General Liability

  • March 28, 2024

    Q&A: Former Calif. Insurance Chief On Climate & Rate Setting

    From intense wildfires to devastating floods, the effects of climate change on California's insurance market cannot be understated, a fact that experts point to often as regulators weigh how to bring insurers back to business in the Golden State.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    A marine insurer confirmed it's cooperating with Baltimore authorities after an insured cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, music festival South by Southwest's class action coverage efforts were renewed, and North Carolina justices dismantled 30 years of intermediate appellate court adherence to "stacking" underinsured motorist policies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Foxwoods Tribal Owner Loses $76M COVID Insurance Appeal

    The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, did not meet a key burden when suing its insurer for more than $76 million in losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's intermediate-level appeals court ruled Thursday in declining to revive the litigation.

  • March 28, 2024

    Wash. Appeals Court Asked To Mull COVID Coverage Question

    A Washington state court has halted litigation over the University of Washington's bid for COVID-19 business interruption coverage from a Liberty Mutual unit, asking a state appeals court to first determine whether the presence of COVID-19 satisfies UW's policies' direct physical loss or damage requirement and if a contamination exclusion applies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Flood Risk Disclosure Law Uptick Offers Insurance Upsides

    A growing trend of states adopting and implementing flood risk disclosure laws must continue, experts say, touting such laws as protecting consumers and informing efforts to mitigate climate change costs through insurance and other risk management efforts.

  • March 28, 2024

    5th Circ. Limits Broad Contract Liability Exclusions In SXSW

    The Fifth Circuit awarded policyholders a major victory over a thorny issue when it ruled that Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer owed defense coverage for a ticket holder class action over unpaid refunds from the canceled 2020 festival.

  • March 28, 2024

    NC Justices' Split Leaves Willful Violation Question Unsolved

    A dispute over coverage for a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act provided an opportunity for the North Carolina Supreme Court to interpret a policy exclusion for the willful violation of a statute, but experts say a deadlocked decision will leave the issue for another day.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Ordered To Defend Legionnaires' Suits

    The insurer of a nonprofit providing housing to at-risk individuals in New York City must defend it in three underlying lawsuits alleging that numerous residents contracted Legionnaires' disease at two properties in the Bronx, a New York federal court ruled, finding a communicable disease exclusion inapplicable.

  • March 27, 2024

    Insurer Can't Escape Strip Club, Models' $2M Ad Settlement

    An insurer can't evade covering a nearly $2 million settlement between a Rhode Island strip club and a group of models who sued the club for misusing their images in advertisements, a federal judge ruled, holding that the club did not breach its contract when entering into the agreement. 

  • March 27, 2024

    NC Commissioner Says Insurance Mogul's Argument 'Mistaken'

    The North Carolina insurance commissioner asked the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow him to give his take on a group of insurers' lawsuit against embattled mogul Greg Lindberg that alleges he pilfered the insurance companies as owner, saying if the court lets him submit an amicus brief he'll explain how Lindberg's main argument is "mistaken."

  • March 27, 2024

    Insurer Settles $900K Chinese Dehumidifier Fire Suit

    A Chinese appliance manufacturer and a U.S. distributor known for selling fire-prone dehumidifiers settled an insurer's $900,000 suit over a policyholder's house fire, the insurer told a North Carolina federal court.

  • March 27, 2024

    2nd Circ. Weighs Broadening 'Claim' In Shareholder Dispute

    The Second Circuit questioned Wednesday whether it should use a New York state appeals court ruling to broaden the meaning of "claim" in a propane company's directors and officers policy with a Liberty Mutual unit, including not just an entire underlying lawsuit but the individual causes of action within.

  • March 27, 2024

    Camden Diocese Insurers Demand Ch. 11 Plan Be Halted

    Several insurers of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden told a New Jersey bankruptcy judge Wednesday that the approval of the debtor's third modified Chapter 11 plan stripped the insurers' rights and urged the court to implement a stay on the order.

