Commercial General Liability Policies

News & Analysis as of

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

Important Insurance Coverage Cases 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 the Hartford Insurance Company has been dominating the...more

Eleventh Circuit Dials Back The Specificity Required In An Insurer’s Reservation of Rights—Will Georgia Courts Agree?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently held under Georgia law that an insurance company does not waive a coverage defense by defending the policyholder in an underlying case without reserving its rights...more

Fifth Circuit Holds That a TPEE in a CGL Policy Can Exclude Pollution Claims Even in the Face of a UREC

What you need to know: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Texas law, held that a Total Pollution Exclusion Endorsement in a CGL Policy did not irreconcilably conflict with, and therefore was not superseded...more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

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Construction Defects

Regional Steel Corporation v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (June 13, 2014) - There has been a split of decisions in California as to whether incorporation of...more

Risk Planning and Board Liability

Board members are in the hot seat, or to put it another way – they are in a hot kitchen. The question is whether they can stand the heat of the hot kitchen....more

Eleventh Circuit Maps a Route Around Four Corners

Florida adheres to the "four corners rule," under which a liability insurer’s duty to defend an insured is determined solely from the allegations of the underlying complaint. In Composite Structures, Inc. v. The Continental...more

Eighth Circuit Rules Multiple Drowning Constitutes One Occurrence

In its recent decision in Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. AXIS Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13176 (8th Cir. July 11, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, had occasion...more

When Can a CGL Policy Do a Disappearing Act?

In Evanston Insurance Company v North American Capacity Company, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 92682, Evanston Insurance Company sued in U.S. District Court to seek contribution from North American Capacity Insurance Company where both...more

The Alabama Supreme Court Changes Its Mind on Coverage Under CGL Policy

Last September the Alabama Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing the applicability of the “own work” exclusion to claims against a contractor for defective construction. However, on March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme...more

"Non-Trivial Probability" of Excess Judgment Obligates Insurer to Pay for Independent Defense Counsel

The court in Perma-Pipe, Inc. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation, Case No. 13 C 2989, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54867 (N.D. Ill. April 21, 2014), held that a CGL insurer breached its duty to defend by refusing to pay for...more

Insurance Recovery Law - July 2014

Second Circuit: Insurer Must Defend Where Factual Allegations Create a Possibility of Coverage - Why it matters: In a recent pro-policyholder decision, the Second Circuit, applying New York law, reminded...more

Policyholders Fight to Preserve Precedent But Court Limits Coverage For Implied Disparagement

On June 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court, in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Swift Distribution Inc. 59 Cal. 4th 277 (2014), issued its long awaited opinion affirming an appeal of a ruling that at first blush appeared to...more

California Supreme Court Refines the Tort of Commercial Disparagement

On June 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in the closely watched case of Hartford Casualty Insurance v. Swift Distribution, Inc., S207172. I reported on the Court of Appeals decision last year on...more

Insurance Coverage – Personal & Advertising Injury – Trade Disparagement

Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v Swift Distribution, Inc. - California Supreme Court (June 12, 2014) - Commercial liability policies provide coverage for “personal and advertising injury.” This term typically...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusions Are Absolute When There Has Been Pollution

Pollution exclusions first became routine in liability policies in the early 1970s. After a decade of often unsuccessful litigation trying to enforce those exclusions, insurers introduced a so called “absolute” pollution...more

When Is a Construction Defect a Mere Business Risk and Not Insurable?

In an unpublished appellate decision from the state of Washington, on May 5, 2014, the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a CGL insurer, Western National Assurance, relieving it of any...more

Policyholders Must Be Vigilant for Construction Defect Exclusions, Including For Impaired Property to Combat Insurance Companies’...

Continuing the most recent trend in coverage litigation, insurance companies are increasingly engaging “Big Law” firms to develop legal arguments for narrower interpretation of their policies when troublesome claims threaten...more

Data Breach Liability Exclusion – It’s Not Your Father’s CGL

No business is immune to data breach. Digital data in particular can be lost in innumerable ways, causing serious business interruptions and consumer injuries. After falling victim to a hack, virus, or cyber theft, companies...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions - June 2014

Insurance Coverage; Professional Services Exclusion; Completed Operations; Duty To Defend: North Counties Engineering, Inc. v. State Farm General Insurance Company (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 902, 169 Cal.Rptr.3d 726...more

Policyholder Observer

Encryption Flaw "Heartbleed" Creates Data Risk: How Insurance Can Stanch the Bleeding - In early April, news broke of an encryption flaw named “Heartbleed” that exposed companies to data breaches for over two and one...more

Construction E-Note - June 27, 2014

In This Issue: - Mississippi Legislature Expands State’s Lien Law to Protect Subcontractors, Suppliers, and Materialmen - The Alabama Supreme Court Broadens the Definition of “Occurrence” in a General...more

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