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky recently held that an insurer properly denied coverage to a hospital because the hospital gave untimely notice of the claim. In Ashland Hospital Corporation v. RLI...more

Colorado High Court Nixes Use of Lone Pine Orders to Streamline Colorado Fracking Litigation

On April 20, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued a ruling interpreting Rule 16 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure and implicating the scope of a trial court’s inherent authority to manage the cases before it. In...more

Federal Government Issues Long-awaited Final Rules Governing Fracking on Federal Land and Indian Land

On March 20, 2015, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its long-awaited “final” rules governing hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands and land owned by Indian tribes. The...more

Ohio High Court: State Oil and Gas Law Trumps Anti-fracking Zoning Rules Enacted by a Municipality

The Ohio Supreme Court, in State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp., Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-485, issued the first state high court decision to consider and reject the proposition that local anti-fracking zoning...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Well Contamination Resulting from the Application of Manure and...

In Wilson Mutual Ins. Co. v. Robert Falk and Jane Falk, 2013AP691 & 2013AP776, and Preisler v. Kuettel’s Septic Serv., 2012AP2521, the Wisconsin Supreme Court sought to resolve conflicting court of appeals’ decisions on...more

North Korea’s Attack Raises Critical Coverage Issues and TRIA Implications

Potential Critical Coverage Issues - The FBI advised that the recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) “destroyed systems” and “rendered thousands of SPE’s computers inoperable, forced SPE to take its entire...more

New York Environmental Commissioner Will Issue an Order Early Next Year Banning “Fracking,” Under a Moratorium Since 2008

In a much-anticipated report, the New York State Department of Health has concluded that high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) should be banned statewide. In a nutshell, the Department found that there was insufficient...more

Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern

I recently co-authored an article for Law360 entitled “Cornell Ruling Is Cause for Experts’ Concern,” which covered the ruling by the New York Court of Appeals in Cornell v. 360 West 51st St. Realty, LLC (2014 NY Slip Op...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

How Courts Have Ruled on the Still-open Issue of Whether the Clean Air Act Preempts State Common Law Tort Suits

In its landmark 2011 decision in American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut, et al., 131 S.Ct. 2527 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

Bad Faith Claim Against Insurer Ruled Unsustainable by New York Federal Courts Where Based on Same Facts as Breach of Contract...

Two recent New York federal court decisions – 433 Main Street Realty, et al. v. Darwin National Assurance Co., No. 14-cv-587 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 2014) and County of Orange v. The Travelers Indemnity Co. No....more

New York Appeals Court Sustains Asbestos Plaintiffs’ Direct Suit against Liability Insurer of Dissolved Corporate Defendant

Can an asbestos bodily injury plaintiff directly sue the liability insurer of a dissolved corporate defendant? Yes, said New York’s Appellate Division, First Department – under certain circumstances. The court’s decision came...more

5/1/2014  /  Asbestos , Asbestos Litigation

Wyoming Supreme Court Vacates on Procedural Grounds a Lower Court Decision Holding Ingredients in Fracking Fluid Formulas Qualify...

On March 12, 2014, in Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil And Gas Conservation Commission, et al., the Wyoming Supreme Court, on procedural grounds, vacated a trial court decision upholding the decision of the...more

West Virginia High Court Finds Carbon Monoxide Exposure Claims Arising from the Same Source Are a “Single Occurrence” for Coverage...

In Kosnoski, et. al. v. Rogers, et. al., Case No. 13-0494 (2/18/14), the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals recently held that two different incidents of exposure to carbon monoxide poisoning arose from the same...more

New York Court of Appeals Holds Property Policy Time Limitation for Replacement Costs Suits Amounts to “Claim Nullification”

Facts and Underlying Litigation - Will New York courts enforce a time-limitation period for suits for replacement costs against an insurer under a property policy, even if the insured could not have completed the...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Delay in Disclaimer Based on Insured’s Lack of Cooperation

Will a New York court excuse an insurer’s delay in disclaiming coverage based on an insured’s failure to cooperate, when the facts confirm that it did so as soon as reasonably possible after it determined that the insured...more

Unanimous Wisconsin High Court Sustains Broad Asbestos Exclusion That Comprehensively and Unambiguously Bars Coverage for Any...

In Phillips v. Parmelee, 2013 WI 105 (December 27, 2013), the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the argument that a broad asbestos exclusion in a business insurance policy was ambiguous. A unanimous court ruled that a real...more

Illinois Appeals Court Rejects Application of Absolute Pollution Exclusion to Claim for Unpleasant Odors Emanating from Hog Farm...

In Country Mutual Insurance Company v. Hilltop View, LLC , 2013 IL App (4th) 130124, an intermediate Illinois appeals court held that the absolute pollution exclusion in an umbrella policy did not preclude coverage for a...more

Exclusion Requested by First Named Insured and Contained in the Prior Policy Is Binding on All Named Insureds, Even Those Unaware...

In Berkhouse v. Great American Assurance Co., Case no. 13-0264, November 22, 2013, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals rejected the argument by an injured party in a third-party declaratory judgment suit that an...more

A Superstorm Sandy Retrospective: How the Actions of New York Regulators May Shape Responses to Future Natural Disasters

A year after Superstorm Sandy came ashore, the New York Department of Financial Services (Department) issued Circular Letter No 8 of 2013 to inform New York licensed property/casualty insurers of the regulatory standards they...more

Connecticut Supreme Court: “Make Whole” Doctrine Is Default Rule, But Does Not Apply to Policy Deductibles

In Fireman’s Fund Ins., Co. v. TD Banknorth Insurance Agency, Inc., SC 18796 (Conn. 07/30/2013), the Connecticut Supreme Court answered two certified questions of first impression under Connecticut insurance law: - Is...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Abandoned Lead Concentrate Is a “Pollutant” for Purposes of CGL Policy Absolute Pollution Exclusion

Does environmental damage stemming from the abandonment of lead concentrate mined and processed on the insured’s property fall within the scope of the comprehensive general liability (CGL) policy’s absolute pollution...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Relieves Insurer of Duty to Defend Personal Injury Suit against Additional Insured

In an issue of first impression, and a rare opinion about insurance coverage, the Connecticut Supreme Court addressed whether an insurer has a duty to defend an additional insured when the complaint in the underlying personal...more

Illinois Appellate Court Endorses “All Sums” Allocation Rule for Asbestos Bodily Injury Losses under Excess and Umbrella Insurers

On March 5, 2013, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois ruled in John Crane, Inc. v. Admiral Ins. Co., 2013 IL App (1st) 093240-B that excess and umbrella insurers covering asbestos-related injury claims are jointly...more

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