  • March 27, 2024

    Smucker Needn't Pay Multiple Limits For Tainted Jif Row

    J.M. Smucker Co. does not have to satisfy the retained limit for 225 underlying claims seeking damages for salmonella-contaminated Jif peanut butter individually before being eligible for coverage, an Ohio federal judge ruled, holding that the underlying claims constituted a single occurrence.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer Wants $29M Treble Damages Ruling Reversed In NC

    An insurer has asked a North Carolina state appeals court to overturn a nearly $29 million ruling penalizing it for failing to defend an employee who crashed a company truck, killing his colleague, citing a policy exclusion for employee injury cases it said the trial court ignored.

  • March 26, 2024

    2nd Circ. Pushes Co. For Case Law In Ad Injury Coverage Row

    The Second Circuit questioned Tuesday whether implicit disparagement is enough to trigger coverage under a commercial general liability policy, challenging a company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective to prove that a nonspecific reference to competitors' products falls within the scope of coverage.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer's Intervention In Sex-Trafficking Coverage Suit Limited

    Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. can intervene in another insurer's suit against a hospitality company over coverage for sex trafficking allegations, but only if the other carrier's policy isn't rescinded and the case proceeds to a second phase of litigation, a Texas federal court has ruled.

  • March 26, 2024

    UK Marine Insurer Investigating Baltimore Bridge Crash

    Britannia, a British marine insurer, confirmed Tuesday that it is working with authorities in Baltimore after a container ship destroyed the city's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge in a collision that experts say is likely to cost the insurance sector billions of dollars in claims.

  • March 25, 2024

    NC Justices Undo Stacking Auto Insurance Coverage

    The North Carolina Supreme Court has overruled 30 years of intermediate appellate court adherence to "stacking" underinsured motorist policies, ruling the plain language of a state law only allows that type of coverage to be combined among policies on a vehicle involved with a collision.

  • March 25, 2024

    Colo. Justices Say Insurer's Vintage Car Exclusion Holds Up

    Colorado's justices on Monday ruled that specialty insurance policies for vintage cars can limit uninsured motorist coverage when they work "in tandem" with a policy for a regular-use vehicle, with the court finding that antique car policies warrant "different treatment."

  • March 25, 2024

    Geico Beats COVID-19 Auto Rebate Class Action On 2nd Try

    A California federal judge has granted Geico's bid for victory in a certified class action alleging the insurance company owed additional refunds to drivers who overpaid their auto insurance premiums during COVID-19 shutdowns, saying the company's rebate program was adequate and did not violate the state's insurance code.

  • March 25, 2024

    Tesla, Travelers Settle Wrongful Death Coverage Dispute

    Tesla and a Travelers unit reached an agreement in the parties' dispute over coverage of a wrongful death lawsuit involving a construction worker at a company factory in Austin, shortly after a Texas federal judge declined to strike three of the insurers' defenses.

  • March 25, 2024

    NC High Court Vacates Workers' Comp For Weight Loss Surgery

    A divided North Carolina Supreme Court has adopted a test for determining when someone is entitled to workers' compensation for treatment related to their workplace injury and, in doing so, reversed a ruling finding a preschool must pay for an employee's weight loss surgery.

  • March 25, 2024

    Divided NC High Court Backs Insurer's Mailer Coverage Win

    A deadlocked North Carolina Supreme Court has left undisturbed a lower court's ruling that an insurer needn't cover a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act by using personal information to market legal services to crash victims.

  • March 22, 2024

    Insurer Urges 9th Circ. To Reverse LA Port Co.'s Defense Win

    United National Insurance Co. urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to reverse a ruling that the insurer was obligated to defend a Los Angeles port company against pollution claims brought by the city, saying the lower court erroneously failed to enforce the policy's qualified pollution exclusion.

Expert Analysis

  • Policyholder Lessons From Sandy No-Coverage Decision

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    A New York federal court recently decided that in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Madelaine Chocolate knew Great Northern Insurance’s all-risk policy offered no coverage for storm surge — an important reminder that policyholders should review policy language for ambiguities or anti-concurrent causation clauses, say Dennis Artese and Joshua Zelen at Anderson Kill.

