General Business Insurance Toxic Torts

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Insurer’s Action To Arbitrate Stayed In Lieu Of Earlier-Filed State Court Coverage Action

An Illinois federal court recently stayed an insurer’s petition to compel arbitration of a dispute with its policyholder, finding that abstention in favor of an earlier-filed suit involving the parties was appropriate under...more

Illinois Court: Multi-year Policy Limits Applied To Entire Policy Period, Not Annually, And Payments For Potentially Covered...

An Illinois trial court recently addressed the issue of whether an insurer exhausted its limits of liability in paying nearly $90 million for an insured’s defense and indemnity associated with asbestos bodily injury claims. ...more

Better Late Than Never: The California Supreme Court Reverses Itself, Holding That Corporate Policyholders May Assign Insurance...

Asset purchase and sale transactions are a preferred structure for many corporate deals. For a variety of reasons, it may be prudent for businesses or product lines to be transferred through these transactions, and an asset...more

Insurance Code §520 Requires Reversal of Prior Supreme Court Decision Upholding Insurance Policy Language Barring Post-Loss...

Fluor v Superior Court (Hartford) California Supreme Court (August 20, 2015) In 2003, the California Supreme Court ruled in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Ca.4th, 934, that a...more

In Reversal, California Supreme Court Allows Assignment of Coverage for Liability Claims

California’s Supreme Court has reversed its own heavily criticized decision from 2003 in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. (2003) 29 Cal. 4th 934. In Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court, the Court announced that its...more

California Declares New Rules for Assignment of Long Tail Claims

Last week, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of California changed the law governing anti-assignment provisions in liability insurance policies. Twelve years ago, in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules that CERCLA PRP Letters and Enforcement Proceedings Are “Suits” Subject to the Duty to Defend Under...

On June 26, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court held that enforcement proceedings under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”)—including the issuance of a “PRP letter” notifying...more

Reinsurers’ Motion To Vacate Arbitration Award Held Time-Barred

A federal judge in New York has denied reinsurers’ motions for relief from a prior judgment. The reinsurers, Equitas Insurance Limited and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London, argued that they were entitled to judicial...more

Ohio Federal Court Rules that Policyholder’s Asbestos Liabilities Arose from Multiple Occurrences Under Ohio Law

On April 7, 2015, a federal judge in the Northern District of Ohio granted partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs Mahoning Valley Supply (“MVS”) and Westfield Insurance Company (“Westfield”) and against defendant...more

Policyholder Insider Quarterly

Makers and Users of Smart Devices Beware: You May Have a Critical and Costly Gap in Your Insurance Coverage - The drumbeat of high-profile data breaches has led to rapid growth in the number of companies purchasing or...more

Second Circuit Affirms Application Of Illinois Notice/Prejudice Rule In Reinsurance Row

Granite State Insurance Company (“Granite State”) brought an action against Clearwater Insurance Company (“Clearwater”) regarding a dispute over reinsurance claims Granite State made, and which Clearwater denied based on late...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

Down in the Dumps: Court Refuses to Apply Pollution Exclusion in Landfill Seepage Case

Claims involving potential coverage for pollution liability pose unique challenges for insurers. In many cases, the polluting activity occurred decades ago and over a large span of time, with only a fraction of the activity...more

Silica Dust Damage Held Barred by Pollution and Faulty Workmanship Exclusions in New York

Building construction frequently generates silica dust, a substance that can cause lung disease and other respiratory problems.  Abrasive sand-blasting or jack hammering as well as concrete drilling and block cutting can lead...more

Texas Supreme Court Revisits Additional Insured Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Disaster

In In Re Deepwater Horizon, No. 13–0670 (February 13, 2015), the Texas Supreme Court had occasion to consider the extent to which the scope of additional insured coverage is limited by the terms of a contract between the...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

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015 #2

Separate Contract Serves to Limit Insurance Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Spill, Texas Supreme Court Rules - Why it matters: The Texas Supreme Court rejected BP’s $750 million claim for coverage under Transocean...more

Virginia Court Nixes Claim Chinese Drywall Damage to HVAC Systems is Covered as Equipment Breakdown

In Travco Ins. Co. v. Ward, 284 Va. 547, 736 S.E.2d 321 (2012), the Virginia Supreme Court held that loss occasioned by the sulfuric gas released by defective Chinese drywall was excluded under the primary coverage grant of a...more

DRM client wins important case precluding termination of insurer insolvency before contingent or unliquidated claims can be...

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled in In Re Ambassador Ins. Co., 2015 VT 4 (Vt. Jan. 23, 2015) that the liquidator of Ambassador Insurance acted unreasonably in setting a December 31, 2013 bar date for policyholder claims...more

Reinsurance Arbitration Award Confirmed, Reaching Result Contrary To Previous Award Against Different Reinsurer

On March 11, 2014, we reported on the First Circuit’s ruling in a contested arbitration between OneBeacon America Insurance Co. and certain of its reinsurers over reinsured asbestos claims. The reinsurers filed a declaratory...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...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

Court Denies Renewed Attempt To Dismiss Defenses In Reinsurance Dispute Associated With Asbestos-Related Liabilities

In this case, plaintiffs sought leave to renew their motion to dismiss certain retention-related and assignment affirmative defenses based on provisions of certain Loss Portfolio Transfer (LPT) agreements, and to re-argue the...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusions Are Absolute When There Has Been Pollution

Pollution exclusions first became routine in liability policies in the early 1970s. After a decade of often unsuccessful litigation trying to enforce those exclusions, insurers introduced a so called “absolute” pollution...more

Newly-Published Regional Steel Case Raises More Questions Than It Answers

In May, California’s Second Appellate District affirmed a summary ruling that a Commercial General Liability insurer did not have a duty to defend a subcontractor who supplied faulty “seismic tie hooks” that were encased in...more

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