Duty to Defend

News & Analysis as of

Setting Up a Successful Negotiation Regarding “2860 Rates”

“The insurer’s obligation to pay fees to the independent counsel selected by the insured is limited to the rates which are actually paid by the insurer to attorneys retained by it in the ordinary course of business in the...more

Firm Helps Defeat Effort to Delay Trial Due to Insurer’s Insolvency

A Texas court has declined to stay a jury trial in a personal-injury case based on a Delaware court’s liquidation and injunction order concerning the defendants’ insurer....more

“So What?”: Montana’s Supreme Court Turns a Deaf Ear to Insurers Charged With Breaching the Duty to Defend

Earlier this year, in K2 Investment Group v. American Guaranty & Liability Ins. Co., 983 N.Y.S.2d 761 (N.Y. 2014), New York’s highest court adopted—but then decided against—a rule under which a liability insurer that has...more

Business Law Newsletter - Septermber 2014

In This Issue: - Monkeying around with Copyright Laws - Who can Own a Copyright? - Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed - The Eight Corners Rule and the District of Columbia -...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

If a Tree Falls on the Internet … An Insurer Has a Duty to Defend

Legal bloggers sometimes ask themselves: If my post appears on the Internet, but there’s no evidence anyone has read it, have I been published? The question has not yet been finally resolved among law firm compensation...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

Nutmeg, Sí, Palmetto, No!: Travelers Wins Both Sides of Insurer-vs.-Insurer Dispute

Although large or protracted losses can implicate more than one liability policy, sometimes only one insurer steps up to provide a defense. When that happens, the insurer can try any of several ways to recover its expenses...more

What Peppers Counsel Needs to Know Before Agreeing to Follow Insurer Litigation Guidelines

When an insurer agrees to defend its insured against a potentially covered claim without reserving the right to deny coverage, the insurer usually has the right to control the defense of the underlying lawsuit. See 3 Jeffrey...more

Sixth Circuit Finds Excess Carrier Had Duty to Indemnify Insured for Property Damage Arising From Alleged Misrepresentations and...

In a decisively pro-policyholder decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in IMG Worldwide, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., Nos. 13-3832, 13-3837 (6th Cir. July 15, 2014), the court...more

Maryland Insurer Not Permitted to Rely on Business Pursuits Exclusion to Deny Duty to Defend Where Continuity of Business Interest...

In Springer v. Erie Insurance Exchange, the Court of Appeals set out to determine whether the allegations in a complaint for defamation triggered the Business Pursuits exclusion in a homeowner’s liability insurance policy...more

Is There a Duty to Defend Pollution Claims? It’s the Complaint, Stupid

This Spring, cases from Florida and Wisconsin reaffirmed the general proposition that a liability insurer’s duty to defend must be determined from the specific claims in the underlying complaint against the insured, and not...more

Peeking Around Four Corners: Wisconsin Insurers Have Found a Way to Use Extrinsic Evidence to Excuse the Defense of Pending Claims

It is a truism that a liability insurer’s duty to defend is extremely broad—especially in states that apply the “four corners rule.” Under that rule, the insurer has a duty to defend whenever the underlying complaint alleges...more

August 2014: Insurance Litigation Update

No Longer on the Hook for Indemnity: NY Court of Appeals Reverses Decision That Held Insurers Liable to Indemnify Where They Wrongly Refused to Defend a Claim. In a decision last year in K2 Investment Group, LLC v. American...more

If the Suit Fits: A Washington Court Clarifies Triggers for the Duty to Defend

Like many other federal and state environmental laws, Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) exposes property owners to strict liability, regardless of fault or intent, for certain types of environmental contamination. ...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

Law Firms Are Not Body Shops: An Insurer’s Duty to Defend Requires it to Pay Only the Defense Costs the Insured Actually Paid

In the course of discharging their coverage obligations, insurers often benefit from bargains they strike with service providers. Healthcare insurers pay in-network caregivers rates that are dramatically lower than the...more

You May Have Stolen the Advertising Database, But You Still Have No Advertising Idea

In Liberty Corporate Capital Ltd. v. Security Safe Outlet, 2014 WL 3973726 (6th Cir. August 15, 2014), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that where a stolen customer database is used as the basis of an advertising...more

In a Case of First Impression, District Court Finds an Insurer May Not Seek a Declaration as to Another Insurer’s Duty to Defend

An insurance company may not seek to require another insurer to defend its insured via declaratory judgment according to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina in Auto-Owners Insurance Company v....more

Connecticut Court Holds Negligence Misrepresentation Claim Does Not Trigger Defense

In its recent decision in Pa. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Thakur, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110251 (D. Conn. Aug. 11, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut had occasion to consider whether a claim for...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

Recent Developments in California Bad Faith Law and Related Trends

On July 29, 2014, I spoke on a panel about recent developments in California bad faith law and related trends. My co-presenter was Robert K. Scott of The Law Offices of Robert K. Scott, and we gave the presentation at ACI’s...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

South Carolina Decision on Allocation of Defense Costs Creates a Trap for the Responsive Insurer

A recent decision by the U.S. District Court in South Carolina confirms the state’s position as an outlier when it comes to whether an insurer that has a duty to defend can require other insurers to contribute to defense...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

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