General Business Insurance Personal Injury

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Illinois Supreme Court Addresses Duty of Care Owed by Insurance Agents

On March 19, 2015, in its decision in Skaperdas v. Country Cas. Ins. Co., 2015 IL 117021 (Ill. Mar. 19, 2015), the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court decision holding that Section 2-2201 of the Illinois Code...more

Newman v. Cornerstone - Insurer's Offer of UIM Need Not Specify Its Cost

Newman was injured in a motor vehicle accident for which the at-fault driver carried insufficient insurance to compensate her for her damages. Therefore, she sought UIM coverage from her insurer, Cornerstone. Cornerstone...more

Nature Of Reinsurance Relationship Precludes Dismissal Of Negligence Claim Brought By Reinsurer Against Cedent

A federal district court has denied a cedent’s motion to dismiss a negligence claim brought against it by its reinsurer, Old Republic National Title Insurance. The dispute between Old Republic and First American Title arose...more

Vermont Supreme Court Rejects Traditional Environmental Harm Limitation for Pollution Exclusion

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Energy Wise Homes, Inc., 2015 VT 52 (Vt. Apr. 3, 2015), the Supreme Court of Vermont had occasion to consider whether a pollution exclusion is limited to...more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015

The fraud statute of repose does not bar fraud claims when the jury finds no evidence of the plaintiff’s reliance during the repose period, because it is the defendant’s last action or omission that triggers the fraud repose...more

Court Rejects Attenuated Argument of Automobile Insurer Liability

Just how attenuated is too attenuated for a driver’s conduct outside the vehicle to be covered by the auto policy covering the vehicle? In Hough v. McKiernan, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island drew the line at about...more

Insurance – Duty to Defend

Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (March 4, 2015) - Typically, claims of sexual assault or claims related to sexual assault are not covered under a standard...more

Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Captive Insurance Agents Owe Limited Tort Duty to Clients

Section 2-2201 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that “[a]n insurance producer . . . shall exercise ordinary care and skill in renewing, procuring, binding, or placing the coverage requested by the insured or proposed...more

Nevada Court Holds Multiple Deaths Resulted From Single Occurrence

In its recent decision in Century Sur. Co. v. Casino W., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39482 (D. Nev. Mar. 27, 2015), the United States District Court for the District of Nevada had occasion to consider whether multiple fatalities...more

Appellate Court Rules On Loss Allocation And Notice Disputes Concerning Reinsurance Claim

A New York appellate court affirmed the denial of summary judgment but with modifications. New Hampshire Insurance Company (“New Hampshire”) together with other insurers, settled with Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation...more

Duty to Defend Only Triggered Where Subject Activities Are Specified in the Policy - Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Gum Tree...

Finding that the specific allegations made in a plaintiff’s civil petition filed against an insurance policy holder did not meet the specifications of the insured’s policy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit...more

California Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Agent's Immunity Rule Based on "Special Relationship" Between Insurers and Insureds

On April 2, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, published an opinion that limits the scope of the agent’s immunity rule insofar as it applies to employees of insurers involved in investigating...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds “Fairly Debatable” Standard for Establishing Insurer Bad Faith for Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In a pair of recent decisions addressing first-party claims for uninsured motorist coverage , Wadeer v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Co., A-48-12, 2015 N.J. Lexis 132 (N.J. Sup. Ct. Feb. 28, 2015) and Badiali v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Group,...more

Cancellation and Delay Waive Right to Later Rescind Ab Initio

In DuBeck v. Cal. Physicians' Service (No. B250129, filed 3/5/15), a California appeals court held that Blue Shield’s initial decision to cancel a healthcare policy for application misrepresentations constituted a waiver of...more

Court Finds Potential for Personal Umbrella Coverage of Sexual Assault Not Covered by Underlying Homeowners Policy

In Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. H039368, filed 2/5/15), a California appeals court ruled that a personal umbrella policy's broader coverage gave rise to a duty to defend sexual molestation allegations that were...more

Texas Supreme Court Incorporates Limitations From An “Insured Contract” Into GL Policy

In In re Deepwater Horizon, Cause No. 13-0670, Slip Op., Feb. 13, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court held that an allocation of liability found in an “insured contract” would determine the coverage provided to an additional...more

Western District of Washington: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Refuses to Provide a Defense Where Facts Confirmed Insured’s Actions...

Wargacki v. W. Nat’l Assurance Co., No. C13-5373RBL, 2015 WL 74111 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 6, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington grants summary judgment to an insurer ruling that the insurer...more

Bank of Delmarva v. South Shore Ventures, LLC, Del. Super., C.A. No. S13C-05-008 THG (Oct. 21, 2014)

The Superior Court granted the Bank of Delmarva’s (“Bank”) motion for summary judgment as to each of Defendant John E. O’Brien’s (“Defendant”) counterclaims. In 2005, Defendant along with South Shore Ventures, LLC (“Shore”)...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinions (2/15)

Today, the Supreme Court of Texas issued opinions in two argued cases. The Court did not grant any new petitions or set any mandamus petitions for argument. ...more

State Insurance Regulators Target Insurers' Responses to Cyber-Attacks

Cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common and destructive, with the recent incidents involving Sony and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield serving as cautionary tales. As a result, state insurance regulators are focusing on...more

Eleventh Circuit: Summary Judgment For Insurer Improper Where Fact Question Remained About Whether Insurer Acted In Bad Faith By...

Geico Gen. Ins. Co. v. Gould, No. 14-10913, 2014 WL 7013971 (11th Cir. Dec. 15, 2014) (per curium). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment for an insurance company. It...more

Supreme Court of Missouri Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment for Primary Insurer on Insured’s and Excess Insurer’s Bad Faith...

Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Addison Ins. Co., No. SC 93792 (Mo. Dec. 9, 2014). Supreme Court of Missouri rules in an en banc decision that neither an excess judgment nor a failure to pay policy limits are essential elements...more

If You Post It, Your Opponent Can Probably Discover It

In March we ran a post on how important videos, photographs, and statements on social media sites can be when investigating a property loss. A picture is literally worth a thousand words. Earlier this month, a Florida court...more

High Court to clarify proportionate liability

Many readers will be aware of the Full Federal Court decisions of Wealthsure Pty Ltd v Selig [2014] FCAFC 64 and ABN AMRO Bank NV v Bathurst Regional Council [2014] FCAFC 65, which are in conflict as to how proportionate...more

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