General Liability

  • February 12, 2024

    Ex-McCarter & English Client Can Pursue $20M Loan Claims

    A Connecticut state court judge has denied a bid by McCarter & English LLP and a former partner for an early win in an insurance company's multimillion-dollar malpractice suit, ruling that the continuing representation doctrine allowed the plaintiff to toll the statute of limitations and continue to press its case.

  • February 12, 2024

    NM Dry Cleaner Says Policy Covers Chemical Cleanup Costs

    The property owner of a New Mexico dry cleaner told a federal court Monday that State Farm has refused to defend it against an investigation and demand for remediation from the state's environmental protection agency after the discovery of chlorinated solvent contamination in its property's soil.

  • February 12, 2024

    Three-State Test Critical To Evaluating Carrier Climate Risk

    An analysis finding that insurers' investment portfolios are at risk of losing billions of dollars under delayed climate-transition plans is an important step to fully understanding how well carriers' business activities are aligned with climate goals, experts say.

  • February 12, 2024

    Tree Removal Mixup Merits Coverage, Homebuilder Tells Court

    A homebuilder's insurer must defend it in litigation over the accidental removal of 66 trees in an adjacent lot, the homebuilder told a Texas federal court, arguing the tree removal was accidental and thus an occurrence under its commercial general liability policy.

  • February 12, 2024

    Travelers Says No Coverage For $1.8M Pollution Cleanup

    A Travelers unit said it has no duty to reimburse an oil and gas company over $1.8 million for costs it incurred cleaning up 1,600 barrels of spilled brine water, telling a Pennsylvania federal court the company failed to meet its policies' reporting requirements.

  • February 09, 2024

    No Coverage In Home Remodel Row, Insurer Says

    State National Insurance Co. should have no duty to defend or indemnify a general contractor accused of submitting fraudulent invoices for a home remodel, the insurer told a California federal court, arguing that two faulty work exclusions are applicable.

  • February 09, 2024

    Fruit Of The Loom Entity Seeks Pay For Sports Complex Work

    Fruit of the Loom subsidiary Russell Brands LLC said it's owed $256,000 for its work on the construction of an Ohio sports complex, telling an Ohio federal court that the builder, property owner and surety have failed to tender payment nearly a year after the work was completed.

  • February 09, 2024

    Insurer, Day Care Battle Coverage For $21.6M Death Judgment

    A day care's insurer told a Florida federal court it owes no coverage for a $21.6 million judgment over an infant's death because the day care's premium-financing company canceled the policy "several weeks" before, while the day care argued that the financing company lacked the power to do so.

  • February 09, 2024

    New York Teacher Pays $75K For Mock Slave Auction Harm

    A northern New York teacher will pay $75,000 for holding a mock slave auction of Black students in her classroom, settling a federal suit over a lesson a 10-year-old student's mother said emotionally damaged her son.

  • February 09, 2024

    Widow Can Sue Trucking Co.'s Agent Over Policy, Panel Says

    The widow of a man who died in a trucking accident may proceed with her suit accusing the company's insurance agent of negligently procuring an excess policy, a Michigan state appeals court held, finding that an assignment of rights to the widow did not release the company from liability.

  • February 08, 2024

    'Utter Chaos' If Duty To Defend Ruling Is Upheld, 5th Circ. Told

    Upholding a Texas district court's ruling that Kinsale Insurance Co. must defend wrongful death claims stemming from an amateur racing event because of policy ambiguities would create "utter chaos," the insurer told the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, noting the policy at issue involved standard-form exclusionary endorsements.

  • February 08, 2024

    Insurer Says Policy Won't Cover $1.3M Title Agency Defense

    An insurer wants a North Carolina federal court to rule that a policy excludes defending a title insurance agency in an underlying lawsuit alleging the agency worked with an unapproved and financially questionable law firm, costing an underwriter at least $1.25 million.

  • February 08, 2024

    11th Circ. Won't Undo State Farm's Shooting Coverage Loss

    The Eleventh Circuit refused Thursday to hear State Farm's challenge to a lower court decision ordering it to cover an $877,660 judgment for a gas station employee shot on the premises that he obtained against his employers, finding it lacked jurisdiction since the decision wasn't final or immediately appealable.

