General Liability

  • February 07, 2024

    Repair-Shop Slip Triggers Auto Coverage, Mich. Justices Say

    A woman who fell into a service pit during an oil change is entitled to personal injury protection benefits under Michigan's auto insurance law, the state's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, finding the accident was sufficiently related to car maintenance.

  • February 07, 2024

    No Coverage For Apt. Complex In Negligence Row, Court Told

    The owner and managers of a Kansas City, Missouri-area apartment complex can't get coverage for a proposed class action brought by its tenants over claims of putrid living conditions, an insurer told a federal court, claiming several exclusions in its policies bar any recovery.

  • February 07, 2024

    Insurers Reach Agreement In School Construction Injury Suit

    Travelers has ended its dispute over whether another insurer must defend a general contractor, school district and construction manager in a worker's personal injury lawsuit as additional insureds, after a New York federal judge on Wednesday approved the parties' mutual request to drop the action.

  • February 07, 2024

    NC Panel Reverses Doctor's Malpractice Coverage Win

    The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s decision that found a doctor was entitled to defense coverage under his medical malpractice policy for a state medical board investigation, ruling that the doctor failed to timely notify the insurer of the investigation and therefore did not deserve coverage.

  • February 07, 2024

    Travelers Must Cover $2M Tainted Benzene Load, Co. Says

    A multinational chemical company accused Travelers in New York federal court of unreasonably denying coverage for over $2.1 million it lost from a contaminated benzene shipment, saying the insurer must also cover costs incurred from suing at-fault parties since it further evaded its subrogation obligations.

  • February 07, 2024

    Insurer Asks 9th Circ. To Rehear Wildfire Pollution Ruling

    An insurer urged the Ninth Circuit to rehear a dispute over its obligation to defend a contractor against a truck driver's lung injury suit, arguing that the majority wrongfully relied on a 2003 California Supreme Court ruling to find a pollution exclusion didn't apply.

  • February 06, 2024

    AIG Owes Coverage In $5.4M Contamination Suit, Co. Says

    A Houston-based plastics manufacturer told a Texas federal court that an AIG unit must defend and indemnify it in a $5.4 million lawsuit over contaminated plastic containers, saying the insurer has failed to tender defense costs despite agreeing to defend the company almost a year ago.

  • February 06, 2024

    Delta Insurer Seeks Cleaner Repayment For Slip-And-Fall Row

    A janitorial services company must reimburse an insurer for expenses incurred defending Delta Air Lines in an underlying slip-and-fall personal injury suit, the insurer told a Georgia federal court, maintaining that the company agreed to defend or indemnify Delta for any claims arising out of its actions.

  • February 06, 2024

    Insurer Says Claims NJ Diocese Knew Of Abuse Bar Coverage

    An insurer doesn't have to indemnify the Diocese of Trenton in over 200 lawsuits alleging sexual molestation by diocese clergy, it told a New Jersey federal court, maintaining that the underlying suits asserted that the diocese had knowledge of the incidents.

  • February 06, 2024

    4th Circ. Cites W.Va. Justices As It Affirms Coverage Win

    The Fourth Circuit on Tuesday upheld a chemical storage company's win for coverage of three former workers who said their cancer was caused by exposure to toxic fumes after the West Virginia Supreme Court recently found the state would apply the continuous trigger theory to long-tail injury claims.

  • February 06, 2024

    2nd Circ. Mulls Revival Of Insurer's $2.5M Software Co. Fight

    The Second Circuit seemed poised Tuesday to reverse a software company's win in an insurer's suit seeking indemnification for $2.5 million in costs associated with an underlying class action claiming the insurer's use of the company's vehicle valuation software resulted in underpayment for totaled vehicles.

  • February 06, 2024

    Complex Not Covered For $4M Shooting Claim, Insurer Says

    A Nationwide unit told a Georgia federal court it doesn't owe coverage to an Atlanta apartment complex for a tenant's bid to hold it liable for injuries she suffered during a shooting, claiming the complex waited nearly a year to notify the insurer.

  • February 05, 2024

    Fla. Legislative Session: Property Insurance Bills Roundup

    Florida lawmakers have put forward dozens of proposals to address insurance challenges in the state, from a bill that would expand coverage from the state's last resort insurer to another that contemplates mangroves as bulwarks against flooding.

