Property

  • March 07, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The California Supreme Court heard COVID-19 coverage arguments, the Fifth Circuit ordered arbitration between a property owner and its domestic insurers, and a New Hampshire federal court said Liberty Mutual owes no defense for class action claims over a sleep machine cleaner.

  • March 07, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Arbitration In Hurricane Coverage Feud

    The Fifth Circuit has ordered the owner of a New Orleans luxury apartment and retail complex to arbitrate a dispute with its domestic surplus lines insurers over coverage for $7 million in hurricane damage, ruling that arbitration is permitted under a carveout in conflicting Louisiana state law.

  • March 07, 2024

    Mixed Feelings On AI At Cyberinsurance Symposium

    Panelists at the Professional Liability Underwriting Society's cyber symposium in New York City on Tuesday and Wednesday were both excited and scared about generative artificial intelligence, acknowledging that it may be used in more complicated cyberattacks yet curious about the possibility the new market could bring. 

  • March 07, 2024

    Texas Wildfires Strike Underinsured Agricultural Sector

    A series of Texas wildfires including one estimated to be the worst in the state's history are underscoring the increasing risk of severe natural catastrophes to underinsured populations and insurance markets already under stress, experts say.

  • March 07, 2024

    Anti-Fraud Tool At Risk In 8th Circ. Billing Row, Carriers Say

    Insurers' ability to enter agreements that limit billings with healthcare providers, which they contend help combat insurance fraud, is up in the air in Minnesota as the Eighth Circuit gears up to hear arguments Thursday over whether such agreements violate a state law guaranteeing prompt automobile accident insurance payouts.

  • March 07, 2024

    Towers Watson Insurers Off Hook For $90M Merger Coverage

    Towers Watson's insurers do not need to cover settlements totaling $90 million in two shareholder suits stemming from the company's merger with Willis, a Virginia federal judge ruled, saying the transaction was barred by a so-called bump-up exclusion.

  • March 07, 2024

    Women In Insurance Law On Breaking Down Barriers

    Building a better environment for women in the legal industry starts from the top, women in insurance law told Law360. To mark International Women's Day, both junior and senior women attorneys share their experiences in the industry and offer words of advice.

  • March 06, 2024

    Fla. Judge Relieves Insurer Of $1M Construction Defect Row

    An insurer has no obligation to defend or indemnify a general contractor or subcontractor in an over $1 million faulty construction dispute, a Florida federal judge ruled, finding that the subcontractor's policies contained an unambiguous "residential construction" exclusion that clearly barred coverage.

  • March 06, 2024

    Power Co. Can't Escape Explosion Fraud Claim

    An infrastructure supply company can't toss a fraud claim brought by an industrial company's insurers in a suit seeking to recoup $18.7 million in damages for a manufacturing facility explosion, an Ohio federal court ruled, finding that the carriers can bring both a breach of contract claim and a fraud claim.

  • March 05, 2024

    Calif. Justice Asks Why COVID Triggers Insurance But Not Flu

    A California Supreme Court justice appeared skeptical during a hearing Tuesday that COVID-19's presence fulfills the "physical loss or damage" requirement in commercial property insurance policies under Golden State law, questioning whether COVID-19 is different from the flu with respect to property coverage and calling asbestos litigation "far afield."

  • March 04, 2024

    5th Circ. Says Hurricane Coverage Battle Must Be Arbitrated

    A Louisiana property owner and its eight domestic insurers must arbitrate the owner's claims that they mishandled and delayed paying its Hurricane Laura property damage claim in bad faith, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday, reversing a district court's decision that found an arbitration provision at issue unenforceable.

  • March 04, 2024

    Arizona Iced Tea Asks 2nd Circ. To Affirm Audit Expense Win

    The maker of Arizona Iced Tea told the Second Circuit that Hanover Insurance Co. must cover additional audit expenses it incurred after a power surge erased two years' worth of financial data, arguing its "period of restoration" ended when the audit concluded, not when replacement accounting software was in place.

  • February 29, 2024

    9th Circ. Sends COVID-19 Coverage Row Back To Tribal Court

    A Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the Suquamish Tribal Court's jurisdiction over a COVID-19 coverage dispute, finding in a published opinion Thursday that although the tribe's insurers weren't present on its land, a consensual business relationship means tribal law applies.

  • February 29, 2024

    State Farm Must Face Bad Faith Claims In $3M Crash Row

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday clarified a prior ruling reviving bad faith claims against State Farm for rejecting an offer to settle a car crash injury suit that led to a $3 million verdict, saying the insurer could still have acted in bad faith in handling the settlement offer even if it had no obligation to accept it.

  • February 29, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Texas Supreme Court found that a handful of insurers may be on the hook for a $220 million bankruptcy settlement, while another state Supreme Court said it will take on underpayment claims against Geico, as insurance experts heed emerging privacy risks and prepare for more PFAS litigation. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • February 29, 2024

    Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance

    A deadly apartment fire in Valencia, Spain, is drawing renewed attention to the use of flammable materials on building exteriors, a global problem that insurance experts say implicates complicated webs of liability and a need for strong government oversight.

  • 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

    Insurer Wins New Trial Due To Paralegal's Surprise Testimony

    An insurer will receive a new trial in its coverage dispute with two homeowners over damage caused by a water supply line failure, a Florida state appeals court ruled, finding the insurer was prejudiced by the trial court allowing a paralegal to testify as a surprise witness.

