General Liability

  • February 29, 2024

    State Farm Must Face Bad Faith Claims In $3M Crash Row

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday clarified a prior ruling reviving bad faith claims against State Farm for rejecting an offer to settle a car crash injury suit that led to a $3 million verdict, saying the insurer could still have acted in bad faith in handling the settlement offer even if it had no obligation to accept it.

  • February 29, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Texas Supreme Court found that a handful of insurers may be on the hook for a $220 million bankruptcy settlement, while another state Supreme Court said it will take on underpayment claims against Geico, as insurance experts heed emerging privacy risks and prepare for more PFAS litigation. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • February 29, 2024

    Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance

    A deadly apartment fire in Valencia, Spain, is drawing renewed attention to the use of flammable materials on building exteriors, a global problem that insurance experts say implicates complicated webs of liability and a need for strong government oversight.

  • February 29, 2024

    Texas Justices' Unusual Remedy Presents A Win For Insurers

    The Texas Supreme Court handed several carriers a victory in its ruling that a $220 million settlement between now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. and its investors is not binding on the energy company's insurers to establish coverage, a decision notable for the unusual relief granted by the state justices, experts say.

  • February 29, 2024

    New AI Risks Pressure Policyholders To Fill Coverage Gaps

    Growing scrutiny from the public and regulators in the U.S. over artificial intelligence use and rising threats of AI-enabled schemes are sending insurance experts scrambling to evaluate their coverage options in a rapidly changing risk environment.

  • February 29, 2024

    SVB Parent's Counsel Booted From Fraud Coverage Row

    The bankrupt parent company of Silicon Valley Bank cannot use Farella Braun & Martel LLP as counsel in litigation over the parent company's claims that it alone must be covered for a fraud scheme that caused over $73 million in losses, a North Carolina federal court ruled.

  • February 28, 2024

    Travelers, Fridge Co. To Settle $950K Dispute Over Ship Fire

    Travelers and a refrigerator manufacturer told a Texas federal court that they have agreed to dismiss litigation over the insurer's bid to recoup $950,000 it paid to its insured to cover a ship fire, which Travelers said was caused by a defective refrigerator unit in the ship's galley.

  • February 28, 2024

    BASF Says Insurers Owe Coverage For PFAS Suits

    Major chemical manufacturer BASF Corp. told a South Carolina court Wednesday that 23 insurers should cover thousands of lawsuits that alleged a chemical the company produced for firefighting foam caused pollution and injuries.

  • February 28, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Rehear Pfizer Shareholder Suit Coverage Row

    Pfizer won't get a second shot at arguing its insurer should indemnify it in a settlement stemming from a 2003 shareholder class action, with the Third Circuit on Wednesday declining the pharmaceutical company's request for an en banc rehearing.

  • February 27, 2024

    Company Escapes Coverage Row Over Lethal Ammonia Leak

    A contractor's affiliate whose employee died in an ammonia leak at a North Carolina cold storage facility needn't face claims stemming from the accident, the North Carolina Business Court said in a lawsuit originally brought against three insurers and others over coverage for the leak.

  • February 27, 2024

    Insurer Misled Lockheed On Contamination Suit, Court Told

    Lockheed Martin has told a Maryland federal court that its insurer "lured" it into believing for months that it would defend the company against claims that Lockheed's release of various toxic substances contaminated property and injured individuals near its Orlando, Florida, weapons manufacturing facility.

  • February 27, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Reconsider Coverage Ruling For Deli Stabbing

    The Third Circuit declined to review its decision that an insurer for a Philadelphia deli does not owe coverage for a $900,000 settlement reached with a man stabbed on the premises.

  • February 26, 2024

    Atty's Letter Is Not A Claim For Damages, Del. Justices Rule

    An attorney's presuit letter claiming that Syngenta's herbicide Paraquat caused his clients' Parkinson's disease does not constitute a "claim for damages" under the company's insurance policies with a pair of Zurich units, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Monday.

