Duty to Defend Commercial General Liability Policies

News & Analysis as of

Insurance Recovery Law - April 2015 #2

Policyholder Can Keep Selected Counsel, Court Rules; Insurers’ Objection Too Late - Why it matters: A policyholder was able to maintain its selected defense counsel after a federal court judge ruled that the insurers’...more

Western District of Washington: Insured That Violated Duties of Notice and Cooperation Could Not Make Out Claim for Bad Faith...

Granite State Ins. Co. v. Integrity Structures, LLC, No. C14-5085BHS, 2015 WL 136006 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 9, 2015). The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held that an insurer did not act in bad faith...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Determines that Commercial General Liability Insurers Have Right to Obtain Declaratory Ruling as to...

Many construction professionals in Connecticut, and in particular those who do business with the State, are well aware of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Lombardo Bros. Mason Contractors, Inc., 307 Conn....more

Texas Court Holds No Duty to Defend Claims of Monopolistic Practices

In its recent decision in Uretek United States v. Cont’l Cas. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18610 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 17, 2015), the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas had occasion to consider a general...more

Court Confirms Insurer Permitted to Choose Counsel in Discharging Duty to Defend

An insurer’s duty to defend and how that duty gets discharged may be one of the most frequently litigated coverage issues. Although typical policies afford insurers the right to control their insureds’ defense, insureds...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Denies Appeal In Coverage Dispute; Superior Court Decision Recognizing a Duty to Defend Where Tort...

In a per curiam decision without a published opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh’s (“National”) appeal from a Superior Court decision holding that National had a...more

New York Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

Introduction - Perhaps the most significant and dramatic decision of the year played out when the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, backtracked on an earlier decision regarding the duty to defend. It first...more

Latest Updates to Media Liability Insurance in California

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP partner James Castle recently enhanced and updated the chapter on Media Liability Insurance for LexisNexis' California Insurance Law & Practice. Cases discussed include: ?S.B.C.C., Inc. v. St....more

Facing TCPA Claims for Texting Advertisements? You May Also Have Some Insurance Coverage Concerns

During this busy holiday shopping season, retailers may end up facing litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for sending advertisements to consumers’ cell phones. With large-scale litigation...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Grants Summary Judgment To CGL Insurer Based Upon Lack of “Occurrence”

On October 14, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment filed by State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. (“State Farm”), seeking a declaration that it had no duty...more

The Duty To Defend Broader Than The Duty To Indemnify? Your Insurer Doesn’t Think So, And Surprisingly, Some Courts Agree

Insurance law practitioners learn on day one that the duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify, encompassing even uncovered claims if at least one claim against the insured is potentially covered. See Bridge Metal...more

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

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