General Liability

  • 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a hospitality company over coverage for sex trafficking allegations, but only if the other carrier's policy isn't rescinded and the case proceeds to a second phase of litigation, a Texas federal court has ruled.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.

  • March 21, 2024

    AI Presents Risk To Insurers And Policyholders, Panelists Say

    The growing use of artificial intelligence presents a risk to both insurers and insureds, experts said during a webinar Thursday, advising policyholders and their attorneys on how to navigate novel issues arising from the use of AI in the insurance industry.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Panel Revives Diner's COVID Sanitization Coverage Bid

    A California state appeals court revived a diner's bid for property insurance coverage of COVID-19 losses after it determined the restaurant credibly alleged direct physical losses and that the policy's language covering losses attributable to a virus applied to COVID-19 sanitization efforts.

  • March 21, 2024

    2nd Circ. To Weigh 'Claim' Meaning In Family Share Dispute

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether a New York federal court erred in finding that a contract exclusion barred any duty a Liberty Mutual unit had to defend a propane company and two of its executives in a family shareholder dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    6 Questions For ZestyAI CEO Attila Toth

    As California regulators push proposals aimed at luring back insurance companies to the state's challenged market, advanced modeling techniques have taken a prominent place in the debate over how to best price risk as traditional methods lose relevance. Here, Law360 talks to Attila Toth, chief executive officer of ZestyAI, a risk modeling company that sells artificial intelligence-based risk models to insurers seeking to refine their risk assessment capabilities.

  • March 21, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court considered the NRA's free speech rights and whether an insurer had standing in bankruptcy court, Geico was slammed with a $164 million payout, the Sixth Circuit seemed hesitant to force Amway to pay its own defense costs and Metallica's COVID-19 coverage case faded to black.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Regulators' Pitch On Insurance Reform Draws Scrutiny

    Two regulations proposed to help lure insurers back to California's market by speeding up the state's rate approvals and allowing insurers to use catastrophe models to set rates are drawing scrutiny as industry and consumer groups weigh their potential effects.

  • March 21, 2024

    9th Circ. Backs Rescission Of Homeowner's Property Policies

    Two Safeco insurers are entitled to rescind policies issued to a woman who misrepresented that her house wasn't used for business when in fact it was rented to short-term guests, the Ninth Circuit affirmed, saying there's no genuine issue of material fact as to the commercial use of the property.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sanitizer Co. Faces Tough Ad Injury Coverage Bid In 2nd Circ.

    A company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces faces an uphill battle, experts say, as the Second Circuit is poised to hear oral arguments Monday over whether the company is owed coverage under its commercial general liability policy for an underlying class action.

  • March 19, 2024

    Justices Lean Toward Insurer Standing In Ch. 11 Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court appeared reluctant Tuesday to uphold a Fourth Circuit ruling that Truck Insurance Exchange lacked standing to oppose the proposed Chapter 11 reorganization plan of two manufacturers facing numerous asbestos claims, noting it's Truck that must ultimately cover the vast majority of such claims. 

  • March 19, 2024

    Ky. Woman Gets $164M Verdict In Geico Roadside Crash

    A Kentucky state jury on Monday hit auto insurance giant Geico with a $164 million verdict over claims it negligently sent a tow truck out on a roadside assistance job only for it to ultimately rear-end a motorist stopped at a red light, leaving her a quadriplegic.

  • March 19, 2024

    Uber, Progressive Unit Settle NC Widower's Coverage Fight

    The widower of an Uber Eats driver who died in a car crash on the job has settled his lawsuit seeking a payout for the accident from the ride-hailing giant and its insurer, according to a notice filed in North Carolina federal court.

  • March 19, 2024

    Allstate Seeks To Trim $10M Conn. Shotgun Injury Suit

    Allstate Insurance Co. wants a Connecticut federal court to cut four of five claims from a lawsuit brought by a man demanding $10 million that he won from a homeowner who seriously injured him with a shotgun blast, arguing that the victim asserted causes of action that are duplicative or unavailable to him.

