General Business Civil Procedure Insurance

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Ohio Supreme Court Determines That The Independent Corroborative Evidence Necessary To Prove An Uninsured Motorist Vehicle Claim...

In order to present an uninsured motorist claim when an accident is caused by an unidentified vehicle, a claimant must present independent corroborative evidence demonstrating that the accident was caused by the negligence of...more

Retail Hospitality Newsletter - Late Fall 2016

Sudden cardiac arrest (“SCA”) is the largest cause of natural death in the United Statesand is responsible for approximately half of all heart disease deaths. SCA, however, is not a “heart attack” (i.e. an artery blockage)...more

What Is An Offer of Judgment And Can It Really Lower the Cost of or Shorten Litigation?

Insurance coverage litigation today is often time consuming and expensive. Many cases include claims for “bad faith” damages, and some cases seek punitive damages. To support their allegations, litigants will usually seek a...more

California Supreme Court Concludes Attorney Invoices Privileged During Ongoing Litigation

Attorney invoices may be protected in their entirety by the attorney-client privilege during ongoing litigation. After litigation has concluded, however, those same invoices may be discoverable. So concludes the California...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending January 6, 2017

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure – Involuntary Dismissal: although lender’s witnesses failed to explain lender’s loan payment history statement, the statement reflected the principal amount due and had been admitted...more

Blog: Commercial Court provides guidance on interaction between aggregation and excess clauses

In Spire Healthcare v Royal Sun Alliance Insurance plc [2016] EWHC 3278, the claimant sought declarations to the effect that an insurance policy it held with the defendant insurer contained no operative aggregation clause...more

Pennsylvania District Court Rejects Effort to Certify Retained Asset Account Claims Against Prudential

In Huffman v. Prudential, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to certify for class adjudication a claim for alleged breach of ERISA (alternatively, state law)...more

Insurable Interest Found in Life Insurance Policies Procured by Investors Through Fraudulent STOLI Scheme

The Florida Supreme Court recently held that life insurance policies procured by investors through a STOLI scheme did not violate Florida’s insurable interest statute and could not be challenged after the two-year...more

Complaint Against New York Life Dismissed in Action Testing Application of California’s Usury Laws

In a recent ruling, Lujan v. New York Life Insurance Company, a federal judge in the Northern District of California rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that New York Life violated California’s usury law by charging compound...more

NY Highest Court Asked Certified Question On Reinsurer Liability Cap

The Second Circuit certified to the New York Court of Appeals the question of whether its 2004 decision (Excess Insurance Co. v. Factory Mutual Insurance Co., 3 N.Y.3d 577 (2004)) imposed “either a rule of construction, or...more

Too Soon! First Circuit Finds No Duty To Defend Before Suit Is Filed

Can something short of the filing of a complaint trigger an insurer’s duty to defend? It’s not an idle question. Uncertainty on this issue could produce an unintended breach, and, in some jurisdictions, breach of the duty to...more

Court Finds No Occurrence for Installation of Defective flooring and Explains Coverage for Attorney Fee Awards

In Navigators Specialty Ins. Co. v. Moorefield Const. (No.G050759, filed 12/27/16), a California appeals court held that the knowing installation of flooring over a vapor-emitting slab was not an accident or occurrence,...more

Appraisal is an Appraisal is an Appraisal, Except in Mass.

Like Gertrude Stein’s “rose”, an appraisal is an appraisal is an appraisal except in Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ version of appraisal is a statutory process named “reference.” Although a reference proceeding is very similar...more

The Ghost of Systems Past: “Big Data” Suits Loom, But Old Data Issues Remain Unresolved

2017 could be big for litigation over “Big Data” applications in insurance. This past year saw the filing of several “price optimization” class actions, and claims against a fraud detection tool, similar to the ones used by...more

Oregon High Court Clarifies How To Read the Four Corners of a Complaint

On December 8, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision, West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 360 Or. 650 (2016), clarifying what allegations in a construction defect suit will implicate coverage under...more

Unlike Friendships, Policy Exclusions Are Not Severable In West Virginia

A homeowners insurance policy often covers every member of a family, and many policies state that the insurance applies separately to each insured. The same policies usually exclude coverage for intentional acts. But what...more

Insurance News, December 2016

Introduction to the Restatement of Liability Insurance Underwriter Beware - In 2014, the American Law Institute (ALI) decided to publish the Restatement of Liability Insurance. After many meetings, conferences, comments,...more

Adding Fuel to the Bellefonte Fire? Second Circuit Asks New York’s Highest Court For Guidance as to Reinsurer’s Limit of Liability

In Global Reins. Corp. of Am. v. Century Indem. Co., 2016 WL 7156549 (Dec. 8, 2016), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit asked New York’s highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, to provide guidance as to...more

South Carolina Federal Court Makes Two Rulings On Motions To Dismiss In Dispute Involving Reinsurance Trust Agreements

This case was previously reported by us on our blog on January 5, 2016, June 28, 2016 and July 20, 2016. For the full procedural background, we refer to the recent November 3, 2016 and November 16, 2016 decisions. In sum,...more

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies “Permanency” Requirement under Florida Bad Faith Statute

In Cadle v. GEICO Ins. Co., Case No. 15-11283 (11th Cir. Sept. 30, 2016), the Eleventh Circuit held that GEICO had not acted in bad faith when it failed to settle a claim after the insured did not provide any evidence of...more

Chris Lazarini Comments on Ambiguity in Insurance Policy - Thought Leadership - Bass Berry

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini commented a case in which a broker-dealer claimed the term "final judgment" in its insurance policy was ambiguous and should be construed against its insurance carrier, as is typical...more

Recipient Of Arbitration Award In Reinsurance Dispute Permitted Discovery Of Funds Withheld Account

Plaintiffs secured an interim arbitration award in the amount of $7.8 million, plus interest, in what the court described as a complex insurance/reinsurance program. Seeking to collect on the award, plaintiffs served a...more

UK Court Considers Whether Later Conduct Stemming From A Loss Event Should Be Considered A Loss Under An Excess Of Loss...

This case considers an appeal against an arbitration award concerning whether health claims from persons involved in cleaning up the 9/11 World Trade Center site should be considered to be multiple claims or should be...more

Competing Causes of Loss: Florida Supreme Court Issues Decision Applying The Concurrent Causation Doctrine

We have discussed on a number of occasions the issue of causation when there are multiple causes of loss, some covered and some not covered. Most jurisdictions apply what is known as the efficient proximate cause analysis...more

Reinsurance Arbitration Award Stands In Face Of Challenges To Rationality And Impartiality Of Decision

Yosemite Insurance Co. (“Yosemite”) lost its challenge to an arbitration award that found Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. (“Nationwide”) was not required to cover a share of Yosemite’s settlement with the State of California...more

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