  • February 28, 2024

    No More Coverage For Aluminum Co.'s $165M Fire Damage

    A South Carolina federal judge on Wednesday snuffed out an aluminum company's $165 million fire damage suit, ruling that its insurers had already paid up to their limits of $10 million for the molten material damage.

  • February 28, 2024

    Insurance Agency Says It Wasn't Told Of Airbnb Shooting Suits

    A Pennsylvania insurance agency accused of concealing that a Pittsburgh Airbnb property was subject to numerous lawsuits over a mass shooting has claimed that the property owner never revealed the problems when shopping for a new policy, so it wasn't the agency's fault when the new insurer canceled coverage.

  • February 28, 2024

    Seattle Convention Center's Virus Losses Not Covered

    A Seattle convention center operator is not owed coverage for pandemic-related business interruption losses, a Washington federal judge ruled, finding that although the governor's emergency pandemic proclamations prohibited access to the convention center, they weren't issued because of physical loss or damage to the property.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Justices Must Apply Law Evenly In Shadow Docket Rulings

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    In recent shadow docket decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has inconsistently applied the requirement that parties demonstrate irreparable harm to obtain injunctive relief, which is problematic for two separate but related reasons, says David Hopkins at Benesch.

  • Ill. COVID Rulings Correctly Adopt Physical Loss Standard

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    In two recent decisions, Sweet Berry Cafe v. Society Insurance and Lee v. State Farm, Illinois appellate courts properly followed the Illinois Supreme Court's standard for physical loss when deciding COVID-19 business interruption cases, says Melinda Kollross at Clausen Miller.

  • A Guide To Extrinsic Evidence In Determining Duty To Defend

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    As the eight-corners rule for the duty to defend is increasingly riddled with exceptions to its strict formulation of confining the analysis to only the language of the insurance policy and the underlying complaint, Richard Mason at MasonADR discusses the newest notable decisions and offers strategies for attorneys litigating the duty to defend.

  • Political Risk Insurance May Help Cos. Hurt By Russian War

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    As Russia’s war on Ukraine causes severe economic fallout, it’s crucial that U.S. companies with operations in the region understand what losses might be covered by their political risk insurance policies, and take steps to ensure that all available coverage is preserved and maximized, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes and Boone.

  • Conn. Ruling Widens Scope Of Property Insurance Appraisals

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    After the Connecticut Supreme Court’s recent decision in Klass v. Liberty Mutual, holding that appraisers can apply the state’s matching statute when determining the amount of loss, insurers may not avoid appraisal on the sole basis that there is a coverage dispute, and policyholders will likely attempt to further expand the scope of appraisers' authority, says Peter Kelly Golfman at Zelle.

  • New 'Bad Faith' Claim Law Holds NJ Insurers Accountable

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    New Jersey’s recently enacted Insurance Fair Conduct Act, giving policyholders a bad faith cause of action for claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, is an important step toward countering unfair insurer advantage and expanding consumer protections, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Insurance Implications Of Texas '8 Corners' Rulings

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    Two recent Texas Supreme Court opinions resolve a long-pending question by reaffirming the so-called eight-corners rule as the primary means for determining an insurer's duty to defend, which should provide greater consistency between future state and federal decisions, says Susan Kidwell at Locke Lord.

  • Why I'll Miss Arguing Before Justice Breyer

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    Carter Phillips at Sidley shares some of his fondest memories of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer both inside and out of the courtroom, and explains why he thinks the justice’s multipronged questions during U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments were everything an advocate could ask for.

  • Defense Counsel Must Alter Tactics To Fight Outsize Verdicts

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    If defense counsel continue to use the same strategies they’ve always relied on without recognizing plaintiffs attorneys’ new playbook, so-called nuclear verdicts, such as the recent $730 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case in Texas, will continue to proliferate, says Robert Tyson at Tyson & Mendes.

  • BigLaw Must Nix All-Or-Nothing Work Model To Retain Talent

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    Record numbers of workers quitting in the “Great Resignation,” paired with the growing success of nontraditional and freelance legal services, show that BigLaw’s management committees must reconsider rigid billable hour expectations and be open to part-time and noncontinuous work arrangements, says Hui Chen at Hui Chen Ethics.

  • 11th Circ. Ruling Highlights Trend Of Stricter Insurer Valuation

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent decision in favor of the insurer in Metal Products v. Ohio Security Insurance is a jarring reminder that both Florida insurance companies and courts are increasingly viewing policy valuation provisions with stricter scrutiny, say Gina Lozier and Christopher Choquette at Berger Singerman.

  • The Flaws In The Traditional Approach To Hiring A Law Firm

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    Trevor Faure at Smarter Law Solutions and Gregory Richter at Major Lindsey offer an inside look at Teva Pharmaceuticals' recent overhaul of its law firm relationships through anonymous grading, and discuss how the company’s surprising findings on the correlation between quality and cost reveal shortcomings in traditional business development.

  • Federal Courts Are Right Venue For COVID Insurance Cases

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    Two recent Law360 guest articles positing that state, not federal, courts should be deciding COVID-19 insurance coverage disputes incorrectly assume that these cases contain novel insurance law issues, say attorneys at Dentons.

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