General Liability

  • April 11, 2024

    Norfolk's Proposed Deal Shows Risk Management Is Critical

    Norfolk Southern Railway Co.'s proposed $600 million settlement with residents and businesses stemming from last year's train derailment and toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, highlights the importance of a proactive risk management department and transparency between policyholders and carriers, experts say.

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurer AI Rules Push Self-Oversight, Leave Enforcement Hazy

    State regulators across the United States that advise insurers to establish protocols for testing, documenting and governing their artificial intelligence tools are offering clarity for companies to self-regulate, but leaving the prospect of enforcement vague, experts said.

  • April 11, 2024

    NJ Diocese Says Don't Stop Ch. 11 Plan For Insurers' Appeal

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, and a committee representing sexual abuse claimants have urged a bankruptcy judge to deny insurers' bid for a long-term stay on implementation of the diocese's reorganization plan while the carriers appeal its confirmation, asserting the appeal repeats arguments the court repeatedly rejected.

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    Louisiana's top court was asked to examine the enforceability of certain insurance contracts' arbitration clauses, the Sixth Circuit ordered a company to pay back some of the defense bill its insurer footed, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard COVID-19 coverage arguments and the Ninth Circuit rejected such arguments under Washington law.

  • April 11, 2024

    Ex-Geico Agents Ask 6th Circ. To Revive Classification Suit

    A group of former Geico agents asked the Sixth Circuit to revive their claims that they were misclassified and denied benefits, challenging the accuracy and relevance of plan documents that the lower court reviewed when dismissing the workers' suit.

  • April 11, 2024

    11th Circ. To Weigh If Wood Theft Is 'Intentional'

    The Eleventh Circuit will review, on April 16, a Georgia federal ruling forcing an insurer to cover a $557,000 settlement for shoddy workmanship and wood theft during a deconstruction project by its policyholder, and the outcome could hinge on what constitutes an accident and which state law applies. Here, Law360 breaks down the case in advance of oral arguments.

  • April 11, 2024

    Insurer Drops Suit After Evidence Clears Stihl In Fire Case

    Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. agreed Wednesday to drop a lawsuit in North Carolina federal court seeking to hold Stihl Inc. liable for fire damages at a policyholder's home after evidence showed a hedge-trimmer battery didn't cause the fire.

  • April 11, 2024

    Syracuse Diocese Told Its Ch. 11 Plan Needs More Work

    A New York bankruptcy judge Thursday told the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse that its Chapter 11 plan disclosure statement needs another round of revisions to address objections by insurance carriers claiming the plan impairs their contractual rights.

  • April 11, 2024

    11th Circ. Says Insurer Owes Defense In Home Damage Suit

    A general contractor's insurer must defend it against claims that it abandoned the construction site of a custom-built home, the Eleventh Circuit ruled Thursday, rejecting the insurer's reliance on two exclusions barring coverage for damage to "that particular part" of property the contractor worked on and corresponding repairs.

  • April 10, 2024

    DOJ Hits Regeneron With False Claims Act Suit Over Eylea

    The federal government has brought a False Claims Act intervenor complaint in Massachusetts against Regeneron, alleging the pharmaceutical giant fraudulently withheld information from its Medicare reports seeking reimbursement for its drug Eylea, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday. 

  • April 10, 2024

    Deported Man Can't Undo Fraud Conviction After Feds' Error

    A deported Nigerian national who confessed to fraud on promises that prosecutors would submit a letter to immigration authorities supporting his deportation defense couldn't convince the Eighth Circuit to toss his guilty plea after prosecutors mistakenly disavowed the letter.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-Trump Finance Chief Weisselberg Jailed For Perjury

    A New York state judge on Wednesday sentenced former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to five months in jail for lying under oath in the attorney general's civil fraud case against Donald Trump and his business associates, imprisoning a close ally of the former president on the eve of his hush-money trial.

  • April 09, 2024

    4th Circ. Tosses Duty To Defend Case Over Oil Co.'s Objection

    The Fourth Circuit said Tuesday that a West Virginia oil and gas company lacked standing to continue an appeal that was originally brought by a green grower, which had sought coverage from its insurer for an underlying $4 million land use dispute with the extractor.

  • April 09, 2024

    Insurance Firm Will Pay $4M To End Calif. Wage Class Action

    A California federal judge gave the green light to a $4 million class action settlement resolving allegations that an insurance and risk management company didn't closely track workers' hours, which resulted in underpayment for over 2,100 workers. 

  • April 09, 2024

    Trump Opposes NY Monitor Probe After Exec's Perjury

    Attorneys for Donald Trump argued against allowing a court-appointed monitor of the Trump Organization to look into supposed discovery lapses in the New York attorney general's civil business fraud case related to a perjury plea by the company's former longtime Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg.

  • April 09, 2024

    Man Accused Of Vet Contractor Scheme Found In Contempt

    A defendant in a long-running False Claims Act suit was found in contempt but dodged penalties in D.C. federal court on Tuesday as a trial over an alleged scheme to falsely procure government construction contracts meant for disabled veterans is set to begin next month.

