General Liability

  • February 28, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Rehear Pfizer Shareholder Suit Coverage Row

    Pfizer won't get a second shot at arguing its insurer should indemnify it in a settlement stemming from a 2003 shareholder class action, with the Third Circuit on Wednesday declining the pharmaceutical company's request for an en banc rehearing.

  • February 27, 2024

    Company Escapes Coverage Row Over Lethal Ammonia Leak

    A contractor's affiliate whose employee died in an ammonia leak at a North Carolina cold storage facility needn't face claims stemming from the accident, the North Carolina Business Court said in a lawsuit originally brought against three insurers and others over coverage for the leak.

  • February 27, 2024

    Insurer Misled Lockheed On Contamination Suit, Court Told

    Lockheed Martin has told a Maryland federal court that its insurer "lured" it into believing for months that it would defend the company against claims that Lockheed's release of various toxic substances contaminated property and injured individuals near its Orlando, Florida, weapons manufacturing facility.

  • February 27, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Reconsider Coverage Ruling For Deli Stabbing

    The Third Circuit declined to review its decision that an insurer for a Philadelphia deli does not owe coverage for a $900,000 settlement reached with a man stabbed on the premises.

  • 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

    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

    Liberty Cuts Off Drivers' Rentals Too Soon, Suit Claims

    Liberty Mutual systematically and arbitrarily ends replacement transportation coverage after seven days for policyholders whose vehicles are totaled in collisions, in violation of its own policy language, a proposed class action alleges.

  • 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 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 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 23, 2024

    Agent Didn't Owe Mich. Co. Coverage Advice, Panel Says

    An insurance agent did not have a duty to advise a business that was damaged in a 2020 dam collapse that its insurance coverage might be inadequate, a Michigan state appeals court ruled, finding there is no special relationship between the parties that triggered that responsibility.

  • 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 21, 2024

    Fatal Crash Payout Flouts Insurance Law, NC Justices Told

    North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance urged the state Supreme Court on Wednesday to undo a trial court's decision that it owes $50,000 to a policyholder whose car caused a fatal wreck, arguing that his liabilities didn't trigger underinsured motorist coverage.

  • February 21, 2024

    NC Justices Hint At Coverage For Firm's Driver Privacy Row

    The North Carolina Supreme Court seemed skeptical Wednesday of an insurer's contention that mailers sent by a law firm to car crash victims based on public accident reports couldn't be considered coverage-triggering publication of material that violates a person's right to privacy.

  • February 21, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Subrogation Loss In Fieldwood Energy Sale

    The Fifth Circuit has ruled that a group of insurers that issued surety bonds to bankrupt Fieldwood Energy in a sale of its assets are not entitled to subrogation rights because the bankruptcy court's order stripping their rights could not be challenged under Section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code, a protection that limits appellate review of an approved sale.

  • February 21, 2024

    Uber Says Insurers Failed To Cover Dozens Of Injury Suits

    Uber's insurers failed to live up to their obligations to defend the company and its for-hire drivers in dozens of personal injury lawsuits, the ride-hailing giant claims in two suits filed in New York federal court, saying that the companies' conduct had a negative impact on thousands of New York City drivers.

  • February 21, 2024

    No Property Coverage For Maui Wildfire, Insurer Says

    A condominium association and its property manager have no coverage for property damage claims stemming from the 2023 Maui wildfires, their insurer told a Hawaii federal court, arguing that a property damage exclusion in their errors and omissions policy wholly bars coverage.

  • February 20, 2024

    Casinos Say 'Unique' Policy Should Cover $130M COVID Loss

    A casino operator with properties on the Las Vegas Strip and beyond told a Nevada federal court that its "unique" all-risk insurance is the broadest available coverage and should pay for $130 million in business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • February 20, 2024

    Policyholder Attys Say Firm's Mailer Row Merits Coverage

    The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over whether a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act by using personal information to market legal services to crash victims is entitled to coverage under an excess policy, as policyholder attorneys anticipate a win for the firm. Here, Law360 breaks down the case in advance of the hearing.

  • February 20, 2024

    Insurers Say Pollution Exclusion Bars Cancer Suits Defense

    An oil company accused of causing four people to develop cancer through exposure to harmful chemicals should not have coverage for its defense of the claims, according to four Nationwide units that told an Illinois federal court the company has no pollution coverage.

  • February 16, 2024

    State Farm 'Bad Deal' Can't Save Policyholders' Suit

    The Tenth Circuit on Friday refused to revive a proposed class action accusing State Farm of illegally denying full uninsured motorist coverage for policyholders, relatives and passengers, saying that the insurer may have sold them a "bad deal" but that they agreed to it.

