Ambiguous

News & Analysis as of

2016 Summer Review: M&A legal developments

We set out below a number of interesting English court decisions which have taken place and their impact on M&A transactions. This review looks at these developments and gives practical guidance on their implications....more

Indiana Court Concludes Broad Pollution Exclusion Is Ambiguous

In its recent decision in Old Republic Ins. Co. v. Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96361 (N.D. Ind. July 25, 2016), the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana had...more

Contra Proferentem Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Against the Insurer’

Despite best efforts, ambiguities are inevitable in contracts. The doctrine of contra proferentem shifts the risk of ambiguity to the party that drafted the contract. The doctrine is frequently applied against insurers where...more

Is Anyone Home? Washington Supreme Court Interprets Two-Step Vacancy Endorsement

Disputes involving “vacancy” exclusions typically involve the appropriate definition of that word. The recently-decided case of Lui v. Essex Ins. Co., 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692 (Wash. June 9, 2016) presents a somewhat different...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

Contractual interpretation disputes from the Trustee's perspective: The saga continues

In the first four months of 2016 three more judgments relating to issues of contractual interpretation of provisions contained in documents of securitisation transactions (all three of them for legacy CMBS deals) and...more

What You Say in Your SPD About Claims Processing Makes a Difference

Employers who self fund their medical plans often have contracts with their third party administrators about claims processing. Some of those contracts provide that the claims processor has discretion to decide claims; others...more

A Troubling Decision for Employment Arbitration Agreements with Potentially Ambiguous Language and What it Means for Employers...

On April 5, 2016, in a rare rebuke of an employment arbitration agreement by a federal court, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Hon. Madeline Cox Arleo, U.S.D.J.) held that it would not compel...more

Highest EU court strikes down vague and ambiguous information requests

Statement of reasons was excessively vague in light of the extent of information requested and the advanced investigation stage. Introduction - On 10 March 2016, the European Court of Justice issued a landmark...more

Circuit Court Rules that Ambiguous Regulatory Requirements Cannot Give Rise to FCA Liability

A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit evaluated whether a regulatory requirement was sufficiently ambiguous that it precluded a finding of liability under the False...more

Defence & Indemnity - February 2016: Insurance Issues: Portage LaPrairie Mutual Insurance Company v. Sabean, 2015 NSCA 53, per...

Future CPP benefits fall under the definition of “any policy of insurance” and are therefore deductible from amounts payable by SEF 44 insurers - Portage LaPrairie Mutual Insurance Company v. Sabean, 2015 NSCA 53, per...more

Louisiana Court Enforces Allocation Provision In D&O Policy

In its recent decision in Housing Authority of New Orleans v. Landmark Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24419 (E.D. La. Feb. 29, 2016), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana had opportunity to...more

Seventh Circuit Holds Certificate Of Insurance Issued Post-Accident Satisfies Ambiguous Additional Insured Requirements

In Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Vita Food Prods., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21878 (7th Cir. 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit had occasion to consider whether a defendant qualified as an additional insured where...more

Insurance Recovery Law - December 2015

Court Rejects Attempt to Broaden "Employer's Liability" Exclusion, Requiring Coverage - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that an "Employer's Liability" exclusion in a CGL policy applies only when...more

Avoiding the risks associated with ambiguous marketing claims

Your business likely has a designated team responsible for developing memorable and informative marketing materials. But does that team include someone who can objectively review your materials to identify the risks...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - November 2015

Editor's Overview - This month we take a look at how the lower courts have been dealing with claims for retiree health benefits after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926...more

Amex Employment Arbitration Policy Held Unlawful by NLRB

Amex Card Services Company ("Amex") operates a call center in Phoenix, AZ. Amex required all new hires to sign an acknowledgement form acknowledging receipt and understanding of its Arbitration Policy as a condition of...more

PTAB’s Ambiguous Language Is Basis For Federal Circuit Vacating PTAB’s Opinion

Yesterday, the Federal Circuit remanded a PTAB decision for just the second time. In Ariosa Diagnostics v. Verinata Health, Inc., the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the Board’s decision upholding the validity of...more

Can Contract Ambiguity Cause Liability for Unfair Trade Practices?

Most of the time, a contract breach—even if intentional—does not violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. A contract breach, however, can turn into a 75-1.1 violation if the breach is accompanied by “substantial aggravating...more

Eastern District of New York ultimately arrives at right outcome when interpreting “Employer’s Liability” exclusion in CGL policy

In Hastings Development, LLC v. Evanston Insurance Company, No. 14-cv-6203 (ADS)(AKT) (Oct. 30, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York correctly determined that an “Employer’s Liability” exclusion...more

Vermont Supreme Court Collapse Case Underscores Danger of Insuring Against the “Risk” of a Peril

Three months ago in Equinox on the Battenkill Mgmt. Ass’n. v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., 2015 VT 98 (Vt., Aug. 7, 2015), Vermont’s highest court held that a policy insuring against the “risks of . . . collapse” affords...more

Second Circuit: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, ruling (in a 2-1 decision) that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protection provision applies to internal complaints (i.e.,...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2015

Exception to Mold Exclusion Requires Defense of Suit Alleging Injuries From Moldy Water - Why it matters: An exclusion for "Fungi or Bacteria" did not prevent a federal court judge in Tennessee from ordering an insurer...more

Federal Circuit Narrowly Interprets Limitations Period for Foreign Tax Credit Refund Claims

In Albemarle Corp. v. United States, No. 2015-5015 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 13, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit disallowed claims for refund related to foreign taxes paid by Albemarle Corporation...more

California Court of Appeal Finds Life Insurance Policy Ambiguous and Rules in Favor of the Insured

Sequeira v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., No. A139639 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2015) - The California Court of Appeal recently reiterated the importance of careful drafting to insurers when it reversed a trial court’s...more

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