Commercial General Liability Policies

News & Analysis as of

Texas Supreme Court Orders (9/2014)

The Texas Supreme Court did not issue any opinions in its weekly orders. But the Court did accept a case on a certified question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Court also set the date for...more

Connecticut Court Again Holds That Certificates of Insurance Do Not Confer Rights

A Connecticut Superior Court has further clarified the construction industry whether a certificate of insurance naming a party as an additional insured confers any rights on that party. In Hobbs, Inc. v. Charter Oak Fire...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Denies Review of Faulty Workmanship Decision

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court let stand the appellate decision in Indalex, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., which held that mold related health problems and property damage allegedly...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014 #2

D&Os Entitled to Unfettered Access to Bankrupt Company’s Policy Proceeds to Fund Defense Costs: Why it matters - In an important victory for directors and officers of a bankrupt company, a New York court...more

Nebraska Appellate Court Gets Down to Earth to Hold That Faulty Workmanship Standing Alone Is Not An “Occurrence”

The insurance and construction industries have disagreed about coverage claims involving faulty workmanship for many years. Contractors believe their CGL insurance policies should always cover property damage caused by...more

Policy Observer - September 2014

All Sums or Pro Rata: Did You Get the Coverage You Bought? In recent decades, liabilities stemming from long-term bodily injury or property damage—as from exposure to asbestos or contamination of the environment—have...more

TCPA Exclusion Upheld: No Ambiguity, No Duty to Defend or Indemnify for a $10 Million Judgment

In James River Insurance Company v. Med Waste Management LLC, et al., Case No. 1:13-cv-23608-KMM, (U.S. Dist. S. D. Fla., September 22, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida upheld a Telephone...more

Covered or Not: Has Hartford v. Swift Opened a Faster Lane for Intellectual Property and Insurance Mediation?

The California Supreme Court recently issued its longawaited coverage decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Swift Distribution, Inc., 59 Cal. 4th 277 (2014). The Court, applying California state law, upheld the trial...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014

Pollution Exclusion Doesn’t Bar Coverage for Worker Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals That Were Not “Dispersed”: Why it matters - A federal district court in Texas strictly construed a pollution exclusion in...more

California Court Sustains Disclaimer Based on Employment Practices Exclusion

In John Davler, Inc. v. Arch Insurance Company, 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 837 (Cal. App. Sept. 15, 2014), the California Court of Appeal had the opportunity to consider the application of an employment-related practices exclusion...more

The Scope of Commercial General Liability Policies Continues to Shrink

Watch out for those Employment Practice Liability “EPL” exclusions. The courts have routinely upheld these exclusions now explicitly added to both the Coverage A (bodily injury and property damage) and the Coverage B...more

By “Any Manner” Of Means: Securing Cyber-Crime Coverage After Zurich v. Sony

Much has been written about the New York Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Sony Corp., Index. No. 651982/2011 (N.Y. Supr. Ct. Feb. 21, 2014), in which a New York trial court denied coverage...more

New Jersey Court Turns the Screws on the Insured, Holding That “Your Product” Exclusion Bars Coverage For Defective Product Claim

In Titanium Industries, Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co., No. A-1922-12T1, 2014 WL 4428324 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Sept. 10, 2014), the court held that the commercial general liability policy issued by defendant Federal Insurance...more

Sixth Circuit Says Misappropriation of Customer List Not Insured Under Advertising Injury Liability Coverage

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that Liberty Corporate Capital did not have to defend a firearms retailer in a lawsuit alleging that the retailer improperly obtained and used its competitor’s customer list...more

Court Holds that Privacy Violations Allegations Are Not Covered

A federal court in Washington recently issued an unpublished decision affirming that a common policy exclusion protects insurers from having to provide coverage in certain cases of alleged privacy violations. The same court...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies an Insurer’s Duty to Defend in Disparagement Cases

Advertising injury liability coverage offered under commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies is aimed at protecting companies against claims, often brought by competitors, alleging harm by purportedly derogatory...more

The Eight Corners Rule and the District of Columbia

The Eight Corners Rule is a judicially created rule in the District of Columbia. It allows an insurance carrier to determine whether to grant coverage when the insured files a complaint by analyzing only the “four corners” of...more

Business Risk Exclusions in CGL Policies Produce a Patchwork of Decisions

On July 23 and 24, 2014, respectively, intermediate appellate courts from South Carolina and Massachusetts released opinions upholding the application of the “your work” exclusion in a commercial general liability policy...more

California Supreme Court Defines Scope of Advertising Injury Coverage

Hartford v. Swift imposes “specificity” requirements that may provide comfort to companies facing disparagement claims while requiring careful navigation to trigger CGL policies. The California Supreme Court recently...more

“Mend the Hold”: A Nineteenth-Century Wrestling Doctrine Keeps its Grip on Coverage Litigation in the WWE Era

The issue confronting an Illinois appellate court in BNSF Railway Company v. Probuild North LLC, No. 1-12-3648 (Ill. App. Ct. June 11, 2014), was not uncommon. The plaintiff sought coverage from its insurer under a...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

Fifth Circuit Holding Breathes Life Back Into the Contractual Liability Exclusion

Liability insurance policies typically exclude coverage for obligations arising out of the insured’s “assumption of liability in a contract or agreement.” Earlier this year, the Texas Supreme Court took a narrow view of this...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

Does your CGL Policy Include Cybersecurity Coverage?

As implied by the name, the commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy provides businesses with coverage for a wide array of claims by third parties, including claims for damage to “tangible property” and claims...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19089 - Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America v. Netherlands Ins. Co. - Travelers brought a declaratory judgment action, claiming that the Netherlands Insurance Company had to participate in the defense costs of...more

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