  • February 05, 2024

    Wendy's Not Covered In Freezer Injury Suit, Insurer Says

    The insurer for an HVAC company told an Illinois federal court that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the operators of a Chicago-area Wendy's restaurant in an underlying lawsuit brought by a man who was injured while performing maintenance on a walk-in freezer.

  • February 05, 2024

    Insurer Owes $1.3M In Defects Row Defense Costs, Co. Says

    A Hartford unit owes a Chicago-area homebuilder more than $1.3 million in unpaid defense costs related to an underlying construction defect suit, the company told an Illinois federal court, claiming the insurer has refused to explain its coverage decisions.

  • February 05, 2024

    No CGL Coverage For Home Depot Data Breach, 6th Circ. Told

    Two insurers have told the Sixth Circuit they owe no commercial general liability coverage to Home Depot for its $172 million settlement with financial institutions over a 2014 breach of customer payment information, arguing an electronic data exclusion wholly barred coverage for the institutions' claimed losses.

  • February 05, 2024

    BNSF Railway Blamed For Triggering 2023 Wash. Wildfire

    A tenant who lost his belongings in a blaze last summer that destroyed 10 homes and burned more than 500 acres in Washington state blamed BNSF Railway in state court for negligently running a "fire prone train" through a hot, dry, overgrown area, igniting the Tunnel 5 Fire.

  • February 05, 2024

    Berkley Wants Out Of Defending Atty In $750K Trust Dispute

    An insurer told an Illinois federal court it doesn't owe defense or indemnification to an insured attorney in an underlying action from a trust alleging it's owed more than $750,000 in overdue payments, arguing there is no coverage for the trust's suit in the attorney's firm's policy.

  • February 05, 2024

    Insurer Owes $2.5M For Lost Income, Shop Owner Says

    A Hartford unit refused to pay out $2.5 million in business interruption coverage for a New York City doughnut shop's income that was lost while the city shut the store down during repairs, the shop told a New York federal court.

  • February 02, 2024

    Calif. Rate Approvals Centered In Coverage Crisis Debate

    A California law permitting public challenges to proposed premium increases is saving policyholders billions of dollars, a consumer advocacy group recently reported, a claim that has drawn scorn from industry professionals amid efforts to change the law to better favor carriers. 

  • February 02, 2024

    Claims Against BNSF Cut From $1.3M Derailment Dispute

    A Washington federal judge trimmed several claims against BNSF Railway Co. and a transportation contractor from Starr Indemnity & Liability Co.'s $1.3 million suit over a shipment of clothing destroyed in a train derailment, finding they were preempted by federal law.

  • February 02, 2024

    Owner Says Insurer Can't Dodge Tenn. Hooters Bombing Row

    The insurer of a Hooters restaurant that was decimated in a 2020 Christmas Day bombing appointed a crooked appraiser who tainted a damage award, the historic property's owner told a Tennessee Federal Court, adding that the biased determination was invalid under state law.

  • February 02, 2024

    Insurer Needn't Cover Contractor In Construction Injury Suit

    Evanston Insurance Co. has no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor in an underlying suit filed by a worker who was injured when he fell off a ladder at a construction site, a Washington federal court ruled Friday, saying the policy's residential construction exclusion applies.

  • February 02, 2024

    9th Circ.'s Opioid Ruling Packs Limited Punch

    The Ninth Circuit's finding that McKesson's insurers need not defend the pharmaceutical company against suits from municipalities claiming its deliberate conduct increased their opioid epidemic response costs is a sting to policyholders — but a slight one, experts say, because the panel relied on a California state appeals court decision in the unpublished ruling.

  • February 02, 2024

    6th Circ. Revives Bank's $32M Ponzi Settlement Coverage Suit

    A bank can seek coverage for a $32 million settlement it paid to resolve a bankruptcy suit alleging it allowed a Ponzi scheme to continue so it could recover loans to the company running the scheme, the Sixth Circuit ruled, reversing a win for a pair of AIG insurers.

Expert Analysis

  • Auto Insurers Should Reassess Calif. Diminished Value Claims

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    Many California auto insurers currently pay third-party claims for diminished value damages after a vehicle has been in an accident; however, federal decisions interpreting California law suggest that insurers may not have to pay some of these claims, says Charles Danaher at Sheppard Mullin.

