Craig Bennion

Craig Bennion

Cozen O'Connor

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Is a Rock a Landslide? Montana Supreme Court Says Yes

In a recent decision, the Montana Supreme Court upheld application of an Earth Movement exclusion to bar coverage for damage to a home when a single large boulder rolled down a hill and smashed into it. In doing so, the court...more

7/27/2016 - Denial of Insurance Coverage Insurance Industry Insurance Litigation MT Supreme Court Policy Exclusions Property Damage

More Common Sense: Coverage for Collapse Requires More Than an Engineer’s Finding of Substantial Impairment

In February this blog commented on Washington State’s newly-adopted definition of “collapse” in property insurance policies that contain no specific definition of the term. (Observer, February 8, 2016, Common Sense Prevails: ...more

7/18/2016 - Apartments Condominiums Declaratory Judgments Denial of Insurance Coverage Insurance Industry Insurance Litigation Property Damage Property Insurance State Farm Summary Judgment

Common Sense Prevails: State of Collapse Nonexistent Thirteen Years before Discovery of Decay

For years, property insurance policies that exclude rot damage have been called upon to cover rot because the policies extend coverage to “collapse”—an undefined term—caused by hidden decay, even if the structure remains...more

2/9/2016 - Insurance Industry Insurance Litigation Policy Exclusions Property Insurance State Farm

“Insanity Defense” Fails To Preserve Coverage For Insured’s Arson

Missouri resident James Roller set fire to his garage in an attempt to commit suicide. When smoke and fumes surrounded him he changed his mind, fled the garage, and alerted his wife of the fire. Mrs. Roller called 911. A...more

1/27/2016 - Declaratory Judgments Denial of Insurance Coverage Fire Damage Homeowner's Insurance Innocent Spouse Exception Insurance Industry Insurance Litigation Mental Illness

Washington Supreme Court Addresses the Meaning of “Collapse”

Washington State has long been a jurisdiction with no judicial pronouncement as to the meaning of the term “collapse” in a property insurance policy. This changed on June 18, 2015, when the Washington Supreme Court issued its...more

6/24/2015 - Homeowners' Association Insurance Industry Property Insurance State Farm

The Washington Supreme Court Holds That in First-Party Bad Faith Litigation There Is a Presumption of No Attorney-Client Privilege

When an insured sues an insurer for bad faith, how much of the claims file maintained by the insurer is discoverable? In a 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court recently weakened insurers’ ability to protect confidential...more

3/15/2013 - Attorney-Client Privilege Bad Faith Discovery Fiduciary Duty Homeowner's Insurance In Camera Review Rebuttable Presumptions

Washington Supreme Court Issues an Unprecedented Decision Regarding a First-Party Insured’s Compliance with a Policy’s EUO...

The examination under oath has long served as a valuable tool to prevent fraud and exaggeration in property insurance claims, while also keeping the cost of insurance as low as possible. The Washington Supreme Court, however,...more

2/11/2013 - Appeals Examinations Under Oath First-Party Coverage Insureds Prejudice Reversal Summary Judgment

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