General Liability

  • 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.

  • February 15, 2024

    Second Carrier Seeks To Toss Four Seasons Coverage Row

    A subcontractor's insurer joined another carrier in urging a New York federal court to dismiss a general contractor's lawsuit seeking coverage in a $1 million underlying action over damage to a Four Seasons hotel in midtown Manhattan, arguing that the faulty workmanship claims don't constitute an occurrence under its policy.

  • February 15, 2024

    Oil Trader Says Cargo Storage Expenses Are Covered

    An oil and gas trader slammed Liberty Mutual's attempt at an early win in a $2.4 million coverage dispute over losses related to a contaminated oil shipment, telling a New York federal court Thursday it is entitled to recover both barge storage expenses and attorney fees.

  • February 15, 2024

    Zurich Owes $554K Over Faulty Construction Work, Erie Says

    Erie Insurance Co. told a D.C. federal court Thursday that a Zurich unit wrongly denied coverage to Erie-insured subcontractors for over $554,000 in damage stemming from faulty work at a government agency renovation project, arguing Zurich has cited the wrong coverage form to deny liability.

  • February 15, 2024

    Insurer Says Repair Co. Owes $650K For Ferry Engine Failure

    A vessel repair company must pay over $657,000 for costs stemming from the failure of a ferry engine during routine maintenance, the insurer for a Boston ferry operator told a Massachusetts federal court Thursday, saying the company's negligence caused the mishap.

  • February 14, 2024

    9th Circ. Skeptical Of Basis For LA's Pollution Coverage Args

    The Ninth Circuit appeared reluctant Wednesday to revive the City of Los Angeles' bid for environmental contamination coverage from a defunct boat repair company's insurers, probing the city's counsel on whether his arguments for coverage were at odds with the underlying factual record.

  • February 14, 2024

    University Not Covered In Baseball Injury Row, Insurer Says

    An insurer told an Illinois federal court Wednesday that Northwestern University is not owed coverage for an underlying lawsuit brought by a man injured during a baseball tournament held at the university, maintaining that Northwestern is not an additional insured under the policy issued to the tournament's operator.

  • February 14, 2024

    Progressive Unit Seeks Win Against Uber, Widower Of Driver

    A Progressive unit asked a North Carolina federal court Wednesday to grant it a win in its attempt to get out of providing coverage for an UberEats driver who was killed in a car crash, asserting that its policy for Uber doesn't cover injuries caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists.

  • February 14, 2024

    Insurer Wants Out Of Covering SC Club Shooting

    A Nationwide unit has told a South Carolina federal court it doesn't have to defend a nightclub operator against a former patron's negligence suit, arguing that an assault and battery exclusion in its liquor liability policy bars coverage for the claimant's shooting-related injuries.

  • February 14, 2024

    Hospitality Cos. Seek To Sink Trafficking Survivor's Suit

    Choice Hotels International Inc., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc. and other hotel companies are urging an Ohio federal judge to end a suit from a sex trafficking survivor alleging they allowed crimes against her to continue, with Choice Hotels eyeing dismissal and the other defendants seeking early wins.

  • February 14, 2024

    $600K In Dairy Queen Fire Damages Not Covered, Court Told

    A Dairy Queen franchisee is attempting to overstep boundaries by asking for more coverage than the policy provides, its insurer told a Texas federal court, saying the restaurant's claim stems from the business's personal property damage from a fire at a leased location.

  • February 14, 2024

    Homebuilder, Insurer Settle Coverage Suit Over Fatal Fire

    A builder accused of causing the deaths of two people by failing to install working smoke detectors in a home it constructed has settled its dispute with an insurer over $1 million in coverage for underlying litigation related to the deaths in California federal court.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Can't Toss Claims As Sanctions In Hotel Fire Suit

    A Colorado federal judge has rejected an insurer's request to toss a construction contractor's counterclaims as sanctions for discovery failures in a dispute over a $3 million hotel fire, with the judge finding no problems with a magistrate judge's decision to instead award attorney fees and costs.

  • February 13, 2024

    Kidde-Fenwal Row Not For Bankruptcy Court, Insurers Say

    A group of insurers have asked that a Delaware federal court, rather than a bankruptcy court, handle their dispute with Kidde-Fenwal Inc. over whether they owe a defense in thousands of suits the fire-suppression company is facing over so-called forever chemicals.