  • February 08, 2024

    Mass Shooting Survivor Loses $17M Judgment On Appeal

    A Texas appellate court has overturned a mass shooting victim's $17 million judgment she won against a restaurant after accusing one of its managers of not sufficiently intervening, ruling that the food joint can't be held to account because the manager wasn't found to have had a responsibility to control the shooter.

  • February 08, 2024

    Insurance Orgs. Say Bill Would Prevent CFPB Overreach

    Bipartisan legislation seeking to clarify the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has drawn support from insurance regulators and industry trade groups who say the bureau has encroached upon state-based insurance regulation despite clear statutory limitations.

  • February 08, 2024

    NTSB Accused Of Withholding Derailed Train Parts

    Rail car leasing firm GATX Corp. and chemical firm OxyVinyls LP asked an Ohio federal judge to force the National Transportation Safety Board to let them examine parts from the Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine last year, claiming the agency is holding out on them.

  • February 08, 2024

    Esurance Pockets Totaled Vehicles' Sales Tax, Suit Says

    Auto insurer Esurance stole from customers by routinely failing to cover sales tax on totaled vehicles, a policyholder said in a proposed class action filed in New York federal court.

  • February 08, 2024

    Landscaper, Insurer Agree To Kill Herbicide Coverage Claims

    A lawn care company and its insurer agreed to drop the remaining claims in the company's bid to secure $5 million in coverage after accidentally damaging its customers' lawns with an herbicide, according to a notice filed in a South Dakota federal court.

  • February 07, 2024

    Insurer Ducks Some Coverage Of Dredge Tank Defect Suit

    A Wisconsin federal judge Wednesday ruled partially in favor of an insurer seeking a declaration that it needn't cover a metal fabricator's defense in an underlying arbitration over allegedly defective dredge tanks.

  • February 07, 2024

    'Family' Exclusion Nixes Coverage For Menards, 8th Circ. Says

    An Iowa Menards home improvement retailer doesn't have coverage under the insurance of a customer who launched an injury suit against it, an Eighth Circuit panel ruled in a published opinion, finding intrafamily immunity applied, even if the shopper was unrelated to the employee who allegedly dropped lumber on her.

  • February 07, 2024

    Wyndham Gets Joint Employer Claim Cut From Trafficking Suit

    An Ohio federal judge has partly granted Wyndham's motion to dismiss an anonymous accuser's claims that the hotel giant's inaction facilitated sex trafficking, reasoning the hotel company didn't exercise enough control over a franchise location's employees to be held liable as a joint employer.

  • February 07, 2024

    Repair-Shop Slip Triggers Auto Coverage, Mich. Justices Say

    A woman who fell into a service pit during an oil change is entitled to personal injury protection benefits under Michigan's auto insurance law, the state's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, finding the accident was sufficiently related to car maintenance.

  • February 07, 2024

    No Coverage For Apt. Complex In Negligence Row, Court Told

    The owner and managers of a Kansas City, Missouri-area apartment complex can't get coverage for a proposed class action brought by its tenants over claims of putrid living conditions, an insurer told a federal court, claiming several exclusions in its policies bar any recovery.

  • February 07, 2024

    Insurers Reach Agreement In School Construction Injury Suit

    Travelers has ended its dispute over whether another insurer must defend a general contractor, school district and construction manager in a worker's personal injury lawsuit as additional insureds, after a New York federal judge on Wednesday approved the parties' mutual request to drop the action.

  • February 07, 2024

    NC Panel Reverses Doctor's Malpractice Coverage Win

    The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed a trial court’s decision that found a doctor was entitled to defense coverage under his medical malpractice policy for a state medical board investigation, ruling that the doctor failed to timely notify the insurer of the investigation and therefore did not deserve coverage.

