General Liability

  • May 24, 2024

    Insurer's Coverage Suit Premature, Ga. Apt. Complex Says

    An apartment complex facing negligence claims over a shooting told a Georgia federal court that its insurer's suit seeking to avoid coverage must be tossed, arguing that without any factual findings in the underlying state court action, any finding on the insurer's duty to indemnify would be premature.

  • May 24, 2024

    Insurer Owes Coverage For School Defect Claim, Builder Says

    A general contractor told a Washington federal court it is entitled to coverage under a subcontractor's commercial general liability policy with a Liberty Mutual unit for defects and damage that a school district alleges was caused by the subcontractor while working on a school expansion project.

  • May 23, 2024

    Calif. High Court Deals Loss To Policyholder In COVID-19 Suit

    The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the coronavirus generally doesn't cause the kind of damage to property that would trigger coverage under an insurance policy, handing a win to a Chubb insurance company in one of the last major venues for pandemic coverage litigation.

  • May 23, 2024

    Colo. AI Bias Law Brings Little Certainty For Insurance Sector

    Colorado enacted the nation's first comprehensive regulatory scheme for protecting consumers from discriminatory and biased artificial intelligence systems, sending a warning signal to an insurance sector bracing for increased scrutiny and risks related to the technology.

  • May 23, 2024

    How An Ex-Attorney Turned Mediator Approaches Conflict

    Drawing from his 25-year career as an attorney litigating primarily insurance coverage disputes, Steven Schulwolf founded Schulwolf Mediation to help parties reach effective resolutions in even the toughest cases.

  • May 23, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    Policyholders suffered losses over COVID-19 coverage claims before the California Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit, the California high court weighed whether an exclusion rendered virus coverage illusory and if a policyholder's unfair competition claim against State Farm was untimely, and the Tenth Circuit questioned the scope of absolute pollution exclusions.

  • May 23, 2024

    2nd Circ. Revives Insurer's $2.5M Suit Over Valuation Software

    The Second Circuit on Thursday revived an insurer's indemnification bid against software company Audatex for $2.5 million in costs from a suit alleging its use of Audatex's valuation software resulted in underpayment for totaled cars, concluding the lower court erred in finding the suit didn't result from the insurer's use of Audatex's software.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC High Court Grants Review In Clothier's Virus Coverage Suit

    North Carolina's top court on Thursday agreed to take up a clothing company's coverage appeal for COVID-19 losses against Zurich after a lower appellate panel found the virus did not cause the kind of physical loss or damage necessary to invoke coverage.

  • May 23, 2024

    Antitrust Concerns Persist For New UN Insurance Group

    A new United Nations insurance-climate initiative demonstrates a continued interest among regulators for promoting a more sustainable industry, but experts say antitrust concerns and industry participation raise questions about its potential efficacy.

  • May 23, 2024

    4th Circ. Rules No Coverage For Mars' COVID Losses

    Candymaker Mars Inc. can't get coverage from Factory Mutual Insurance Co. for its COVID-19-related losses, the Fourth Circuit ruled Thursday, further rejecting Mars' bid to certify a question to the Virginia Supreme Court.

  • May 23, 2024

    Estate Sues Hanover For $13.4M Judgment In Death Suit

    The Hanover Insurance Group has refused to pay a judgment of nearly $13.4 million to the family of a man who died in the care of a Connecticut group home, according to a lawsuit in state court.

  • May 23, 2024

    Coverage Suit Paused Until Resolution Of Gun Sales Dispute

    A California federal court paused Crum & Forster's suit against a police gun and fitness club and the city of Los Angeles over coverage for underlying actions brought by officers accusing the club of selling them stolen handguns, citing factual overlap between the actions.

  • May 22, 2024

    Seattle Sues Train Cos. Over Bike Track-Crossing Suits

    The city of Seattle says two short-line railroads have breached agreements to maintain liability insurance and indemnify the city in lawsuits from cyclists injured crossing tracks along a perilous stretch of a popular bike trail, according to a complaint filed in Washington state court.