Expert Analysis

  • Climate Reporting Regs Mean New Risks To Insure

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    As regulators in the U.S., U.K. and beyond implement new climate-related investment and disclosure requirements for corporations, decision makers should investigate whether their insurance policies offer the right coverage to respond to the legal and regulatory risks of this increased scrutiny, says David Cummings at Reed Smith.

  • Md. Abuse Law Makes Past Liability Coverage Review Vital

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    Maryland is the first state to allow an indefinite lookback period for previously time-barred lawsuits by victims of child sexual abuse against public and private entities — and lawsuits brought under the new law likely will implicate coverage under insurance policies issued over the past 80 years or longer, say Michael Levine and Olivia Bushman at Hunton.

  • Unpacking NY's Revamped Wrongful Death Bill

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    Legislation to amend New York’s wrongful death law, introduced May 2, proposes more limited reforms than an earlier version the governor vetoed in January, but will likely still face strong opposition due to the severe financial impacts it would have on insurers’ set premiums and reserves, say Eric Andrew and David Adams at Hurwitz Fine.

  • NY Ruling Highlights Need For Specific Insurance Disclaimers

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    New York coverage counsel responsible for writing disclaimer letters should heed a recent appellate decision, Bahnuk v. Countryway Insurance, in which the letter sent to the plaintiff was deemed to be insufficiently specific, leaving the insurance company on the hook for coverage, says Dan Kohane at Hurwitz Fine.

  • Big Oil Certiorari Denial May Alter Climate Change Litigation

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's Monday decision not to review a handful of forum disputes in oil industry climate change litigation means that similar cases may face less corporate-friendly state courts, and insurers may see greater defense and damages exposures from Big Oil clients, say Dennis Anderson and Deepa Sutherland at Zelle.

  • 5 Tips For Filing Gov't Notices After Insurance Producer M&A

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    As insurance producer acquisition activity picks up in 2023, requiring a daunting process of notifying information changes to each Department of Insurance where the entity is licensed, certain best practices will help buyers alleviate frustration and avoid administrative actions and fines, say attorneys at Foley & Lardner.

  • Policyholder Lessons From Sandy No-Coverage Decision

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    A New York federal court recently decided that in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Madelaine Chocolate knew Great Northern Insurance’s all-risk policy offered no coverage for storm surge — an important reminder that policyholders should review policy language for ambiguities or anti-concurrent causation clauses, say Dennis Artese and Joshua Zelen at Anderson Kill.

  • Insureds' Notice Pleading May Be Insufficient In Federal Court

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    A recent New Jersey federal court ruling in Bauman v. Hanover Insurance held that bare-bones notice pleading was insufficient and dismissed the policyholder's coverage complaint, a reminder that courts may require more than an expression of general disagreement with an insurance company's denial letter to proceed with the case, says Eugene Killian at The Killian Firm.

  • 5th Circ. Offers Expert Opinion Guidance For Insurance Cases

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    A recent Fifth Circuit decision in Majestic Oil v. Lloyd's of London provides insight into how Texas' concurrent causation doctrine could affect insurance cases where the cause of damage is at issue, and raises considerations for litigants faced with new or revised expert reports after the deadline has passed, say Brian Scarbrough and Cianan Lesley at Jenner & Block.

  • DUI Liability Ruling Affirms SC Isn't Direct Action-Friendly

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    The Supreme Court of South Carolina's recent decision in Denson v. National Casualty not only clarifies the state's jurisprudence surrounding private rights of action and negligence per se, but also tacitly reinforces that South Carolina is not a direct-action state, say Anna Cathcart and Turner Albernaz at Phelps Dunbar.

  • Peephole Cam Case Lowers The Bar On NY Negligence Claims

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    A New York state appeals court's recent decision in Brown v. New York Design Center is significant because, barring a contrary state high court ruling, claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress need not demonstrate extreme and outrageous conduct, which could result in an uptick in such claims, say attorneys at Cahill Gordon.

  • Employment-Related Litigation Risks Facing Hospitality Cos.

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    A close look at recent hospitality industry employment claims highlights key issues companies should keep an eye out for, and insurance policy considerations for managing risk related to wage and hour, privacy, and human trafficking claims, say Jan Larson and Huiyi Chen at Jenner & Block.

  • A Look At Florida's Aggressively Pro-Insurer Tort Reform

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    Florida's new tort reform law is an unwarranted gift to insurance companies that seeks to strip policyholders of key rights while doing little to curb excessive litigation, say Garrett Nemeroff and Hugh Lumpkin at Reed Smith.