Duty to Defend

News & Analysis as of

Claim for Failure to Reimburse Reasonable Business Expenses Not Barred by EPL Policy’s Wage and Hour Exclusion

Don’t be too surprised if you see a “wage and hour” exclusion in your employment practices liability insurance policy, especially if you have employees in California. While these exclusions purport to bar coverage for claims...more

Montana Supreme Court Holds Co-Insurer Breached Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in J & C Moodie Properties, LLC v. Deck, 2016 MT 301 (Mont. Nov. 22, 2016), the Supreme Court of Montana had occasion to consider what constitutes a breach of an insurer’s duty to defend in a...more

California Court Holds No Duty to Defend Under Liquor Liability Coverage Form

In its recent decision in Camp Richardson Resort, Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155707 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 9, 2016), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California had...more

Top 10 Things Litigators Should Know About Insurance

Most non-insurance litigators run for the hills when the topic of “insurance coverage” arises. Others profess to know enough about insurance coverage just to make themselves dangerous. Considering the rising costs of...more

Cumis Counsel: An Insurer’s Right To Dispute Coverage Does Not Automatically Trigger A Right to Cumis Counsel

Recently, once again, a California appeals court weighed in on the scope of the right to Cumis counsel and the meaning of Cal. Civil Code §2860. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company v. McMillin Homes Construction, Inc., No....more

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms a Declaratory Judgment in Favor of the Insurer Where the Underlying Suit Did Not Allege an...

In Westfield Ins. Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC, the Appellate Court of Illinois, affirmed the trial court’s decision holding that the developer, West Van Buren, LLC (“Van Buren”), was not entitled to defense and indemnification...more

Likelihood of success a prerequisite to insurer's duty to appeal, Mass. court rules

On August 27, 2016, Judge Mitchell Kaplan of the Massachusetts Superior Court for Suffolk County - Business Litigation Session, which handles only complex business litigation matters, issued a decision holding that an...more

California Supreme Court Leans in Favor of Treating Defense Bills as Privileged Communications

On October 6, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, a case that we have blogged about twice in the past because of its possible impact on policyholders...more

In Alabama, Sewage is NOT a Pollutant Falling Within the Pollution Exclusion in a Commercial General Liability Policy

Pollution exclusion clauses are an insurance industry staple and are often contained in commercial general liability insurance policies. While one might think that raw sewage would be considered a pollutant, under current...more

D&Os – Be Aware of Creditor Exclusion in Your Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently held that a Creditor Exclusion provision in D&O insurance coverage may result in significant limitations on the coverage provided to the D&Os, when the underlying...more

Delaware District Court Finds Duty to Defend Under Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

The backdrop to this decision is an interesting and unfortunate one involving a divorce, allegations of illegal obscene material possessed by the former husband, followed by a civil lawsuit between the former spouses after...more

Don’t Let a Little Concealer Ruin Your Coverage Defenses

May an insurer in New York delay asserting (or conceal, according to Estee Lauder) a late notice defense without waiving it? According to the New York Court of Appeals a jury should decide whether the insurer manifested a...more

Superior Court of Delaware Grants Motion for Summary Judgment Regarding Duty to Defend Under Wisconsin Law

The Complex Commercial Litigation Division of the Superior Court of Delaware recently held that Travelers Indemnity Company (“Travelers”) breached its duty to defend and indemnify plaintiff CNH Industrial America LLC (“CNH”)...more

Contractual Indemnification

Aluma Systems Concrete Construction of California v. Nibbi Bros. Inc., et al. - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (August 16, 2016) - This case considered the applicability of a contract’s indemnification...more

New Jersey Court Confirms a PRP Letter Constitutes a “Suit” Triggering an Insurer’s Duty to Defend

A New Jersey Superior Court recently put to rest a tenuous coverage defense to which insurers stubbornly have clung in environmental coverage cases. The court held in Cooper Industries, LLC v. Employers Ins. of Wausau a...more

In Indiana, an Absolute Pollution Exclusion May Exclude Absolutely Nothing

A recent article in the Sports section of The Miami Herald read “Shooting coach helps Winslow.” Perhaps, but it probably didn’t help the coach much. The admonition to “eat every carrot and pea on your plate” undoubtedly...more

Duty to Defend: Surplus Line Brokers and Professional Liability

Negligent solicitation and placement of insurance policies and failure to conduct due diligence into the admitted insurance market are covered under E&O policy - In a decision with significant implications for surplus...more

Contract Interpretation: Whether The Contract Is A Non-Insurance Indemnity Agreement Or An Insurance Policy Makes A Big Difference...

In Crawford v. Weather Shield Mfg., Inc. (2008) 44 Cal. 4th 541, 187 P.3d 424, 79 Cal.Rptr.3d 721, the California Supreme Court addressed an indemnitor’s duty to defend the indemnitee under a non-insurance indemnity agreement...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reaffirms Four-Corners Rule for Insurers’ Duty to Defend

An insurer’s decision whether to defend a lawsuit against its insured can be a critical issue involving tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars for Wisconsin companies who are sued. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently...more

A Worrying Insurance Trend: Litigation, No Cooperation

An alarming trend is emerging in the first-party insurance claims process. This new approach attempts to dispose of the traditional claims process in favor of an abbreviated process (if any) followed immediately by...more

A Recent California Federal Court Decision Restores Coverage For Some Patent-Related Lawsuits

A California district court pushed back on the restrictive interpretation of a standard intellectual property exclusion and found coverage for a policyholder’s patent related lawsuit. The United States District Court...more

Insurers Beware: Defending Bad Faith Claim May Lead to Waiver of Privileged Communications

On July 27, 2016, the United States District Court for South Carolina ordered an insurer to turn over its privileged communications. The Court explained that the insurer waived the protections afforded under the...more

Groundhog Day for Massachusetts Non-Compete Reform

Once again, the Massachusetts legislature was unable to agree on non-compete reform legislation by the July 31, 2016, end of the current legislative session. The House and Senate had passed versions of non-compete reform that...more

Seventh Circuit: Insurer Has Duty To Defend West Virginia’s Suit Against Drug Distributor Seeking To Recover Amounts Expended By...

Based on the policy language before it, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently found that an insurer has a duty to defend a pharmaceutical distributor in a lawsuit brought by West Virginia’s attorney...more

Is There Coverage for The Pill Mill Lawsuits?

In an effort to deal with the terrible epidemic of drug abuse and the human and economic costs of this dilemma, the state of West Virginia has brought lawsuits in several jurisdictions against pharmaceutical companies and...more

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