Robert Helfand

Robert Helfand

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt

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Wall-to-Wall Ads: Florida Court’s Broad Definition of “Advertisement” Expands Scope of Advertising Injury Coverage

“Advertising injury” can be tricky. In theory, the term applies to the type of harm that can be inflicted through advertising media—defamation, disparagement, violation of privacy rights or misappropriation of intellectual...more

11/16/2015 - Advertising Injury Commercial General Liability Policies Insurance Industry Insurance Litigation Trademark Infringement

Accidentally On Purpose: Washington Court Finds Coverage For Contempt Of Court Based On “Misunderstanding”

Professional liability policies cover claims based on the insured’s alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions, and not claims for “sanctions or penalties” for “willful” professional misconduct. But the insurer’s duty to...more

9/30/2015 - Chapter 11 Consumer Bankruptcy Contempt Debtors Duty to Defend Injunctions Insurance Industry Judgment Creditors Negligence Penalties Professional Liability Reorganizations Sanctions Standing Travelers Property Casualty Co. Willful Misconduct

Cancel My Reservation! Pennsylvania Sows Confusion Over Consent-to-Settle Clauses

This summer, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed an important question that has divided other courts: if an insurer defends a claim subject to a reservation of rights, may the insured settle the claim without the...more

9/28/2015 - AZ Supreme Court Bad Faith Breach of Duty Cancer Commercial Bankruptcy Compensatory Damages Energy Sector Hazardous Substances Insurance Industry Lloyds of London National Emissions Standards Nuclear Power PA Supreme Court Personal Liability Power Plants Reservation of Rights Settlement

California Declares New Rules for Assignment of Long Tail Claims

Last week, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of California changed the law governing anti-assignment provisions in liability insurance policies. Twelve years ago, in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity...more

8/27/2015 - Asbestos Asbestos Litigation Assignments CA Supreme Court Commercial General Liability Policies Declaratory Judgments Fluor Hartford Insurance Company Insurance Industry Liability Insurance Long-Tail Claims Mining

In Overhead and Profit Class Actions, The Third Trade’s No Longer The Charm

When repairs to a damaged home reach a certain level of complexity, they call for supervision by a general contractor, who receives a percentage of the actual repair costs as “general contractor’s overhead and profit” or...more

7/2/2015 - Contractors General Contractors Insurance Litigation Policy Exclusions Property Damage

The Insurance Examination Privilege Just Became Important

When a U.S. insurance regulator investigates market conduct or financial solvency, its work is governed by a state law based on the NAIC Model Law on Examinations. Like the Model Law, all state laws strictly protect the...more

6/18/2015 - Class Action Common Law Privilege Death Master Files Discovery Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Insurance Industry Insurance Regulations Life Insurance McCarran-Ferguson Act NAIC Preemption Prudential Insurance Putative Class Actions Unclaimed Property

Courts Say There’s No Claim for “Reverse Bad Faith.” Could They Be Wrong?

Last month, in State Auto Property & Casualty Ins. Co. v. Hargis, No. 13-5020 (6th Cir. May 6, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit predicted that the Kentucky Supreme Court would not allow insurers to sue...more

6/4/2015 - Appeals Breach of Contract Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Insurance Fraud Insurance Litigation KY Supreme Court Property Insurance Tort

Wait A Minute, Mr. Postman: Tenth Circuit Applies Statutory-Violation Exclusion To Junk Fax Claims That Try To Skirt The TCPA

Enacted in 1991, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (TCPA), inaugurated the era of “junk fax” class actions, in which recipients of mass fax advertisements may pursue statutory damages of $500 per class...more

5/22/2015 - Appeals Class Action Commercial General Liability Policies Consumer Fraud Declaratory Judgments Insurance Industry Right to Privacy TCPA Unsolicited Faxes

Words Have Consequences: Insurer Narrowly Avoids Disclosing the Privileged Contents of Hundreds of Claim Files

It’s not news that plaintiffs’ lawyers contrive far-fetched rationales for rummaging through insurer’s records, but a recent case from South Dakota illustrates just how much discovery even flimsy arguments can...more

5/14/2015 - Allstate Attorney-Client Privilege Bad Faith Discovery Hartford Fire Insurance Company Property Insurance Settlement

Striking Down Regulation On Replacement Cost Estimates, A California Court Heads Off Policyholder Litigation

