Specialty Lines

  • 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

    Auto Co. Says $50M Policy Endorsement Covers COVID Loss

    An auto parts manufacturer is seeking $50 million in coverage for its COVID-19 pandemic-related losses in North Carolina federal court, claiming its policy's "unique" communicable disease provision was misrepresented when its insurer denied coverage for losses at its Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina locations.

  • 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

    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 27, 2024

    Egg Co. Not Covered For Avian Flu Losses, Minn. Judge Says

    A Markel unit does not owe coverage to an egg supplier for losses it sustained due to an avian flu outbreak in 2022, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Tuesday, finding that a communicable disease exclusion in a site pollution and environmental policy precluded coverage.

  • 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

    Ex-Bank CFO Cops To $700K Theft And Life Insurance Scam

    An ex-Eastern International Bank chief financial officer has pled guilty to defrauding the bank out of more than $700,000 to pay his personal expenses, and he admitted to opening life insurance policies in the names of bank employees to benefit his wife, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • 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

    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 26, 2024

    Insurance Co. Beats Claims Analysts' OT Exemption Suit

    A life insurance company prevailed against disability claim analysts alleging they were wrongfully denied overtime pay, as an Illinois federal judge tossed their suit because the workers are administrative employees exempt from overtime requirements.

  • February 23, 2024

    State Farm Alleges Health Co. Violated Deal To Drop 366 Suits

    Two State Farm units are accusing an automobile accident-focused healthcare center of wrongly pursuing 366 lawsuits against the insurer despite a settlement agreement State Farm said requires the facility to drop those suits.

  • 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 23, 2024

    4th Circ. Won't Rethink Adviser's Defamation Coverage Denial

    A Fourth Circuit panel declined to reconsider its decision that an investment adviser is not owed coverage under her firm's professional liability policy for an underlying defamation lawsuit.

  • February 23, 2024

    8th Circ. Says Nursing Home Fraudster Owes Supplier $7.6M

    A nursing home company whose owner pled guilty in January to employment tax fraud in a New Jersey federal case must shoulder a $5 million judgment plus interest and fees for bills it failed to pay a medical supply company, an Eighth Circuit panel affirmed Friday.

  • February 23, 2024

    Travelers Can't Duck Payout In Warehouse Fire Reversal

    A New York federal court has rejected Travelers' bid for additional discovery in a coverage dispute involving a textile importer whose goods were destroyed in a warehouse fire, after the Second Circuit vacated the insurer's early win in December and remanded for a judgment in the importer's favor.

  • 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 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 22, 2024

    9th Circ. Urged To Rethink Hiscox Win Due To Hidden Ruling

    A design and marketing company urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to review its decision that an insurer didn't have to cover an $850,000 arbitration award to a former CEO over alleged fraud, arguing that the insurer hid the underlying action's judgment that rejected the proposed fraud language.

  • February 22, 2024

    Lumber Co., Insurer To Settle $4.9M Coverage Dispute

    A subcontractor and its professional liability insurer have reached a settlement in principle on about $5 million in underlying claims over moldy, defective wooden framework the subcontractor supplied to a senior living project, the parties told a Florida federal court.

  • February 21, 2024

    NY Judges Question Lehman's Bid To Undo CDS Trial Loss

    A panel of New York appeals court judges on Wednesday appeared reluctant to undo a bench trial loss Lehman Bros.' bankrupt European unit suffered last year in a suit attempting to clawback nearly half a billion dollars from Assured Guaranty over alleged losses on credit default swaps tied to the 2008 financial crisis.

  • February 21, 2024

    Justices Told NRA Speech Claim Would Thwart Regulation

    The ex-head of New York's financial regulator has told the U.S. Supreme Court her statements advising companies to consider their relationships with the National Rifle Association following the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, didn't violate the First Amendment, rejecting the NRA's position that the statements were a "veiled threat."

  • February 21, 2024

    11th Circ. Says Sotheby's Insured For Fla. Agent Theft Row

    An Eleventh Circuit panel affirmed Wednesday that an insurer must defend One Sotheby's International Realty against allegations that its agent bamboozled married Russian investors into selling their Miami Beach-area condo at below market value, eventually stealing $3.7 million in sale proceeds.

