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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Insured May Settle Tort Claim Without Insurer Consent Under “Fair and Reasonable” Standard

In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, a divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, deciding an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, recently held that when an insurer defends its insured subject to a...more

For “At-Issue Waiver,” The Best Defense May Not Be An Affirmative Defense

As this blog has repeatedly documented, it can be hard for insurers to assert the attorney-client privilege in the context of bad faith litigation. One difficulty arises in states that enforce a presumption against the...more

Construction Case Law Update - July 2015 #2

CGL Policies; Declaratory Judgments; Appeal of a Partial Final Judgment – A commercial general liability insurer and its insured sought declaratory relief over the question of insurance coverage and the duty to defend...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Erosion in Texas—Because Endorsements Are Transformative

In Amerisure Mut. Ins. Co. v. Arch Specialty Ins Co., No. 14-20239 (5th Cir. April 21, 2015), a case that applied Texas law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that the word “expenses,” as used in a...more

Duty to Cooperate Ruling Narrows Insurers’ Ability to Foreclose Coverage for Settled Class Action Claims

Insurance policies typically include a cooperation clause, which requires the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the defense of a covered claim. Insurers routinely use this clause as a sword against their insureds by...more

Are You Covered? The “Care, Custody, or Control” Exclusion

Spring weather systems, such as the storms that have recently produced significant flooding in Texas, frequently create the necessity for restoration and remediation work. In performing such restoration work, it may be...more

Texas Legislature Reins in Public Adjuster Conduct

Obvious to anyone in the insurance industry, Texas courts are experiencing an explosion of first-party property insurance lawsuits arising from wind and hail related insurance claims. Dozens of lawsuits are filed every day in...more

Perspectives on Insurance Recovery

Welcome to the latest edition of Pillsbury’s Perspectives on Insurance Recovery. As this 2015 edition of Perspectives demonstrates, our team is working on the most challenging issues—from cyber-insurance and complex claims...more

Obtaining Title Insurance on Construction Loans: Avoiding Pitfalls Regarding Title Insurance Underwriting for Construction Loans

Avoiding Pitfalls in Construction Mortgages: Top 5 Tips for Title Insurance Underwriting - Construction mortgages pose significant risks for title insurers and require specific underwriting analysis. Avoid the...more

New Jersey Developer Wins on “Occurrence” and “Property Damage”; Appellate Division finds Subcontractors’ Faulty Construction...

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, has issued a very important decision for real estate developers and general contractors whose insurance companies have reserved rights or denied coverage for damage caused...more

Nevada’s 78th Legislative Session Closes with Important Reforms for Business

On June 1, 2015, Nevada’s 78th Legislative Session came to a final close with critical reforms for Nevada’s businesses. Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Nevada Government Affairs team, Josh Hicks, Alisa Nave-Worth, Kandis...more

Massachusetts Appeals Court Adopts Two-Prong Continuity and Profit Motive Test to Determine Whether Business Pursuits Exclusion...

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has provided some much needed guidance on the “business pursuits exclusion” in a recent coverage dispute between a homeowners’ insurer and a commercial liability insurer. In Preferred Mutual...more

Equities Favor Subrogating Insurer Over Subcontractor That Performed Defective Work

In Valley Crest Landscape v. Mission Pools (No. G049060, filed 6/26/15, ord. pub. 7/2/15), a California appeals court held that equities favor an insurer seeking equitable subrogation over a subcontractor that agreed to...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Known Loss Language Inapplicable

n Kaady v. Mid-Continent Casualty Company, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10754 (9th Cir. June 25, 2015) the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, applying Oregon law, had opportunity to consider the meaning of the...more

Additional Insureds Beware: A Certificate of Insurance Does Not Guaranty Coverage

This is the first in a 2-part series on the use of certificates of insurance as evidence of liability coverage for contractors on construction projects. The second part of the series will discuss the potential impact of...more

“All-Risks” Insurance Policies Don’t Cover All the Risks

In a recent decision, Ledcor Construction Limited v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Company (Ledcor), the Alberta Court of Appeal (Court) gave guidance on the scope of defects exclusions in “all-risks” construction insurance...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Award of Counsel Fees to “Successful Claimant” in Coverage Dispute is Not Contingent Upon Award of...

On May 7, 2015, in Occhifinto v. Olivo Constr. Co., LLC, 2015 N.J. LEXIS 508 (2015), the Supreme Court of New Jersey considered whether a party who prevailed against an insurer in a declaratory judgment coverage but did not...more

Seventh Circuit Limits Construction Lender’s Use of Title Insurance Policy to Cover Construction Liens Created by Lender’s Cutoff...

In a recent decision written by Judge Sykes, affirming a decision from the Western District of Wisconsin, in an issue governed by Wisconsin law, the Seventh Circuit ruled that a title insurer has no duty to indemnify a...more

Conclusory Allegations Held Insufficient to Support Declaratory Relief on Right to Independent Counsel or Allocation of Defense...

Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (May 22, 2015) - In Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (No. E060057, filed 5/22/15), a California...more

In Overhead and Profit Class Actions, The Third Trade’s No Longer The Charm

When repairs to a damaged home reach a certain level of complexity, they call for supervision by a general contractor, who receives a percentage of the actual repair costs as “general contractor’s overhead and profit” or...more

Florida Appellate Court Rejects Bid to Curb Insureds’ Assignments to Contractors

Many property insurance policies contain terms that prohibit assignment, but Florida law has long deemed those terms inoperative once a loss has occurred. E.g., W. Fla. Grocery Co. v. Teutonia Fire Ins. Co., 74 Fla. 220...more

Construction Alert: Don't Overlook the Importance of Additional Insured Endorsements

Whether you are giving one to someone else or asking for one, you need to use additional insured endorsements (AIE) that give you as much protection as possible and that meet the promises you have made in your contracts. A...more

Eleventh Circuit Case Delivers Big Win for Contractors Seeking Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has issued an important opinion that is good for contractors making claims on general liability policies, and not so good for the insurers issuing those...more

Changes to Florida's Construction Defect Notice Statute

Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new bill that changes Florida's construction defect notice statute, effective October 1, 2015. Changes to the Florida statute include: (I) an amendment to section 558.001, revising...more

Looking Backward: West Virginia Retroactively Imposes Coverage for Faulty Workmanship

A notorious moving target in the field of coverage litigation is an insurer’s responsibility under a commercial general liability policy for the policyholder’s faulty workmanship. The key question is usually whether the...more

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