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Mississippi Court Rejects Expansive Reading of Oral Construction Contracts

In McKean, et. al. v. Yates Engineering, 2015 Miss. App. LEXIS 446 (2015), the Court of Appeals of Mississippi affirmed the Circuit Court’s dismissal of four (4) plaintiffs’ personal injury claims stemming from the collapse...more

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… uh oh… a Super Lien!

Liability insurers have always gnashed teeth over the dreaded “super lien” – aka a lien asserted by Medicare for treatment expenses where the patient is reimbursed through a settlement obtained in personal injury litigation....more

Commercial landlords: Time to tune up your indemnity provisions

The California Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion which reminds us to take another look at the “boilerplate” indemnity provisions in commercial leases. In Morlin Asset Management LP v. Murachanian (B259800), a...more

Assignment v. Subrogation — Prosecuting Recovery Actions Arising from Personal Injury Claims

It is common in most jurisdictions that personal injury claims cannot be assigned. This can occasionally present a concern when an insurance carrier attempts to bring a contribution action against a third-party tortfeasor...more

11th Circuit Holds Insurer Not Entitled to Summary Judgment in Bad Faith Claim

In its recent decision in Hinson v. Titan Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14474 (11th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, had occasion to consider how diligent an insurer must act...more

When a Policy Limits Offer is Not Enough: A Cautionary Tale of a Failure to Settle Case

In a recent unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeals upheld a $3 million judgment against an auto liability insurer that rejected proposed language in a settlement agreement, notwithstanding the insurer’s policy...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Insurer Is Entitled To Subrogation Despite Fact That Insured Was Not “Made Whole”

In Dufour v. Progressive Classic Ins. Co., 2016 WI 59 (Wis. 2016), Dairyland Insurance Company’s insured sustained physical injuries and damage to his vehicle following an automobile accident with an underinsured tortfeasor....more

Subrogation recovery did not violate the made-whole-rule and was not in bad faith per Wisconsin Sup. Ct.

It is highly unusual to find an insurance bad faith case which stems from an insurance company’s subrogation recovery. On July 6th, Wisconsin’s highest court had such a case, reversing the appellate court and holding that...more

Not Seeing Double: In Reversal, New York Court Holds That Third-Party Liability Payments May Not Offset UIM Benefits

In New York, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage “does not function … to fully compensate … insureds for their injuries.” Weiss v. Tri-State Consumer Ins. Co., 98 A.D.3d 1107, 951 N.Y.S.2d 191 (2d Dep’t 2012). UIM...more

Defence & Indemnity - June 2016: II. LIABILITY ISSUES #3

Both the legal/registered owner and lessor and the beneficial owner and lessor of a vehicle are vicariously liable for the lessee’s vehicular negligence but only to the liability cap for lessors. Graham (Litigation...more

Defence & Indemnity - June 2016: I. INSURANCE ISSUES

A. Where a party pleads equitable relief (such as rescission, estoppel or relief from forfeiture) with respect to an insurance policy, the claim cannot be heard by a jury Maynard v. Alberta Motor Assn., 2015 ABQB 564,...more

Nevada Adopts Cumis Counsel Requirement – Who’s Next?

In September 2015, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a decision in State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 74, which held that Nevada law requires an insurer to provide independent Cumis counsel when there...more

Eighth Circuit to insurers: Settlement evaluation must constantly adapt to litigation developments

A recent decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit taught an insurer a costly lesson about trying to avoid extra-contractual liability: Insurers must constantly reevaluate their settlement position throughout...more

Colorado Supreme Court Limits Use of Extrinsic Evidence and Reasonable Expectations Doctrine

On Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its decision in American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, No. 14SC99 (Colo. June 20, 2016), holding that extrinsic evidence can only be used to interpret ambiguous policy language,...more

New York Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Love Canal Claims

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Roy’s Plumbing, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75958 (W.D.N.Y. June 10, 2016), the United States District Court for the Western District of New York had occasion to consider...more

The Duty to Follow-up Part II: When The Underlying Litigation Changes

Last month, we discussed the duty to follow-up in the context of an offer to settle made by a tort claimant and how neglect of that duty cost an insurer dearly by converting a claim that could have been settled for $25,000...more

The Duty to Follow-up: How A $25,000 Offer To Settle Turns Into A $7 Million Loss

In many states, an insurer not only has a duty to timely communicate with its insured and respond to demands for settlement by a claimant asserting a claim regarding the adjustment of a loss, that duty may also include the...more

Vanishing premiums part deux?

Those of you with gray hair like me may recall the life insurance vanishing premium lawsuits from the mid-1990s. As a refresher, that flood of lawsuits arose from life insurance policies sold in the 80s (mainly whole or...more

New York’s Highest Court Issues a Noteworthy Decision, Rejecting “Pro Rata” Allocation in the Asbestos Bodily-Injury Context

On May 3, the New York Court of Appeals unanimously held that an “all-sums” method of allocation should be used to apportion liability among excess insurers based on the policy language at issue in the case. Contrary to...more

Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: II. LIABILITY ISSUES

Where an owner consents to possession of a vehicle to the driver, conditions on that consent do not bind third parties who are injured or suffer loss. Fernandes v. Araujo, 2015 ONCA 571 [4179]...more

In An Accident? Don’t Be Caught Unaware | Auto Accident Attorney

As an auto accident attorney I have noticed that with the New Year, several auto insurance companies began recycling a tactic to deprive accident victims of the fair compensation to which they are entitled. This has been used...more

Illinois Federal Court Transfers “Late Notice” Reinsurance Dispute To Pennsylvania

R&Q Reinsurance Company issued a facultative reinsurance certificate to St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, which reinsured a policy issued by St. Paul to Walter E. Campbell, Co. The broker who placed the certificate...more

Do You Have to Use the Insurance Company’s Preferred Body Shops?

If a vehicle is repairable after an auto accident, it will be necessary to take it to a body shop for a repair estimate. The insurance company that’s handling the accident claim may suggest their preferred body shops for...more

NY High Court’s ‘All Sums’ Allocation Ruling in Viking Pump is a Game Changer

On May 3, 2016, New York’s high court took a giant step forward in protecting policyholders facing latent injury claims, allowing them to avoid multiple deductibles, retentions and insolvent coverage. In the Matter of Viking...more

New York’s Highest Court Rules in Favor of “All Sums” and Vertical Attachment in Certified Question from Delaware Supreme Court

In the recent decision of Viking Pump, Inc., et al. v. TIG Insurance Co., et al., 2016 N.Y. LEXIS 1018 (N.Y. May 3, 2016), the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court), on questions certified by the Delaware...more

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