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Seventh Circuit Issues Stern Warning For Insurers That Reject Their Duty to Defend

The first line of the Seventh Circuit’s opinion says it all: “This case provides a warning for insurance companies who refuse to defend their insureds.” As the court’s admonishment suggests, insurers that improperly refuse to...more

California Supreme Court Reverses Prior Ruling On Anti-Assignment Clauses

In Fluor Corporation v. The Superior Court of Orange County (Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., real party in interest), 2015 Cal. LEXIS 5631 (Aug. 20, 2015), the California Supreme Court determined that California Insurance...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Making The California Assumption Of Risk Doctrine Work For You

The doctrine of assumption of risk is a legal defense that may operate to relieve a California owner or occupier of and from liability to third parties who are injured on their premises. One species of the doctrine, primary...more

CA Supreme Court Finds “Consent-to-Assignment” Clauses Unenforceable After Loss Occurs During the Policy Period

In Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (No. S205889; filed 8/20/15), the California Supreme Court overruled its earlier decision in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 934, holding that...more

California Statute Trumps Anti-Assignment Clauses in Liability Insurance Policies

In a unanimous decision that will have a serious impact on long-tail exposures, the California Supreme Court in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court (Hartford Acc. & Indem.) has determined that policyholders may transfer liability...more

California Supreme Court Limits Enforceability of Anti-Assignment Clauses

In a unanimous decision handed down by the California Supreme Court on August 20, 2015 in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court, the court removed a significant obstacle facing companies that want to assign their interests in a...more

One Business Day Delay In Delivering Settlement Check Costs Insurer $1.1 Million

A South Carolina federal district court judge has ordered that Nationwide must pay an accident victim $1.1 million, in excess of the $50,000 Nationwide policy, as a result of Nationwide’s failure to timely respond to a...more

Federal District Court: “Browsewrap” Terms and Conditions Provide Sufficient Notice to Defeat False Advertising Class Action

Websites sometimes present their terms of use (“TOU”) to users merely by including a link to those TOU on the website without requiring users to affirmatively accept the terms by, for example, checking a box or clicking an “I...more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015

Insured's Notice to Broker Satisfied Policy Requirements, Illinois Court Rules - Why it matters: An insured's notice to its broker satisfied the policy's notice requirements, an Illinois appellate panel recently...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - July 2015

Eighth Circuit: No Bad Faith Where Insured Failed to Make a Sufficient Demand and Insurer Refused to Entertain Settlement Offer Prior to Completing Investigation - Purscell v. Tico Ins. Co., No. 13-2362, 2015 WL 3855253...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

Tenth Circuit: Legal Characterization of Facts in Underlying Complaint Insufficient to Trigger the Duty to Defend

On July 30, 2015, the Tenth Circuit affirmed that an insurer that issued a commercial general liability policy with an auto exclusion for bodily injury arising out of the loading and unloading of an auto did not have a duty...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Predicts That Pennsylvania Supreme Court Would Prevent an Insured from Recovering Punitive Damages...

Wolfe v. Allstate Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 12-4450, 2015 WL 3634779 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals holds that evidence of punitive damages award against insured in underlying suit was not...more

Cheatin’ Ain’t Easy: Potential Theories of Liability Emerge for Online Cheating Website Ashley Madison

Ashley Madison, a dating website specifically geared towards married individuals looking to have an affair, recently found out it was the victim of cyber hackers who claim to have stolen personal information, including names...more

Eighth Circuit: No Bad Faith Where Insured Failed to Make a Sufficient Demand and Insurer Refused to Entertain Settlement Offer...

Purscell v. Tico Ins. Co., No. 13-2362, 2015 WL 3855253 (8th Cir. June 22, 2015). Court holds it was not bad faith for insurer to pursue investigation into underlying lawsuit before considering settlement...more

Without So Much as a Fig Leaf . . .

Legal commentators and court watchers rightly complain about activist judges who make laws rather than interpret them. Last month’s decision in the The Babcock & Wilcox Co. et al. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., is...more

Shipper Liability (If Any) to Carriers’ Drivers for Allegedly Improperly Loaded Freight

In most of the situations of injury and damage that are a result of allegedly improperly loaded freight, the damage is to third parties, who fall victim to freight careening from trucks on public highways, or falling off, or...more

Critical Regulations and Libel Suit Raise Adverse Publicity Coverage Issues

Brand is everything! The ability and opportunities to extend a brand’s reach are vast, with the smallest companies able to brand globally. Equally important is protecting an established brand. Competitors and consumers can...more

Ninth Circuit Revives Tort Claims Initially Dismissed Under Economic Loss Doctrine Where Product Caused Damage to “Other Property”

On June 29, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in CHMM LLC v. Freeman Marine Equipment, Case No. 13-35163 (D.C. No. 3:12-cv-01484-ST), reversed the District Court’s judgment in an admiralty case, holding that a vessel...more

Read Before Signing: Court Finds Fact-Intensive Gross Negligence Claims Should Proceed to Jury, Where Deviation from Industry...

In Jimenez, et al. v. 24 Hour Fitness, USA, Inc. (filed June 9, 2015, No. C071959), California’s Third Appellate District held that where fact-intensive gross negligence claims exist, especially with evidence of potential...more

Eastern District of Pa. Again Recognizes Montreal Convention Exclusively Governs Claims

Action Item: Until there is appellate resolution of the preemptive effect of the Montreal Convention, airlines sued in state court over damages allegedly arising during the course of international transportation should...more

Insurance May Cover Call Recording Class Actions

Companies often monitor or record conversations between their employees and customers for training or quality control purposes. California law prohibits monitoring or recording unless both parties consent. Class actions have...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Affirms No Coverage under CGL Policy for Damages Arising from Lost Computer Tapes

The Supreme Court of Connecticut recently affirmed the lower court’s finding that no coverage obligation exists for insurers in Recall Total Info. Mgmt. v. Fed. Ins. Co., 2015 Conn. LEXIS 150 (Conn. May 26,...more

California Court Addresses Products-Completed Operations Hazard

In its recent decision in Atlantic Cas. Ins. Co. v. LTA Distributor, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70462 (S.D. Fla. June 1, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida had occasion to consider...more

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