Specialty Lines

  • June 06, 2024

    Insurer Off The Hook For $3.4M Nursing Home Death Verdict

    A Berkshire Hathaway unit needn't cover a $3.4 million default judgment entered against its insured in a wrongful death suit, an Illinois federal judge determined, finding that the insured nursing home "did not meet its own reporting and cooperation obligations under the policy."

  • June 06, 2024

    State Farm Escapes Policyholder's Life Insurance GIPA Suit

    An Illinois state court has permanently tossed a State Farm policyholder's privacy claims targeting family medical history questions the insurer asked as part of its life insurance underwriting process, agreeing with its argument that the state's Genetic Information Privacy Act doesn't apply to life insurance.

  • June 06, 2024

    8th Circ. To Mull If Geico Auto Policy Covers HPV Claim

    The Eighth Circuit will hear oral arguments Wednesday over whether Geico should cover $5.2 million awarded to a woman claiming she contracted HPV during sexual encounters in a policyholder's car, with the case turning on whether her bodily injury claim must arise from the normal use of an automobile.

  • June 06, 2024

    Liquor Liability Costs Shake And Stir SC's Hospitality Industry

    As the South Carolina General Assembly returned to session Wednesday, grassroots organizations advocating for small businesses gathered at the State House for a press conference urging elected officials to reform legislation burdening restaurants, bars and music venues with increasingly high costs of liability insurance.

  • June 06, 2024

    Insurance Broker Expert Says AI 'Top Risk' For Policyholders

    Companies are increasingly integrating artificial intelligence technologies into their work, raising concerns in the insurance sector about the potential for growing risks and what coverage options are available for that exposure.

  • June 06, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court allowed an insurer to intervene in policyholder bankruptcy proceedings, Liberty Mutual requested that a policyholder-judge be removed from a construction accident coverage dispute, and a Markel unit is attempting to skirt a $77.7 million auto accident judgment. Here, Law360 takes a look at the past week's top insurance news.

  • June 06, 2024

    Justices Affirm Taxing Of Estate On Insurance Payout

    The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed on Thursday a decision denying a tax refund to the estate of an owner of a building materials company that used a payout from his $3.5 million life insurance policy to purchase his shares in the business.

  • June 05, 2024

    Aluminum Co. Seeks Reversal Of $10M Coverage Cap

    An aluminum supplier is urging the Fourth Circuit to reverse a lower court's ruling capping its damages at $10 million because of a molten material endorsement, arguing that the fire and water damage it sustained is separate and not subject to any sublimit or exclusion.

  • June 04, 2024

    9th Circ. Backs Agency Denial Of Partnership's Crop Policy

    The Federal Crop Insurance Corp. reasonably interpreted a policy that was canceled by an insurer after a farming partnership filed a claim seeking the full $1.9 million limit, the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday, affirming a decision backing the FCIC's conclusion that the operation didn't qualify for coverage.

  • June 04, 2024

    Benefits Plan Inks Deal To End Mental Health Coverage Suit

    The employee benefits plan at Mountain Area Health Education Center became the last remaining defendant to reach a settlement in a North Carolina district court lawsuit accusing an insurer and others of refusing to cover the cost of a patient's stay at a residential treatment center.

  • May 31, 2024

    Boat Owner's $1.85M Policy Void In Fire Dispute, Judge Says

    A Florida federal court declared a yacht owner's marine insurance policy void from inception, saying the owner, who was seeking coverage for a 2023 boat fire, materially misrepresented the price of the vessel.

  • May 31, 2024

    GRSM50 Brings On Clausen Miller Insurance Pro In SF

    Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP, which now goes by the name GRSM50, is expanding its team, announcing Thursday it is bringing on a Clausen Miller PC insurance specialist as a partner in its San Francisco office.

  • May 30, 2024

    NRA Wins Free Speech High Court Battle But May Lose Its War

    The U.S. Supreme Court allowed the National Rifle Association to proceed with its lawsuit alleging a former New York state official unlawfully pressured financial institutions to cut ties, but the group may now face greater hurdles to final victory.

  • May 30, 2024

    Travelers Loses Dismissal Bid In BIPA Coverage Dispute

    A New York federal judge declined to trim a software company's lawsuit seeking coverage from a Travelers unit for underlying claims that the company violated the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, finding the company's declaratory relief and bad faith claims were not duplicative of a breach of contract claim.

  • May 30, 2024

    Only $100K Owed For NJ Theater's Virus Losses, Judge Says

    A Zurich unit owed a theater only $100,000 for its COVID-19-related losses under its policy's communicable disease coverage provision, a New Jersey federal court ruled, rejecting the theater's arguments that each public health order constituted a separate occurrence and that a "blanket" $1.9 million limit was applicable.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court revived the National Rifle Association's free speech claims against a former New York state official, a Washington state appeals court ended Quest Diagnostics' bid for COVID-related coverage, and market analyst AM Best reported record investment income for U.S. property and casualty insurers in 2023.

  • May 30, 2024

    Active Hurricane Season Looms Over Insurance Industry

    The Atlantic hurricane season could continue to stress fragile insurance markets, according to forecasts of a particularly active 2024 season, but experts say there are some positive developments for Florida insurers despite years of elevated losses.

  • May 30, 2024

    Consumer Advocate Unpacks Big Issues Facing Insureds

    The use of socioeconomic factors in auto insurance, climate change's impact on the rising cost of homeowners insurance and the hollowing out of insurance policies are some of the most pressing issues consumers face today, says an advocate from the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurer Rebukes Bad Faith Claims In $25M Child Abuse Row

    An insurer urged a Washington federal court to dismiss bad faith counterclaims brought against it by families who say the insurer failed to provide coverage toward a daycare center's $24.5 million settlement of claims that its former employee sexually molested children.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurance Atty Fights For Lone Woman On Death Row In Miss.

