General Business Insurance Personal Injury

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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

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

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

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

District of South Dakota: Denying a Claim for Reasons Known to be False is Not a Reasonable Basis to Deny a Claim

Lewison v. W. Nat’l Mut. Ins. Co., Civ. No. 13-4031-KES, 2014 WL 3573403 (D.S.D. July 21, 2014). The District of South Dakota grants in part and denies in part an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on two...more

Vermont: There is No Cause of Action for Negligence in Adjusting a Property Loss

Last week, the Vermont Supreme Court firmly rejected the notion that an insured can bring a cognizable claim for negligence against his or her carrier in connection with the inspection and handling of a first-party property...more

West Virginia High Court Examines Number Of Occurrences Under Liability Insurance Policy

This year, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued an important decision concerning whether a carbon monoxide leak is a single or multiple occurrence under a liability insurance policy. Kosnoski, et al. v....more

Connecticut Court Holds Negligence Misrepresentation Claim Does Not Trigger Defense

In its recent decision in Pa. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Thakur, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110251 (D. Conn. Aug. 11, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut had occasion to consider whether a claim for...more

Insurers Be Warned, Your Communications Are Discoverable

Insurers and reinsurers regularly communicate regarding matters they view as confidential. These communications often relate to claims, both routine and litigated, by the underlying insureds. Insureds, in turn, seek discovery...more

West Virginia Upholds Disclaimer Based on Liquor Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Essex Ins. Co. v. Napple’s Bullpen, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97186 (N.D. W.Va. July 17, 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia had occasion to consider...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

Washington Insurance Law 2014 Mid-Year Update

During the first six months of 2014, Washington judges issued several notable insurance-related decisions. Some of those decisions were favorable to insurers and could benefit insurers in future insurance claims and lawsuits...more

District Court Dismisses Skydiver’s Action Against Aircraft Liability Insurer Based on Jumper Exclusion

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia - In McGirk v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds’s, -- F. Supp. 2d --, 2014 WL 690684 (W.D.Va. Feb. 21, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia...more

No Coverage Under Aviation Policies Where Product Was Not Used in Connection With Aircraft or Aviation Operations

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division - A New Jersey appellate court affirmed an order granting summary judgment, stating that the insurer owed no duty to defend or indemnify its insured in a personal injury...more

Disclaimer Requirement of N.Y. Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) Held Not to Apply to Property Damage Claims

The New York Court of Appeals recently confirmed that the heightened timeliness of disclaimer requirement in New York Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) does not apply to claims arising from property damage, in KeySpan Gas East Corp....more

Eighth Circuit Rules Multiple Drowning Constitutes One Occurrence

In its recent decision in Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. AXIS Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13176 (8th Cir. July 11, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, had occasion...more

Attorneys’ Fees and Prosecuting Bad Faith/UTPA Cases

Attorneys who litigate common law bad faith and Unfair Trade Practices Act claims are well aware that insureds who substantially prevail in an underlying contract action for insurance proceeds are entitled to an award of...more

Who pays when the authorities come calling? Syracuse Univ. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, P.A.

With the seemingly endless stream of federal and state investigations implicating institutions of higher education, a recent New York decision offers a glimmer of hope to those schools that find themselves in the cross-hairs....more

Insurance Coverage – Personal & Advertising Injury – Trade Disparagement

Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v Swift Distribution, Inc. - California Supreme Court (June 12, 2014) - Commercial liability policies provide coverage for “personal and advertising injury.” This term typically...more

Signatories And Non-Signatories Denied Motions To Compel Arbitration

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and a federal district court in Michigan have each issued opinions on motions to compel arbitration. In the Michigan opinion, the court granted a motion for summary judgment, in favor of the...more

Insurance Recovery Law - Jun 2014 #2

Nevada Supreme Court Holds That Absolute Pollution Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Suit - Why it matters: In answering certified questions from the Ninth Circuit, Nevada joined...more

Louisiana Court Finds in Favor of Flood Insurer Where Insured Submitted an Incomplete Proof of Loss

Roussell v. Allstate Insurance Company, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82319 (E.D. La. June 17, 2014) involved a dispute over insurance coverage related to the damage caused to the plaintiff’s property by Hurricane Isaac on August 29,...more

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