General Liability

  • May 28, 2024

    No Coverage For IT Co.'s 'Collusive' Settlement, Insurer Says

    Chubb unit ACE American Insurance Co. told a Colorado federal court it owes no coverage to an IT company found liable by a jury for making fraudulent misrepresentations and breaching its cybersecurity agreement with an investment company, arguing the parties' post-verdict settlement was merely a workaround to "create insurance coverage."

  • May 24, 2024

    No-Show Plaintiff, 'Jackass' Atty Booted Too Fast, Court Says

    A Michigan appellate court sympathized with a trial court dealing with a no-show plaintiff and his lawyer who acted like a "jackass" — according to one appellate judge — but ruled Thursday that the trial court needed to do a better job documenting why it tossed the case instead of issuing a lesser sanction.

  • May 24, 2024

    Insurer's Coverage Suit Premature, Ga. Apt. Complex Says

    An apartment complex facing negligence claims over a shooting told a Georgia federal court that its insurer's suit seeking to avoid coverage must be tossed, arguing that without any factual findings in the underlying state court action, any finding on the insurer's duty to indemnify would be premature.

  • May 24, 2024

    Insurer Owes Coverage For School Defect Claim, Builder Says

    A general contractor told a Washington federal court it is entitled to coverage under a subcontractor's commercial general liability policy with a Liberty Mutual unit for defects and damage that a school district alleges was caused by the subcontractor while working on a school expansion project.

  • May 23, 2024

    Calif. High Court Deals Loss To Policyholder In COVID-19 Suit

    The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the coronavirus generally doesn't cause the kind of damage to property that would trigger coverage under an insurance policy, handing a win to a Chubb insurance company in one of the last major venues for pandemic coverage litigation.

  • May 23, 2024

    Colo. AI Bias Law Brings Little Certainty For Insurance Sector

    Colorado enacted the nation's first comprehensive regulatory scheme for protecting consumers from discriminatory and biased artificial intelligence systems, sending a warning signal to an insurance sector bracing for increased scrutiny and risks related to the technology.

  • May 23, 2024

    How An Ex-Attorney Turned Mediator Approaches Conflict

    Drawing from his 25-year career as an attorney litigating primarily insurance coverage disputes, Steven Schulwolf founded Schulwolf Mediation to help parties reach effective resolutions in even the toughest cases.

  • May 23, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    Policyholders suffered losses over COVID-19 coverage claims before the California Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit, the California high court weighed whether an exclusion rendered virus coverage illusory and if a policyholder's unfair competition claim against State Farm was untimely, and the Tenth Circuit questioned the scope of absolute pollution exclusions.

  • May 23, 2024

    2nd Circ. Revives Insurer's $2.5M Suit Over Valuation Software

    The Second Circuit on Thursday revived an insurer's indemnification bid against software company Audatex for $2.5 million in costs from a suit alleging its use of Audatex's valuation software resulted in underpayment for totaled cars, concluding the lower court erred in finding the suit didn't result from the insurer's use of Audatex's software.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC High Court Grants Review In Clothier's Virus Coverage Suit

    North Carolina's top court on Thursday agreed to take up a clothing company's coverage appeal for COVID-19 losses against Zurich after a lower appellate panel found the virus did not cause the kind of physical loss or damage necessary to invoke coverage.

  • May 23, 2024

    Antitrust Concerns Persist For New UN Insurance Group

    A new United Nations insurance-climate initiative demonstrates a continued interest among regulators for promoting a more sustainable industry, but experts say antitrust concerns and industry participation raise questions about its potential efficacy.

  • May 23, 2024

    4th Circ. Rules No Coverage For Mars' COVID Losses

    Candymaker Mars Inc. can't get coverage from Factory Mutual Insurance Co. for its COVID-19-related losses, the Fourth Circuit ruled Thursday, further rejecting Mars' bid to certify a question to the Virginia Supreme Court.

