General Liability

  • June 18, 2024

    'Reckless' Behavior Centered In Climate Coverage Suit Args

    Attorneys for a Sunoco subsidiary and AIG offered sharply differing views to Hawaii's top court Tuesday in oral arguments over whether reckless behavior would trigger the oil company's liability coverage in a novel suit over coverage for underlying climate change claims.

  • June 18, 2024

    Condo's Historic Location Doesn't Bar Bombing Coverage

    The insurer for a Nashville, Tennessee, condominium owners association cannot use a historic structures exclusion to dodge covering the repair costs associated with damage caused by a bombing on Christmas Day 2020, a federal court ruled Tuesday.

  • June 18, 2024

    AIG Unit Says Exclusions Bar Pet Supply Co.'s BIPA Claims

    An AIG unit has told a Michigan federal court a pet supply store isn't owed defense for an underlying class action brought by employees alleging the store violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, maintaining that a "recording and distribution" exclusion and "employment-related practices exclusion" were triggered.

  • June 18, 2024

    Life Insurance Fraudster Deserves Tax Penalties, 7th Circ. Told

    The IRS urged the Seventh Circuit to maintain nearly $400,000 in fraud penalties assessed against an Illinois man who pled guilty to falsifying his tax returns as part of a scheme to poison his wife and collect on a $20 million life insurance policy.

  • June 18, 2024

    Insurers Must Keep Defending Heating Oil Co. In Class Suit

    Two Crum & Forster units must continue defending a heating oil company and several executives in a class action claiming the company provided oil with elevated levels of biodiesel that caused property damage, a Massachusetts federal court ruled, saying the policies' "failure to supply" provisions do not limit or exclude coverage.

  • June 17, 2024

    Excess Insurers May Need To Pay In Kaiser Asbestos Dispute

    A policyholder can tap into first-layer excess policies as soon as the primary coverage for that period is exhausted, the California Supreme Court ruled, potentially implicating several first-level excess insurers to contribute to coverage for underlying asbestos exposure claims against Kaiser Cement and Gypsum Corp.

  • June 17, 2024

    NY Archdiocese Wants Abuse Coverage Suit Tossed

    The Archdiocese of New York sought dismissal of Chubb's bid to evade coverage of over 1,700 underlying sexual abuse claims brought under the Child Victims Act, filing counterclaims with a state court alleging that the carrier has wrongfully refused coverage and must indemnify the organization in the underlying claims.

  • June 17, 2024

    Insurers Ask 6th Circ. To Undo $13.3M Murder Coverage Loss

    Two Liberty Mutual units said their insurers must reimburse them for a $13.3 million judgment stemming from a murder in a Florida motel, urging the Sixth Circuit on Monday to toss a lower court's ruling that a demand letter in the underlying suit didn't constitute a claim for bad faith.

  • June 14, 2024

    Tata Must Pay $168M For Trade Secret Theft, Texas Judge Says

    A Texas federal judge has ordered Tata Consultancy to pay $168 million for willfully misappropriating an IT company's trade secrets concerning source code and life insurance software documentation, plus $25 million in prejudgment interest.

  • June 14, 2024

    Insurer Seeks Quick Exit In Casino $130M COVID Loss Suit

    The insurer of a casino operator with properties on the Las Vegas strip and beyond told a Nevada federal judge to toss a $130 million COVID-19 pandemic loss coverage suit, arguing it had already paid $1 million — the only benefits due under the all-risk policy.

  • June 14, 2024

    Trucking Co. Whittles $11.5M Suit Over Stolen Cellphones

    A North Carolina federal court pared an $11.5 million lawsuit brought by a cellphone dealer and its insurer after a truckload of devices was stolen, reasoning that a negligence claim was preempted.