Expert Analysis

  • Navigating High Court's Options In Insurer Choice Of Law

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    Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court approaches the question of when insurers may invoke choice-of-law clauses in maritime contracts to dodge state-specific liability, the Great Lakes v. Raiders Retreat Realty decision may mean significant changes not only for admiralty law disputes, but for the insurance industry more broadly, say Lara Cassidy and Adriana Perez at Hunton.

  • 7th Circ. Adds To Range Of Opinions On MCS-90 Endorsement

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    The Seventh Circuit's recent opinion in Prime Insurance Company v. Wright helps illustrate how the variation among courts as to when the federally mandated MCS-90 insurance endorsement for motor carriers is satisfied often hinges on exactly how "interstate commerce" is defined, says Rick Boepple at Akerman.

  • NY Rulings Show Shift In Insurance Priority Approach

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    Some recent New York state decisions considering coverage priority of primary and excess insurance policies and contractual indemnity claims run against clear policy language, which should trump extrinsic evidence of intent, says Dan Kohane at Hurwitz Fine.

  • Tips For Plaintiffs Attorneys Ahead Of Expanded Fire Season

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    With the expansion of fire season — both in length of time and geography — plaintiffs lawyers can expect fire-related litigation to increase this coming year and need to prepare themselves and their clients for claims that are complex, time-consuming and costly, says Gerald Singleton at Singleton Schreiber.

  • Pollutant Insurance Case Holds Clues For Ohio Train Litigation

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    A recent Rhode Island Supreme Court decision in Regan Heating v. Arbella could mean that the wide-reaching impacts of the February train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, will trigger the enforcement of any total pollution exclusion contained in Norfolk Southern's commercial general liability policy, says Kayla O’Connor at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Establishing A Record Of Good Faith In Mediation

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    Viacom v. U.S. Specialty Insurance, and other recent cases, highlight the developing criteria for determining good faith participation in mediation, as well as several practical tips to establish such a record, says Richard Mason at MasonADR.

  • Using ChatGPT To Handle Insurance Claims Is A Risky Move

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    ChatGPT gets some insurance law questions surprisingly wrong, and while it handles broader coverage concepts significantly better, using it to assist with coverage questions will likely lead to erroneous results and could leave insurers liable for bad faith, says Randy Maniloff at White and Williams.

  • Fla. Bill Would Rein In Personal Injury Litigation Excesses

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    A recently proposed bill in the Florida House that would change bad-faith laws and the admissibility of medical bills for services performed under a letter of protection would provide reasonable checks on practices that are far too common in personal injury cases in the Sunshine State, say attorneys at Baker Donelson.

  • Takeaways From Tree-Clearing Co.'s 11th Circ. Insurance Win

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent decision in Frankenmuth Mutual v. Brown's Clearing, interpreting the extent of knowledge required to trigger an insured's notice obligations under a commercial general liability policy, is both a welcome sign and a cautionary tale for corporate policyholders, say Garrett Nemeroff and Christopher Kuleba at Reed Smith.

  • High Court Ax Of Atty-Client Privilege Case Deepens Split

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent dismissal of In re: Grand Jury as improvidently granted maintains a three-way circuit split on the application of attorney-client privilege to multipurpose communications, although the justices have at least shown a desire to address it, say Trey Bourn and Thomas DiStanislao at Butler Snow.

  • Why General Liability Carriers Are Wary Of SEC Climate Rule

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rule to require companies to formally report climate change risks could come into play in five areas that should be concerning to companies and their general liability insurers, says Eric Scheiner at Kennedys.

  • Wis. High Court Ruling May Open Door To Coverage Exception

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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dostal v. Strand finding that an insurer had to defend a civil action following the defendant's criminal conviction on the same facts nonetheless may suggest an exception to the complaint test for determining an insurance company's defense obligation, say David Hollander and Clementine Uwabera at Stafford Rosenbaum.

  • A Litigation Move That Could Conserve Discovery Resources

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    Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben proposes the preliminary legal opinion procedure — seeking a court's opinion on a disputed legal standard at the outset, rather than the close, of discovery — as a useful resource-preservation tool for legally complex, discovery-intensive litigation.