  • May 21, 2024

    Strategic Hiring Was The New Normal For BigLaw In 2023

    The 400 largest law firms by headcount in the U.S. grew more slowly in 2023 than in the previous two years, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP surpassed the 3,000-attorney threshold, according to the latest Law360 ranking.

  • May 21, 2024

    The Law360 400: Tracking The Largest US Law Firms

    The legal market expanded more tentatively in 2023 than in previous years amid a slowdown in demand for legal services, especially in transactions, an area that has been sluggish but is expected to quicken in the near future.

  • May 20, 2024

    10th Circ. Oral Args. Poised To Shape NM Pollution Coverage

    The Tenth Circuit said there were "good arguments on both sides" of an appeal at oral arguments Monday over whether absolute pollution exclusions doomed a New Mexico property owner's quest for defense coverage of underlying contamination litigation, in a case that could set the tone for insurance battles in the state.

  • May 20, 2024

    3 Insurance Execs Can't Hit Pause On Asset Theft Claims

    Three former Sherbrooke Corporate Ltd. executives accused of stealing assets when they left to form their own venture lost a bid to halt the company's lawsuit, after a North Carolina federal judge doubted that their efforts to toss the case would succeed.

  • May 20, 2024

    Auto Accessory Co. Secures Partial Coverage For BIPA Row

    An insurer must defend an automotive accessory company in a proposed class action alleging violations of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act, the Seventh Circuit ruled, finding that unlike the company's primary and excess commercial general liability policies, an umbrella policy "lacks an exclusion pertaining to nonpublic information."

  • May 17, 2024

    Colo. Precedent Barred Insurer's Crash Liability Challenge

    A Colorado state appeals court affirmed a lower court's finding that a Progressive unit couldn't contest liability in its policyholder's car crash case involving an uninsured driver, saying the lower court correctly applied binding Colorado Supreme Court precedent.

  • May 17, 2024

    $5M Candy Recall Coverage Dispute Moved To Texas Court

    An insurer's lawsuit disclaiming coverage for a candy manufacturer over a near $5 million recall over metal fragments found in certain gummy candies belongs in Texas, a New York federal judge has ruled, finding that the action was "filed preemptively to deprive the natural plaintiff of its choice of forum."

  • May 17, 2024

    5th Circ. Won't Rethink SXSW Ticket Coverage Ruling

    The Fifth Circuit will not reconsider ordering a Chubb unit to cover defense costs incurred by Texas music festival South by Southwest from a class action by ticket holders seeking refunds after Austin officials canceled the festival in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • May 16, 2024

    Convicted Insurance Mogul Says He'll Trim Empire

    Convicted insurance mogul Greg Lindberg told the North Carolina Supreme Court he's relinquishing control of portions of his enterprise to fulfill a deal to restructure them with independent oversight, according to court filings.

  • May 16, 2024

    Justices Dodge Class Action Queries In $3.5B Insurance Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court left open the question of when class actions should be relegated to state courts by declining a mutual insurance company's appeal of claims that it failed to return $3.5 billion in profits back to policyholders.

  • May 16, 2024

    3 Big Bankruptcy Cases Still Pending At The Supreme Court

    The U.S. Supreme Court may have declined to hear a challenge to non-debtor litigation stays in mass tort bankruptcies this week in the Chapter 11 case of Georgia-Pacific's asbestos spinoff, but it is still slated to hand down decisions with the potential for wide-reaching impacts to mass torts and beyond this term.

  • May 16, 2024

    R&W Insurers' Claims Handling A 'Big Differentiator,' Aon Says

    As competition in the market for representations and warranties insurance heats up, carriers' claims processes are becoming "one of the biggest differentiators" for securing repeat business, Aon said in its latest R&W claims report Thursday, finding that claim frequency has hovered near the 18% mark for so-called off-risk policies. 

Expert Analysis

  • Auto Insurers Should Reassess Calif. Diminished Value Claims

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    Many California auto insurers currently pay third-party claims for diminished value damages after a vehicle has been in an accident; however, federal decisions interpreting California law suggest that insurers may not have to pay some of these claims, says Charles Danaher at Sheppard Mullin.