  • June 13, 2024

    Top Specialty Lines Decisions From The First Half Of 2024

    The first half of this year brought notable pro-policyholder rulings in specialty insurance disputes on the applicability of contract exclusions and related-acts provisions, but also some rulings giving insurers a leg up when it comes to choice-of-law clauses in maritime insurance contracts and bump-up exclusions. Here, Law360 breaks down the top specialty lines decisions so far in 2024.

  • June 13, 2024

    Youth Org. Not Covered For Ex-Worker's Claim, 6th Circ. Rules

    A sexual misconduct exclusion bars a youth advocacy organization's bid for coverage of an ex-employee's claim that they were sexually harassed and assaulted by a supervisor, the Sixth Circuit affirmed Thursday, saying the organization's failure to raise certain arguments before the district court was fatal to its appeal.

  • June 13, 2024

    High Court Sticks To Status Quo In Insurance-Packed Term

    The U.S. Supreme Court embraced an insurance-packed docket in its current term, tackling thorny coverage issues head on or indirectly, hewing close to the status quo in decisions whose impact will be felt by insurers and policyholders across the industry. Here, Law360 reviews the top insurance-related decisions issued this term.

  • June 13, 2024

    Prudential Investors Get Final OK On $35M Settlement

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday granted final approval to a $35 million class action settlement between Prudential Financial Inc. and shareholders who alleged the company hid the risks associated with the purchase of thousands of life insurance policies.

  • June 13, 2024

    NJ Justices Create New Liability Rule For Property Owners

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday voted 4-3 to craft a new rule stating that owners of commercial vacant lots have a duty to maintain the public sidewalks abutting the lots, and reinstated a woman's trip-and-fall injury suit.

  • June 13, 2024

    Calif. Insurance Chief Proposes Key Tradeoff In Reform Bid

    Insurers in California will need to weigh whether the financial benefits of using new risk models to price policies is worth increasing their risk exposure in some of the state's most fire-prone areas following newly proposed rules from state insurance regulators. 

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Eighth Circuit pondered whether Geico was responsible for an HPV infection, a Michigan court said lies could eliminate a dead man's payout, a Texas roofer was told that public adjusting wasn't a free-speech matter, and House of Cards' California suit withstood an insurer's attempt to knock it down.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurer Calls Convicted Mogul's $633M IOU 'Worthless' Ruse

    Convicted insurance mogul Greg Lindberg has offered a "worthless" $633 million promise as a ruse to end an insurance company's bid to collect a $524 million arbitration award, a North Carolina federal court heard this week.

  • June 13, 2024

    NJ Judge Denies Liberty Mutual's Recusal Bid in Accident Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge will not step away from a construction accident coverage suit, ruling Liberty Mutual's recusal bid, which cited his failure to disclose his multiple policies with the insurer and a previous investigation over a missing jewelry claim, would potentially block hundreds of judges from presiding over similar cases.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Cases Remain High Despite 2023 Downturn

    Though insurance litigation in federal district courts took a slight dip in 2023, diverging from the upward trend that insurance cases have exhibited since 2016, the number of cases initiated last year remained the second-highest number filed over a 10-year span, according to a report by Lex Machina.

  • June 12, 2024

    Baltimore Diocese Fights Insurers' Dismissal Attempt

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore defended its adversary action in Maryland bankruptcy court seeking coverage from its insurance carriers, arguing that resolving the issue is crucial to resolving its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

  • June 12, 2024

    8th Circ. Judge Calls Car Sex 'Clearly Foreseeable' In HPV Suit

    An Eighth Circuit judge said Wednesday that having sex in a vehicle is "clearly foreseeable," challenging Geico's contention that such activity does not constitute normal use of an automobile in a coverage suit over a woman's claim that she contracted HPV during sexual encounters in a policyholder's car. 

  • June 12, 2024

    Doctor Says Lawyer, Insurer Agreed To Backdoor Settlement

    A Colorado neurosurgeon accused an attorney and an insurer of interfering with the legal services provided to him in defense of an underlying medical malpractice suit, telling a state court the underlying suit was settled without his consent, elevating the carrier and its insured's interests over his own.

