News & Analysis as of

Duty to Defend

Ownership is Not a Conclusive Factor for Ongoing Operations Additional Insured Coverage

In McMillin Management Services v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co. (No. D069814, filed 11/14/17), a California appeals court held that an insurer had a duty to defend a general contractor under an “ongoing operations” additional...more

The Ramifications of a Less-Than-Thorough Investigation

by Farella Braun + Martel LLP on

An insurance carrier has declined to defend a claim asserted against its insured, arguably without meeting its obligation to investigate the claim. For whatever reason — a change in personnel, loss of a file, or some other...more

Obligations of Insurer and Policyholder - October 2017

by Foley Hoag LLP on

Scope: The “Comparison Test” - The defense obligation arises when a defense is needed: at the outset of the suit. It follows that, unlike the duty to indemnify (which depends on the “true” facts as they are determined in...more

Ninth Circuit Shuts Down Lakers: TCPA Means “Privacy” When It Comes to Insurance Coverage

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

As many practitioners who work with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) know, getting insurance providers to cover TCPA cases is a difficult proposition. The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed this notion in Los Angeles...more

Despite No Allegations of Bad Faith or Tortious Conduct, Liberty Mutual Owes Millions for Breaching the Duty to Defend

by Carlton Fields on

In Hyland v. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co., No. 1:15-cv-01264-JES-JEH, 2017 WL 3388161 (C.D. Ill. Aug. 7, 2017), the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment for...more

Key Texas M&A Issues (Presentation)

by Jackson Walker on

Agenda - Letters of Intent - Best Efforts - Indemnification - Sandbagging - Non-Reliance - Fiduciary Duties - Letters of Intent: • Buyer may seek letter of intent that is generally not binding on either party...more

CGL Insurance Coverage for Advertising Injuries: Upping the Ante for IP Litigation

by Jones Day on

August 2017 In Short The Situation: Reversing a pair of federal district court rulings, the Fifth and Ninth Circuits have held that insurers must defend commercial general liability policyholders in advertising injuries...more

Travelers Fails to Pull a Rabbit out of its Hat and Must Defend its Insured

by Nossaman LLP on

In a recent federal court decision out of Colorado, Travelers failed to convince the Court that it had no duty to defend its insured based on its IP exclusion (barring coverage for patent infringement claims). Travelers’...more

Florida Court Holds Prior Knowledge Exclusion Precludes Coverage for Malpractice Suit

In its recent decision in Farbstein v. Westport Ins. Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125990 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 9, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of Florida had occasion to consider the application of a...more

Disparagement Allegations May Trigger Valuable Coverage

A recent case we handled highlights the importance of reading a complaint’s allegations very carefully. Competitors in high-stakes litigation may file complaints and cross-complaints against each other alleging a variety of...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds Insurers’ Duty to Defend Does Not Extend to Counterclaims

A recent decision by Massachusetts’ highest court provides another reason why employers should carefully review their employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policies. Unless the policy expressly covers counterclaims,...more

Insurance Bad Faith – Insurer Cannot Rescind Policy Because Insured Answered Application Questions Correctly

by Low, Ball & Lynch on

Victor Duarte v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, First Appellate District (June 12, 2017) - Under the legal principle of “rescission,” an insurance company can rescind an insurance policy if the...more

Is There a Possible Limit to an Insurer’s Duty to Defend in Washington State?

by Lane Powell PC on

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed Western District of Washington Judge Ronald B. Leighton’s decision finding no duty to defend negligence claims arising out of a murder-suicide....more

Massachusetts Court Holds Upholds Exclusion Applicable to Personal and Advertising Injury

In its recent decision in National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Town of Norwood, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116638 (D. Mass. July 26, 2017), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider the...more

The Metaphysics of When an Accident is an “Accident” (or Not) Under Your Insurance Policy

As an undergrad, I remember taking an introductory philosophy class. When we came to the chapter on metaphysics our professor asked what makes an apple an apple? “We have a specific name for it, presumably, to distinguish it...more

Kentucky Court Holds Professional Liability Insurer Can Pay Limits and Terminate Its Defense Obligation

In its recent decision in Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. MESA Med. Grp., PLLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111949 (E.D. Ky. July 19, 2017), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky had occasion to address a...more

Massachusetts High Court: Insurers Not Obligated to Prosecute Counterclaims under Duty-to-Defend Policies

by Wilson Elser on

On June 22, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co. v. Visionaid, Inc. (No. SJC-12142) considered three questions certified by the First Circuit Court of Appeals addressing the...more

Insurers’ Duty to Defend Does Not Require Coverage for Counterclaims in Massachusetts

?In a win for insurers, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) ruled on June 22, 2017 that a duty to defend does not require insurers to fund an insured’s counterclaim, even if it is “inextricably intertwined” with...more

California Does Not Bar Defense Coverage For "Willful Acts"

"California prohibits insurers from indemnifying policyholders for their intentional misconduct, as a matter of public policy and as codified in California Insurance Code section 533. This bar on insurance coverage, however,...more

One Way Out: California District Court Finds Insurer Had Right to Pay Limits Despite Possible Defense

by Carlton Fields on

In Film Allman, LLC v. New York Marine and General Insurance Company, Inc., 2:14-cv-7069-ODW, (C.D. Cal. May 23, 2017), a California district court granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer of a production company. The...more

Great American Insurance Co. v. Hamel: The Texas Supreme Court Clarifies the Circumstances under which a Judgment Entered against...

by Locke Lord LLP on

In Great American Insurance Co. v. Hamel, 2017 WL 2623067 (Tex. June 16, 2017), the Texas Supreme Court more precisely defined the circumstances under which an insurance company that wrongfully fails to defend an insured may...more

West Virginia Supreme Court: Bad Faith Claims Are Premature when the Insurer Is Providing a Defense

by Cozen O'Connor on

The West Virginia Supreme Court recently granted an insurer the extraordinary legal remedy of a writ of prohibition, awarding it an immediate dismissal of the insureds’ bad faith claims. State ex rel. Universal Underwriters...more

New York Court Holds General Liability Insurer Has Duty to Defend Odor Claim

In its recent decision in Hillcrest Coatings, Inc. v. Colony Ins. Co., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4519 (N.Y. 4th Dep’t June 9, 2017), the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, had occasion to...more

Absolute Pollution Exclusion—Not So Absolute

by Perkins Coie on

Slapping insurers with breach of contract and bad faith, Washington state’s highest court recently found that a general liability policy’s so-called “absolute” pollution exclusion may not be so absolute. In Xia et al. v....more

Federal Court in Alaska Holds Insurer Liable Under E&O Policy to Indemnify and Defend Construction Manager for Claims by...

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

KICC –Alcan Gen. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37560 (March 16, 2017) - A Contractor/Construction Manager, KICC-Alcan General (“KICC”), entered into a subcontract with an MEP subcontractor,...more

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