  • February 16, 2024

    Barge Co., Insurer End Pollution Cleanup Coverage Fight

    A Washington barge company and its insurer reached an agreement in a dispute over coverage of legal expenses stemming from claims that the company was liable for environmental pollution at an EPA cleanup site, according to a notice filed in Washington federal court.

  • February 15, 2024

    Damaged Champagne Cargo Row Can Proceed, Judge Says

    A New Jersey federal judge preserved the majority of a $930,000 coverage dispute over a damaged champagne shipment Thursday, denying a logistics company's bid for dismissal while giving an insurer the opportunity to put forth an alternate pleading.

Expert Analysis

  • 2 Calif. Insurance Decisions Question Boundaries Of Fortuity

    Author Photo

    Last month, California state and federal courts revisited fortuity issues in two decisions that show how the occurrence requirement and the California Insurance Code's prohibition on coverage for an insured's willful acts can be exceedingly difficult to apply to lawsuits alleging novel legal theories, say Jodi Green and Sophia von Bergen at Miller Nash.

  • Insurer Implications As 3 Climate Suits Return To State Courts

    Author Photo

    Three federal circuit courts recently remanded climate change lawsuits brought by state and local governments against major energy corporations back to state courts, where plaintiffs are more likely to succeed, thus significantly increasing their insurers' and reinsurers' exposure to defense costs and judgments, say José Umbert and Jason Reeves at Zelle. 

  • 6 Rulings Reinforce BIPA Coverage For Illinois Policyholders

    Author Photo

    Six well-reasoned recent decisions in the Northern District of Illinois have considerably strengthened policyholders’ arguments for commercial general liability coverage in lawsuits brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, say attorneys at Neal Gerber.

  • 'Take Home' COVID And Emerging Liability Insurance Issues

    Author Photo

    Plaintiffs may face an uphill battle in take-home COVID-19 suits — cases filed against employers when employees contract the virus at work and then infect their family members — but insurers could still be on the hook for defense costs in protracted litigation, say Melissa D'Alelio and Michael Collier at Robins Kaplan.

  • The Misinterpretation Of Pa.'s Bad Faith Claims Handling Rule

    Author Photo

    Courts applying Pennsylvania law in insurance coverage disputes, such as the recently decided Walker v. Foremost Insurance, and finding that where an insurer establishes that the subject claim is not covered by the insurer’s policy there can also be no bad faith claim by the insured, are inaccurately interpreting state law, say George Stewart and Max Louik at Reed Smith.

  • 3 Insurance Lessons From Target Data Breach Ruling

    Author Photo

    In Target v. ACE American Insurance, a Minnesota federal court recently recognized that commercial general liability policies cover losses arising from data breaches, providing useful lessons for policyholders, including a perspective on occurrence and loss of use, say attorneys at Pasich.

  • Del. Related Claims Ruling Is Good News For Insurers

    Author Photo

    The Delaware Supreme Court recently denied coverage for a shareholder class action in First Solar v. National Union First Insurance, rejecting the test for assessing relatedness-based coverage issues, and opening the door for insurers to rely on specific policy wording when evaluating related claims, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • How Sonic Boom Risk Informs 'Physical Loss' For COVID Era

    Author Photo

    Applied to today's COVID-19 business interruption insurance battles, insurers' historical treatment of damage associated with sonic booms — or explosive sounds stemming from supersonic airplane speeds — may call into question the many court rulings barring coverage for pandemic-related losses on narrow physical loss grounds, say Peter Kochenburger at the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey Stempel at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  • Justices Must Apply Law Evenly In Shadow Docket Rulings

    Author Photo

    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.

  • Where NY Regulator's Insurance Investigation Is Headed

    Author Photo

    The New York Department of Financial Services' recent inquiry into property and casualty insurers' usage of credit information in underwriting could precede a number of actions addressing the practice, say Matthew Gaul and Maxfield Fey at Willkie.

  • What Cos. Can Glean From Early Cyber Policy Cases

    Author Photo

    Insurance claims for cyberattacks under cyber-specific policies have thus far been less contested than claims brought under commercial, crime and professional liability policies, however that may be changing, as cyber losses and liabilities continue to escalate and the market hardens, says Daniel Healy at Anderson Kill.

  • A Guide To Extrinsic Evidence In Determining Duty To Defend

    Author Photo

    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.

  • What Insureds Should Look For In Excess Policies

    Author Photo

    A recent California appellate court decision, Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Cement, demonstrates how courts will protect policyholder expectations against primary insurance carriers' actions that might restrict available excess coverage, and highlights how insureds should be diligent in reviewing excess policies on primary erosion, say Courtney Horrigan and Elizabeth Taylor at Reed Smith.