General Business Civil Procedure Insurance

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Texas Court Lays Out a Useful Roadmap of the Defenses to a Hailstorm Claim

Hailstorm claims for damage to roofs often involve belated notification that an already old or damaged structure has been further compromised. In a recent Texas case, the court provided a primer for carriers confronting such...more

Maryland Insurer Not Permitted to Rely on Business Pursuits Exclusion to Deny Duty to Defend Where Continuity of Business Interest...

In Springer v. Erie Insurance Exchange, the Court of Appeals set out to determine whether the allegations in a complaint for defamation triggered the Business Pursuits exclusion in a homeowner’s liability insurance policy...more

Start Spreading the News: With National Union v. TransCanada, New York Prepares to Broadcast Communications with Coverage...

This is the second article of a three-part series about the decision of a New York appellate court in National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh v. TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 119 A.D.3d 492 (2014). The first article...more

Is There a Duty to Defend Pollution Claims? It’s the Complaint, Stupid

This Spring, cases from Florida and Wisconsin reaffirmed the general proposition that a liability insurer’s duty to defend must be determined from the specific claims in the underlying complaint against the insured, and not...more

Start Spreading the News: With National Union v. TransCanada, New York Prepares to Broadcast Communications with Coverage...

The final opinion of a New York appellate court in National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh v. TransCanada Energy USA, Inc., 119 A.D.3d 492 (2014), is only three paragraphs long, but it raises a host of questions about how,...more

Not So Fast: New York’s High Court Relieves Pressure on Liability Carriers to Disclaim Coverage “As Soon As Possible”

Under a New York statute, a liability insurer that denies coverage for a death or bodily injury claim must provide written notice of its decision “as soon as is reasonably possible.” Last year, in Long Island Lighting Co. v....more

Reinsurer’s Exposure Capped At The Certificate Limits: No Obligation To Pay Defense Expenses Above The Limits

A New York federal court recently was presented with a reinsurance dispute about the amount a reinsurer was required to pay under certain reinsurance Certificates. The issue was whether the reinsurer’s obligation was capped...more

Illinois Case Law and Legislation Update

Effective January 1, 2015, Section 18.4 of the ICPA was amended to permit a condominium Board of Directors to adopt and amend its rules and regulations to allow for electronic delivery of notices and other communications...more

7th Circuit Holds Excess Insurer Has No Duty to Indemnify Punitive Damages

In its recent decision in Fox v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12799 (7th. Cir. July 7, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, applying Illinois law, had occasion to consider...more

Peeking Around Four Corners: Wisconsin Insurers Have Found a Way to Use Extrinsic Evidence to Excuse the Defense of Pending Claims

It is a truism that a liability insurer’s duty to defend is extremely broad—especially in states that apply the “four corners rule.” Under that rule, the insurer has a duty to defend whenever the underlying complaint alleges...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - August 2014

In This Issue: - Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute - District of South Dakota: Denying a Claim for Reasons Known to be False is Not a Reasonable Basis to Deny...more

August 2014: Insurance Litigation Update

No Longer on the Hook for Indemnity: NY Court of Appeals Reverses Decision That Held Insurers Liable to Indemnify Where They Wrongly Refused to Defend a Claim. In a decision last year in K2 Investment Group, LLC v. American...more

If the Suit Fits: A Washington Court Clarifies Triggers for the Duty to Defend

Like many other federal and state environmental laws, Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) exposes property owners to strict liability, regardless of fault or intent, for certain types of environmental contamination. ...more

Eastern District Of Pennsylvania: Closing Protection Letter Does Not Constitute “Insurance” For Purpose Of Statutory Bad Faith...

Bancorp Bank v. Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. , No. 13–6103 , 2014 WL 3325861 (E.D. Pa. Jul. 8, 2014). Eastern District of Pennsylvania explains that while Closing Protection Letter may be an indemnity contract, it is...more

Texas' Progressive Claim Affliction Is Treatable

A case recently considered by Texas' Thirteenth Court of Appeals illustrates a fact pattern becoming all too familiar in Texas first-party property insurance claims. The story goes something like this....more

Suit Limitations Provisions are Enforceable. Except When They’re Not

When might a court find a reasonable and enforceable suit limitation provision neither reasonable nor enforceable? According to New York’s highest court, it’s when the provision would bar a claim to enforce the replacement...more

California Supreme Court Defines Scope of Advertising Injury Coverage

Hartford v. Swift imposes “specificity” requirements that may provide comfort to companies facing disparagement claims while requiring careful navigation to trigger CGL policies. The California Supreme Court recently...more

Law Firms Are Not Body Shops: An Insurer’s Duty to Defend Requires it to Pay Only the Defense Costs the Insured Actually Paid

In the course of discharging their coverage obligations, insurers often benefit from bargains they strike with service providers. Healthcare insurers pay in-network caregivers rates that are dramatically lower than the...more

You May Have Stolen the Advertising Database, But You Still Have No Advertising Idea

In Liberty Corporate Capital Ltd. v. Security Safe Outlet, 2014 WL 3973726 (6th Cir. August 15, 2014), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where a stolen customer database is used as the basis of an advertising...more

Northern District of Ohio: No Reasonable Jury Could Conclude That Insurer’s Denial of Coverage For Two Arsons Was Not Justified

Givens v. West Bend Mut. Ins. Co., No. 4:13 CV 1287, 2014 WL 2946672 (N.D. Ohio Jul. 1, 2014) - The Northern District of Ohio concludes that insurer was justified in denying claim for two fires that were undisputedly...more

“Mend the Hold”: A Nineteenth-Century Wrestling Doctrine Keeps its Grip on Coverage Litigation in the WWE Era

The issue confronting an Illinois appellate court in BNSF Railway Company v. Probuild North LLC, No. 1-12-3648 (Ill. App. Ct. June 11, 2014), was not uncommon. The plaintiff sought coverage from its insurer under a...more

Court Denies Petition To Appoint Arbitration Umpire In Retrocession Dispute

Odyssey Reinsurance Co. petitioned the court to appoint an umpire to serve in arbitration with its retrocessionaries, certain Lloyd’s underwriters and Reliastar Reinsurance Group, over a disputed reinsurance claim. Odyssey...more

The Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Not Be That “Absolute”

The Absolute Pollution Exclusion (“APE”) contained in current general liability insurance policies excludes coverage for costs related to the cleanup of environmental pollution. Insurance companies have taken the position...more

Louisiana’s Direct Action Statute Does Not Modify Terms of Coverage

“Direct action” statutes permit an injured plaintiff to sue an insurer for coverage under someone else’s policy — the liability insurance policy of the tortfeasor who caused the injury. They have been enacted in only a...more

Third Circuit Reaffirms the Difficulty of Binding a Non-Signatory to Arbitration

Federal law’s much-talked-about presumption in favor of enforcing arbitration clauses has its limits. On August 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit identified one of those limitations: the...more

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