News & Analysis as of

Reservation of Rights

Fifth Circuit Reverses Mississippi District Court’s Interpretation of “Ambiguous” Language to Nullify Defense Within Limits...

by Carlton Fields on

Insurance policies that include the cost of defending a particular claim or action within the policy’s limit of liability, often referred to as “burning,” “eroding,” or “defense within” limits policies, are common in the...more

New York’s Highest Court Applies Proximate Cause Test To Additional Insured Endorsement

In The Burlington Insurance Company v. NYC Transit Authority, et al., (N.Y. June 6, 2017), the New York Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – held that when an insurance policy states that additional insured coverage...more

District Court Granted Voluntary Motion to Dismiss Against Named Defendant But Disallowed Reservation of Rights as to Unnamed...

In this patent infringement action, Plaintiff Wright's Well Control Services, LLC (WWCS) filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss defendant Christopher Mancini pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2) with prejudice,...more

Do I really need my own lawyer if the insurer is giving me one? (law note; tip)

by Melissa Dewey Brumback on

Several readers have reached out to me about my post on getting a Reservation of Rights letter with comments and questions. The most common refrain has been something along the lines of: “Do I really have to hire my own...more

When an Assault is not an Assault - Covered Up: SC District Court Denies Exclusion for Alleged Nightclub Assault and Battery

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

In a recent United States District Court decision, the court denied the insurer’s motion for summary judgment as to its duty to defend and indemnify for an alleged assault and battery. The facts of Certain Underwriters at...more

Dear Engineer: Has your insurer issued a “Reservation of Rights” letter? (law note)

by Melissa Dewey Brumback on

In my previous post, I made reference to getting a “Reservation of Rights” letter. I noted that the carrier may decide to defend you under a Reservation of Rights (i.e., hire your lawyer) but may not, necessarily, accept...more

“Professional Best Efforts” part 2– Reservation of Rights for Engineers who agree to “best” efforts? (law note)

by Melissa Dewey Brumback on

Recently, a reader reached out to me to ask about case examples of an engineer losing his insurance coverage because he agreed to a “heightened” or “best” standard of care. The reader stated that he was an insurance adviser...more

What is a Morris Agreement?

by Jaburg Wilk on

A “Morris Agreement” is a “settlement agreement entered into when the insurer is defending under a reservation of rights under which the insured stipulates to a judgment, assigns his rights against the insurer to the...more

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

by Carlton Fields on

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

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

by Dentons on

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

US District Court: Party to Arbitration Waived "Right to be Heard" Arguments

by Dechert LLP on

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued an implicit warning to arbitration practitioners in the Urquhart v. Kurlan decision issued two weeks ago: choose your words carefully at the close of...more

“Generic,” “Cut-and-Paste” Reservation of Rights Letter Ineffective

by Butler Snow LLP on

Insureds won a round the other day when the South Carolina Supreme Court held that reservation of rights letters, which it characterized as nothing but “generic statements of potential non-coverage coupled with” large...more

“Any and All” Doesn’t Preserve Any and All Estate Claims Post-Confirmation

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

The Bankruptcy Code permits Chapter 11 plans to provide for the reservation of any claims or interests that that belong to the debtor or the estate, allowing the plans to be confirmed prior to the final resolution of any and...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

SPECIAL REPORT: Reservation of Rights

by Collins & Lacy, P.C. on

The South Carolina Supreme Court has concluded that: (1) an insurance company’s reservation of rights letter was insufficient and the insured had therefore waived its coverage defenses; (2) even if the reservation of rights...more

Reservation of Rights Requirements Adopted by South Carolina Supreme Court

by Cozen O'Connor on

The South Carolina Supreme Court’s recent decision in Harleysville Group Insurance v. Heritage Communities, Inc., Appellate Case Nos. 2013-001281 and 2013-001291, 2017 WL 105021 (S.C. Jan. 11, 2017) affirms what is and is not...more

Missouri Supreme Court Addresses Insurer Intervention, Garnishment Proceedings and Bad Faith Findings

by Williams Venker & Sanders on

Allen v. Bryers and Atain Specialty Insurance Company, — S.W.3d —, 2016 WL 7378560 (Mo. banc, December 20, 2016) In a recent opinion, the Missouri Supreme Court addressed the timing for an insurer’s intervention in a...more

Insurance Coverage – “Other Insurance” Provisions Between Excess Carriers

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

Advent, Inc. v National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA - Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District (December 6, 2016) - Historically, “other insurance” clauses in liability policies were designed to prevent...more

Whose Settlement Is It, Anyway? Negotiating Consistent with an Insurer's Strong Coverage Defenses.

by Cozen O'Connor on

This author suggested, in an earlier May 2016 Bad Faith blog article, that an insurer can measure on a “strength scale” its insurance coverage defenses while it defends its insured against underlying claims and lawsuits under...more

Montana Court Holds D&O Insurer Had Duty to Advance Costs

In its recent decision in Johnson v. Federal Rural Electric Ins. Ex., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173037 (D. Mont. Dec. 14, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of Montana had occasion to consider a D&O...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

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

by Cozen O'Connor on

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

Defense Lawyers Beware: Failure to Supplement Answers to Interrogatories Estopped Insurer from Relying on Coverage Limitation

How often do you hear defense attorneys say, “I’m not interested in anything related to coverage. That’s not my concern.” From a coverage lawyer’s perspective, this is a dangerous position, both ethically and legally....more

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