Expert Analysis

  • Insurers Must Be Vigilant About Cannabis Lounge Risks

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    Because cannabis lounges face a number of unique risks, such as overserving cannabis to patrons, insurers and risk management providers must be able to recognize and properly address the full range of potential liabilities, say Jonathan Isaacson and Adam Nicolazzo at Kaufman Dolowich.

  • Insurers Should Beware Risks From Digital Asset Losses

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    Personal lines insurers should not underestimate the potential severity of future exposure to digital asset loss claims, and should consider protecting themselves with new underwriting practices and policy exclusions, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • State Ransomware Payment Laws Raise Insurance Questions

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    Recent Florida and North Carolina statutory prohibitions on government agencies' ransomware payments will not just affect public entities' response to ransomware incidents, but also require consideration from insurers whose policies may cover ransom payments, say Ted Brown and Mallory Meaney at Wiley.

  • Anti-Kickback Circuit Split Holds Implications For Defendants

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    The Eighth Circuit's recent decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical represents a significant step toward holding plaintiffs to more exacting burdens of proof in Anti-Kickback Statute False Claims Act suits, and the outcome of the resulting circuit split could decrease estimated damages for defendants, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • 8th Circ. Ruling Raises Bar For Anti-Kickback FCA Claims

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    The Eighth Circuit's decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to claim that a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute supports False Claims Act liability, but an emerging circuit split and uncertainty regarding evidentiary requirements must be considered when developing a defense strategy, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • Insurance Tips For Cos. Offering Reproductive Health Benefits

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    Post-Dobbs state laws allowing legal action against anyone who facilitates an abortion could lead to claims against employers providing reproductive health benefits, so companies must ensure their insurance policies afford sufficient protection for any novel claims, say Heather Habes and Gretchen Hoff Varner at Covington.

  • Texas Tax Talk: Ruling May Erode Pro-Taxpayer Presumption

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    Following the recent Texas Supreme Court opinion in Hegar v. Health Care Service, the state comptroller may try to limit the utility of a long-standing presumption that ambiguous tax statutes must be construed strictly against the taxing authority and liberally for the taxpayer, say attorneys at Baker Botts.

  • Understanding Legal Considerations In Cannabis M&A Deals

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Zachary Turke and Peter Park at Sheppard Mullin discuss the unique set of challenges for both buyers and sellers in cannabis industry merger and acquisition deals, given the rapidly changing economic conditions, the ever-changing regulatory landscape and new market entrants.

  • Cybersecurity Basics Are Key to Combating Ransomware

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    Recent prohibitions on ransom payments and other public policy measures vastly underestimate the breadth and complexity of the ransomware problem and will only work if organizations adopt basic cyber defenses, says Kate Margolis at Bradley.

  • How M&A Insurers Can Increase Smaller Deal Servicing

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    As the number of M&A deals in the $50 million to $200 million range continues to grow, lawyers, insurance brokers and clients must address the trend away from covering these smaller transactions by working together to make it easier for carriers to consider submissions and to insure these types of risks, says Hilary Weiss at Liberty Global.

  • Lessons From Calif. Liability Claim Recoupment Ruling

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    A recent California federal court decision in Evanston Insurance v. Winstar Properties illustrates the perils of insurer recoupment and underscores the importance of assessing recoupment rights, if any, throughout the claims process, say Geoffrey Fehling and Veronica Adams at Hunton.

  • Awaiting Critical Bankruptcy Decision For Surety Industry

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    The recent oral argument in Argonaut Insurance v. Falcon V offers the Fifth Circuit an opportunity to create a rule for multilateral contracts in bankruptcy and exposed the common misconception that a surety assumes the risk of the principal's nonperformance when it issues a bond, say Lisa Tancredi at Womble Bond and Laura Murphy at Travelers.

  • Bankruptcy Case May Help Define Surety Executory Contract

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    Next week’s Fifth Circuit oral argument in Argonaut Insurance v. Falcon V is of great interest to the surety industry as this case presents an opportunity for the court to address several unsettled questions on whether a tripartite arrangement, such as a surety bond program, is an executory contract for bankruptcy purposes, say Lisa Tancredi at Womble Bond and Laura Murphy at Travelers.