Insurance Litigation

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Eleventh Circuit Looks To Alabama’s Doctrine Of “Intertwining” To Determine Non-Signatory Cannot Be Compelled To Arbitrate

Under Alabama law, “arbitration may be compelled under the doctrine of ‘intertwining’ where arbitrable and nonarbitrable claims are so closely related that the party to a controversy subject to arbitration is equitably...more

Nebraska Supreme Court Rules that an Insurer Can Depreciate Labor in Determining Actual Cash Value

Property policies typically provide, if there is coverage, that the insured can recover for the costs to repair or replace the property damaged by loss. But when an insured does not repair or replace the damaged property (or...more

Eleventh Circuit Finds No Coverage for Contempt Proceedings under Lloyd's Professional Liability Insurance Policy

In Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs, P.A. v. Prosight-Syndicate 1110 at Lloyd’s, United States No. 15-12399, 2017 WL 586450 (11th Cir., February 14, 2017) the insured law firm sought to recover legal fees and costs incurred...more

UK: AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s judgment in AIG Europe Limited v Woodman and others UKSC 2016/0100, ruling on how claims arising from similar acts or omissions in a series of related...more

Reading the Crystal Ball: Reservation of Rights Letters under South Carolina Law in the Wake of Harleysville Group Insurance v....

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently took a firm stance on what constitutes a sufficient reservation of rights letter in Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities, Inc., et al., — S.E.2d — , No. 2013-001281,...more

Insurance Recovery Group News: Murtha Cullina Helps Policyholder Prevail Before Connecticut Appellate Court In Asbestos Coverage...

In a significant Connecticut Appellate Court victory for policyholders, Murtha Cullina LLP helped Vanderbilt Minerals, LLC prevail in its coverage case against more than 20 of its insurance carriers, who had issued policies...more

Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Policyholder Right to Sue Recalcitrant Excess Insurer

A new opinion published on March 21, 2017 from the Ninth Circuit (Teleflex Medical Inc. v National Union, Case no 14-56366 ) affirmed a $6+ M judgment against AIG subsidiary National Union, who was excess a primary policy...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court adopts narrow interpretations of surface water exclusion and ensuing loss clause

In the Ridgewood Group LLC v Millers Capital Insurance Company, No. 1138 EDA 2016, February 27, 2017, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania analyzed two often troublesome policy provisions, the surface water exclusion and the...more

Texas Appellate Court Reverses Award of Extracontractual Damages Holding Evidence was Legally Insufficient to Support Jury’s Bad...

State Farm Lloyds v. Webb, No. 09-15-00408-CV, 2017 WL 927848 (Tex. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2017) - After State Farm denied his claim for damages he contended were caused by a plumbing leak, Dennis Webb sued State Farm for,...more

8th Circuit Denies UIM Coverage Again Based Upon Mo. Supreme Court Decision in Rodriguez v. General Accident Insurance Company

For a third time in four years, the 8th Circuit has denied UIM coverage to an insured based upon the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision in Rodriguez v. General Accident Insurance Company of America, 808 S.W.2d 379 (Mo. banc...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Insured’s Summary Judgment Win Concluding that Insurer’s Negligence is Insufficient to Breach Implied Duty...

McDaniel v. Govt. Empls. Ins. Co., No. 14-17203, 2017 WL 892516 (9th Cir. Mar. 7, 2017) - On cross-motions for summary judgment, the District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled in favor of Amy McDaniel,...more

Eleventh Circuit Finds Insurance Carrier Responsible In Georgia For Harm Caused by Intoxicated Employee

In a recent Eleventh Circuit opinion, the Court found that the insurance carrier was responsible, under Georgia law, for the harm caused by an intoxicated employee’s vehicle usage. Great American Alliance Ins. Co. v....more

Seventh Circuit Finds Faulty Work Not a Covered “Occurrence”

In Allied Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Metro North Condo. Ass’n, No. 16-1868, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4107 (7th Cir. Mar. 8, 2017), the Seventh Circuit had occasion to consider whether claims of faulty workmanship could constitute...more

Indiana Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs May Present New Theories of Liability at Trial That Were Not Argued to the Medical Review...

In two decisions issued by the Indiana Court of Appeals on February 22, 2017, the Court held that a medical malpractice plaintiff may raise a new theory of liability in state court that was not previously argued to a medical...more

The Option to Repair: Making it Work

Florida homeowner insurers are seeing a significant increase in claims and litigation and are seeking ways to avoid costly litigation and expedite the claims process for their insureds. One option for the insurer is to...more

SC Supreme Court holds reservation of rights letters must be specific to be effective

The Supreme Court of South Carolina has issued a decision that could have a great impact on how insurers issue reservation of rights letters. In Harleysville Group Ins. v. Heritage Group Communities, Inc., No. 27698,...more

Rates Matter! Using the Tactics of Negotiation to Obtain Reasonable Rates for Defense Counsel

Heather Habes, Kilpatrick Townsend Attorney, recently presented “Rates Matter!: Using the Tactics of Negotiation to Obtain Reasonable Rates for Defense Counsel,” as a part of the ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee...more

Mayer Brown Submits Amicus Brief For Chamber Of Commerce, American Tort Reform Association, And American Insurance Association In...

Seemingly minor legal issues sometimes can have a surprisingly significant effect. That is particularly true with the ratio guidepost because the effect of any dispute about the guidepost’s application is literally...more

Utah Federal Court Holds That Incontestability Statute Bars Insurer From Avoiding Death Claim on STOLI Policy

On March 13, 2017, Judge David Nuffer of the United States District Court for the District of Utah granted defendant Wilmington Trust Company's motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to invalidate an alleged "STOLI"...more

The Graber Opinion is Confirmed as an Outlier in Matters Involving Texas Appraisals

With the continued onslaught of hail and other weather related litigation in Texas, insurance carriers often elect to resolve claims through the appraisal process outlined in the policy. Insurance carriers historically...more

Schrödinger’s Coverage: When a Risk is Covered and Not Covered by Insurance

When is a person an “employee” under one insurance policy but not an employee under another? Conflicting or inconsistent definitions across multiple policy lines issued to the same company can give rise to significant gaps...more

Connecticut Appeals Court Adopts Continuous Trigger Theory; Recognizes the Unavailability of Insurance Rule without an Equitable...

On March 7, the Connecticut Appellate Court handed a victory to policyholders seeking insurance for long-tail liabilities. The court adopted both a continuous trigger for asbestos-related disease claims and an unavailability...more

Oregon Federal Court Decides Carbon Monoxide Incident Is Excluded by Pollution Exclusion

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon has determined that carbon monoxide from a natural gas swimming pool heater is a pollutant within the meaning of a commercial general liability insurance policy....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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