General Business Insurance Civil Procedure

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Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015

In the Context of a Bad Faith Claim, Insurer’s Defense That Coverage Denial Was Reasonable Put at Issue Otherwise Protected Attorney-Client and Work Product Communications - Why it matters: Recognizing the “conflicting...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds No Duty to Defend Directors Serving in Mixed Capacities

On June 22, 2015, the 11th Circuit affirmed a Georgia federal court decision that there was no coverage under a director’s and officer’s (D&O) insurance policy for claims asserted by beneficiaries of a family trust against a...more

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

Service Of Suit Clause Waives Reinsurers’ Rights To Remove Case To Federal Court

A federal district court in New Hampshire has held that a service of suit clause contained in reinsurance contracts waives the reinsurers’ rights to remove a litigation brought against them in state court by the Insurance...more

Eleventh Circuit Denies Coverage for Wrongful Acts of Directors and Officers That Arose Out of Their Wrongful Acts as Trustees, an...

On Monday, June 22, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit, in The Langdale Company v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 14-12723 (11th Cir. 2015), ruled for the insurer on a “capacity” exclusion in a director...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer Based on "Other Capacity" Exclusion

On June 22, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of National Union Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., in an action where the insured sought $10 million in coverage under a D&O policy. The...more

Missouri Court: “Equivalent” Requires that Replacement Siding be Both Equal in Value and Virtually Identical

In December, we published a post about a Minnesota Supreme Court case that held that under a replacement cost policy, the phrase “comparable material and quality” meant that all of the siding on 20 buildings had to be...more

Appellate Watch: Eleventh Circuit Asked to Interpret Contractual Liability Exclusion In D&O Policy

Because insurers generally draft their own policies, it is a common rule of construction that ambiguous terms will be construed against the insurers. However, in Bond Safeguard Ins. Co. et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance...more

New Case Highlights Deep Hole in Cyber Insurance Policies

Insurance policies covering data breach liability began appearing roughly ten years ago. We noted then a troublesome provision in some forms that seemed to exclude coverage for the insured’s failure to maintain data security...more

Florida Appellate Court Rejects Bid to Curb Insureds’ Assignments to Contractors

Many property insurance policies contain terms that prohibit assignment, but Florida law has long deemed those terms inoperative once a loss has occurred. E.g., W. Fla. Grocery Co. v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 74 Fla. 220...more

Eleventh Circuit Case Delivers Big Win for Contractors Seeking Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important opinion that is good for contractors making claims on general liability policies, and not so good for the insurers issuing those...more

Changes to Florida's Construction Defect Notice Statute

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new bill that changes Florida's construction defect notice statute, effective October 1, 2015. Changes to the Florida statute include: (I) an amendment to section 558.001, revising...more

Appraisers’ Failure to Perform Assessment of Property’s Existence or Damage is Reversible Error

In Lee v. California Capital Insurance Co. (No. A136280; filed 6/18/15), a California Court of Appeal held that it was error for an appraisal panel to assign loss values to items simply because they were listed in the...more

Florida Federal Court Limits First Party Bad Faith Claims

First party bad faith actions in Florida must be pursued under §624.155 Florida Statutes because Florida does not recognize common law first party claims. The statute provides that an insured may bring a civil action against...more

Third Circuit Holds That Under Pennsylvania Law An Insured Against Whom Punitive Damages Have Been Imposed May Not Recover Those...

As a matter of public policy, Pennsylvania (like a number of other states) prohibits insuring against punitive damages. But what happens if an insurer refuses to settle a case against a policyholder within policy limits and...more

What does "will be insured" actually mean?

Balancing obligations to provide health and life insurance benefits to retirees with other legitimate business needs can be tricky. Although retirees depend on the benefits, employers may need to modify benefit plans for...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...more

$84 Million Settlement in Northwestern Mutual Annuity Class Case

March 26 marked the beginning of the end for the storied 14-year litigation concerning Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Pre-MN annuities when the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted preliminary approval of a proposed...more

Statutory Accounting Fraud Under RICO

Echoing New York’s regulatory criticism concerning the use of captive reinsurers and similar allegations in recent class actions filed against several New York life insurers, an annuity contract owner has filed a putative...more

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

To Be or Not to Be – an Insured Contract: Coverage for Breach of Warranty Claims

In Bituminous Casualty Corporation v. Plano Molding Company, 2015 IL App (2d) 140292, the Illinois Appellate Court tackled one of the most misunderstood issues in the commercial general liability policy: does an obligation to...more

What Exactly Was Excluded? Proffering Expert Opinions to Preserve Daubert/Frye Challenges

Most practitioners would agree that, if the court excludes an expert based on a Daubert challenge—and that is the only expert opining on a subject—then in most instances there should be no need to proffer the expert’s...more

Virginia Federal Court Sustains Late Notice Disclaimer

In its recent decision in E Dillon & Co. v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of America, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76295 (W.D. Va. June 12, 2015), the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, applying Virginia...more

A Tale of Two Annuities: Exchange of Variable for Fixed Annuity Integral in SLUSA Dismissal

After attending an annuity seminar, Robert and Diane Ruud exchanged their variable annuity for a fixed annuity sold by PHL Variable. According to the Ruuds, seminar provider John Friendshuh represented the fixed annuity as...more

Appellate Courts + STOLI = Mixed Results

In recent years, federal district courts addressing claims and defenses with respect to stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) schemes have reached a variety of results. Accordingly, federal appellate courts have...more

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