  • May 23, 2024

    Estate Sues Hanover For $13.4M Judgment In Death Suit

    The Hanover Insurance Group has refused to pay a judgment of nearly $13.4 million to the family of a man who died in the care of a Connecticut group home, according to a lawsuit in state court.

  • May 23, 2024

    Coverage Suit Paused Until Resolution Of Gun Sales Dispute

    A California federal court paused Crum & Forster's suit against a police gun and fitness club and the city of Los Angeles over coverage for underlying actions brought by officers accusing the club of selling them stolen handguns, citing factual overlap between the actions.

  • May 22, 2024

    Seattle Sues Train Cos. Over Bike Track-Crossing Suits

    The city of Seattle says two short-line railroads have breached agreements to maintain liability insurance and indemnify the city in lawsuits from cyclists injured crossing tracks along a perilous stretch of a popular bike trail, according to a complaint filed in Washington state court.

  • May 21, 2024

    Strategic Hiring Was The New Normal For BigLaw In 2023

    The 400 largest law firms by headcount in the U.S. grew more slowly in 2023 than in the previous two years, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP surpassed the 3,000-attorney threshold, according to the latest Law360 ranking.

  • May 21, 2024

    The Law360 400: Tracking The Largest US Law Firms

    The legal market expanded more tentatively in 2023 than in previous years amid a slowdown in demand for legal services, especially in transactions, an area that has been sluggish but is expected to quicken in the near future.

  • May 20, 2024

    10th Circ. Oral Args. Poised To Shape NM Pollution Coverage

    The Tenth Circuit said there were "good arguments on both sides" of an appeal at oral arguments Monday over whether absolute pollution exclusions doomed a New Mexico property owner's quest for defense coverage of underlying contamination litigation, in a case that could set the tone for insurance battles in the state.

  • May 20, 2024

    3 Insurance Execs Can't Hit Pause On Asset Theft Claims

    Three former Sherbrooke Corporate Ltd. executives accused of stealing assets when they left to form their own venture lost a bid to halt the company's lawsuit, after a North Carolina federal judge doubted that their efforts to toss the case would succeed.

  • May 20, 2024

    Auto Accessory Co. Secures Partial Coverage For BIPA Row

    An insurer must defend an automotive accessory company in a proposed class action alleging violations of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act, the Seventh Circuit ruled, finding that unlike the company's primary and excess commercial general liability policies, an umbrella policy "lacks an exclusion pertaining to nonpublic information."

  • May 17, 2024

    Colo. Precedent Barred Insurer's Crash Liability Challenge

    A Colorado state appeals court affirmed a lower court's finding that a Progressive unit couldn't contest liability in its policyholder's car crash case involving an uninsured driver, saying the lower court correctly applied binding Colorado Supreme Court precedent.

  • May 17, 2024

    $5M Candy Recall Coverage Dispute Moved To Texas Court

    An insurer's lawsuit disclaiming coverage for a candy manufacturer over a near $5 million recall over metal fragments found in certain gummy candies belongs in Texas, a New York federal judge has ruled, finding that the action was "filed preemptively to deprive the natural plaintiff of its choice of forum."

  • May 17, 2024

    5th Circ. Won't Rethink SXSW Ticket Coverage Ruling

    The Fifth Circuit will not reconsider ordering a Chubb unit to cover defense costs incurred by Texas music festival South by Southwest from a class action by ticket holders seeking refunds after Austin officials canceled the festival in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • May 16, 2024

    Convicted Insurance Mogul Says He'll Trim Empire

    Convicted insurance mogul Greg Lindberg told the North Carolina Supreme Court he's relinquishing control of portions of his enterprise to fulfill a deal to restructure them with independent oversight, according to court filings.

  • May 16, 2024

    Justices Dodge Class Action Queries In $3.5B Insurance Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court left open the question of when class actions should be relegated to state courts by declining a mutual insurance company's appeal of claims that it failed to return $3.5 billion in profits back to policyholders.