  • April 08, 2024

    Convicted CEO Wants Utility To Fund Defense Through Appeal

    The former CEO of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative urged a federal judge on Monday to order the organization to cover his legal expenses while he appeals his conviction for stealing public funds and prepares for a trial in yet another criminal case.

  • April 08, 2024

    AIG Acted In Bad Faith In Hurricane Dispute, Homeowners Say

    Owners of a $95 million oceanfront mansion near Miami told jurors Monday that AIG should be punished for acting in bad faith in handling a claim for damage from Hurricane Irma, saying the company repeatedly prioritized maximizing profits at the expense of customer service.

  • April 08, 2024

    Travelers Nabs Early Win In AIG Unit's Injury Coverage Row

    Travelers has no duty to defend or indemnify a construction company and a New York University hospital in an underlying construction injury suit, a New York federal judge ruled, finding that the underlying complaint doesn't suggest that the Travelers-covered subcontractor was primarily responsible for the underlying injuries.

  • April 05, 2024

    Insurer Denies Coverage In Pet Store BIPA Class Action

    An insurer told a Michigan federal court Friday that it didn't have to cover a pet store in an underlying employee proposed class action alleging the store violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act because the claims were precluded by the policy and a state statute of limitations.

  • April 05, 2024

    SXSW Insurer Asks 5th Circ. To Rethink Coverage Ruling

    The insurer of Texas music festival South by Southwest has asked a Fifth Circuit panel to rehear its case seeking to avoid covering a class action by ticket holders who didn't get refunds when the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

  • April 05, 2024

    Insurer, Construction Co. Agree To End $10M Ceiling Fall Suit

    Grange Insurance Co. and a Georgia construction company it sued to avoid paying a $10 million judgment in an underlying injury case over a worker's fall through a ceiling came together with that late worker's wife and agreed to dismiss their indemnity dispute following a settlement.

  • April 04, 2024

    Homeowner Asks 9th Circ. To Rethink Fire Coverage Ruling

    A woman who was prevented from coverage of a 2021 house fire by the Ninth Circuit asked the court to rehear her case, arguing among other things that she did not lie to her insurer about renting her home, because she didn't fill out the insurance application.

  • April 04, 2024

    Trump Fraud Appeal Spotlights Underwriting Irregularities

    Donald Trump's ongoing challenge to a $465 million civil fraud judgment for a decadelong valuation fraud conspiracy raises questions about insurance procedures, how underwriters price risk and who is harmed by the alleged fraud perpetrated by the former president and his associates.

  • April 04, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Ninth Circuit heard a coverage dispute over an unsuccessful shipwreck salvaging expedition, Delaware's justices agreed to consider whether an ex-Xerox unit tried to defraud insurers into covering a $236 million settlement, and the owner of Washington, D.C., professional sports teams ended its bid for COVID-19 coverage.

Expert Analysis

  • Policy Misrepresentations Carry Insurance Rescission Risks

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    The Second Circuit's recent decision in Medical Mutual v. Gnik, finding that material misrepresentation in a clinic's insurance applications warranted policy rescission, is a clear example of the far-reaching effects that misrepresentations can have and provides a reminder that policyholders should employ relatively straightforward steps to decrease risks, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • 2nd Circ. Ruling Clarifies When Demand Letters Are Claims

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    The Second Circuit’s decision last week in Pine Management v. Colony Insurance, affirming that an insurer had no obligation to defend an insured for claims made before the policy period, provides clarity on when presuit demands for relief constitute claims — an important issue that may be dispositive of coverage, says Bonnie Thompson at Lavin Rindner.

  • SC Ruling Reinforces All Sums Coverage Trend

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    A South Carolina state court's recent ruling in Covil v. Pennsylvania National is the latest in a series of decisions, dating back to the 2016 New York Court of Appeals ruling in Viking Pump, that reject insurers' pro rata allocation argument, further supporting that all sums coverage is required whenever a loss could be covered under a policy in any other year, say Raymond Mascia and Thomas Dupont at Anderson Kill.

  • Del. Supreme Court Insurance Ruling Aids In Defining 'Claim'

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    The recent Delaware Supreme Court decision in Zurich v. Syngenta, finding that a presuit letter did not constitute a claim for insurance purposes, sets out a three-factor test to help policyholders distinguish when a demand rises to the level of a claim, says Lara Langeneckert at Barnes & Thornburg.

  • Class Actions At The Circuit Courts: March Lessons

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    In this month's review of class action appeals, Mitchell Engel at Shook Hardy discusses four notable circuit court decisions on topics from consumer fraud to employment — and provides key takeaways for counsel on issues including coercive communications with putative class members and Article III standing at the class certification stage.

  • High Court Should Maintain Insurer Neutrality In Bankruptcy

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    While a recent Law360 guest article argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should endorse insurer standing in Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, doing so would create a playground for mischief and delay, and the high court should instead uphold insurance neutrality, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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.