News & Analysis as of

Duty to Defend

CGL Insurance Coverage for Advertising Injuries: Upping the Ante for IP Litigation

by Jones Day on

August 2017 In Short The Situation: Reversing a pair of federal district court rulings, the Fifth and Ninth Circuits have held that insurers must defend commercial general liability policyholders in advertising injuries...more

Travelers Fails to Pull a Rabbit out of its Hat and Must Defend its Insured

by Nossaman LLP on

In a recent federal court decision out of Colorado, Travelers failed to convince the Court that it had no duty to defend its insured based on its IP exclusion (barring coverage for patent infringement claims). Travelers’...more

Florida Court Holds Prior Knowledge Exclusion Precludes Coverage for Malpractice Suit

In its recent decision in Farbstein v. Westport Ins. Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125990 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 9, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of Florida had occasion to consider the application of a...more

Disparagement Allegations May Trigger Valuable Coverage

A recent case we handled highlights the importance of reading a complaint’s allegations very carefully. Competitors in high-stakes litigation may file complaints and cross-complaints against each other alleging a variety of...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds Insurers’ Duty to Defend Does Not Extend to Counterclaims

A recent decision by Massachusetts’ highest court provides another reason why employers should carefully review their employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policies. Unless the policy expressly covers counterclaims,...more

Insurance Bad Faith – Insurer Cannot Rescind Policy Because Insured Answered Application Questions Correctly

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

Victor Duarte v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (June 12, 2017) - Under the legal principle of “rescission,” an insurance company can rescind an insurance policy if the...more

Is There a Possible Limit to an Insurer’s Duty to Defend in Washington State?

by Lane Powell PC on

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed Western District of Washington Judge Ronald B. Leighton’s decision finding no duty to defend negligence claims arising out of a murder-suicide....more

Massachusetts Court Holds Upholds Exclusion Applicable to Personal and Advertising Injury

In its recent decision in National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Town of Norwood, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116638 (D. Mass. July 26, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider the...more

The Metaphysics of When an Accident is an “Accident” (or Not) Under Your Insurance Policy

As an undergrad, I remember taking an introductory philosophy class. When we came to the chapter on metaphysics our professor asked what makes an apple an apple? “We have a specific name for it, presumably, to distinguish it...more

Kentucky Court Holds Professional Liability Insurer Can Pay Limits and Terminate Its Defense Obligation

In its recent decision in Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. MESA Med. Grp., PLLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111949 (E.D. Ky. July 19, 2017), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky had occasion to address a...more

Massachusetts High Court: Insurers Not Obligated to Prosecute Counterclaims under Duty-to-Defend Policies

by Wilson Elser on

On June 22, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co. v. Visionaid, Inc. (No. SJC-12142) considered three questions certified by the First Circuit Court of Appeals addressing the...more

Insurers’ Duty to Defend Does Not Require Coverage for Counterclaims in Massachusetts

by Saul Ewing LLP on

?In a win for insurers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) ruled on June 22, 2017 that a duty to defend does not require insurers to fund an insured’s counterclaim, even if it is “inextricably intertwined” with...more

California Does Not Bar Defense Coverage For "Willful Acts"

"California prohibits insurers from indemnifying policyholders for their intentional misconduct, as a matter of public policy and as codified in California Insurance Code section 533. This bar on insurance coverage, however,...more

One Way Out: California District Court Finds Insurer Had Right to Pay Limits Despite Possible Defense

by Carlton Fields on

In Film Allman, LLC v. New York Marine and General Insurance Company, Inc., 2:14-cv-7069-ODW, (C.D. Cal. May 23, 2017), a California district court granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer of a production company. The...more

Great American Insurance Co. v. Hamel: The Texas Supreme Court Clarifies the Circumstances under which a Judgment Entered against...

by Locke Lord LLP on

In Great American Insurance Co. v. Hamel, 2017 WL 2623067 (Tex. June 16, 2017), the Texas Supreme Court more precisely defined the circumstances under which an insurance company that wrongfully fails to defend an insured may...more

West Virginia Supreme Court: Bad Faith Claims Are Premature when the Insurer Is Providing a Defense

by Cozen O'Connor on

The West Virginia Supreme Court recently granted an insurer the extraordinary legal remedy of a writ of prohibition, awarding it an immediate dismissal of the insureds’ bad faith claims. State ex rel. Universal Underwriters...more

New York Court Holds General Liability Insurer Has Duty to Defend Odor Claim

In its recent decision in Hillcrest Coatings, Inc. v. Colony Ins. Co., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4519 (N.Y. 4th Dep’t June 9, 2017), the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, had occasion to...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusion—Not So Absolute

by Perkins Coie on

Slapping insurers with breach of contract and bad faith, Washington state’s highest court recently found that a general liability policy’s so-called “absolute” pollution exclusion may not be so absolute. In Xia et al. v....more

Federal Court in Alaska Holds Insurer Liable Under E&O Policy to Indemnify and Defend Construction Manager for Claims by...

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

KICC –Alcan Gen. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37560 (March 16, 2017) - A Contractor/Construction Manager, KICC-Alcan General (“KICC”), entered into a subcontract with an MEP subcontractor,...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending April 28 & May 5, 2017

by Carlton Fields on

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure: final summary judgment in borrower’s favor inappropriate where borrower merely asserted that lender mistakenly filed copy of original note with court, instead of original, and where...more

Washington Supreme Court Applies Efficient Proximate Cause Test to Pollution Exclusion

In its recent decision in Xia v. ProBuilders Specialty Ins. Co. RRG, 2017 Wash. LEXIS 443 (Wash. Apr. 27, 2017), the Supreme Court of Washington had occasion to address the concept of efficient proximate cause as it relates...more

Construction Advisory: Passage, Defeat, and Uncertainty: The Colorado General Assembly Tackles Construction Defect Reform in the...

by Sherman & Howard L.L.C. on

The Colorado General Assembly is heading towards the conclusion of this year’s legislative session. Although one construction defect bill, House Bill 1279, passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate, most bills have...more

Pennsylvania Federal District Court: Insurer’s Reliance on “Reasonable” Interpretation of Law Does Not Automatically Bar Bad Faith

by Cozen O'Connor on

On March 13, 2017, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, rejected the argument that an insurer does not act in bad faith if it relies on a reasonable interpretation of unsettled case law. The...more

No Negligence? No Causation? No Problem. Arizona Appellate Court Holds General Contractor Need Not Prove Subcontractor’s...

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

Amberwood Dev., Inc. v. Swann’s Grading, Inc., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0786, 2017 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 207 (Ct. App. Feb. 23, 2017) - This case arose out of a housing development project, with Amberwood Development Inc....more

Do I really need my own lawyer if the insurer is giving me one? (law note; tip)

by Melissa Dewey Brumback on

Several readers have reached out to me about my post on getting a Reservation of Rights letter with comments and questions. The most common refrain has been something along the lines of: “Do I really have to hire my own...more

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