Commercial General Liability Policies

News & Analysis as of

Host of insurance-coverage questions tied to Legionnaires’ disease

A recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in New York has, according to published news reports, been responsible for the death of 12 people. According to those same reports, more than 100 other people have become ill as a...more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015 #2

Good News for Corporate Policyholders: Insurer Cannot Refuse Coverage Based on Insured's Assignment of Rights Under Policies After Loss Has Occurred - Why it matters: Reversing its holding in a 2003 case, the Supreme...more

11th Circuit Finds a Covered “Occurrence” Under CGL Policy For Damages Resulting From Contractor’s Faulty Work and Rejects...

In Pennsylvania National Mutual Insurance Company v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 790 F.3d 1173 (11th Cir. 2015), a judgment was obtained by the Parish (a Catholic Church) against Kiker Corporation (“Kiker”), which was...more

InterConnect - Summer 2015

Shippers who are used to doing business with motor carriers often present freight brokers with a shipper-carrier agreement (often described as a “Motor Carrier Agreement”) of one kind or another to serve as the basis of a...more

California Declares New Rules for Assignment of Long Tail Claims

Last week, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of California changed the law governing anti-assignment provisions in liability insurance policies. Twelve years ago, in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity...more

Seventh Circuit Issues Stern Warning For Insurers That Reject Their Duty to Defend

The first line of the Seventh Circuit’s opinion says it all: “This case provides a warning for insurance companies who refuse to defend their insureds.” As the court’s admonishment suggests, insurers that improperly refuse to...more

California Supreme Court Reverses Prior Ruling On Anti-Assignment Clauses

In Fluor Corporation v. The Superior Court of Orange County (Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co., real party in interest), 2015 Cal. LEXIS 5631 (Aug. 20, 2015), the California Supreme Court determined that California Insurance...more

11th Circuit to decide whether construction defect notice under Florida repair statute is a “suit”

Recently, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida addressed what constitutes a “suit” within the context of Florida’s right-to-repair procedure for construction defect disputes. In Altman...more

Maximizing Insurance Recovery for the Tianjin Port Explosions

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, two massive explosions devastated large swaths of Tianjin, China, an industrial powerhouse and home to one of the world’s busiest ports. The explosions, which reportedly have killed more than a...more

CA Supreme Court Finds “Consent-to-Assignment” Clauses Unenforceable After Loss Occurs During the Policy Period

In Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court (No. S205889; filed 8/20/15), the California Supreme Court overruled its earlier decision in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. (2003) 29 Cal.4th 934, holding that...more

California Statute Trumps Anti-Assignment Clauses in Liability Insurance Policies

In a unanimous decision that will have a serious impact on long-tail exposures, the California Supreme Court in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court (Hartford Acc. & Indem.) has determined that policyholders may transfer liability...more

California Supreme Court Limits Enforceability of Anti-Assignment Clauses

In a unanimous decision handed down by the California Supreme Court on August 20, 2015 in Fluor Corporation v. Superior Court, the court removed a significant obstacle facing companies that want to assign their interests in a...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Defects in the Construction of a “Known-Loss” Exclusion

A mason who performed work on a residential project was notified in 2006 that cracks had developed in his work. Several months later, the mason purchased a commercial general liability policy that expressly excluded coverage...more

CA Supreme Court Permits Insurers to Bring Direct Actions Seeking Reimbursement of Excessive Fees Against Cumis Counsel Under...

The California Supreme Court held in Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. (Squire Sanders) (8/10/2015 - #S211645) that if Cumis counsel, operating under a court order which such counsel drafted and...more

Tenth Circuit: Legal Characterization of Facts in Underlying Complaint Insufficient to Trigger the Duty to Defend

On July 30, 2015, the Tenth Circuit affirmed that an insurer that issued a commercial general liability policy with an auto exclusion for bodily injury arising out of the loading and unloading of an auto did not have a duty...more

Another Disappointed “Additional Insured”

No contract clause is more common than the one that says, in effect, “B promises to carry commercial general liability insurance, and to make A an ‘Additional Insured’ under B’s policy.” And perhaps no contract clause...more

IREG Update - August 2015

Hot Topic: Re"visiting" the sharing economy - A primer on the insurance issues surrounding lodging sharing companies - Background Beginning in the early 2000's, social technologies enabled the emergence of new...more

Massachusetts Court Of Appeals Maintains “Severely Limited” De Novo Review Of Reinsurance-Related Arbitration Award

Collective defendants, Nationwide, appealed from a Massachusetts superior court judgment confirming an arbitration award in favor of collective plaintiffs, Liberty Mutual. The underlying dispute involved a 1972 reinsurance...more

Appellate Court's Disposition And Remand Of Matter

In Ducoing Management Inc. v. Superior Court (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 306, the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District emphasized the importance of clear and understandable instructions to a lower court as...more

Cyber-Attacks Against Government Contractors and the Availability of Insurance Coverage

Based on recent cyber-attacks against the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and its subcontractors, USIS and KeyPoint Government Solutions, it is evident that government entities and government contractors...more

Texas Says EPA Administrative Actions under CERCLA Trigger Duty to Defend

As any company facing EPA administrative action under CERCLA knows, the financial risk and defense costs associated with those proceedings can be the same as the risk and costs of an EPA lawsuit under CERCLA. But insurers...more

Third Circuit Finds Insured v. Insured Exclusion Precludes Recovery of Defense Costs

Many corporate executives may be under the impression that the defense costs they incur when sued for actions taken in their role as officers of the company would be covered by a “Management Protection” insurance policy. The...more

Fifth Circuit Holds Insurer Waived One-Year Reporting Requirement in Pollution Buy-Back Endorsement

In its recent decision in Cox Operating, L.L.C. v. St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13318 (5th Cir. July 30, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, applying Texas law, had...more

Fifth Circuit Predicts When the Texas Prompt Pay Act Begins to Accrue

In a recent decision, the Fifth Circuit considered when the 18 percent damages interest under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (Prompt Pay Act) accrues and whether an insurer can waive a policy’s one-year cost reporting...more

Five Tips for Success in Cyber Insurance Litigation

Many insurance coverage disputes can be, should be, and are settled without the need for litigation and its attendant costs and distractions. However, some disputes cannot be settled, and organizations are compelled to resort...more

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