  • In Ga., Promptness Is Key To Setting Aside Default Judgments

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    The Georgia Court of Appeals' recent vacating of a lower court's decision to set aside a default judgment against Samsung Electronics America is a reminder of the processes and arguments provided by Georgia's statutes for challenging default judgments — including the importance of responding quickly, says Katy Robertson at Swift Currie.

  • 1st Circ. Harvard Ruling Provides Primer On Policy Provisions

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    In its recent finding of no coverage for Harvard due to the school's failure to give Zurich American Insurance timely notice of its claim, the First Circuit provides a good analysis of the distinctions between occurrence and claims-made policies, including the rationale for differences in notice provisions, says Andrew Paliotta at Cozen O'Connor.

  • SEC's New Rules Likely Will Affect Cyber, D&O Insurance

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted cybersecurity incident disclosure rules that could create new challenges that affect how public companies assess the risk of securities, corporate governance and cyber-related lawsuits, which may implicate novel insurance coverage issues, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Potential Marijuana Status Change Would Shift Industry Risks

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    Cannabis companies and their insurers should pay close attention to how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' move toward marijuana reclassification plays out, and the potential for a shakeup in the landscape for cannabis regulation at the state and federal levels, says Ian Stewart at Wilson Elser.

  • Key Provisions In Florida's New Insurer Accountability Act

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    Florida's recent bipartisan Insurer Accountability Act introduces a range of new obligations for insurance companies and regulatory bodies to strengthen consumer protection, and other states may follow suit should it prove successful at ensuring a reliable insurance market, say Jan Larson and Benjamin Malings at Jenner & Block.

  • Next Steps For Insurers After Ky. OKs Early 3rd-Party Claims

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    While insurers in Kentucky may face more statutory bad faith claims after a recent state Supreme Court decision clarified that third parties may bring these torts even before determination of coverage is finalized, insurers can adopt a variety of approaches to reduce their exposure, says Jason Reichlyn at Dykema Gossett.

  • Insurers, Prepare For Large Exposures From PFAS Claims

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    With thousands of lawsuits concerning per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances pending across the country, several large settlements already reached, and both regulators and the plaintiffs bar increasingly focusing on PFAS, it is becoming clear that these "forever chemicals" present major exposures to insurers and their policyholders, say Scott Seaman and Jennifer Arnold at Hinshaw.

  • What To Know About Duty To Settle Insurance Claims In Texas

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    Laura Grabouski of Holden Litigation examines the parameters of Texas insurers' duty to settle liability claims within the limits of the primary policy, as knowledge of the requirements — and the potential exposure from insureds, judgment creditors or excess creditors — can pay dividends in the era of nuclear verdicts.

  • Ga. Mirror-Image Rule Makes Settlements Fraught For Insurers

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    The Georgia Court of Appeals' recent decision in Pierce v. Banks shows how strictly Georgia courts will enforce the rule that an insurer's response to a settlement demand must be a mirror image of the demand — and is a reminder that parties must exercise caution when accepting such a demand, says Seth Friedman at Lewis Brisbois.

  • Insurance Ruling Shows Notice Letters Need Close Review

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    A Texas appeals court's recent disapproval of an insured’s presuit notice letter to Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance — which refused to quantify an alleged injury — should prompt courts to probe deeper when considering whether such a letter gives the insurer the information needed to resolve the claim or make a settlement offer, say Jennifer Martin and Timothy Delabar at Wilson Elser.

  • 11th Circ. Ruling May Impede Insurers' Defense Cost Recoup

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent Continental Casualty v. Winder Laboratories ruling that insurers cannot obtain reimbursement of defense costs from their insureds where the policy itself does not require such reimbursement is likely to be cited as persuasive authority in Georgia and other states without clear precedent on the issue, say Christy Maple and Robert Whitney at Phelps Dunbar.

  • Groundbreaking Nev. Law May Alter Insurance Landscape

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    The Nevada Legislature recently passed a law prohibiting insurers from issuing liability policies with eroding limits provisions that has the potential to create massive shifts in the marketplace — and specifically in areas like professional liability, cyber, and directors and officers insurance, says Will Bennett at Saxe Doernberger.