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The Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Not Be That “Absolute”

The Absolute Pollution Exclusion (“APE”) contained in current general liability insurance policies excludes coverage for costs related to the cleanup of environmental pollution. Insurance companies have taken the position...more

Louisiana’s Direct Action Statute Does Not Modify Terms of Coverage

“Direct action” statutes permit an injured plaintiff to sue an insurer for coverage under someone else’s policy — the liability insurance policy of the tortfeasor who caused the injury. They have been enacted in only a...more

District of South Dakota: Denying a Claim for Reasons Known to be False is Not a Reasonable Basis to Deny a Claim

Lewison v. W. Nat’l Mut. Ins. Co., Civ. No. 13-4031-KES, 2014 WL 3573403 (D.S.D. July 21, 2014). The District of South Dakota grants in part and denies in part an insurer’s motion for summary judgment on two...more

Vermont: There is No Cause of Action for Negligence in Adjusting a Property Loss

Last week, the Vermont Supreme Court firmly rejected the notion that an insured can bring a cognizable claim for negligence against his or her carrier in connection with the inspection and handling of a first-party property...more

West Virginia High Court Examines Number Of Occurrences Under Liability Insurance Policy

This year, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued an important decision concerning whether a carbon monoxide leak is a single or multiple occurrence under a liability insurance policy. Kosnoski, et al. v....more

Insurers Be Warned, Your Communications Are Discoverable

Insurers and reinsurers regularly communicate regarding matters they view as confidential. These communications often relate to claims, both routine and litigated, by the underlying insureds. Insureds, in turn, seek discovery...more

Georgia Supreme Court: Business Judgment Rule Valid, But Bank Officers Can Still Be Liable

In the context of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) litigation against the former directors and officers of a failed bank, the Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the business judgment rule in the...more

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law Alien Tort Case Developments: Fourth and Eleventh Circuits Apply Kiobel’s “Touch and...

In the last month, two federal appellate courts have issued decisions in cases filed against U.S.-based corporations pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”). Both courts applied the “touch and concern” standard established...more

Alabama Supreme Court Reverses Course, Finds Insurance Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Claims

Companies such as homebuilders, construction companies and contractors face significant financial risk from bodily injury and property damage claims arising from allegedly faulty workmanship or construction defects. Although...more

Washington Insurance Law 2014 Mid-Year Update

During the first six months of 2014, Washington judges issued several notable insurance-related decisions. Some of those decisions were favorable to insurers and could benefit insurers in future insurance claims and lawsuits...more

Milliken v. Jacono: Home Seller not Required to Disclose Murder/Suicide

In a unanimous decision handed down July 21, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that psychological stigma is not a material defect of real estate which sellers must disclose to buyers. The Court held that the...more

District Court Dismisses Skydiver’s Action Against Aircraft Liability Insurer Based on Jumper Exclusion

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia - In McGirk v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds’s, -- F. Supp. 2d --, 2014 WL 690684 (W.D.Va. Feb. 21, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia...more

No Coverage Under Aviation Policies Where Product Was Not Used in Connection With Aircraft or Aviation Operations

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division - A New Jersey appellate court affirmed an order granting summary judgment, stating that the insurer owed no duty to defend or indemnify its insured in a personal injury...more

FDIC v. Loudermilk, et al.—Georgia’s Business Judgment Rule (and Its Limitations)

On July 11, 2014, the Georgia Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in FDIC v. Loudermilk, addressing squarely the extent to which Georgia’s business judgment rule shields bank directors and officers from...more

Community Colleges Not Subject to UTPCPL

It only stands to reason, yet it took almost 12 years and repeated appeals for the final determination by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Meyer v. Community College of Beaver County, No. 22 WAP 2012, 2014 Pa. LEXIS 1524...more

Disclaimer Requirement of N.Y. Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) Held Not to Apply to Property Damage Claims

The New York Court of Appeals recently confirmed that the heightened timeliness of disclaimer requirement in New York Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) does not apply to claims arising from property damage, in KeySpan Gas East Corp....more

Georgia Supreme Court Affirms Business Judgment Rule

The Georgia Supreme Court has, for the first time, affirmed the existence of the business judgment rule in Georgia common law. More specifically, however, the state Supreme Court held that the business judgment rule does not...more

Eighth Circuit Rules Multiple Drowning Constitutes One Occurrence

In its recent decision in Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. AXIS Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13176 (8th Cir. July 11, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, had occasion...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

Aviation Flyer - Summer 2014

In This Issue: - Forum Non Conveniens - A Defendant’s Initial Impulse Could Be The Riskiest - Providing Information To Expert Witnesses: A Quick Guide To The Proper Procedures And Potential Pitfalls -...more

Court Confirms Bank Can Be Held Liable for Conduct and Representations Occurring During Loan Modification Process

A California Court of Appeal recently held that a defaulting mortgagee can assert claims for breach of contract, wrongful foreclosure, unfair business practices and negligent misrepresentation against the foreclosing bank...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Texas Supreme Court Unanimously Blocks Contractors' Economic Loss Tort Claims Against Designers

Texas contractors have long tried to directly sue their owners’ professional design firms -- rarely with success -- when faulty plans cause economic losses such as increased costs from delays and disruptions. A few cases in...more

Retailers NOT Required to Maintain AEDs

On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court announced that retailers are not obligated to maintain automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in anticipation of medical emergencies. In Verdugo v. Target Corporation, the...more

Signatories And Non-Signatories Denied Motions To Compel Arbitration

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and a federal district court in Michigan have each issued opinions on motions to compel arbitration. In the Michigan opinion, the court granted a motion for summary judgment, in favor of the...more

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