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ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

Like Hats and Belt Buckles, Indemnity Agreements in Texas Must be CONSPICUOUS

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that Texas law allows an indemnity agreement to insulate a party from the consequences of its own, allegedly negligent conduct, but only if that feature...more

Assign Away: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says Bad Faith Claims May be Assigned

On December 15, 2014, in the case of Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Wolfe, No. 39 MAP 2014, slip op. at 1 (Pa. Dec. 15, 2014), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an insured may assign a statutory bad faith claim...more

Policy Observer - December 2014

Giving and Receiving: Insuring Company-Sponsored Volunteerism: This is the time of year when we are reminded of the importance of giving. Many companies not only donate generously to nonprofits and community programs,...more

Recent Decisions Reinforce the Value of Quality over Quantity in a Reservation of Rights Letter

In two recent cases, Advantage Builders & Exteriors v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. No. WD 76880 (Mo. Ct. App. Sept. 2, 2014) and EAN Services, LLC v. Brunson, No. 2-14-118 (Ill. Ct. App. September 8, 2014), the courts remind...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014

Texas Appeals Court Upholds $8.7M Verdict for Policyholder Against Broker - Why it matters: An appeals court in Texas upheld an $8.7 million jury verdict against a broker that procured coverage with significant...more

California Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update (3rd Quarter 2014)

Case Updates - Court finds ownership of LLC membership interest does not constitute doing business in California On November 14, the Fresno County Superior Court determined that Swart, an Iowa-based corporation with a...more

The Duty To Defend Broader Than The Duty To Indemnify? Your Insurer Doesn’t Think So, And Surprisingly, Some Courts Agree

Insurance law practitioners learn on day one that the duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify, encompassing even uncovered claims if at least one claim against the insured is potentially covered. See Bridge Metal...more

No Private Right to Recoup Funds Based on Corporate Practice of Medicine Violation

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled recently that the state’s corporate practice of medicine doctrine does not provide a private right of action, either express or implied, and...more

Insurance Alert: Insurer Delay Extends Time to Repair or Replace Damaged Property

In Stephens & Stephens XII v. Fireman's Fund Ins. (No. A135938, filed November 24, 2014), the plaintiffs obtained property insurance on a warehouse. Within a month, it was discovered to be stripped of all wiring and metal....more

Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

Texas insurance carrier clients writing significant property insurance business in Texas all confirm a disturbing trend. Historically, Texas insurers have seen less than 2 percent of their property insurance claims result in...more

CFO’s Thirst for Wine Club Invitation Costs Hospital Millions

You can’t make this stuff up. Last Monday a federal court in Rhode Island ordered two insurance companies to pay a $30 million claim by hospital management company Lifespan Corp. Lifespan filed the claim after being ordered...more

Court Denies Petition For Order Confirming Final Arbitration Award And Entry Of Judgment

In First State Ins. Co. v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., No. 13-cv-11322-IT (U.S.D.C. D. Mass. Oct. 21, 2014), a petition for an order to confirm a final arbitration award and entry of judgment was denied. The court determined...more

Finding Insurance Coverage for Consumer Products Class Action Complaints

Consumer class action claims are a familiar tool for addressing dissatisfaction with a defective product. Given that one of the goals of a consumer class action claim is to recover damages for the claimants, triggering...more

7th Circuit Rejects Attempt to Reopen Final Judgment Under Rule 54(b)

Last month, we wrote about the Seventh Circuit’s willingness to reopen a 23-year old judgment under Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. But in Selective Insurance Co. v. City of Paris, the court reminded parties...more

Missouri Court Allows Insured to Pursue Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim Against Excess Insurer

In its recent decision in SSM Health Care Corp. v. Repwest Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158164 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 7, 2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri had occasion to consider whether...more

English High Court Holds Litigation Funders Liable for Indemnity Costs

The court’s decision will have wider significance for litigation funders, parties seeking funding, and their opponents. On 23 October, the English High Court handed down its judgment in Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas...more

Total Loss Valuations: Class Certified By Louisiana Federal Court

Insurers or their vendors generally use software to perform valuations of vehicles for total losses on auto insurance claims. This software will typically use databases of recent sales or prices offered for comparable...more

Eleventh Circuit Requests Assistance in Interpreting Consent-to-Settle Provision

Most cases in the United States settle. Insurers are well-aware of this fact. Thus, insurance companies employ consent-to-settle provisions in insurance policies to limit and control their liability in the likely event of a...more

Fifth Circuit Addresses Contractual Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20737 (5th Cir. October 29, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit withdrew its prior ruling and held that the...more

California Federal Courts Tell Insurers Not to Jump the Gun in Suing Policyholders for Reimbursement

In a series of opinions issued over the past few months, federal judges in California have reiterated that insurers must wait until they are finished defending their policyholders before they sue those policyholders for...more

Missouri Court Imposes Bad Faith Liability Despite Judicial Finding Of No Coverage For Underlying Claim

In Advantage Building, the Western District of Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment against an insurer for extra-contractual liability for bad faith failure to settle a claim within the policy limits. Interestingly,...more

11th Circuit Certifies Questions Regarding Insured’s Breach of Consent to Settle Clause

In its recent decision in Piedmont Office Realty Trust v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20141 (11th Cir. Oct. 21, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, applying Georgia law, elected...more

Court Confirms Arbitration Panel’s Interim Award Requiring Reinsurer To Post Security For Cedent’s Claimed Losses

A federal district court has confirmed an arbitration panel’s interim award requiring Allied Provident, as reinsurer, to post security for unreimbursed losses and expenses that its cedent claims are due under the parties’...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Review Pro-Policyholder Decision; Contrary Arguments Possible

For years, product manufacturers relied on commercial general liability policies to defend and indemnify them for product liability claims. Although these policies may exclude coverage for pure economic loss or for damage to...more

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