General Business Personal Injury Civil Remedies

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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

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

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

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

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

Virginia’s Privity of Contract Defense Continues to Protect Defendants in Economic Loss Cases

I am often told by clients that they are protected from a lawsuit because they have a corporation. The advice I usually give them is that while the corporate shield is strong it does not protect them if they are negligent...more

Insurance and Reinsurance Update: Re-reading the Riot Act (again): Police liable for consequential losses under the Riot (Damages)...

As if a lecture at the Police Federation Conference from the Home Secretary wasn't enough, the police have also this week received the Court of Appeal's reading of the riot act. In a decision that opens the door for insurers...more

Bad Caregivers Benefit From A Careless Defense

Where an insured defendant is sued under multiple theories and coverage is available for only some of them, an Ohio appellate court has ruled that the insurer’s duty to defend includes an obligation to recommend that the...more

Covenants Not to Sue in Connection with Nuisance and Other Property Claims Can Be Enforceable against Future Owners

At times, where a developer seeks to obtain an easement from a landowner for the construction of infrastructure or improvements on or adjacent to the landowner’s property, the landowner may request additional consideration to...more

Belgian Class Actions - The Final Stretch

The Belgian collective redress act (hereafter the Collective Redress Act) was signed into law just before the Easter break on 27 March 2014 and is expected to enter into force in the next couple of months (a royal decree...more

If You Think Your Family Business’s Service Contracts Limit Your Liability In All Situations, Think Again!

Family-owned businesses in the services industry in Washington (and beyond) should be paying attention to a recent Washington Supreme Court case addressing the “Independent Duty Doctrine” (also referred to as the “economic...more

Insurance Recovery Law

Insurer Should Have Considered Extrinsic Facts When Determining Whether A Potential for Coverage Existed, Ninth Circuit Concludes - Why it matters: In a fascinating – albeit unpublished – decision from the Ninth...more

Builders Beware! You Cannot Hide Behind SB 800!

In Burch v Superior Court (Premier Homes et al.) 2014 DJDAR 1991 (decided February 19, 2014) plaintiff Burch, a Pacific Palisades homeowner, sued defendants Premier Homes, the developer, and Custom Home Builders, the general...more

Washington Supreme Court Permits $1.5M Damages Claim to Proceed against Engineering Firm under “Independent Duty Doctrine”

In a recent decision decided on a narrow 5-to-4 vote, the Washington Supreme Court declined to bar a couple’s negligence claims against an engineering firm based on a contractual limitation of liability, permitting the couple...more

The Texas Supreme Court Issues a Liability-Coverage Decision Favorable to the Construction Industry

On January 17, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court resolved a long-debated controversy as to the scope of a contractual liability insurance exclusion in Ewing Construction Co. v. Amerisure Insurance Co. A contractual liability...more

Contractual Attorney Fee Provisions: Words Matter

This blog entry provides an analytical metric for double-checking assumptions about application of Civil Code section 1717 and contractual attorney fee awards. As the case law demonstrates, it is easy to misapprehend how and...more

Kentucky Court Holds Insurer Established Diversity Jurisdiction

In its recent decision in Capitol Specialty Ins. Corp. v. IKO, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167933 (E.D. Ky. Nov. 26, 2013), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky had occasion to consider...more

Reasoning Behind Punitive Damages Calculations Provided By California Appellate Court

Royal Oakes was quoted extensively in an Oct. 7, 2013, Claims Journal article, California Court Of Appeals Decision Provides Reasoning Behind Punitive Damages Calculations, about a significant insurance case where $19 million...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Summary of Nevada Law on the Economic Loss Doctrine in the Context of Commercial Construction...

The Nevada Supreme Court has addressed the economic loss doctrine in the context of commercial construction disputes in a number of cases over the past several years. Nevada’s general rule, as detailed below, is that the...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Application of the Economic Loss Rule in Arizona Since Flagstaff Affordable Housing Ltd. v....

In a recent ruling, the Arizona Supreme Court clarified that the economic loss rule does not apply to non-contracting parties. See Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corporation, 667 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 36 (Ariz. 2013). This ruling both...more

Under Construction - September 2013: California’s Economic Loss Doctrine – Limits on Tort Recovery

In California, the economic loss rule addresses the distinction between suits in contract and tort. A contract claim can typically be pursued to recover all damages proximately caused by breach of contract, unless expressly...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Utah’s Economic Loss Rule

In Utah, a plaintiff must generally in be in privity with the “original contractor, architect, engineer or real estate developer” to bring an “action for defective design or construction.” Utah Code Ann. §78 B-4-513(4). This...more

Under Construction - September 2013: New Mexico’s Economic Loss Rule—It Exists, but Its Limits are To Be Determined

In Utah International, Inc. v. Caterpillar Tractor Co., 108 N.M. 539, 775 P.2d 741 (Ct. App. 1989), the New Mexico Court of Appeals adopted, for the first time, the economic loss rule in New Mexico. The defendant designed,...more

Under Construction - September 2013: Economic Loss in Colorado

The economic loss doctrine generally holds parties to the benefits, burdens and obligations set out in their contracts and bars tort claims such as negligence, misrepresentation and theft for purely economic loss when a...more

Fifth Circuit Revives Negligence Claims for Purely Economic Losses in Connection with Heartland Payment Systems Cyber-Attack...

On September 3, 2013, in Lone Star Nat'l Bank N.A. v. Heartland Payment Sys., Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that "the economic loss doctrine under New Jersey law does not preclude the Issuer...more

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