  • March 18, 2024

    Justices Tilt Toward NRA In Free Speech Row With Regulator

    A cautious U.S. Supreme Court seemed poised Monday to rule in favor of the National Rifle Association in a case over allegations that a former New York state official pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association in violation of its free speech rights.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Using ChatGPT To Handle Insurance Claims Is A Risky Move

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    ChatGPT gets some insurance law questions surprisingly wrong, and while it handles broader coverage concepts significantly better, using it to assist with coverage questions will likely lead to erroneous results and could leave insurers liable for bad faith, says Randy Maniloff at White and Williams.

  • Fla. Bill Would Rein In Personal Injury Litigation Excesses

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    A recently proposed bill in the Florida House that would change bad-faith laws and the admissibility of medical bills for services performed under a letter of protection would provide reasonable checks on practices that are far too common in personal injury cases in the Sunshine State, say attorneys at Baker Donelson.

  • Takeaways From Tree-Clearing Co.'s 11th Circ. Insurance Win

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent decision in Frankenmuth Mutual v. Brown's Clearing, interpreting the extent of knowledge required to trigger an insured's notice obligations under a commercial general liability policy, is both a welcome sign and a cautionary tale for corporate policyholders, say Garrett Nemeroff and Christopher Kuleba at Reed Smith.

  • High Court Ax Of Atty-Client Privilege Case Deepens Split

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent dismissal of In re: Grand Jury as improvidently granted maintains a three-way circuit split on the application of attorney-client privilege to multipurpose communications, although the justices have at least shown a desire to address it, say Trey Bourn and Thomas DiStanislao at Butler Snow.

  • Why General Liability Carriers Are Wary Of SEC Climate Rule

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rule to require companies to formally report climate change risks could come into play in five areas that should be concerning to companies and their general liability insurers, says Eric Scheiner at Kennedys.

  • Wis. High Court Ruling May Open Door To Coverage Exception

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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dostal v. Strand finding that an insurer had to defend a civil action following the defendant's criminal conviction on the same facts nonetheless may suggest an exception to the complaint test for determining an insurance company's defense obligation, say David Hollander and Clementine Uwabera at Stafford Rosenbaum.

  • A Litigation Move That Could Conserve Discovery Resources

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    Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben proposes the preliminary legal opinion procedure — seeking a court's opinion on a disputed legal standard at the outset, rather than the close, of discovery — as a useful resource-preservation tool for legally complex, discovery-intensive litigation.

  • Trial Lawyers Rejoice: Justices May Clarify Issue Preservation

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent grant of certiorari in Dupree v. Younger should be a boon to trial and appellate lawyers as the decision will likely standardize a rule for appellate issue preservation, bringing much-needed clarity to an area critical to general litigation success, says Jeremy Christiansen at Gibson Dunn.

  • Policyholder Lessons From 1st Circ. Duty To Defend Ruling

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    In Lionbridge Technologies v. Valley Forge Insurance, the First Circuit recently held that the obligation to defend an insured is not limited to the specific causes of action expressly stated in a complaint, providing policyholders with persuasive arguments in support of the duty to defend, say Catherine Doyle and Caroline Meneau at Jenner & Block.

  • The 7th Circ.'s Top 10 Civil Opinions Of 2022

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    Attorneys at Jenner & Block examine the most significant decisions issued by the Seventh Circuit in 2022, and explain how they may affect issues related to antitrust, the False Claims Act,​ ​federal jurisdiction and more.

  • Cultivating Good Relationships With Insurance Regulators

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    Insurers can develop mutually beneficial working relationships with insurance regulators by following some simple tips for streamlining communication, knowing how and when to ask for help, and treating regulatory staff with professional courtesy, says Layna Rush at Baker Donelson.

  • More Stringent Calif. Claim Law Could Benefit Policyholders

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    Although a new California statute that imposes additional requirements for policyholder presuit demands — effective Jan. 1 — was ostensibly passed as a bad faith liability shield for insurers, used correctly it may provide a more specific road map for plaintiff recovery, says Shanti Eagle at Farella Braun.