  • Insureds' Notice Pleading May Be Insufficient In Federal Court

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    A recent New Jersey federal court ruling in Bauman v. Hanover Insurance held that bare-bones notice pleading was insufficient and dismissed the policyholder's coverage complaint, a reminder that courts may require more than an expression of general disagreement with an insurance company's denial letter to proceed with the case, says Eugene Killian at The Killian Firm.

  • 5th Circ. Offers Expert Opinion Guidance For Insurance Cases

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    A recent Fifth Circuit decision in Majestic Oil v. Lloyd's of London provides insight into how Texas' concurrent causation doctrine could affect insurance cases where the cause of damage is at issue, and raises considerations for litigants faced with new or revised expert reports after the deadline has passed, say Brian Scarbrough and Cianan Lesley at Jenner & Block.

  • DUI Liability Ruling Affirms SC Isn't Direct Action-Friendly

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    The Supreme Court of South Carolina's recent decision in Denson v. National Casualty not only clarifies the state's jurisprudence surrounding private rights of action and negligence per se, but also tacitly reinforces that South Carolina is not a direct-action state, say Anna Cathcart and Turner Albernaz at Phelps Dunbar.

  • Peephole Cam Case Lowers The Bar On NY Negligence Claims

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    A New York state appeals court's recent decision in Brown v. New York Design Center is significant because, barring a contrary state high court ruling, claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress need not demonstrate extreme and outrageous conduct, which could result in an uptick in such claims, say attorneys at Cahill Gordon.

  • Employment-Related Litigation Risks Facing Hospitality Cos.

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    A close look at recent hospitality industry employment claims highlights key issues companies should keep an eye out for, and insurance policy considerations for managing risk related to wage and hour, privacy, and human trafficking claims, say Jan Larson and Huiyi Chen at Jenner & Block.

  • A Look At Florida's Aggressively Pro-Insurer Tort Reform

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    Florida's new tort reform law is an unwarranted gift to insurance companies that seeks to strip policyholders of key rights while doing little to curb excessive litigation, say Garrett Nemeroff and Hugh Lumpkin at Reed Smith.

  • Navigating High Court's Options In Insurer Choice Of Law

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    Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court approaches the question of when insurers may invoke choice-of-law clauses in maritime contracts to dodge state-specific liability, the Great Lakes v. Raiders Retreat Realty decision may mean significant changes not only for admiralty law disputes, but for the insurance industry more broadly, say Lara Cassidy and Adriana Perez at Hunton.

  • 7th Circ. Adds To Range Of Opinions On MCS-90 Endorsement

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    The Seventh Circuit's recent opinion in Prime Insurance Company v. Wright helps illustrate how the variation among courts as to when the federally mandated MCS-90 insurance endorsement for motor carriers is satisfied often hinges on exactly how "interstate commerce" is defined, says Rick Boepple at Akerman.

  • NY Rulings Show Shift In Insurance Priority Approach

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    Some recent New York state decisions considering coverage priority of primary and excess insurance policies and contractual indemnity claims run against clear policy language, which should trump extrinsic evidence of intent, says Dan Kohane at Hurwitz Fine.

  • Tips For Plaintiffs Attorneys Ahead Of Expanded Fire Season

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    With the expansion of fire season — both in length of time and geography — plaintiffs lawyers can expect fire-related litigation to increase this coming year and need to prepare themselves and their clients for claims that are complex, time-consuming and costly, says Gerald Singleton at Singleton Schreiber.

  • Pollutant Insurance Case Holds Clues For Ohio Train Litigation

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    A recent Rhode Island Supreme Court decision in Regan Heating v. Arbella could mean that the wide-reaching impacts of the February train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, will trigger the enforcement of any total pollution exclusion contained in Norfolk Southern's commercial general liability policy, says Kayla O’Connor at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Establishing A Record Of Good Faith In Mediation

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    Viacom v. U.S. Specialty Insurance, and other recent cases, highlight the developing criteria for determining good faith participation in mediation, as well as several practical tips to establish such a record, says Richard Mason at MasonADR.