Duty to Defend

News & Analysis as of

Legal Malpractice Insurer Has No Duty to Defend Contempt Proceeding

In its recent decision in Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs, P.A. v. Prosight-Syndicate 1110 at Lloyd’s, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2550 (11th Cir. Feb. 14, 2017), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit,...more

California Court Holds Continuous Progressive Injury Exclusion Applicable to Construction Defect Claim

In its recent decision in Saarman Construction, Ltd. v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13633 (N.D. Cal. Jan 31, 2017), the United States District Court for the Northern District of California had occasion...more

Federal Court Holds California Insurance Code Bars Duty to Defend Against False Claims Act Violations

The Central District of California held that Section 533 of the Insurance Code eliminated any potential for coverage for suit under the state False Claims Act. On January 4, the U.S. District Court for the Central...more

Missouri Supreme Court Addresses Insurer Intervention, Garnishment Proceedings and Bad Faith Findings

Allen v. Bryers and Atain Specialty Insurance Company, — S.W.3d —, 2016 WL 7378560 (Mo. banc, December 20, 2016) In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the timing for an insurer’s intervention in a...more

Appellate Court Notes

AC37979 - Meadowbrook Center, Inc. v. Buchman - Nursing home sued son/guarantor of patient and obtained a judgment for $45,000. The guarantee agreement allowed the nursing home to seek attorney fees. The son appealed...more

Too Soon! First Circuit Finds No Duty To Defend Before Suit Is Filed

Can something short of the filing of a complaint trigger an insurer’s duty to defend? It’s not an idle question. Uncertainty on this issue could produce an unintended breach, and, in some jurisdictions, breach of the duty to...more

Oregon High Court Clarifies How To Read the Four Corners of a Complaint

On December 8, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision, West Hills Development Co. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., 360 Or. 650 (2016), clarifying what allegations in a construction defect suit will implicate coverage under...more

Allocating a Pro Rata Defense Share to the Insured in Continuous Injury Cases

In a matter of first impression, the Louisiana Supreme Court recently held that the duty to defend in a long latency disease case could be prorated between the insurer and insured. (See, Arceneaux v. Amstar Corp. 2016 WL...more

Montana Court Holds D&O Insurer Had Duty to Advance Costs

In its recent decision in Johnson v. Federal Rural Electric Ins. Ex., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173037 (D. Mont. Dec. 14, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of Montana had occasion to consider a D&O...more

First Circuit Provides Guidance as to When a Notice of Claim Triggers Policy Obligations

When does receipt of a pre-suit claim notice letter trigger an insurance carrier’s obligation to provide a defense and/or indemnity? In Sanders v. Phoenix Insurance Co., the First Circuit provided some guidance to this...more

Claim for Failure to Reimburse Reasonable Business Expenses Not Barred by EPL Policy’s Wage and Hour Exclusion

Don’t be too surprised if you see a “wage and hour” exclusion in your employment practices liability insurance policy, especially if you have employees in California. While these exclusions purport to bar coverage for claims...more

Montana Supreme Court Holds Co-Insurer Breached Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in J & C Moodie Properties, LLC v. Deck, 2016 MT 301 (Mont. Nov. 22, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes a breach of an insurer’s duty to defend in a...more

California Court Holds No Duty to Defend Under Liquor Liability Coverage Form

In its recent decision in Camp Richardson Resort, Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155707 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 9, 2016), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California had...more

Top 10 Things Litigators Should Know About Insurance

Most non-insurance litigators run for the hills when the topic of “insurance coverage” arises. Others profess to know enough about insurance coverage just to make themselves dangerous. Considering the rising costs of...more

Cumis Counsel: An Insurer’s Right To Dispute Coverage Does Not Automatically Trigger A Right to Cumis Counsel

Recently, once again, a California appeals court weighed in on the scope of the right to Cumis counsel and the meaning of Cal. Civil Code §2860. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company v. McMillin Homes Construction, Inc., No....more

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms a Declaratory Judgment in Favor of the Insurer Where the Underlying Suit Did Not Allege an...

In Westfield Ins. Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC, the Appellate Court of Illinois, affirmed the trial court’s decision holding that the developer, West Van Buren, LLC (“Van Buren”), was not entitled to defense and indemnification...more

Likelihood of success a prerequisite to insurer's duty to appeal, Mass. court rules

On August 27, 2016, Judge Mitchell Kaplan of the Massachusetts Superior Court for Suffolk County - Business Litigation Session, which handles only complex business litigation matters, issued a decision holding that an...more

California Supreme Court Leans in Favor of Treating Defense Bills as Privileged Communications

On October 6, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, a case that we have blogged about twice in the past because of its possible impact on policyholders...more

In Alabama, Sewage is NOT a Pollutant Falling Within the Pollution Exclusion in a Commercial General Liability Policy

Pollution exclusion clauses are an insurance industry staple and are often contained in commercial general liability insurance policies. While one might think that raw sewage would be considered a pollutant, under current...more

D&Os – Be Aware of Creditor Exclusion in Your Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that a Creditor Exclusion provision in D&O insurance coverage may result in significant limitations on the coverage provided to the D&Os, when the underlying...more

Delaware District Court Finds Duty to Defend Under Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

The backdrop to this decision is an interesting and unfortunate one involving a divorce, allegations of illegal obscene material possessed by the former husband, followed by a civil lawsuit between the former spouses after...more

Don’t Let a Little Concealer Ruin Your Coverage Defenses

May an insurer in New York delay asserting (or conceal, according to Estee Lauder) a late notice defense without waiving it? According to the New York Court of Appeals a jury should decide whether the insurer manifested a...more

Superior Court of Delaware Grants Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding Duty to Defend Under Wisconsin Law

The Complex Commercial Litigation Division of the Superior Court of Delaware recently held that Travelers Indemnity Company (“Travelers”) breached its duty to defend and indemnify plaintiff CNH Industrial America LLC (“CNH”)...more

Contractual Indemnification

Aluma Systems Concrete Construction of California v. Nibbi Bros. Inc., et al. - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (August 16, 2016) - This case considered the applicability of a contract’s indemnification...more

New Jersey Court Confirms a PRP Letter Constitutes a “Suit” Triggering an Insurer’s Duty to Defend

A New Jersey Superior Court recently put to rest a tenuous coverage defense to which insurers stubbornly have clung in environmental coverage cases. The court held in Cooper Industries, LLC v. Employers Ins. of Wausau a...more

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