  • In Ga., Promptness Is Key To Setting Aside Default Judgments

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    The Georgia Court of Appeals' recent vacating of a lower court's decision to set aside a default judgment against Samsung Electronics America is a reminder of the processes and arguments provided by Georgia's statutes for challenging default judgments — including the importance of responding quickly, says Katy Robertson at Swift Currie.

  • 1st Circ. Harvard Ruling Provides Primer On Policy Provisions

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    In its recent finding of no coverage for Harvard due to the school's failure to give Zurich American Insurance timely notice of its claim, the First Circuit provides a good analysis of the distinctions between occurrence and claims-made policies, including the rationale for differences in notice provisions, says Andrew Paliotta at Cozen O'Connor.

  • SEC's New Rules Likely Will Affect Cyber, D&O Insurance

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    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted cybersecurity incident disclosure rules that could create new challenges that affect how public companies assess the risk of securities, corporate governance and cyber-related lawsuits, which may implicate novel insurance coverage issues, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Potential Marijuana Status Change Would Shift Industry Risks

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    Cannabis companies and their insurers should pay close attention to how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' move toward marijuana reclassification plays out, and the potential for a shakeup in the landscape for cannabis regulation at the state and federal levels, says Ian Stewart at Wilson Elser.

  • Key Provisions In Florida's New Insurer Accountability Act

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    Florida's recent bipartisan Insurer Accountability Act introduces a range of new obligations for insurance companies and regulatory bodies to strengthen consumer protection, and other states may follow suit should it prove successful at ensuring a reliable insurance market, say Jan Larson and Benjamin Malings at Jenner & Block.

  • Next Steps For Insurers After Ky. OKs Early 3rd-Party Claims

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    While insurers in Kentucky may face more statutory bad faith claims after a recent state Supreme Court decision clarified that third parties may bring these torts even before determination of coverage is finalized, insurers can adopt a variety of approaches to reduce their exposure, says Jason Reichlyn at Dykema Gossett.

  • Insurers, Prepare For Large Exposures From PFAS Claims

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    With thousands of lawsuits concerning per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances pending across the country, several large settlements already reached, and both regulators and the plaintiffs bar increasingly focusing on PFAS, it is becoming clear that these "forever chemicals" present major exposures to insurers and their policyholders, say Scott Seaman and Jennifer Arnold at Hinshaw.

  • What To Know About Duty To Settle Insurance Claims In Texas

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    Laura Grabouski of Holden Litigation examines the parameters of Texas insurers' duty to settle liability claims within the limits of the primary policy, as knowledge of the requirements — and the potential exposure from insureds, judgment creditors or excess creditors — can pay dividends in the era of nuclear verdicts.

  • Ga. Mirror-Image Rule Makes Settlements Fraught For Insurers

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    The Georgia Court of Appeals' recent decision in Pierce v. Banks shows how strictly Georgia courts will enforce the rule that an insurer's response to a settlement demand must be a mirror image of the demand — and is a reminder that parties must exercise caution when accepting such a demand, says Seth Friedman at Lewis Brisbois.

  • Insurance Ruling Shows Notice Letters Need Close Review

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    A Texas appeals court's recent disapproval of an insured’s presuit notice letter to Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance — which refused to quantify an alleged injury — should prompt courts to probe deeper when considering whether such a letter gives the insurer the information needed to resolve the claim or make a settlement offer, say Jennifer Martin and Timothy Delabar at Wilson Elser.

  • 11th Circ. Ruling May Impede Insurers' Defense Cost Recoup

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent Continental Casualty v. Winder Laboratories ruling that insurers cannot obtain reimbursement of defense costs from their insureds where the policy itself does not require such reimbursement is likely to be cited as persuasive authority in Georgia and other states without clear precedent on the issue, say Christy Maple and Robert Whitney at Phelps Dunbar.

  • Groundbreaking Nev. Law May Alter Insurance Landscape

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    The Nevada Legislature recently passed a law prohibiting insurers from issuing liability policies with eroding limits provisions that has the potential to create massive shifts in the marketplace — and specifically in areas like professional liability, cyber, and directors and officers insurance, says Will Bennett at Saxe Doernberger.