Expert Analysis

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

    Author Photo

    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • Cos. Seeking Cyber Coverage Can Look To Key Policy Terms

    Author Photo

    As cyberattacks increasingly threaten business operations, including one last month that partially paralyzed UnitedHealth's services, expanded interpretations of several key policy terms may allow affected companies to recover under cyber business interruption policies or other coverage, even if their business hasn't completely shut down, say attorneys at Kasowitz.

  • Insurance Industry Asbestos Reserve Estimates Are Unreliable

    Author Photo

    Insurance regulators rely on industry self-reporting in approving insurance company reorganizations, but AM Best data reveals that actuarial and audit estimates have been setting perniciously low levels of loss reserves for asbestos liabilities and thus should be treated with deep skepticism, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • High Court Should Endorse Insurer Standing In Bankruptcy

    Author Photo

    In Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, the U.S. Supreme Court will examine bankruptcy standing doctrine as applied to insurers in mass tort cases, and should use the opportunity to eliminate spurious standing roadblocks to resolving insurer objections on their merits, says Frank Perch at White and Williams.

  • How VA Court Change Is Affecting Insurance Disputes

    Author Photo

    The expansion of the Virginia Court of Appeals' jurisdiction to include review of decisions involving insurance coverage stands to significantly grow the body of related case law, likely to the benefit of policyholders, as evident in the recent decision in Bowman II v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., say Michael Levine and Olivia Bushman at Hunton.

  • Ore. Insurance Ruling Opens Door To Extracontractual Claims

    Author Photo

    The Oregon Supreme Court's recent Moody v. Oregon Community Credit Union decision expanding an insurer's potential liability when adjusting life insurance policies exposes insurers to extracontractual tort liability, and the boundaries of this application will likely be tested through aggressive legal action, says Tessan Wess at GRSM50.

  • Strict Duty To Indemnify Ruling Bucks Recent Trend

    Author Photo

    A South Carolina federal court's recent decision that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to decide an insurer's duty to indemnify prior to the finding of insured liability sharply diverges from the more nuanced or multipronged standards established by multiple circuit courts, says Richard Mason at MasonADR.

  • How Merck Settlement Can Inform Cyberinsurance Approach

    Author Photo

    This month's settlement in Merck v. ACE spotlights how cyber exclusions have evolved since the significant decision in the case — allowing for insurance coverage despite the presence of a policy war exclusion — and where else corporate risk managers may look for coverage in case of a cyberattack, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • What's In NY's Draft Guidance On AI Use In Insurance

    Author Photo

    Last week, the New York State Department of Financial Services released proposed guidance for insurers on the use of artificial intelligence systems and external consumer data and information sources for underwriting and pricing purposes, and these standards will likely help form the basis of an eventual nationwide insurance regulatory framework on AI, say attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell.

  • How States Vary On The Fireman's Rule And Its Applicability

    Author Photo

    A recent decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals, reviving a firefighter’s suit, is illustrative of changes in the application and interpretation by state courts and legislatures of the Fireman’s Rule, which bans first responders from recovering for injuries sustained on the job, says Shea Feagin at Swift Currie.

  • Insured Takeaways From 10th Circ. Interrelated Claims Ruling

    Author Photo

    The Tenth Circuit's recent ruling in American Southwest Mortgage v. Continental Casualty that multiple claims arising from consecutive audit years were interrelated — and thus subject to a per claim limit — creates a concerning precedent for policyholders, so companies should negotiate relevant policy language, says Michael Stockalper at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Protections May Exist For Cos. Affected By Red Sea Attacks

    Author Photo

    Companies whose ships or cargo have been affected by the evolving military conflict in the Red Sea, and the countries under whose flags those ships were traveling, may be able to seek redress through legal action against Yemen or Iran under certain international law mechanisms, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Time To Step Up PFAS Due Diligence In Cross-Border M&A

    Author Photo

    Regulations in the U.S. and EU governing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances will likely evolve to become global standards out of necessity and scale, so PFAS due diligence — particularly for buyers, sellers, and lenders and investors involved in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions — will be essential in 2024, say attorneys at Shipman & Goodwin.