Last week, in Association of California Ins. Cos. v. Jones, B238622 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 8, 2015), a California appellate court affirmed a decision that invalidated a regulation governing estimates of replacement costs made by...more

4/17/2015 - Homeowner's Insurance Insurance Commissioners Insurance Industry Insurance Regulations Replacement Costs Unfair Insurance Practices Act

California Bans Use of Price Optimization

Yesterday California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones became the latest voice in a growing chorus of state insurance regulators who condemn the use of “Price Optimization” as a mechanism for adjusting property-casualty...more

2/20/2015 - Discrimination Insurance Commissioners Insurance Industry Insurance Rates Price Optimization

Cyber Risk as a Regulatory Issue: A Connecticut Regulator Shares Her Insights

Even at Sony, cyber security was a hot topic before Kim Jong-un took an interest in Seth Rogen’s oeuvre. In 2011, hackers gained access to the personal and financial information Sony had collected on more than 100 million...more

1/29/2015 - Cyber Threats Cybersecurity Data Protection Insolvency Insurance Industry Sony

Expect Focus - Spot The Regulator, Volume IV, Fall 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Crisis Management: Five Steps to Take Before Providing That Comment - LIFE INSURANCE ..Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability to those with Ultimate...more

1/16/2015 - Automotive Loans CFTC Class Action Consumer Complaint System Data Breach Divorce Driverless Cars FCC Healthcare HIPAA Insurance Industry Life Insurance Money Market Funds Mortgages NAIC Private Equity Funds STOLI Unsolicited Faxes

Suing for Bad Faith Gets a Little Easier in Florida

In a ruling that claims merely to clarify a 14-year-old case from the Florida Supreme Court, an appellate court recently held that an insurer may be liable to a statutory claim for bad faith failure to settle, based only on...more

1/14/2015 - Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Property Damage Property Insurance Travelers Property Casualty Co.

Back from the Brink: A New York Appellate Court Makes it Safer for Insurers to Cooperate on Claims

Earlier this month, in Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., No. 08510 (1st Dep’t Dec. 4, 2014), an appellate court in Manhattan took a long step back from a group of cases that had raised serious doubts...more

1/2/2015 - Attorney-Client Privilege Common-Interest Privilege Countrywide Insurance Litigation

Partial Recall: Product Contamination Coverage Has Its Limits

In disputes over the scope of liability coverage, courts must often draw a line between (1) providing insurance against errors that harm others and (2) broadly guaranteeing the work product of the insured. The problem is...more

12/8/2014 - FDA Food Contamination Food Manufacturers Food Recalls Food Safety Liability Insurance USDA

Ask the Experts About Bad Faith; Just Be Careful How You Do It

In bad faith cases, juries must often decide if the way an insurer processed a claim lacked a “reasonable” basis. Courts have consistently held that experts can help—by explaining how a claim is supposed to be handled. The...more

11/21/2014 - Bad Faith Expert Testimony Expert Witness Federal Rules of Evidence Insurance Industry

Four’s A Crowd: Third-Party Bad Faith Cases Test the Limits of the Tripartite Relationship

A significant minority of states permit plaintiffs who win judgments against insured defendants to assert claims directly against the defendants’ insurers—including claims for extracontractual liability, based on alleged bad...more

10/27/2014 - Attorney-Client Privilege Bad Faith Car Accident Third-Party Relationships Third-Party Risk

If it Races like a Tortoise: Connecticut Deconstructs a Policyholder

In Sonson v. United Services Auto. Ass’n No. 35890 (Conn. Ct. App. Sept. 16, 2014), an automobile policyholder had to show that a “racing” exclusion did not apply, so he argued that Achilles could never overtake the tortoise...more

10/2/2014 - Auto Insurance Car Racing Policy Exclusions

Court Rejects Workers Comp Insurer’s Challenge to Big Pharma

Pharmaceutical manufacturers that promote off-label uses for prescription drugs have become litigation targets for third-party payors—especially after Kaiser received a nine-figure RICO award last year against the...more

10/1/2014 - Insurance Industry Kaiser Permanente Off-Label Promotion Pharmaceutical Industry Popular Prescription Drugs RICO Travelers

Message: Good Faith is Not Care

When an insurer issues a policy, it assumes a duty not only to investigate and pay claims, but to do so in good faith. There is, however, a difference between that duty and the duty of due care that arises under tort law. ...more

9/10/2014 - Duty of Care Good Faith Insurance Industry

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