News & Analysis as of

Duty to Defend

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

When an Assault is not an Assault - Covered Up: SC District Court Denies Exclusion for Alleged Nightclub Assault and Battery

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

In a recent United States District Court decision, the court denied the insurer’s motion for summary judgment as to its duty to defend and indemnify for an alleged assault and battery. The facts of Certain Underwriters at...more

Dear Engineer: Has your insurer issued a “Reservation of Rights” letter? (law note)

by Melissa Dewey Brumback on

In my previous post, I made reference to getting a “Reservation of Rights” letter. I noted that the carrier may decide to defend you under a Reservation of Rights (i.e., hire your lawyer) but may not, necessarily, accept...more

Fifth Circuit Holds that Insurer’s Payment to Insured’s Independent Counsel Erodes Policy Limits

A recent Fifth Circuit case highlights the potential risks of purchasing a defense-within-limits policy: If an insurer is obligated to hire independent counsel due to a conflict of interest, that counsel’s fees may erode your...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending March 31 & April 7, 2017

by Carlton Fields on

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Foreclosure/Deficiency Judgment: where a foreclosing bank acquires in rem jurisdiction via service by publication in underlying foreclosure action, bank may still seek personal service over an...more

What is a Morris Agreement?

by Jaburg Wilk on

A “Morris Agreement” is a “settlement agreement entered into when the insurer is defending under a reservation of rights under which the insured stipulates to a judgment, assigns his rights against the insurer to the...more

Criminal Conviction Of De Facto Officer Does Not Preclude D&O Coverage

by Allen Matkins on

After a two week trial in 2013, a jury convicted Mitchell J. Stein, a lawyer, of mail, wire, and securities fraud based on evidence that he fabricated press releases and purchase orders to inflate the stock price of his...more

South Carolina Federal District Court: Insurer May Act in Bad Faith by Considering Extrinsic Evidence to Deny Duty to Defend

by Cozen O'Connor on

On February 6, 2017, the United States District Court, District of South Carolina, found a genuine dispute of material fact existed as to whether a Roofing Limitation Endorsement in a liability policy barred the insurer’s...more

CGL’s “pollution exclusion” applies to “harsh soaps”: Oregon federal court

by Butler Snow LLP on

The latest round in the fight over the CGL’s “pollution exclusion” — which well-respected commentator Craig F. Stanovich has called “one of the least understood and most litigated portions” of the CGL — went to the insurance...more

California Appellate Court Holds D&O Insurer Must Pay Cost of Insured’s Appeal Despite Criminal Conviction

In Stein v. Axis Ins. Co., No. B265069, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1628 (Ct. App. Mar. 8, 2017), the Second District California Court of Appeal had occasion to consider whether a criminal conviction is a “final adjudication”...more

Real Property & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending March 10 & 17, 2017

by Carlton Fields on

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Coequal Liens: trial court properly authorized tax collector to issue tax certificates subject to community development district’s assessment liens – Villages of Avignon Community Dev. Dist. v....more

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Duty To Defend Property Owner Based On Potential For Vicarious Liability For Subcontractor’s...

In Pekin Ins. Co. v. Centex Homes, 2017 IL App (1st) 153601, the Illinois Appellate Court Circuit had occasion to consider whether an insurer had an obligation to defend two putative additional insureds when its named insured...more

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