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Duty to Defend Only Triggered Where Subject Activities Are Specified in the Policy - Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Gum Tree...

Finding that the specific allegations made in a plaintiff’s civil petition filed against an insurance policy holder did not meet the specifications of the insured’s policy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit...more

Florida High Court Rules that Exculpatory Clauses Need Not Reference Negligence to Bar Negligence Claims

On February 12, 2015, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Sanislo v. Give Kids the World, Inc., 98 So. 3d 759 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012) and held that an exculpatory clause was...more

Texas Court Upholds Engineer’s Tort Duty to Third Parties

The Texas appellate decision recently confirmed that state’s general rules regarding the outer limits of common law tort liability arising from alleged construction defects. USA Walnut Creek, DST v. Terracon Consultants,...more

Zachry Construction Corp.: The End to Indemnity for Exemplary Damages?

In August 2014, the Texas Supreme Court decided Zachry Construction Corp. v. Port of Houston Authority of Harris County, 2014 WL 4472616 (Tex.). While the case involves construction issues—and specifically the enforceability...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds “Fairly Debatable” Standard for Establishing Insurer Bad Faith for Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In a pair of recent decisions addressing first-party claims for uninsured motorist coverage , Wadeer v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Co., A-48-12, 2015 N.J. Lexis 132 (N.J. Sup. Ct. Feb. 28, 2015) and Badiali v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Group,...more

Cancellation and Delay Waive Right to Later Rescind Ab Initio

In DuBeck v. Cal. Physicians' Service (No. B250129, filed 3/5/15), a California appeals court held that Blue Shield’s initial decision to cancel a healthcare policy for application misrepresentations constituted a waiver of...more

Court Finds Potential for Personal Umbrella Coverage of Sexual Assault Not Covered by Underlying Homeowners Policy

In Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. H039368, filed 2/5/15), a California appeals court ruled that a personal umbrella policy's broader coverage gave rise to a duty to defend sexual molestation allegations that were...more

Warning to NY litigators - What privilege attaches to pre-litigation attorney statements? NY appeals court answers: qualified

New York law has long recognized that attorneys who make defamatory statements in connection with an existing litigation enjoy an absolute privilege against claims for libel and slander. Whether such a privilege extends to...more

Release of Liability of Company’s Own Ordinary Negligence Valid

In Grebing v. 24 Hour (filed 1/29/15, Case No. B255866), the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, upheld the validity of 24 Hour's release of liability for its own negligence and further affirmed that 24...more

Western District of Washington: No Bad Faith Where Insurer Refuses to Provide a Defense Where Facts Confirmed Insured’s Actions...

Wargacki v. W. Nat’l Assurance Co., No. C13-5373RBL, 2015 WL 74111 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 6, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington grants summary judgment to an insurer ruling that the insurer...more

Bank of Delmarva v. South Shore Ventures, LLC, Del. Super., C.A. No. S13C-05-008 THG (Oct. 21, 2014)

The Superior Court granted the Bank of Delmarva’s (“Bank”) motion for summary judgment as to each of Defendant John E. O’Brien’s (“Defendant”) counterclaims. In 2005, Defendant along with South Shore Ventures, LLC (“Shore”)...more

Texas Supreme Court Orders and Opinions (2/15)

Today, the Supreme Court of Texas issued opinions in two argued cases. The Court did not grant any new petitions or set any mandamus petitions for argument. ...more

And the Lawsuit Goes to . . . An Oscar-Time Guide to “Best Picture” Intellectual Property Litigation

The film that wins the Best Picture Oscar this year is certain to attract more viewers and more box office receipts than it had before receiving the award. But Best Picture winners also tend to attract more lawsuits,...more

Eleventh Circuit: Summary Judgment For Insurer Improper Where Fact Question Remained About Whether Insurer Acted In Bad Faith By...

Geico Gen. Ins. Co. v. Gould, No. 14-10913, 2014 WL 7013971 (11th Cir. Dec. 15, 2014) (per curium). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment for an insurance company. It...more

Supreme Court of Missouri Reverses Grant of Summary Judgment for Primary Insurer on Insured’s and Excess Insurer’s Bad Faith...

Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Addison Ins. Co., No. SC 93792 (Mo. Dec. 9, 2014). Supreme Court of Missouri rules in an en banc decision that neither an excess judgment nor a failure to pay policy limits are essential elements...more

Not Worth The Paper It's Printed On? Strategies For Dealing With The Fraud Exception To The Parol Evidence Rule

This article explores possible measures that parties to commercial transactions and their attorneys can take to help ensure greater contract certainty when fraud claims of one type or another are not barred by the parol...more

If You Post It, Your Opponent Can Probably Discover It

In March we ran a post on how important videos, photographs, and statements on social media sites can be when investigating a property loss. A picture is literally worth a thousand words. Earlier this month, a Florida court...more

Oregon Court of Appeals Clarifies Application of Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose in Connection with Construction...

In Riverview Condo, Ass’n v. Cypress Ventures, Inc., 266 Ore. App. 574 (Or. Ct. App. 2014), the Oregon Court of Appeals clarified application of the statute of repose and statute of limitations in the context of a suit...more

High Court to clarify proportionate liability

Many readers will be aware of the Full Federal Court decisions of Wealthsure Pty Ltd v Selig [2014] FCAFC 64 and ABN AMRO Bank NV v Bathurst Regional Council [2014] FCAFC 65, which are in conflict as to how proportionate...more

Pennsylvania Nursing Home That Failed To Sign Arbitration Agreement Cannot Seek to Enforce the Agreement

On January 15, 2015, the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Bair v. Manor Care of Elizabethtown, PA, LLC 2015 Pa. Super. 9 (2015) ruled that a nursing home arbitration agreement was not enforceable when the facility did not sign...more

Indemnification by Insurance Precluded under Wyoming Anti-indemnity Statute in Oil & Gas Personal Injury Coverage Dispute

On December 19, 2014, the Federal District Court in Wyoming issued a decision in Lexington Insurance Company v. Precision Drilling Co., LP, et al. , D. Wyo., Case No. 12-cv-070-J, extending the reach of the anti-indemnity...more

California Expands the Duty of Professional Consultants

Professional consultants and sub-consultants provide essential services to a Project during its planning, design, construction, and acceptance. In some jurisdictions, they enjoy protections from liability for “economic...more

LITIGATION ALERT: The Motor Carrier Act/MCS-90 Endorsement Duty to Defend When No Coverage Exists?

Under the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 ("the Act"), no motor carrier shall operate a motor vehicle unless the carrier has obtained minimum levels of financial responsibility through insurance or other forms for bodily injury or...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Formally Adopts “Gist of the Action” Doctrine

Pennsylvania’s “gist of the action” doctrine prohibits plaintiffs from pursuing tort claims for what are, in actuality, breach of contract claims. A variety of defendants, including those in the financial services industry,...more

CA Supreme Court: New Duties for Businesses Regarding Having Defibrillators on-site; and Whether Anti-Discrimination Statutes Also...

California Rule of Court 8.548 permits the Ninth Circuit to certify questions of California state law to the California Supreme Court. On average, this happens a handful of times per year. Over the past five years, the...more

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