News & Analysis as of

Insurance Recovery Law -- November 2014 #2

South Carolina Court Holds That Absent Substantial Prejudice, Late Notice Does Not Bar Insurer’s Coverage Obligations - Why it matters: A federal court in South Carolina ruled that absent a showing by an insurer...more

7th Circuit Dusts off the Erie Crystal Ball on Title Insurance Defense

Lawyers generally enjoy prognosticating future developments in the law. Under the Erie doctrine, federal judges have a legitimate need to engage in this pastime. Recently, in Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Chicago Title...more

Finding Insurance Coverage for Consumer Products Class Action Complaints

Consumer class action claims are a familiar tool for addressing dissatisfaction with a defective product. Given that one of the goals of a consumer class action claim is to recover damages for the claimants, triggering...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Sexual Assault Claim

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Sexual Assault Claim - Court Of Appeal, Second Appellate District (October 6, 2014) - Most commercial general liability policies provide coverage for negligent acts only. ...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- November 2014

Payment of Costs Doesn’t Preclude Unfair Trade Practices Claim Against Insurer - Why it matters: In a significant victory for policyholders, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that an insured had a valid unfair...more

No CGL Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Under Pennsylvania Law

In State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. McDermott, 2014 WL 5285335 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 15, 2014), a federal court recently held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying construction defect...more

Testing Texas CGL Coverage For 3rd Party Products

On Sept. 19, the Fifth Circuit certified four questions to the Texas Supreme Court regarding coverage under a commercial general liability policy in U.S. Metals Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group Incorporated, No. 13-20433,...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Review Pro-Policyholder Decision; Contrary Arguments Possible

For years, product manufacturers relied on commercial general liability policies to defend and indemnify them for product liability claims. Although these policies may exclude coverage for pure economic loss or for damage to...more

Covered or Not: Has Hartford v. Swift Opened a Faster Lane for Intellectual Property and Insurance Mediation?

The California Supreme Court recently issued its longawaited coverage decision in Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Swift Distribution, Inc., 59 Cal. 4th 277 (2014). The Court, applying California state law, upheld the trial...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

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

New York Court Rejects Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Its Own Lawsuit

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Roy’s Plumbing, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73464 (W.D.N.Y. May 29, 2014), the United States District Court for the Western District of New York considered the implications of...more

New York Supreme Court Finds that GL Insurers Have No Duty to Defend Sony for Class Actions Arising out of PlayStation Data Breach

In February of this year, in the matter of Zurich American Ins. Co. v. Sony Corp. of America, et al., case number 651982/2011, the New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of Zurich American Insurance Co. and Mitsui Sumitomo...more

Think You Are Covered By An Additional Insured Endorsement? Recent Opinion Serves as a Reminder to Read the Coverage Language

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion this month that should serve as a reminder to prime contractors to review the coverage granted to them as additional insureds on their subcontractors’...more

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