General Business Personal Injury

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Property Policy’s Pollution Exclusion Not Subject to Proximate Cause Analysis

An insured’s argument to broadly apply an exception to a pollution exclusion was recently rejected by the British Columbia Supreme Court in Whitworth Holdings Ltd. v. AXA Pacific Insurance Co., 2014 CarswellBC 2648, 2014 BCSC...more

Eleventh Circuit: Florida Law Does Not Equate Mere Negligence with Bad Faith

Kincaid v. Allstate Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., No. 2:13-cv-014030, 2014 WL 3733758 (11th Cir. Jul. 30, 2014) - The Eleventh Circuit holds that under Florida law, negligence does not equate to bad faith, and under the...more

Nebraska Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Lead Paint Claim

In its recent decision in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Dantzler, the Supreme Court of Nebraska had occasion to consider the application of pollution exclusion to an underlying personal injury claim involving an...more

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal Holds Abating a Premature Bad Faith Claim does not Depart from the Essential...

In SafeCo Ins. Co. v. Beare, 2014 Fla. App. Lexis 14364 (Sept. 17, 2014), the Fourth District addressed a challenge to the trial court’s order abating rather than dismissing a premature bad faith claim. In 2011, Beare filed...more

Ninth Circuit Case Portends Implications for Alien Tort Claims Act Liability Throughout Corporate Supply Chains

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum upholding the dismissal of an Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) suit, left a great deal unanswered. The Kiobel decision did, however, limit the potential...more

Appellate Court Notes

?AC35328 - Sola v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Trial court incorrectly refused to charge the jury that Walmart store had a non-delegable duty to maintain its floors in a safe condition for its patrons and could not defend a...more

Introducing Personal Liability Into Corporate Negligence: An Analysis of the Trek Leather Decision

Are you an owner or officer of a small or midsize business? An import or trade compliance professional? Someone whose job responsibilities include some aspect of the process of importing merchandise into the United States,...more

Torts – Effect of The Howell Decision on Liens Brought Under The Hospital Lien Act

Dameron Hospital Association v. AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah Insurance Exchange et al. - California Court Of Appeal, Third Appellate District (September 4, 2014) - In Howell v. Hamilton Meats (...more

Business Interruption Insurance: Clearing up the Confusion

In Eurokey Recycling Ltd v Giles Insurance Brokers Ltd [2014] EWHC 2989 (Comm), the English Commercial Court has confirmed the nature of an insurance broker’s duties to its clients when obtaining Business Interruption...more

Insurers, Be Ready To Pay Twice In Texas

Often, an insurance carrier will issue a check to two joint payees — the named insured and either a public adjuster or a mortgagee. What happens when the one payee cashes the check without first obtaining a signature from the...more

Kentucky Court of Appeals Holds Statute of Limitations on Underinsured Motorist Claims Begins to Run Upon Denial of Claim

In a case of first impression, a divided panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals recently held in Hensley v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2013-CA-000006-MR (Ky. App. Aug. 15, 2014), that the statute of limitations on...more

Imagination-in-Pleading Award

When Oklahoma Blue Cross-Blue Shield terminated Dr. Gude’s provider agreement, he decided to fight back. He sued the Blues in federal court, alleging they had violated—and this is the imaginative part—Oklahoma’s Consumer...more

LITIGATION ALERT: Texas Supreme Court Limits the Application of the Economic Loss Rule

In Texas, the economic loss rule has been applied by courts to prevent a plaintiff from recovering purely economic losses in a negligence or strict liability action. In products liability cases, when a loss results from the...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

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

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/14 - Part 2)

In its weekly orders on Friday, August 22, 2014, the Supreme Court was busy. The Court issued 7 opinions, granted 4 petitions for review, and set 4 mandamus petitions for argument. Scott Stolley summarized 3 of the opinions,...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

Confirmation That the Limitation Period for 'Building Actions' is 10 Years, Not Six

The recent Victorian Court of Appeal decision of Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd [2014] VSCA 165 (Brirek Case) has settled the appropriate time period, at least in Victoria, in which a...more

Lawsuits Against Social Media Sites Rarely a Good Idea – This One Probably Isn’t Either

A Houston area woman has sued Facebook asking for $123 million because Facebook was slow to take down a fake a profile created by her ex-boyfriend with pornographic images. The plaintiff sued Facebook and the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds No Tag Jurisdiction Over Foreign Corporation

When a corporation sends an officer to a conference in California, is the corporation present in California? A corporation can only act through its officers. Thus, it might be said that the corporation is present wherever...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

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