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Laminate Flooring and Chinese Drywall: Where Are We Now?

On March 1, 2015, television news magazine “60 Minutes” aired a report concluding that Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contained and “off-gassed” formaldehyde at levels exceeding health and...more

Third Circuit Holds That Terms of Insurance Policy Renewal 'Must be the Same or Nearly the Same as the Initial Contract'

Recently, in a case involving the interpretation of a Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy (the “Policy”), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that “for a contract to be considered a renewal, it...more

The UK’s PRA Assesses Climate Change Risks to the Insurance Industry

On September 29, 2015, the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”) issued a report analyzing the impact of climate change on the UK’s insurance sector. The report was based on survey responses from thirty...more

Texas Court: No Prejudice Required to Deny for Late Reporting Under a Claims-Made Policy

This summer in Nicholas Petroleum, Inc. v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2015 WL 4456185, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 7489 (Tex.App., Jul. 21, 2015), a Dallas panel of Texas’ intermediate level appellate court rejected policyholder...more

It’s Not Their Fault: New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal of Nuisance and Trespass Claims in Environmental Context

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently clarified the elements needed to sustain a claim for nuisance and trespass in the environmental context. Generally, plaintiffs assert claims under common law such as nuisance and...more

Corporate Insurance Trends 2015

Over the last 12 months, the insurance industry has seen speculation with respect to litigation funding regulation, resolutions of large class actions and consolidation in the form of acquisitions in the industry. There has...more

The Animas Spill: EPA Liability and Insurance Coverage

When a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally released three million gallons of contaminated mining work wastewater into the Animas River in August 2015, the EPA immediately took responsibility, as it...more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015 #2

Good News for Corporate Policyholders: Insurer Cannot Refuse Coverage Based on Insured's Assignment of Rights Under Policies After Loss Has Occurred - Why it matters: Reversing its holding in a 2003 case, the Supreme...more

Texas Says EPA Administrative Actions under CERCLA Trigger Duty to Defend

As any company facing EPA administrative action under CERCLA knows, the financial risk and defense costs associated with those proceedings can be the same as the risk and costs of an EPA lawsuit under CERCLA. But insurers...more

Fifth Circuit Holds Insurer Waived One-Year Reporting Requirement in Pollution Buy-Back Endorsement

In its recent decision in Cox Operating, L.L.C. v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13318 (5th Cir. July 30, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, applying Texas law, had...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2015 #2

California Court: Rejected Demand Within Policy Limits Not Necessary for Bad Faith Claim - Why it matters: Insurers must proceed with caution when they become aware that a settlement within policy limits is possible,...more

New York Court Enforces Voluntary Payment Provision

In its recent decision in SI Venture Holdings, LLC v. Catlin Specialty Insurance, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89925 (S.D.N.Y. July 10, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to...more

Texas Supreme Court Decides that PRP Letters Issued by the EPA Under CERCLA Constitute a “Suit”

In McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation v. The Phoenix Insurance Company, No. 14-0465, —S.W.3d— (Tex. June 26, 2015), a 5-4 majority of the Texas Supreme Court held that the undefined term “suit” in the standard-form...more

Texas Joins Majority of States Holding that EPA’s CERCLA Proceedings Constitute a 'Suit' under Standard-Form CGL Policies

In response to a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that proceedings conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Comprehensive...more

Oklahoma Holds Question of Whether Fracking Causes Earthquakes is for the Courts to Decide.

The issue of whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes has first-party insurance implications because policies typically exclude damage from tremors attributable to man-made causes as opposed to purely...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules that CERCLA PRP Letters and Enforcement Proceedings Are “Suits” Subject to the Duty to Defend Under...

On June 26, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court held that enforcement proceedings under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”)—including the issuance of a “PRP letter” notifying...more

Houston Flooding and Lawyers - A Climate Change Informed View

Occasionally we venture a posting on how lawyers’ business plans incorporate climate change. We have not been a hopeful cheerleader, primarily because our observations confirm that clients don’t hire climate change lawyers,...more

Energy Newsletter - April 2015

In This Issue: - Global Solar Energy – A Bright Future - Shared (Common) Facilities in LNG Projects - Hydropower Concessions – Long Awaited Reform - FERC's Order No. 807 Addresses Open Access And...more

Recent Decision Finds No Business Income Coverage Where Flood Caused Order of Civil Authority

When Super Storm Sandy struck the Northeast on October 29, 2012, states, cities, municipalities and towns up and down the East Coast ordered hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes and businesses. ...more

Vermont Supreme Court Rejects Traditional Environmental Harm Limitation for Pollution Exclusion

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Energy Wise Homes, Inc., 2015 VT 52 (Vt. Apr. 3, 2015), the Supreme Court of Vermont had occasion to consider whether a pollution exclusion is limited to...more

April Fool's Day Sees National Flood Insurance Rates Rise

So what day would you pick to have your flood insurance premium double? April Fool's Day? You got it. Well, that's a little hyperbolic. Rates aren't doubling instantaneously tomorrow. Instead they are rising...more

Order of Civil Authority Claim for Superstorm Sandy Barred by Flooding Exclusion in New York

On Thursday of law week, a federal court in New York City tossed an Order of Civil Authority (OCA) claim by a New York City law firm in Bamundo, Zwal & Schermerhorn, LLP v. Sentinel Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39409...more

USGS’s Increase of Texas’s Earthquake Risk Level: Commercial Real Estate and Insurance Implications

Before 2008, the greater Dallas Fort Worth area, known as the Fort Worth Basin, was almost entirely void of seismic activity. Between 1950 and 2008, the only seismic activity on record was an insignificant event that experts...more

NC Legislative Update

This Week - Freshman legislators finally got some insight into what to expect throughout the session, with their first full week of activity. The week was fast paced, with long days, as lawmakers acted upon a number of...more

Insurance is Big in Texas: In Deepwater Horizon Case, Texas Stretches a Policy’s Four Corners to Include Other Contracts

Last month, in In re Deepwater Horizon, Relator, the Supreme Court of Texas applied a fundamental principle of insurance law to a case with enormous financial implications. The owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had...more

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