General Liability

  • June 27, 2024

    Insurer Gets Early Win In $2.2M Texas Assault Coverage Suit

    A bar's insurer has no duty to cover a $3.2 million personal injury judgment beyond the insurer's $1 million policy limit, a Texas federal court ruled, rejecting arguments from the bar, its owner and underlying plaintiffs that the insurer unreasonably denied the plaintiffs' presuit settlement demand.

  • June 26, 2024

    Travelers Nabs Partial Win In Asbestos Coverage Dispute

    A Travelers unit only has a duty to indemnify but not defend a drywall and paint company that faces several underlying asbestos injury lawsuits, a Texas federal court ruled, rejecting the company's reading of "not covered" in its umbrella policy providing excess coverage.

  • June 25, 2024

    1 Of 2 Carriers Off Hook For $8M Garage Damage Verdict

    An insurer for a now-defunct maintenance company has no duty to cover an $8 million jury verdict it faces over parking garage damage, an Indiana federal court ruled, adding that whether a separate insurer for the company must foot the bill can not yet be determined.

  • 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

    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

    No Coverage For $3M Logging Injury Verdict, 4th Circ. Affirms

    The Fourth Circuit has affirmed that an insurer doesn't have to cover a $3 million jury verdict over a man's logging injuries, finding that a North Carolina federal court correctly decided that a broad worker injury exclusion was applicable.

  • June 24, 2024

    Insurer Says Paralympic Org Not Covered In Sex Abuse Row

    The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee should have no coverage in a lawsuit accusing it of negligence after a Paralympic swimmer said he was sexually abused by a teammate, an insurer for the committee told a Colorado federal court, citing an "absolute abuse or molestation" exclusion. 

  • June 21, 2024

    No Coverage For La Quinta Sex Assault Claims, Insurer Says

    The insurer of a La Quinta Inn & Suites location told a Texas federal court it owes no defense or indemnity in an underlying state court lawsuit alleging the hotel negligently failed to prevent the sexual assault of a minor on its property.

  • June 21, 2024

    Mich. Appeals Panel Rescinds Coverage For Auto Policy Fraud

    A Michigan appeals court panel said a trial court was wrong for not rescinding auto insurance coverage held by a woman who made misstatements on her insurance application before she was injured in an accident. 

  • June 21, 2024

    Wolverine Inks Deal To End PFAS Coverage Fight

    Footwear company Wolverine and one of its insurers have told a Michigan federal judge that they have reached a settlement in a coverage dispute over underlying chemical exposure actions, saying they "have agreed to a signed, confidential term sheet to resolve this action."

  • June 21, 2024

    Mich. Panel Says Default Judgment Covered Per No-Fault Law

    A Progressive unit must pay a $250,000 default judgment in a motor vehicle negligence case even though the insurer said its policyholder failed to cooperate, a Michigan appeals court ruled, finding a state Supreme Court decision predating Michigan's no-fault insurance reform was still applicable.

  • 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

    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

    Insurer Hit With Coverage Suit Over Ohio Grocery Shooting

    Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc. is claiming that a security contractor's insurer, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., has refused to cover its defense costs in a lawsuit over a shooting at a Cleveland, Ohio, store, and was trying to get the grocer to drop its third-party claims against the contractor.

  • June 20, 2024

    2nd Circ. Affirms AIG's Win In Ex-Atty's Retaliation Suit

    A former legal executive's retaliation lawsuit against American International Group Inc. has fizzled out as the Second Circuit on Thursday upheld an earlier ruling that found he was not fired for blowing the whistle on alleged fraud.

  • 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 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

    AIG Unit Says Exclusions Bar Pet Supply Co.'s BIPA Claims

    An AIG unit has told a Michigan federal court a pet supply store isn't owed defense for an underlying class action brought by employees alleging the store violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, maintaining that a "recording and distribution" exclusion and "employment-related practices exclusion" were triggered.

  • June 18, 2024

    Life Insurance Fraudster Deserves Tax Penalties, 7th Circ. Told

    The IRS urged the Seventh Circuit to maintain nearly $400,000 in fraud penalties assessed against an Illinois man who pled guilty to falsifying his tax returns as part of a scheme to poison his wife and collect on a $20 million life insurance policy.

  • 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 17, 2024

    Excess Insurers May Need To Pay In Kaiser Asbestos Dispute

    A policyholder can tap into first-layer excess policies as soon as the primary coverage for that period is exhausted, the California Supreme Court ruled, potentially implicating several first-level excess insurers to contribute to coverage for underlying asbestos exposure claims against Kaiser Cement and Gypsum Corp.

