Commercial General Liability Policies

News & Analysis as of

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A federal court in Washington recently issued an unpublished decision affirming that a common policy exclusion protects insurers from having to provide coverage in certain cases of alleged privacy violations.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

Choose Your Words Wisely: The Allegations in a Construction Defect Complaint

On August 5, 2014, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Netherlands Ins. Co., 312 Conn. 714 (2014), affirmed a trial court's decision that allegations of years-long, continuing and progressive...more

Whether faulty workmanship constitutes an "occurence" continues to be revisited by courts across the country

Is there a shift in the longstanding majority view, including in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, that construction defect claims do not constitute an occurrence when the damage is to the insured’s own work because it...more

Alabama Joins Recent Trend of States Finding Defective Work May Be Covered Under a Commercial General Liability Policy

The Supreme Court of Alabama recently held in Owners Ins. Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder, LLC that a contractor’s commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy provided coverage for property damage caused by the defective work of...more

Third Circuit Holds Insurer’s Interpretation of Employer’s Liability Exclusion is Fairly Debatable

A recent 3rd Circuit decision, ArcelorMittal Plate, LLC v. Joulé Technical Services, Inc., 558 Fed.Appx. 205 (3d Cir. 2014) reiterates that under New Jersey law, an insurer does not act in bad faith when denying a claim that...more

“Your Work” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Tearing Down & Rebuilding Wall

The S.C. Court of Appeals recently applied the “your work” exclusion in a declaratory judgment action arising out of a construction defect suit to find the policy did not provide coverage. In Precision Walls v. Liberty Mutual...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2014 #3

Washington Supreme Court Rules That It Was Error To Delay Adjudication Of Insurer’s Duty To Defend, But Should Stay Discovery As To Insurer’s Coverage Defenses - Why it matters: The Washington Supreme Court...more

California Insurance Coverage Cases Raising Key Issues On The Horizon

This year, 2014, is lining up with interesting insurance coverage cases pending across the country which may lead to far reaching decisions. In California specifically, it is apparent to us that the Hartford Insurance...more

New Mandatory Exclusions in Standard CGL Policies Limit Coverage for Data Breaches

The insurance industry continues to respond to the growing threat of data breaches by directing businesses facing that risk towards new, risk-specific cyber insurance products, while attempting to restrict coverage for data...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

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

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