News & Analysis as of

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

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

D&O Coverage: The Devil Is In the Details

A five-paragraph opinion by the New York Appellate Division suggests the potentially devastating consequences of ignoring the fine print of Directors & Officers Liability insurance policies. In Associated Community Bancorp.,...more

Eleventh Circuit Maps a Route Around Four Corners

Florida adheres to the "four corners rule," under which a liability insurer’s duty to defend an insured is determined solely from the allegations of the underlying complaint. In Composite Structures, Inc. v. The Continental...more

The Duty to Defend: Understanding the Obligation and Identifying Some Tools Under Mississippi Law

Liability insurance coverage should always be an initial consideration when any business faces a claim or lawsuit. Do we have coverage for that? Ideally, the answer is an unqualified “yes.” In reality, the answer from an...more

Bad Caregivers Benefit From A Careless Defense

Where an insured defendant is sued under multiple theories and coverage is available for only some of them, an Ohio appellate court has ruled that the insurer’s duty to defend includes an obligation to recommend that the...more

Debate Over the ALI’s “Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance” Continues – Advisers Slated to Discuss Contentious Portions

At its 2013 annual meeting, the American Law Institute (ALI) voted to adopt sections 1 through 15 of its “Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance.” However, extensive criticism during the floor debate prevented the ALI...more

A Good Faith Review of 2013

With the arrival of the new year, many are applying the mantra “out with the old, in with the new.” Although this may be motivational for personal resolutions, it does not generally apply in the context of law as last year’s...more

California Court: Insurer Cannot Avoid Contractual Commitment to Defend Insured Against Federal Criminal Charges

In an important decision for directors, officers, non-profit executives and other insureds under directors and officers (D&O) and other liability insurance policies, the California Court of Appeal has held that an insurer...more

Weekly Law Resume - May 16, 2013: Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Vacant Property

Travelers Property Cas. Co. of America v. Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles - Court of Appeal, Second District (April 17, 2013) - Most insurers do not like to insure empty buildings. Consequently,...more

Insurers Lose Defense Reimbursement Battle in Washington State

It’s cynically said that no good deed goes unpunished. The Washington State Supreme Court seems to agree when it comes to insurers’ reservations of rights to seek reimbursement of fees and costs they have paid for the defense...more

Montana Court Addresses Business Risk Exclusions

In its recent decision in Lukes v. Mid-Continent Cas. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17979 (D. Mont. Feb. 11, 2013), the United States District Court for the District of Montana had occasion to consider the application of the...more

Court Gives Insured Roofer the Bird – Late Notice is Sufficient to Deny a Claim

In Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company v. Value Waterproofing, Inc., 2013 WL 152854 (S.D.N.Y., 2013), the Southern District Court of New York held that a commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify...more

In Alabama, Cost of Complying with a PRP letter Now Insured Under CGL Policies

In a recent ruling of interest to any company named as a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) at a Superfund site, the Alabama Supreme Court has held that a PRP letter constitutes a “suit” under a comprehensive general...more

Alabama Supreme Court Holds PRP Letter Triggers Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Ala. Gas Corp., 2012 Ala. LEXIS 174 (Ala. Dec. 28, 2012), the Supreme Court of Alabama addressed for the first time whether a PRP letter from the EPA qualifies as a...more

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