Duty to Defend

News & Analysis as of

Mississippi Court Holds Defense Costs Outside of Limits

In its recent decision in Federal Ins. Co. v. Singing River Health System, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134814 (S.D. Miss. October 2, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi issued a decision...more

Does Wisconsin’s Four-Corners Rule Govern an Insurer’s Duty to Defend?

Those who follow the work of the Wisconsin appellate courts might recognize this question as one that District II of the Court of Appeals certified to the Supreme Court nearly five years ago in Wilkinson v. Arbuckle, 2011 WI...more

Accidentally On Purpose: Washington Court Finds Coverage For Contempt Of Court Based On “Misunderstanding”

Professional liability policies cover claims based on the insured’s alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions, and not claims for “sanctions or penalties” for “willful” professional misconduct. But the insurer’s duty to...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

Insurer Must Still Defend Even if Covered Claims Are Dismissed

We encounter the following scenario from time to time: The defense counsel just scored a big victory, knocking out a key cause of action. The only problem is—the carrier now says that claim was the only covered cause of...more

Georgia Court Holds Coverage Triggered for Product Disparagement Claim

In its recent decision in Foliar Nutrients v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125528 (M.D. Ga. Sept. 21, 2015), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia had occasion to...more

Supreme Judicial Court Affirms Award 0f $2,250,000 plus Interest Against Insurer for Breach of Duty to Defend and Settle — on...

In Boyle v. Zurich American Insurance Company, SJC-11791 (Sept. 14, 2015), the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed an award of $2,250,000 plus interest against an insurer for failing to defend its insured on a $50,000...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court allows insured to settle without consent of insurer defending under reservation of rights

Bad faith claims can have major consequences for insurers. Stopping the Setup gets into the minds of plaintiffs' lawyers and addresses the ways they try to create bad-faith claims against insurance companies. This overview...more

Third Circuit Holds No Coverage For Suits Alleging Improper Collection of Customer Data

In its recent decision in OneBeacon Am. Ins. Co. v. Urban Outfitters, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16399 (3d Cir. Sept. 15, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, applying Pennsylvania law, had occasion to...more

California Appellate Court Reaffirms Protection Against Stipulated Judgments

In 21st Century Ins. v. Superior Court (No. E062244; filed 9/10/15), a California appeals court confirmed that a defending insurer is not bound by a stipulated judgment entered without its consent, and the fact that the...more

Insurance News, Summer 2015

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee asked Michael Menapace to testify as an expert witness at a hearing called by the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security entitled, "Examining the...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

Accrual to be Kind: Pennsylvania Appellate Court Addresses Statute of Limitations for Declaratory Claim

A Pennsylvania appeals court recently addressed a nuanced procedural question: the applicable statute of limitations in a declaratory action of a coverage dispute. In Selective Way Ins. Co. v. Hospitality Group Svcs, Inc.,...more

The Tenth Circuit rejects excess insurers’ implied duty to investigate and initiate settlement negotiations

Interpreting Oklahoma law, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently held that the duty of good faith and fair dealing does not require that an excess insurer, unlike a primary insurer, affirmatively investigate...more

California Court Considers Reimbursement of Legal Fees Under D&O Policy

In its recent decision in Clark v. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of America, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114877 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 28, 2015), the United States District Court for the Central District of California had occasion to consider...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

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

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

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...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 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

Independent “Cumis” Counsel Now Face Direct Claims for Reimbursement From Insurers

On April 30, 2015, we blogged about Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC, Case No. S211645, then set for oral argument in the California Supreme Court. [see the prior post: California’s “Independent”...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Recovery From Cumis Counsel

Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., et al. - California Supreme Court (August 10, 2015) - Under the Independent Counsel provisions of Civil Code Section 2860, a carrier that defends has...more

California Supreme Court: Insurer Can Directly Sue Independent Counsel for Excess Fees in Limited Circumstances

On August 10, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that could have broad implications regarding an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of unreasonable fees and costs directly from so-called Cumis...more

Insurance Recovery Law - August 2015

Insured's Notice to Broker Satisfied Policy Requirements, Illinois Court Rules - Why it matters: An insured's notice to its broker satisfied the policy's notice requirements, an Illinois appellate panel recently...more

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