Robert Helfand

Robert Helfand

Carlton Fields

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Colorado Takes A Stand Against Unauthorized Settlements

The “notice-prejudice” rule gives a pass to policyholders who breach the notice or cooperation provisions of their policies, if the breach is found not to have prejudiced the insurer. Sometimes, the late notice does not...more

5/23/2016 - Breach of Contract CO Supreme Court Insurance Industry No-Voluntary-Payments Clause Notice Prejudice Rule Property Insurance Real Estate Market Settlements Travelers Property Casualty Co.

Ninth Circuit Leaves it to Policyholder to Pay Eddie Haskell’s Attorneys’ Fees

Moral hazard lurks around the edges of many disputes about liability coverage. Everyone agrees in principle that insurance shouldn’t help bad actors benefit from their wrongdoing, but parties often clash over where the...more

4/15/2016 - Actors Attorney's Fees Class Action Commercial General Liability Policies Compensatory Damages D&O Insurance Insurance Industry Motion Picture Industry Movies Punitive Damages Restitution SAG

Price Optimization Class Actions Produce First Rulings

In recent weeks, two courts ruled on motions to dismiss the first wave of class action lawsuits based on alleged price optimization of auto insurance rates. In both Stevenson v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 15-cv-04788 (N.D. Cal....more

4/1/2016 - Allstate Auto Insurance Class Action Farmers Insurance Injury-in-Fact Insurance Industry Insurance Rates Price Optimization Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine

We Don’t Feel Your Pain: Massachusetts Limits Recoveries By Workers Compensation Insurers

When an injured employee sues a third party for negligence, the law usually permits her employer’s workers compensation insurer to share in the recovery. Last month, in DiCarlo v. Suffolk Construction Co., Nos. SJC-11854 and...more

3/14/2016 - Economic Loss Doctrine Insurance Industry MA Supreme Court Pain and Suffering Tort Workers Compensation Awards Workplace Injury

“‘Tis As Easy As Lying”: Pennsylvania Court Rescinds Policy of Corporate Giant

Claims, arguments and tactics that are familiar from coverage disputes with consumers are increasingly being used against carriers by large corporate insureds—often with the assistance of well-known plaintiffs’ firms. Once in...more

3/1/2016 - Commercial Insurance Policies Food Contamination Food Manufacturers Heinz Insurance Industry Rescission Void ab initio

The Gift of the Magistrate: An Insured Jeweler Gets a Jury for the Holidays

A jeweler was insured against the “physical loss” of its property, except when the property was sold under a “deferred payment” agreement, or when the loss was caused by a “dishonest act.” The jeweler regularly delivered...more

12/28/2015 - Denial of Insurance Coverage Insurance Industry Policy Exclusions Summary Judgment

No Contractor Is An Island: Florida Court Narrowly Applies “Your Work” Exclusion

When an insurer issues a Commercial General Liability policy to a contractor, the policy typically excludes coverage for the cost of repairing or replacing the contractor’s own defective work, but covers the cost of repairing...more

12/14/2015 - Commercial General Liability Policies Construction Defects Construction Industry Faulty Workmanship Insurance Industry

Can Insurers Sue for 'Reverse Bad Faith'? Allowing claims would restore strategic balance in policy disputes

The insurance relationship is contractual, but when policyholders claim insurers failed to honor their obligations, they typically invoke the tort of "bad faith." When courts try to explain this anomaly, they cite features of...more

12/8/2015 - Bad Faith Breach of Duty Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Insurance Industry

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.

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