  • February 26, 2024

    Colo. Justices To Hear If Insurers Can Withhold Some Payouts

    The Colorado Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether the state's insurance code allowed Geico, following unsuccessful settlement attempts, to refuse paying noneconomic damages to a policyholder for his underinsured motorist claim, given what Geico said is the "inherently subjective" nature of such damages.

  • February 26, 2024

    Liberty Cuts Off Drivers' Rentals Too Soon, Suit Claims

    Liberty Mutual systematically and arbitrarily ends replacement transportation coverage after seven days for policyholders whose vehicles are totaled in collisions, in violation of its own policy language, a proposed class action alleges.

  • February 26, 2024

    Texas Justices Say $220M Cobalt Deal Is A Loss Under Policy

    A $220 million settlement that now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. reached with a group of investors constitutes a loss under the energy company's insurance policies, but the agreement is not binding on Cobalt's insurers to establish coverage, the Texas Supreme Court ruled.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    From maritime contracts’ choice-of-law provisions to a question on how far an agency can steer companies from contracting with controversial groups, the past week saw two insurance-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, plus litigation over a mass shooting and a casino operator’s claims that its “unique” policy covers pandemic losses. Here, Law360 recaps the week's top insurance news. 

  • February 23, 2024

    The New BIPA? Attys Warn GIPA Is A 'Live Grenade'

    After notable appellate victories in biometric privacy cases, Illinois plaintiffs have seized upon a previously little-used law protecting workers' genetic privacy, leaving defense attorneys wondering if history will repeat itself and open companies to potentially explosive liability. 

  • February 26, 2024

    New York Pandemic Coverage Ruling Offers Few Surprises

    Businesses seeking insurance coverage for their pandemic losses were dealt yet another loss recently by New York's top court, a ruling that didn't surprise attorneys watching to see whether the Empire State might buck the trend of carrier victories.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance M&A Partner From Sidley Joins Kirkland

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP has added a corporate partner in its insurance transactions and regulatory and financial institutions practice groups, bringing on a former Sidley Austin LLP attorney who said he "couldn't be more excited" to join the firm's Chicago office.

  • February 23, 2024

    Agent Didn't Owe Mich. Co. Coverage Advice, Panel Says

    An insurance agent did not have a duty to advise a business that was damaged in a 2020 dam collapse that its insurance coverage might be inadequate, a Michigan state appeals court ruled, finding there is no special relationship between the parties that triggered that responsibility.

  • February 26, 2024

    Justices' Maritime Insurance Ruling Retains Tilted Status Quo

    When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that an insurer can enforce choice-of-law provisions in a marine insurance policy it issued to the owner of a yacht that ran aground, it upheld existing practices that give insurers the upper hand over policyholders.

  • February 21, 2024

    Fatal Crash Payout Flouts Insurance Law, NC Justices Told

    North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance urged the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to undo a trial court's decision that it owes $50,000 to a policyholder whose car caused a fatal wreck, arguing that his liabilities didn't trigger underinsured motorist coverage.

  • February 21, 2024

    NC Justices Hint At Coverage For Firm's Driver Privacy Row

    The North Carolina Supreme Court seemed skeptical Wednesday of an insurer's contention that mailers sent by a law firm to car crash victims based on public accident reports couldn't be considered coverage-triggering publication of material that violates a person's right to privacy.

  • February 21, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Subrogation Loss In Fieldwood Energy Sale

    The Fifth Circuit has ruled that a group of insurers that issued surety bonds to bankrupt Fieldwood Energy in a sale of its assets are not entitled to subrogation rights because the bankruptcy court's order stripping their rights could not be challenged under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, a protection that limits appellate review of an approved sale.

Expert Analysis

  • A Road Map To Insurance For PFAS Claims And Suits

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    In light of an uptick in regulation and litigation surrounding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, product manufacturers potentially facing down massive liability settlements must properly investigate and understand the full scope of insurance available, says Jodi Green at Miller Nash.

