General Liability

  • 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

    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

    Travelers, Fridge Co. To Settle $950K Dispute Over Ship Fire

    Travelers and a refrigerator manufacturer told a Texas federal court that they have agreed to dismiss litigation over the insurer's bid to recoup $950,000 it paid to its insured to cover a ship fire, which Travelers said was caused by a defective refrigerator unit in the ship's galley.

  • 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 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Consider Self-Help To Trigger Additional-Insured Status

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    A New Jersey federal court recently affirmed that owners and contractors can use self-help by filing third-party claims for indemnification against subcontractors, triggering coverage from a subcontractor's insurance by asserting that an employee's injuries resulted from the subcontractor's fault or the employee's own negligence, say Allen Wolff and Ethan Middlebrooks at Anderson Kill.

  • Why 7th Circ.'s BIPA Insurance Analysis Is Significant

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    The Seventh Circuit's ruling in Citizens v. Wynndalco is the first appellate opinion on one of the three major exclusions raised by insurers faced with a duty to defend alleged violations of the Biometric Information Privacy Act and could foreshadow future BIPA opinions favoring policyholders, say John Vishneski and Adrienne Kitchen at Reed Smith.

  • What 6th Circ. Ruling May Portend For PFAS Coverage Cases

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    The Sixth Circuit's recent decision in Admiral Insurance v. Fire-Dex, rejecting the insurer's attempt to avoid coverage, shows that federal courts may decline to resolve novel PFAS state-law issues, and that insurers may have less confidence than originally intimated in the applicability of the pollution exclusion to PFAS claims, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • Insurance Considerations For State Biometric Privacy Claims

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    As Connecticut and Colorado join the growing number of states that have enacted biometric data privacy acts auguring significant damages, in-house counsel thinking about insurance coverage for privacy liability should consider several key factors including clarity of exclusions, say Peter Halprin and Tae Andrews at Pasich.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Aids Insureds In Contractual Exclusion Rows

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    The Fifth Circuit's recent insurance decision in Windermere Oaks v. Allied World, in favor of coverage, provides policyholders with guidance on how to distinguish between contractual and noncontractual claims when insurers deploy broadly worded liability exclusions to deny coverage, say Max Louik and David Ledet at Reed Smith.

  • 2nd Circ. Reinsurance Ruling Correctly Applied English Law

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    Contrary to a recent Law360 guest article's argument, the Second Circuit correctly applied English law when it decided in Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Equitas that concurrent reinsurance certificates required the reinsurer to cover loss in accordance with the law of the policy's governing jurisdiction, say Peter Chaffetz and Andrew Poplinger at Chaffetz Lindsey.

  • ALI, Bar Groups Need More Defense Engagement For Balance

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    The American Law Institute and state bar committees have a special role in the development of the law — but if they do not do a better job of including attorneys from the defense bar, they will come to be viewed as special interest advocacy groups, says Mark Behrens at Shook Hardy.

  • 2nd Circ. Reinsurance Ruling Misconstrues English Law

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    The Second Circuit's finding in Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Equitas Insurance, that London-based reinsurer Equitas owed coverage for losses outside the policy period, stems from that court's misinterpretation of English law on reinsurance policy construction, says Christopher Foster at Holman Fenwick.

  • 4 Emerging Risks For US Insurance Markets

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    Both insureds and insurers in the U.S. must be aware of significant inbound exposures — including the issues arising from opioids, climate change and artificial intelligence — that could lead to continued volatility in insurance markets, say Aidan McCormack and Wes Reichart at DLA Piper.

  • How Mich. Bill Could Reshape State's Insurance Landscape

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    A recently introduced Michigan Senate bill would bar insurers from delaying, denying or failing to pay a claim unless there is a reasonable basis found in the policy, but its requirement calling for written standards for claims adjusting could create liability issues for large insurers, says Emily Coyle at Plunkett Cooney.

  • PFAS Coverage Litigation Strategy Lessons For Policyholders

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    While policyholders' efforts to recover insurance proceeds for PFAS-related costs are in the early stages, it appears from litigation so far that substantial coverage should be available for PFAS-related liabilities, including both defense costs and indemnity payments in connection with those liabilities, say Benedict Lenhart and Alexis Dyschkant at Covington.

  • Exxon Ruling Highlights Additional Insured Coverage Conflict

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    Despite the Texas Supreme Court's recent decision in Exxon Mobil v. National Union, finding that contractual minimum insurance requirements cannot be used as a ceiling to bar umbrella coverage, the case nevertheless illustrates insurers' aggressive tactics to reduce the scope of additional insured coverage, say David Kroeger and Steven Tinetti at Jenner & Block.

  • Tackling Long-Tail Legacy Liability Risk: A Defendant's Toolkit

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    Johnson & Johnson was recently rebuffed in its efforts to employ the "Texas Two-Step," which is likely to affect this increasingly popular method to isolate and spin off large asbestos and talc liabilities, but companies have multiple options to reduce long-tail legacy liability risk, says Stephen Hoke at Hoke LLC.