Property

  • June 24, 2024

    Lloyd's Seeks To Avoid Coverage For Beach Umbrella Death

    Certain underwriters at Lloyd's, London told a South Carolina federal court Monday they should have no coverage obligations to a vacation rental owner over a wrongful death suit alleging that a woman was impaled by a "wind-driven" beach umbrella.

  • June 24, 2024

    Architect Wants Roofer's Claim Nixed Over $17.6M School Fires

    Connecticut architectural firm Silver Petrucelli & Associates Inc. asked a state judge on Monday to strike a cross-claim by a builder it accused of impermissably using blowtorches to attach flashing to a school roof, setting fires in December 2021 and July 2022 that caused an alleged $17.6 million in damage.

  • June 24, 2024

    Nev. Restaurant Co.'s COVID Suit Is Kept Alive

    A group of insurers can't avoid a restaurant holding company's bid for coverage of COVID-19-related losses, a Nevada state court ruled, finding that the state supreme court's ruling on the subject didn't control the action because of an infectious disease endorsement in the company's policies.

  • June 24, 2024

    NY Warns Property Insurers Of Low-Income Renter Bias Ban

    New York's Department of Financial Services warned insurers Monday that they can no longer deny coverage to owners or increase premiums for residential properties solely because they house low-income tenants.

  • June 21, 2024

    Builder's Water Damage Claim Covered, DC Circ. Says

    A real estate developer and contractor are entitled to coverage for losses caused by water damage at a mixed-use development in the nation's capital, the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday, applying a policy exception that restores coverage for an insured peril that ensued from an excluded peril.

  • June 20, 2024

    'AI Washing' Actions Mark New Frontier In Coverage Disputes

    Recent regulatory actions and shareholder suits over alleged misrepresentations of artificial intelligence use, or what is known as AI washing, may be the first wave of a surge of claims that will hit professional and management liability insurance lines.

  • June 20, 2024

    Attys See Huge Financial, Legal Stakes In Hawaii Climate Suit

    A novel Hawaiian case over whether an AIG insurer needs to pay a Sunoco subsidiary’s legal fees to beat claims it contributed to climate change has huge stakes for carriers and policyholders as they increasingly tussle over the cost of Earth-warming emissions.

  • June 20, 2024

    Calif. Justices Give Insureds Certainty On Policy Exhaustion

    The California Supreme Court's clarification that an insured can look to first-layer excess policies as soon as primary coverage for that period is exhausted has favorable implications for policyholders, experts say, yet questions remain as a lower court weighs whether excess insurers must contribute to a primary insurer's coverage.

  • June 20, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The California Supreme Court opened the door to excess coverage for a policyholder's asbestos injury suits, the Hawaii Supreme Court questioned whether reckless behavior could trigger a Sunoco subsidiary's liability coverage, and the Second Circuit affirmed a Liberty Mutual unit's coverage win in a family shareholder dispute. Here, Law360 takes a look at the past week's top insurance news.

  • June 20, 2024

    Fla. Property Owner, Insurer Settle $1.2M Ian Coverage Fight

    A QBE Insurance unit and a property owner settled their coverage dispute over the owner's claims it suffered roughly $1.2 million in losses due to Hurricane Ian, the parties told a Florida federal court.

  • June 20, 2024

    Novel Vermont Polluter Law Raises Insurance Liability Issues

    A new Vermont law requiring fossil fuel companies to fund projects ameliorating the negative effects of climate change could raise questions about what constitutes a covered occurrence and how pollution exclusions may apply, while also igniting choice-of-law disputes, experts say.

  • June 20, 2024

    Nationwide Wins Mich. Combined Filing Tax Fight On Appeal

    Nationwide entities can file as a unitary business in Michigan to share tax credits across their group members, the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, overturning a state tax tribunal decision that said insurance companies were required to file separate returns.

  • June 20, 2024

    Ill. Panel Says Insurer Off Hook For 23 Carbon Monoxide Suits

    An insurer doesn't need to defend a design firm against 23 allegations that its negligent work led numerous children and others to suffer injuries from carbon monoxide exposure, an Illinois appeals court panel found, affirming a lower court's ruling.

  • 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

    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 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 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.

Expert Analysis

  • What New Conn. Insurance Bulletin Means For Data And AI

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    A recent bulletin from the Connecticut Insurance Department concerning insurers' usage of artificial intelligence systems appears consistent with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' gradual shift away from focusing on big data, and may potentially protect insurers from looming state requirements despite a burdensome framework, say attorneys at Day Pitney. 

  • 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.

  • A Legal Playbook For Stadium Construction Agreements

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    As a new wave of construction in the professional sports arena space gets underway, owners must carefully consider the unique considerations and risks associated with these large-scale projects and draft agreements accordingly, say attorneys at Akerman.

  • Insurance Policy Takeaways From UK Lockdown Loss Ruling

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    An English court's recent decision in Unipolsai v. Covea, determining that insurers' losses from COVID-19 lockdowns were covered by reinsurance, highlights key issues on insurance policy wordings, including how to define a "catastrophe" in the context of the pandemic, says Daniel Healy at Brown Rudnick.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How Calif. Video Recording Ruling May Affect Insured Exams

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    A recent California appellate decision, Myasnyankin v. Nationwide, allowing policyholders to video record all parties to an insurance examination under oath, has changed the rules of the road for EUOs and potentially opened Pandora's box for future disputes, say John Edson and Preston Bennett at Sheppard Mullin.

  • 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.

  • Texas Insurance Ruling Could Restore Finality To Appraisal

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    The Texas Supreme Court's decision in Rodriguez v. Safeco, determining that full payment of an appraisal award precludes recovery of attorney fees, indicates a potential return to an era in which timely payment undoubtedly disposes of all possible policyholder claims, says Karl Schulz at Cozen O'Connor.

  • A Rare Look At Judicial Interpretation Of LEG Exclusions

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    A Florida federal court’s order last month in Archer Western-De Moya v. Ace American Insurance and an earlier decision from a D.C. federal court offer insight into how courts may interpret defects exclusion clauses developed by the London Engineering Group — filling a void in case law in the area, says Jonathan Bruce at Holman Fenwick.

  • 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.

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