Expert Analysis

  • How VA Court Change Is Affecting Insurance Disputes

    Author Photo

    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.

  • Ore. Insurance Ruling Opens Door To Extracontractual Claims

    Author Photo

    The Oregon Supreme Court's recent Moody v. Oregon Community Credit Union decision expanding an insurer's potential liability when adjusting life insurance policies exposes insurers to extracontractual tort liability, and the boundaries of this application will likely be tested through aggressive legal action, says Tessan Wess at GRSM50.

  • Strict Duty To Indemnify Ruling Bucks Recent Trend

    Author Photo

    A South Carolina federal court's recent decision that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to decide an insurer's duty to indemnify prior to the finding of insured liability sharply diverges from the more nuanced or multipronged standards established by multiple circuit courts, says Richard Mason at MasonADR.

  • How Merck Settlement Can Inform Cyberinsurance Approach

    Author Photo

    This month's settlement in Merck v. ACE spotlights how cyber exclusions have evolved since the significant decision in the case — allowing for insurance coverage despite the presence of a policy war exclusion — and where else corporate risk managers may look for coverage in case of a cyberattack, say attorneys at McGuireWoods.

  • What's In NY's Draft Guidance On AI Use In Insurance

    Author Photo

    Last week, the New York State Department of Financial Services released proposed guidance for insurers on the use of artificial intelligence systems and external consumer data and information sources for underwriting and pricing purposes, and these standards will likely help form the basis of an eventual nationwide insurance regulatory framework on AI, say attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell.

  • How States Vary On The Fireman's Rule And Its Applicability

    Author Photo

    A recent decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals, reviving a firefighter’s suit, is illustrative of changes in the application and interpretation by state courts and legislatures of the Fireman’s Rule, which bans first responders from recovering for injuries sustained on the job, says Shea Feagin at Swift Currie.

  • Insured Takeaways From 10th Circ. Interrelated Claims Ruling

    Author Photo

    The Tenth Circuit's recent ruling in American Southwest Mortgage v. Continental Casualty that multiple claims arising from consecutive audit years were interrelated — and thus subject to a per claim limit — creates a concerning precedent for policyholders, so companies should negotiate relevant policy language, says Michael Stockalper at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Protections May Exist For Cos. Affected By Red Sea Attacks

    Author Photo

    Companies whose ships or cargo have been affected by the evolving military conflict in the Red Sea, and the countries under whose flags those ships were traveling, may be able to seek redress through legal action against Yemen or Iran under certain international law mechanisms, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Time To Step Up PFAS Due Diligence In Cross-Border M&A

    Author Photo

    Regulations in the U.S. and EU governing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances will likely evolve to become global standards out of necessity and scale, so PFAS due diligence — particularly for buyers, sellers, and lenders and investors involved in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions — will be essential in 2024, say attorneys at Shipman & Goodwin.

  • 3 Significant Ohio Insurance Updates From 2023

    Author Photo

    The past year saw some significant changes and developments in Ohio's insurance coverage landscape, from new bad faith discovery mechanisms relating to out-of-state property to the Ohio Supreme Court's interpretation of what constitutes an assault or battery for coverage purposes, say Jenna Pletcher and William Peseski at Brouse McDowell. 

  • Ill. Justices Set New Standard For Analyzing Defect Claims

    Author Photo

    The Illinois Supreme Court's recent ruling in Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago has effectively changed the landscape for how insurers may respond to construction defect claims in the state, so insurers should carefully focus their coverage analysis on whether the business risk exclusions are applicable, say Bevin Carroll and Julie Klein at Kennedys.

  • Policyholders Must Object To Insurer Reorganizations

    Author Photo

    When insurance companies reorganize, policies often take years to ultimately pay out a fraction of what is owed, so policyholders should organize and urge insurance commissioners to take action when retroactive reinsurance deals are announced, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • Ill. BIPA Ruling May Spark Violation-Of-Law Exclusion Fight

    Author Photo

    An Illinois appeals court's recent holding in National Fire Insurance v. Visual Pak that a violation-of-law exclusion didn't preclude coverage for an underlying Biometric Information Privacy Act suit contradicts an earlier Seventh Circuit decision that aligns with long-standing insurance law principles — which may lead the state's high court to weigh in, says Tae Andrews at Pasich.