Personal Injury Insurance

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Is There a Duty to Defend Pollution Claims? It’s the Complaint, Stupid

This Spring, cases from Florida and Wisconsin reaffirmed the general proposition that a liability insurer’s duty to defend must be determined from the specific claims in the underlying complaint against the insured, and not...more

7th Circuit Holds Excess Insurer Has No Duty to Indemnify Punitive Damages

In its recent decision in Fox v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12799 (7th. Cir. July 7, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, applying Illinois law, had occasion to consider...more

Peeking Around Four Corners: Wisconsin Insurers Have Found a Way to Use Extrinsic Evidence to Excuse the Defense of Pending Claims

It is a truism that a liability insurer’s duty to defend is extremely broad—especially in states that apply the “four corners rule.” Under that rule, the insurer has a duty to defend whenever the underlying complaint alleges...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - August 2014

In This Issue: - Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute - District of South Dakota: Denying a Claim for Reasons Known to be False is Not a Reasonable Basis to Deny...more

Winning Isn’t Everything: Insurer’s Arbitration Success Does Not Prevent Claim for Bad Faith Failure to Settle

After he was rear-ended by a driver without insurance, the plaintiff in Maslo v. Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance, No. B249271 (Cal. App. Ct. June 27, 2014) incurred $64,000 in medical expenses, but he filed a claim with his...more

Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd – more claims against building practitioners?

On 6 August 2014, the Victorian Court of Appeal handed its decision in Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd [2014] VSCA 165. The decision clarified the operation of limitation periods in...more

Ask the Public Adjustor: Covering Life with Wisdom*

In December 2010, after sharing a few drinks with his classmates, Josh began driving a dump truck that didn’t belong to him. The police of Stow, Ohio, asked Josh to pull over, but he led them on a 50-mile chase at speeds up...more

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

City May Be Liable for Damage to Home Caused by Falling Tree in Inverse Condemnation and Nuisance

During a windstorm, a tree owned by the City of Pasadena fell on Mr. O’Halloran’s residence, causing damage to his home. Mercury Casualty Company paid Mr. O’Halloran for the damage pursuant to his homeowner’s insurance...more

“California’s Right To Repair Act Is Not A Homeowner’s Exclusive Remedy When Construction Defects Cause Actual Property Damage.”

The California Court of Appeals recently issued two decisions holding that California’s Right to Repair Act (“SB 800”) is not the exclusive remedy for a homeowner seeking damages for construction defects that have also...more

If A Tree Falls In The City, Is It Serving A Public Purpose?

Today’s posting has nothing to do with corporate law and everything to do with trees. On November 30 and December 1, 2011, the City of Pasadena experienced an unusually violent windstorm. Wind speeds in excess of 100 miles...more

Bill Introduced to Congress Which Establishes National Hiring Standards for Motor Carriers

The recent introduction of H.R. 4727 in the House of Representatives marks the first step toward insulating freight brokers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) from claims by plaintiffs who seek an alternate source for...more

Connecticut Court Holds Negligence Misrepresentation Claim Does Not Trigger Defense

In its recent decision in Pa. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Thakur, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110251 (D. Conn. Aug. 11, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut had occasion to consider whether a claim for...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

So----You Want to Sue Your Relative?

Barry Goldberg, is asked from time to time whether it is possible to sue a relative and obtain a recovery. While there are definitely times when we would all like to sue one of our relatives, you should be aware that...more

West Virginia Upholds Disclaimer Based on Liquor Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Essex Ins. Co. v. Napple’s Bullpen, LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97186 (N.D. W.Va. July 17, 2014), the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia had occasion to consider...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

Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers Succeed in Divisional Court Catastrophic Impairment Case

Last week, the Divisional Court released its decision in Security National v. Hodges, 2014 ONSC 3627. This was a judicial review of a Financial Services Commission of Ontario Director’s Delegate decision. The...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

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

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