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Homeowners' Associations Could Face Liability for Bear Attacks

It is sometimes said that law is what separates humans from wild animals. While humans have been developing laws since the Code of Hammurabi, they have also been developing land, so much so that both commercial and...more

Georgia Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Lead Paint Injury

In its recent decision in Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith, 2016 Ga. LEXIS 245 (Ga. Mar. 21, 2016), the Supreme Court of Georgia had occasion to consider whether under Georgia law, the pollution exclusion applies to...more

After Pit Bull Case, Questions Dog New York’s “Unfortunate Event” Test

Where an insurance policy contains a “per occurrence” limit on coverage, New York courts apply what they call the “unfortunate event” test to determine how many “occurrences” are involved in a given claim or set of claims. ...more

Negligence – Premises Liability – Property Owner Not Liable For Painter’s Accident – No Evidence of Negligence by the Property...

Tomas Vebr v. Gary A. Culp et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (October 28, 2015) - Workers’ compensation insurance is required for issuance of a contractor’s license in California pursuant to...more

What If We Have Too Much Water: El Niño and Flood Damages

If recent weather forecasts hold true, we can expect an El Nino this rainy season. And with an El Nino comes flooding and related litigation. As counter-intuitive as it may be during this drought, it makes sense for...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Property Damage Directly Caused By Fire

In Stankova v. Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8935 (9th Cir. May 29, 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Arizona law, had the opportunity to address the concept of...more

Court Holds That Trimming of Neighbor’s Trees is Not an Insured Accident or Occurrence

In Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Co. (No. B257792, filed 4/28/15, ord. pub. 5/20/15), a California Court of Appeal held that an insured’s trimming of a neighbor’s trees which allegedly damaged the trees was not an accident...more

Insurance – Duty to Defend

Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (March 4, 2015) - Typically, claims of sexual assault or claims related to sexual assault are not covered under a standard...more

Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling...more

California Court of Appeal Limits Scope of Agent's Immunity Rule Based on "Special Relationship" Between Insurers and Insureds

On April 2, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, published an opinion that limits the scope of the agent’s immunity rule insofar as it applies to employees of insurers involved in investigating...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

Designers, Contractors and Insurers Take Note: Recent Amendment to IL Statute of Repose Strips Asbestos Defense, Exposes Decades...

On December 19, 2014 the Illinois legislature amended the Illinois construction statute of repose to eliminate its protection in asbestos exposure cases (Public Act 098-1131). Beginning June 1, 2015, design professionals and...more

New York Court of Appeals Holds Non-Cumulation Clauses Applicable to Lead Paint Claims

In its recent decision in Nesmith v Allstate Ins. Co., 2014 NY Slip Op 08217 (N.Y. Nov. 27, 2014), the New York Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – had occasion to revisit the application of “non-cumulation” clauses...more

A Unilateral Scrivener’s Error Can Reflect a Mutual Mistake Requiring Policy Reformation (or, Don’t Expect $20 Million in...

October 29 marked the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s assault on New York and New Jersey. Although the insurance litigation arising from this storm is just beginning, we have already seen a number of decisions out...more

Tennessee Insurance Legal News: Volume 3, Number 3

Declaratory Judgment Action Interpreting the "Land Motorized Vehicle" Exclusion - In Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Simmons, No. E2013-01419-COA-R30-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 15, 2014), the Tennessee Court of...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

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

First Circuit Addresses Definition of “You” in Liability Policy

In its recent decision in Metropolitan Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. McCarthy, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10622 (1st Cir. June 5, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, applying Maine law, had occasion to...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18961 - Robbins v. Physicians for Women's Health, LLC - The plaintiff filed this medical malpractice against a hospital, the doctor, the midwife, and the company (“PWH”) that bought the assets of the hospital after...more

Insurance Recovery Law

Suit Alleging Drug Distributor Was a “Pill Mill” Requires Defense - Why it matters: A Kentucky federal court held that the claimed impact in a suit brought by the West Virginia Attorney General – alleging that...more

Storing Heating Oil In Residential Tank Is Not An Abnormally Dangerous Activity In New Jersey

The Appellate Division recent held that the storage of home heating oil in an underground storage tank is not an abnormally dangerous activity. In Ross v. Lowitz, the plaintiffs, John and Pamela Ross, owned property that was...more

Weekly Law Resume - October 2013: Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Cumis Counsel

Swanson v. State Farm General Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, Second District (September 23, 2013) - When an insurer reserves its rights on a given issue, and the outcome of that coverage issue can be...more

New York Court of Appeals: Vandalism Coverage under “Named Peril” Property Policy Can Apply Even When Malicious Act Is Not...

In a case with broad implications for property owners near construction sites (Georgitsi Realty, LLC v. Penn-Star Insurance Company, No. 156, October 17, 2013), the New York Court of Appeals has opened the door to broad...more

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