General Business Personal Injury Civil Procedure

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New Jersey Companies Face Significant Class Action Risks When Using Limiting or Exculpatory Language in Consumer Contracts

A federal judge in Camden, N.J., recently granted class certification in a case brought under the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (“TCCWNA”). The class is made up of individuals who signed lease agreements...more

Stadium Owners Watching Closely To See if Insurer Fumbles Reggie Bush Claim

San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush reportedly intends to sue the city of St. Louis after slipping on a concrete surface behind the St. Louis Rams’ bench during a recent game, injuring his knee and ending his season....more

On The Road Again: Where Does Jurisdiction Lie for a Traveling Employee's Out of State Work Injury?

For companies that employ traveling employees, such as truck drivers, dealing with work injuries sustained by such employees can be challenging, because predicting which state will have jurisdiction over the employee's injury...more

Summary Jury Trials Coming to the New York Commercial Division

In the latest procedural innovation designed to facilitate increased efficiency in resolving business disputes, Rule 3 of the Rules of Practice for the Commercial Division has been amended to provide for this alternative...more

The Citadel Revisited – New York’s “Thing of Danger” Privity Exception Is Obsolete (and Another New York Note)

Way back when – before Restatement (Second) of Torts §402A (1965) crystallized the concept of strict liability – courts around the country were poking around, trying to come up with viable theories of what we would now call...more

Product Liability Update - October 2015

Massachusetts Federal Court Holds Proof of Testing of Proposed Alternative Design Not Required in Design Defect Claim, Evidence Plaintiff Ignored Defendant’s Warnings Did Not Establish He Was Sole Proximate Cause of Injury on...more

Witnesses in Arbitration – California Arbitration Act (Part I)

Testimony and documents may be obtained in arbitration in accordance with the parties’ agreement, the applicable institutional arbitration rules and provisions of law (federal and state arbitration acts, as applicable). This...more

If not “determinative,” then at least compelling: Other, specific exclusionary language available on market undermines...

Recently, in a non-precedential order, an Illinois appellate court correctly held that a “Pollution and Health Hazard Exclusion” in a commercial general liability policy did not preclude coverage for mold-related bodily...more

Ky. Ruling Casts Doubt on Health Care Arbitration Agreements

Health care institutions in Kentucky may want to take a fresh look at their patient arbitration provisions, in light of a September 24 decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court. Out-of-state institutions may want to take a...more

Supreme Judicial Court Affirms Award 0f $2,250,000 plus Interest Against Insurer for Breach of Duty to Defend and Settle — on...

In Boyle v. Zurich American Insurance Company, SJC-11791 (Sept. 14, 2015), the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed an award of $2,250,000 plus interest against an insurer for failing to defend its insured on a $50,000...more

California Appellate Court Reaffirms Protection Against Stipulated Judgments

In 21st Century Ins. v. Superior Court (No. E062244; filed 9/10/15), a California appeals court confirmed that a defending insurer is not bound by a stipulated judgment entered without its consent, and the fact that the...more

Express Waiver of Assumption of Risk – Gross Negligence Exception

Stacey Chavez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (July 8, 2015) - California’s public policy in favor of sporting and leisure activities provides strong support for...more

Seventh Circuit Issues Stern Warning For Insurers That Reject Their Duty to Defend

The first line of the Seventh Circuit’s opinion says it all: “This case provides a warning for insurance companies who refuse to defend their insureds.” As the court’s admonishment suggests, insurers that improperly refuse to...more

Making The California Assumption Of Risk Doctrine Work For You

The doctrine of assumption of risk is a legal defense that may operate to relieve a California owner or occupier of and from liability to third parties who are injured on their premises. One species of the doctrine, primary...more

CA Supreme Court Finds “Consent-to-Assignment” Clauses Unenforceable After Loss Occurs During the Policy Period

In Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (No. S205889; filed 8/20/15), the California Supreme Court overruled its earlier decision in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 934, holding that...more

California Statute Trumps Anti-Assignment Clauses in Liability Insurance Policies

In a unanimous decision that will have a serious impact on long-tail exposures, the California Supreme Court in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court (Hartford Acc. & Indem.) has determined that policyholders may transfer liability...more

California Supreme Court Limits Enforceability of Anti-Assignment Clauses

In a unanimous decision handed down by the California Supreme Court on August 20, 2015 in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court, the court removed a significant obstacle facing companies that want to assign their interests in a...more

One Business Day Delay In Delivering Settlement Check Costs Insurer $1.1 Million

A South Carolina federal district court judge has ordered that Nationwide must pay an accident victim $1.1 million, in excess of the $50,000 Nationwide policy, as a result of Nationwide’s failure to timely respond to a...more

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals: Establishing an Arguable Basis for Delay or Denial of a Claim Precludes a Finding of Bad Faith

Dey v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No. 14-60300, 2015 WL 3772762 (5th Cir. June 17, 2015). Fifth Circuit holds that “pocketbook dispute” between insured and insurer over value of the insured’s claim and insurer’s...more

Tenth Circuit: Legal Characterization of Facts in Underlying Complaint Insufficient to Trigger the Duty to Defend

On July 30, 2015, the Tenth Circuit affirmed that an insurer that issued a commercial general liability policy with an auto exclusion for bodily injury arising out of the loading and unloading of an auto did not have a duty...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Predicts That Pennsylvania Supreme Court Would Prevent an Insured from Recovering Punitive Damages...

Wolfe v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 12-4450, 2015 WL 3634779 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that evidence of punitive damages award against insured in underlying suit was not...more

Without So Much as a Fig Leaf . . .

Legal commentators and court watchers rightly complain about activist judges who make laws rather than interpret them. Last month’s decision in the The Babcock & Wilcox Co. et al. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., is...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Tort Claims Initially Dismissed Under Economic Loss Doctrine Where Product Caused Damage to “Other Property”

On June 29, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in CHMM LLC v. Freeman Marine Equipment, Case No. 13-35163 (D.C. No. 3:12-cv-01484-ST), reversed the District Court’s judgment in an admiralty case, holding that a vessel...more

Read Before Signing: Court Finds Fact-Intensive Gross Negligence Claims Should Proceed to Jury, Where Deviation from Industry...

In Jimenez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness, USA, Inc. (filed June 9, 2015, No. C071959), California’s Third Appellate District held that where fact-intensive gross negligence claims exist, especially with evidence of potential...more

Eastern District of Pa. Again Recognizes Montreal Convention Exclusively Governs Claims

Action Item: Until there is appellate resolution of the preemptive effect of the Montreal Convention, airlines sued in state court over damages allegedly arising during the course of international transportation should...more

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