Insurance Business Torts Civil Procedure

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Insurance Recovery Law - January 2016

Despite Finding Policy Application Misrepresentation, Jury Rules Against Policy Rescission - Why it matters: A federal jury concluded that Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company did not have a valid basis to rescind the...more

Blog: Commercial Court Considers Jurisdictional Issues Affecting Contribution Claims

In XL Insurance Company SE v AXA Corporate Solutions Assurance [2015] EWHC 3431 (Comm), the Commercial Court has held that, pursuant to Article 4 of EU Regulation 1215/2012, it had no jurisdiction to hear a dispute between a...more

Alabama Acknowledges AAA Rules Authorize Arbitrator To Determine Whether Non-Signatory Is Bound

The Alabama Supreme Court has followed the Eighth Circuit’s lead, concluding that when the parties agree to arbitrate pursuant to the AAA Rules, they have clearly and unmistakably authorized the arbitrator to determine who is...more

Court Holds That Service-Of-Suit Clause Waives Right To Seek Removal

The Northern District of Illinois recently granted a motion to remand filed by an insolvent insurer’s assignee because the removal contravened the forum-selection clauses of the reinsurance agreements at issue. Pine Top...more

For Whom the Contractual Suit Limitation Period Tolls

Virginia’s Supreme Court recently addressed an issue of statutory interpretation that affects whether or under what circumstances a contractual suit limitation provision in an insurance policy may be tolled. In Allstate Prop....more

South Carolina Federal Court Grants In Part, Denies In Part, Trustee’s Motion To Dismiss Claims Brought By Fronting Insurer In...

Plaintiff Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Companion”) brought suit against U.S. Bank National Association (“US Bank”) arising from its role as trustee under various reinsurance collateral trusts that...more

Arise and Exclude: Artful Pleading Fails to Circumvent Contractual Liability Exclusion

It’s not uncommon for plaintiffs to couch their pleadings in terms that attempt to avoid exclusions in defendants’ liability coverage. The plaintiffs in Bond Safeguard Ins. Co. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh,...more

Excess Workers’ Compensation And Employers’ Liability Policy Held Not To Be Reinsurance

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana recently granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment, finding that an excess workers’ compensation and employers’ liability policy was not reinsurance...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Contours of In Pari Delicto Doctrine

The Delaware Supreme Court, in a recent order affirming the opinion of the Delaware Court of Chancery, provided clear guidance about when third-party corporate advisers may raise the in pari delicto defense as a shield to...more

Can Insurers Sue for 'Reverse Bad Faith'? Allowing claims would restore strategic balance in policy disputes

The insurance relationship is contractual, but when policyholders claim insurers failed to honor their obligations, they typically invoke the tort of "bad faith." When courts try to explain this anomaly, they cite features of...more

Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200?: D&O Insurance—Advance Warning on Fee Advancement

In a recent string of decisions, the Delaware Chancery Court has addressed the scope of the right of Directors and Officers to have their legal expenses paid while governmental investigations or legal proceedings against them...more

Michigan Court Dismisses Cross-Claim as Insurer Not Properly Subject to a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

In Van Loo v. Cajun Operating Co, No. 14-cv-10604 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 17, 2015), the Eastern District of Michigan, a Sixth Circuit district court, held that the requirement for evidence of insurability was triggered based on...more

Leading Cases on Chapter 93A

Nearly all business disputes in Massachusetts are governed by Chapter 93A. The winning plaintiff under Chapter 93A is entitled to an automatic award of its attorney's fees, and may be awarded up to three times its actual...more

District of Colorado Grants Summary Judgment for Insurer on Bad Faith Claim Arising from Denial of Coverage Under E & O Policy

P&S LLC v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-cv-00735-LTB-CBS (D. Colo. July 29, 2015). District of Colorado grants summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim where insurer established that an...more

Southern District of Ohio: No Coverage Equals No Bad Faith

Schmidt v. The Travelers Indem. Co. of Am., No. 1:13-CV-932, 2015 WL 4538118 (S.D. Ohio July 27, 2015). A law firm that lost more than $141,000 in an online scam lost its coverage dispute with its insurer but still tried...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania: Insureds’ Negligence And Unfair Trade Practices Claims Against Adjusters Are Colorable Under...

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015). District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable...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

California Supreme Court Permits Restitution Claim By Insurer Against Independent Counsel

In its recent decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., — (Cal. Aug. 10, 2015), the Supreme Court of California had occasion to consider an insurer’s right to reimbursement from Cumis counsel for...more

Hawaii Supreme Court Holds a Primary Insurer Cannot Gamble with the Excess Insurer’s Money

On June 29, 2015, in responding to a certified question from the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, the Hawaii Supreme Court held in St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., SCCQ-14-0000727,...more

Standing in the Shoes or Freeing Evil Zombies? The Public Policy of Applying the In Pari Delicto Defense to Actions Brought by a...

In pari delicto is an equitable defense asserted when a defendant claims that a plaintiff is equally at fault for the wrong that has befallen him. The doctrine is “rooted in the common-law notion that a plaintiff’s recovery...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015

In the Context of a Bad Faith Claim, Insurer’s Defense That Coverage Denial Was Reasonable Put at Issue Otherwise Protected Attorney-Client and Work Product Communications - Why it matters: Recognizing the “conflicting...more

Eleventh Circuit Holds No Duty to Defend Directors Serving in Mixed Capacities

On June 22, 2015, the 11th Circuit affirmed a Georgia federal court decision that there was no coverage under a director’s and officer’s (D&O) insurance policy for claims asserted by beneficiaries of a family trust against a...more

Bank Bond Covers Third-Party Losses Arising out of Bank Employee’s Fraud, Eighth Circuit Holds

Fidelity bonds are purchased primarily to protect against loss to the policyholder’s own assets, from things like employee theft or embezzlement. In Avon State Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., however, the Eighth Circuit interpreted...more

Eleventh Circuit Denies Coverage for Wrongful Acts of Directors and Officers That Arose Out of Their Wrongful Acts as Trustees, an...

On Monday, June 22, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit, in The Langdale Company v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 14-12723 (11th Cir. 2015), ruled for the insurer on a “capacity” exclusion in a director...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Insurer Based on "Other Capacity" Exclusion

On June 22, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of National Union Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., in an action where the insured sought $10 million in coverage under a D&O policy. The...more

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