  • June 12, 2024

    Judge Won't Trim $18M Shareholder Settlement Coverage Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal judge declined to toss certain bad faith allegations against an insurer accused of wrongfully denying coverage for an $18 million settlement between an asset management company and a group of shareholders, adopting a magistrate judge's recommendation that the company sufficiently alleged its claim of bad faith.

Expert Analysis

  • How VA Court Change Is Affecting Insurance Disputes

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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.

  • How Merck Settlement Can Inform Cyberinsurance Approach

    Author Photo

    This month's settlement in Merck v. ACE spotlights how cyber exclusions have evolved since the significant decision in the case — allowing for insurance coverage despite the presence of a policy war exclusion — and where else corporate risk managers may look for coverage in case of a cyberattack, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • What's In NY's Draft Guidance On AI Use In Insurance

    Author Photo

    Last week, the New York State Department of Financial Services released proposed guidance for insurers on the use of artificial intelligence systems and external consumer data and information sources for underwriting and pricing purposes, and these standards will likely help form the basis of an eventual nationwide insurance regulatory framework on AI, say attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell.

  • How States Vary On The Fireman's Rule And Its Applicability

    Author Photo

    A recent decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals, reviving a firefighter’s suit, is illustrative of changes in the application and interpretation by state courts and legislatures of the Fireman’s Rule, which bans first responders from recovering for injuries sustained on the job, says Shea Feagin at Swift Currie.

  • Insured Takeaways From 10th Circ. Interrelated Claims Ruling

    Author Photo

    The Tenth Circuit's recent ruling in American Southwest Mortgage v. Continental Casualty that multiple claims arising from consecutive audit years were interrelated — and thus subject to a per claim limit — creates a concerning precedent for policyholders, so companies should negotiate relevant policy language, says Michael Stockalper at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Protections May Exist For Cos. Affected By Red Sea Attacks

    Author Photo

    Companies whose ships or cargo have been affected by the evolving military conflict in the Red Sea, and the countries under whose flags those ships were traveling, may be able to seek redress through legal action against Yemen or Iran under certain international law mechanisms, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Time To Step Up PFAS Due Diligence In Cross-Border M&A

    Author Photo

    Regulations in the U.S. and EU governing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances will likely evolve to become global standards out of necessity and scale, so PFAS due diligence — particularly for buyers, sellers, and lenders and investors involved in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions — will be essential in 2024, say attorneys at Shipman & Goodwin.

  • 3 Significant Ohio Insurance Updates From 2023

    Author Photo

    The past year saw some significant changes and developments in Ohio's insurance coverage landscape, from new bad faith discovery mechanisms relating to out-of-state property to the Ohio Supreme Court's interpretation of what constitutes an assault or battery for coverage purposes, say Jenna Pletcher and William Peseski at Brouse McDowell. 

  • Ill. Justices Set New Standard For Analyzing Defect Claims

    Author Photo

    The Illinois Supreme Court's recent ruling in Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago has effectively changed the landscape for how insurers may respond to construction defect claims in the state, so insurers should carefully focus their coverage analysis on whether the business risk exclusions are applicable, say Bevin Carroll and Julie Klein at Kennedys.

  • Policyholders Must Object To Insurer Reorganizations

    Author Photo

    When insurance companies reorganize, policies often take years to ultimately pay out a fraction of what is owed, so policyholders should organize and urge insurance commissioners to take action when retroactive reinsurance deals are announced, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • Ill. BIPA Ruling May Spark Violation-Of-Law Exclusion Fight

    Author Photo

    An Illinois appeals court's recent holding in National Fire Insurance v. Visual Pak that a violation-of-law exclusion didn't preclude coverage for an underlying Biometric Information Privacy Act suit contradicts an earlier Seventh Circuit decision that aligns with long-standing insurance law principles — which may lead the state's high court to weigh in, says Tae Andrews at Pasich.