  • Forecasting A Rise In 11th Circ. State Court Class Actions

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    Two recent opinions from the Eleventh Circuit have created an unusual landscape that may result in a substantial increase of class action litigation in state courts, particularly in Florida, that will be unable to utilize removal tools such as the Class Action Fairness Act, says Alec Schultz at Hilgers Graben.

  • Readying Companies For PFAS Regulation And Liability

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    Managing the uptick in regulatory oversight of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and the potential civil liability for companies will require action now, from performing audits and reviewing insurance coverage to considering the Texas two-step merger method, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • Contra Proferentem Will Remain Alive And Well In NY

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    Although a recent Law360 guest article argues that a New York state court's decision in Brooklyn Union Gas v. Century Indemnity creates a blanket exception to the principle that contractual ambiguities are construed against the drafter, leading appellate decisions suggest that the exception would only be applied under narrow circumstances, say attorneys at Pillsbury.

  • Pa. Cannabis Banking Law Won't Allay Finance Industry Fears

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    Though a new Pennsylvania law allows financial institutions and insurers to provide services to the state’s legal cannabis industry, it’s unlikely to assuage most financial industry operators’ fears of federal reprisal, and their reluctance to work with cannabis businesses will surely persist, says Michael Sampson at Leech Tishman.

  • NY Insurance Ruling Reveals Limits Of Contra Proferentem

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    A New York state court's decision in Brooklyn Union Gas v. Century Indemnity, finding that there's no need to construe an ambiguous policy against an insurer when the policyholder is a sophisticated company, shows that contesting the application of the contra proferentem rule is gaining more traction in courts, say John Ewell and Joanna Roberto at Gerber Ciano.

  • What Wis. Anti-Assignment Ruling Means For Policyholders

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    A Wisconsin state court's recent decision in Pepsi-Cola v. Employers Insurance Co. of Wausau makes pivotal the question of when a loss occurs, meaning that policyholders subject to anti-assignment clauses cannot simply rely on plain contractual language, say Brian Scarbrough and Daniel Ergas at Jenner & Block.

  • Taming Plaintiffs' Thriving 'Reptile' Tactics: How To Start

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    As rising social inflation increases the danger of plaintiffs attorneys' reptile tactics, which appeal to primal emotions instead of logic, defendants should carefully consider 22 strategies that can be employed in pretrial strategy or via traditional courtroom tools, say Scott Seaman and Diane Webster at Hinshaw.

  • Taming Plaintiffs' Thriving 'Reptile' Tactics: Why It's Time

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    As insurers and corporate policyholders are looking down the dangerous double barrel of price level and social inflation, it's important to examine what they can do to contain a leading driver of social inflation — plaintiffs lawyers' reptile theory, which positions jurors as guardians against dangers for society, say Scott Seaman and Diane Webster at Hinshaw.

  • Recent Decisions Are Eroding All-Risk Insurance Coverage

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    All-risk insurance coverage is under siege by insurers' broad interpretations of established exclusions, and recent decisions in New Jersey and New Hampshire have shown that courts may not protect coverage despite the policies' text and intent, says Nicholas Insua at Reed Smith.

  • The Insurance Industry's Growing Potential Role In Gun Safety

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    This year has seen two unprecedented events — the passage of a municipal requirement for gun owners' liability insurance, and the Sandy Hook class action settlement — that may motivate insurers to help regulate firearms, but several reasons could hold them back, says Peter Kochenburger at UConn.

  • Opioid Case May Guide Climate Change Insurance Suits

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    A recent opioid case in California federal court that defined "accident" narrowly is based on allegations analogous to those in many climate change lawsuits, and may help insurers assess whether they have a duty to defend, say Dennis Anderson and Nick Dolejsi at Zelle.

  • 2 Calif. Insurance Decisions Question Boundaries Of Fortuity

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    Last month, California state and federal courts revisited fortuity issues in two decisions that show how the occurrence requirement and the California Insurance Code's prohibition on coverage for an insured's willful acts can be exceedingly difficult to apply to lawsuits alleging novel legal theories, say Jodi Green and Sophia von Bergen at Miller Nash.