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Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

11th Circuit Finds a Covered “Occurrence” Under CGL Policy For Damages Resulting From Contractor’s Faulty Work and Rejects...

In Pennsylvania National Mutual Insurance Company v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 790 F.3d 1173 (11th Cir. 2015), a judgment was obtained by the Parish (a Catholic Church) against Kiker Corporation (“Kiker”), which was...more

New York Court: Undefined Word “Occurrence” in a Deductible Provision Must be Construed by the Finder of Fact

Many property policies expressly define the term “occurrence” to encompass a series of similar and related events. Last month, however, in Rokeach v. Hanover Ins. Co., 2015 WL 2400097, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6580 (May 19, 2015,...more

New York Court Denies Insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Based upon Undefined Term “Occurrence” in Policy

In Rafer Rokeach v. Hanover Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65801, *1-16 (S.D.N.Y. May 19, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York examined the undefined term “occurrence” in the deductibles...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Accepts New Cases: Occurrences, 12% Interest, and Donning and Doffing

Last Friday, Wisconsin’s supreme court announced that it had accepted seven new cases. Three of them are of particular interest to Wisconsin businesses. In Wis. Pharmacal Co. v. Nebraska Cultures of Cal.,...more

Court Holds That Trimming of Neighbor’s Trees is Not an Insured Accident or Occurrence

In Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Co. (No. B257792, filed 4/28/15, ord. pub. 5/20/15), a California Court of Appeal held that an insured’s trimming of a neighbor’s trees which allegedly damaged the trees was not an accident...more

Insurance – Duty to Defend

Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange, et al. - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (March 4, 2015) - Typically, claims of sexual assault or claims related to sexual assault are not covered under a standard...more

Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling...more

Colorado Supreme Court Announces New Limit on the “Notice-Prejudice Rule”

On February 17, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Craft v. Phila. Indem. Ins. Co., No. 14sa43, 2015 WL 658785 (Colo. Feb. 17, 2015), in which it held the notice-prejudice rule applicable to occurrence policies does not...more

Reinsurer Found Prejudiced By Disadvantageous Commutations Resulting From Ceding Insurer’s Late Notice

A legal dispute stemmed from Utica Mutual Insurance Company’s late notice of claim to Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Utica’s reinsurer. Although the parties’ facultative reinsurance certificate required Utica to provide...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015

California Court Adopts Broad Interpretation of “Occurrence,” Finds Coverage - Why it matters: In a victory for policyholders—and a continuation of the trend of courts adopting a broad reading of the term “occurrence”...more

The Pennsylvania Superior Court Continues to Muddle the Answer to the Question of When Faulty Workmanship is an “Occurrence” Under...

Pennsylvania courts continue to struggle with complex concepts underpinning when faulty workmanship can be an “occurrence” triggering coverage under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policies. In Kvaerner Metals Division...more

Biochemics, Inc. v. Axis Reinsurance Co.: When Does a D&O “Claim” Occur?

A recent decision of the United States District Court for Massachusetts underscores the need for holders of director and officer (“D&O”) policies to provide timely – and early – notice of a claim, especially when the SEC...more

California Insurance Law - 2014 Year in Review

Introduction - The California appellate courts issued an unusual number and variety of insurance-related opinions in 2014. The California Supreme Court issued an important and highly anticipated ruling on the scope of...more

New York District Court Rejects Excess Carrier’s Attempt to Stack Primary Limits in Continuous Exposure Case

Cases involving continuous exposure present unique challenges. Determining when the alleged injury occurred is critical in evaluating causation, damages, and statute of limitations defenses. The date and nature of the...more

Tenth Circuit: Property Damage Surrounding Defective Windows Is an “Occurrence” Because Damage Is Unexpected from Insured’s...

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. AMSCO Windows, No. 13-4155 (10th Cir. November 26, 2014), Cincinnati insured AMSCO, which manufactures windows for use in homes and sells the windows to distributors. Certain AMSCO windows...more

Seventh Circuit Declines to Issue Bright-Line Rule Regarding Trigger in First-Party Property Cases

The Seventh Circuit addressed Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. 21794 (7th Cir. November 18, 2014) on an appeal from the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The Strausses constructed a home in Mequon, Wisconsin in...more

Federal District Court in Pennsylvania Grants Summary Judgment To CGL Insurer Based Upon Lack of “Occurrence”

On October 14, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment filed by State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. (“State Farm”), seeking a declaration that it had no duty...more

Apartment Complexity: Appellate Court Sorts Out Multiple Coverage Claims for Construction of Uninhabitable Residence

In QBE Ins. Corp. v. Adjo Contracting Corp. (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t Oct. 29, 2014), an intermediate appellate court in New York confronted cross-appeals involving 15 different insurers embroiled in multiple lawsuits,...more

Seventh Circuit: Under Wisconsin Law, “Continuous or Repeated Exposure” Language Means That a Continuous Trigger Theory Applies

Yesterday, in Strauss v. Chubb Indem. Ins. Co., – F.3d – , 2014 WL 6435314, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21794 (7th Cir., Nov. 18, 2014), the Court of Appeals held that the use of the phrase “continuous or repeated exposure” in a...more

When Is the Presence of Lactobacillus Acidophilus an Occurrence Under a CGL Policy?

In Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. v. Nebraska Cultures of California, No. 13AP613 (Wis. Ct. App. Oct. 29, 2014), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals analyzed the circumstances under which a supplier’s negligent provision of an incorrect...more

No CGL Coverage for Faulty Workmanship Under Pennsylvania Law

In State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. McDermott, 2014 WL 5285335 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 15, 2014), a federal court recently held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying construction defect...more

U.S. District Court of Hawaii Holds That Claims Arising From Contractors Failure To Provide Metal Framing and Installation of...

In State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. RK Wooten, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146196 (D. Haw. Oct. 14, 2014), the U.S. District Court of Hawaii recently determined that State Farm Fire & Casualty Insurance Company (“State Farm”) had no...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Denies Review of Faulty Workmanship Decision

Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court let stand the appellate decision in Indalex, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., which held that mold related health problems and property damage allegedly...more

Nebraska Appellate Court Gets Down to Earth to Hold That Faulty Workmanship Standing Alone Is Not An “Occurrence”

The insurance and construction industries have disagreed about coverage claims involving faulty workmanship for many years. Contractors believe their CGL insurance policies should always cover property damage caused by...more

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