    Attorney A. Kate Margolis lives a double life: one, in which she fights on behalf of insurance policyholders as counsel at Bradley, and another, spent trying to save convicted murderer Lisa Jo Chamberlin, the only woman on Mississippi's death row.

  • May 30, 2024

    Bottler Says It's Owed Defense In Wine Contamination Dispute

    A wine bottler told a California federal court its insurer must reimburse defense costs it incurred while fighting a now-settled suit seeking to hold the company liable for a $1.2 million wine contamination, arguing the lawsuit didn't specifically allege what the bottler's actions were nor the cause of contamination.

  • May 30, 2024

    Meet The Attys In Margolis Edelstein Malpractice Fight

    Counsel representing Margolis Edelstein and an insurer that has accused the firm of malpractice are gearing up for a July oral argument so the Delaware Supreme Court can decide if the firm can escape the suit.

  • May 30, 2024

    Justices Revive NRA's Free Speech Claims Against NY Official

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the National Rifle Association can proceed with certain claims in its lawsuit alleging that a former New York state official violated the gun rights group's free speech protections by pressuring financial institutions to cut ties with it.

  • May 29, 2024

    Surety Seeks Over $2.75M In Prison Fencing Work Coverage

    A construction surety told a West Virginia federal court Wednesday that subcontractors for a prison fencing project must reimburse it for more than $2.75 million in losses it incurred while settling faulty work claims asserted by the project's general contractor.

  • May 29, 2024

    Nationwide Says Hyundai, Kia Owe $7.7M For Engine Claims

    Nearly a dozen Nationwide insurers told a California federal court Wednesday that Hyundai and Kia are on the hook for 829 engine failure and engine fire claims totaling over $7.7 million in damages resulting from alleged engine defects in certain 2011-2019 vehicle models.

Expert Analysis

  • Top 10 Queries For Insurers Entering Surplus Lines Market

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    John Emmanuel at Locke Lord discusses what insurers should understand before entering into the surplus lines market, a growing, state-regulated area, subject to much variation in application and enforcement.

  • Sorting Circuit Split On Foreign Arbitration Treaty's Authority

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    A circuit court split over whether the New York Convention supersedes state law barring arbitration in certain disputes — a frequent issue in insurance matters — has left lower courts to rely on conflicting decisions, but the doctrine of self-executing treaties makes it clear that the convention overrules state law, says Gary Shaw at Pillsbury.

  • What New Conn. Insurance Bulletin Means For Data And AI

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    A recent bulletin from the Connecticut Insurance Department concerning insurers' usage of artificial intelligence systems appears consistent with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' gradual shift away from focusing on big data, and may potentially protect insurers from looming state requirements despite a burdensome framework, say attorneys at Day Pitney. 

  • High Court Should Maintain Insurer Neutrality In Bankruptcy

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    While a recent Law360 guest article argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should endorse insurer standing in Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, doing so would create a playground for mischief and delay, and the high court should instead uphold insurance neutrality, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • What 2 Years Of Ukraine-Russia Conflict Can Teach Cos.

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    A few key legal lessons for the global business community since Russia's invasion of Ukraine could help protect global commerce in times of future conflict, including how to respond to disparate trade restrictions and sanctions, navigate war-related contract disputes, and protect against heightened cybersecurity risks, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Cos. Seeking Cyber Coverage Can Look To Key Policy Terms

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    As cyberattacks increasingly threaten business operations, including one last month that partially paralyzed UnitedHealth's services, expanded interpretations of several key policy terms may allow affected companies to recover under cyber business interruption policies or other coverage, even if their business hasn't completely shut down, say attorneys at Kasowitz.

  • Insurance Industry Asbestos Reserve Estimates Are Unreliable

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    Insurance regulators rely on industry self-reporting in approving insurance company reorganizations, but AM Best data reveals that actuarial and audit estimates have been setting perniciously low levels of loss reserves for asbestos liabilities and thus should be treated with deep skepticism, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • Insurance Implications Of Trump's NY Civil Fraud Verdict

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    A New York state trial court’s $450 million judgment against former President Donald Trump and affiliated entities for valuation fraud offers several important lessons for companies seeking to obtain directors and officers insurance, including the consequences of fraudulent misrepresentations and critical areas of underwriting risk, says Kevin LaCroix at RT ProExec.

  • Understanding Insurance Is Key To Limiting Antitrust Liability

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    As regulators signal their intent to continue last year's aggressive campaign of corporate antitrust litigation, businesses must make active management of their liability insurance policies, along with a firm knowledge of the limits of their coverage, central to their strategies for limiting the enormous financial risks of enforcement, say attorneys at Nossaman.

  • High Court Should Endorse Insurer Standing In Bankruptcy

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    In Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, the U.S. Supreme Court will examine bankruptcy standing doctrine as applied to insurers in mass tort cases, and should use the opportunity to eliminate spurious standing roadblocks to resolving insurer objections on their merits, says Frank Perch at White and Williams.

  • Lessons For D&O Policyholders From Pharma Co. Ruling

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    A California federal court's recent decision in AmTrust v. 180 Life Sciences, requiring insurers to advance defense costs for a potentially covered claim, provides a valuable road map for directors and officers insurance policyholders, rebutting the common presumption that a D&O insurer's duty to advance costs is more limited than under other policies, say attorneys at Pasich.

  • 5 Tips For Policyholders Arbitrating R&W Insurance Claims

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    With more representations and warranties insurance disputes being arbitrated, policyholder counsel should note issues that are unique to RWI claims, including those of privilege, priority and preserving subrogation, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes Boone.