• April 02, 2024

    Utility Cos. Must Face Uri MDL Gross Negligence Claims

    Transmission and distribution utility providers can't escape allegations they were grossly negligent in cutting off power to Texans during winter storm Uri, a Texas state appeals court ruled Tuesday in an opinion that keeps intact only two claims against the companies in the multidistrict litigation created to handle consumer actions from the severe weather event.

  • April 02, 2024

    La. Property Owners, Insurers To Arbitrate Hurricane Claims

    A Hurricane Ida damage coverage dispute between seven New Orleans-area property owners and their insurers will be stayed pending arbitration, a Louisiana federal judge ruled, agreeing with the insurers that the policy's arbitration agreement is enforceable under the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

  • April 01, 2024

    Insurer Can't Avoid Indemnity Payments Over Grocery Fire

    West Bend Mutual cannot avoid making extra indemnity payments to a Detroit grocery store over a fire or collect its insured's unpaid premium from another insurer, a Michigan federal court ruled after previously compelling both insurers to provide coverage because their policies were active when the fire occurred.

  • March 29, 2024

    8th Circ. Revives $1.5M Mo. Tornado Coverage Dispute

    A Missouri building materials company has another shot at collecting from an insurer accused of failing to fully cover more than $3 million in 2013 tornado damage, an Eighth Circuit panel ruled Friday, disagreeing with a trial court's determination that the business was uncooperative with its insurer.

  • March 28, 2024

    Baltimore Bridge Collision Raises Massive Insurance Fallout

    A container ship collision that destroyed Baltimore's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge caused a level of death, injury, destruction and economic harm that will likely cost the insurance sector billions of dollars and leave many without closure or compensation for years.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Won't Pay Half Snow Remover's Fraud Coverage Suit

    An insurer avoided paying for half of a nearly $360,000 wire fraud scheme targeting a snow removal company Thursday, after a Minnesota federal judge found its policy precluded coverage for a variety of reasons.

  • March 28, 2024

    Q&A: Former Calif. Insurance Chief On Climate & Rate Setting

    From intense wildfires to devastating floods, the effects of climate change on California's insurance market cannot be understated, a fact that experts point to often as regulators weigh how to bring insurers back to business in the Golden State.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    A marine insurer confirmed it's cooperating with Baltimore authorities after an insured cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, music festival South by Southwest's class action coverage efforts were renewed, and North Carolina justices dismantled 30 years of intermediate appellate court adherence to "stacking" underinsured motorist policies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Foxwoods Tribal Owner Loses $76M COVID Insurance Appeal

    The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, did not meet a key burden when suing its insurer for more than $76 million in losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's intermediate-level appeals court ruled Thursday in declining to revive the litigation.

  • March 28, 2024

    Wash. Appeals Court Asked To Mull COVID Coverage Question

    A Washington state court has halted litigation over the University of Washington's bid for COVID-19 business interruption coverage from a Liberty Mutual unit, asking a state appeals court to first determine whether the presence of COVID-19 satisfies UW's policies' direct physical loss or damage requirement and if a contamination exclusion applies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Flood Risk Disclosure Law Uptick Offers Insurance Upsides

    A growing trend of states adopting and implementing flood risk disclosure laws must continue, experts say, touting such laws as protecting consumers and informing efforts to mitigate climate change costs through insurance and other risk management efforts.

  • March 28, 2024

    5th Circ. Limits Broad Contract Liability Exclusions In SXSW

    The Fifth Circuit awarded policyholders a major victory over a thorny issue when it ruled that Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer owed defense coverage for a ticket holder class action over unpaid refunds from the canceled 2020 festival.

  • March 28, 2024

    Mercedes, Insurer Don't Owe Reimbursement For Vehicle Fire

    Mercedes-Benz's North American research arm and its insurer don't owe reimbursement to a commercial real estate operator's insurer for $1 million in damages stemming from a vehicle fire at a testing facility, a Michigan federal judge ruled, finding that Mercedes' insurer issued commercial general liability coverage, not property protection insurance.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer's $1.37M Suit Over Stolen Walmart Flare Gun Misfires

    An Oregon federal judge has thrown out a $1.37 million suit from Ascot Specialty Insurance Co. against Walmart Inc. seeking to hold the retailer liable for a fire started by a stolen flare gun, saying the insurer has failed to show how Walmart is responsible for a third party's criminal acts.

  • March 28, 2024

    NC Justices' Split Leaves Willful Violation Question Unsolved

    A dispute over coverage for a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act provided an opportunity for the North Carolina Supreme Court to interpret a policy exclusion for the willful violation of a statute, but experts say a deadlocked decision will leave the issue for another day.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Ordered To Defend Legionnaires' Suits

    The insurer of a nonprofit providing housing to at-risk individuals in New York City must defend it in three underlying lawsuits alleging that numerous residents contracted Legionnaires' disease at two properties in the Bronx, a New York federal court ruled, finding a communicable disease exclusion inapplicable.

  • March 27, 2024

    NC Commissioner Says Insurance Mogul's Argument 'Mistaken'

    The North Carolina insurance commissioner asked the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow him to give his take on a group of insurers' lawsuit against embattled mogul Greg Lindberg that alleges he pilfered the insurance companies as owner, saying if the court lets him submit an amicus brief he'll explain how Lindberg's main argument is "mistaken."

  • March 27, 2024

    2nd Circ. Weighs Broadening 'Claim' In Shareholder Dispute

    The Second Circuit questioned Wednesday whether it should use a New York state appeals court ruling to broaden the meaning of "claim" in a propane company's directors and officers policy with a Liberty Mutual unit, including not just an entire underlying lawsuit but the individual causes of action within.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer's Intervention In Sex-Trafficking Coverage Suit Limited

    Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. can intervene in another insurer's suit against a hospitality company over coverage for sex trafficking allegations, but only if the other carrier's policy isn't rescinded and the case proceeds to a second phase of litigation, a Texas federal court has ruled.

  • March 26, 2024

    UK Marine Insurer Investigating Baltimore Bridge Crash

    Britannia, a British marine insurer, confirmed Tuesday that it is working with authorities in Baltimore after a container ship destroyed the city's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge in a collision that experts say is likely to cost the insurance sector billions of dollars in claims.

  • March 25, 2024

    No Coverage for Pa. ATV Accident, Insurer Says

    Truck Insurance Exchange has told a Pennsylvania state court it should owe no coverage to a policyholder facing a personal injury suit over an all-terrain vehicle accident, saying the policyholder's insurance agent "intentionally" failed to disclose the accident before Truck issued the policy.

  • March 22, 2024

    Insurer Urges 9th Circ. To Reverse LA Port Co.'s Defense Win

    United National Insurance Co. urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to reverse a ruling that the insurer was obligated to defend a Los Angeles port company against pollution claims brought by the city, saying the lower court erroneously failed to enforce the policy's qualified pollution exclusion.

  • March 21, 2024

    AI Presents Risk To Insurers And Policyholders, Panelists Say

    The growing use of artificial intelligence presents a risk to both insurers and insureds, experts said during a webinar Thursday, advising policyholders and their attorneys on how to navigate novel issues arising from the use of AI in the insurance industry.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Panel Revives Diner's COVID Sanitization Coverage Bid

    A California state appeals court revived a diner's bid for property insurance coverage of COVID-19 losses after it determined the restaurant credibly alleged direct physical losses and that the policy's language covering losses attributable to a virus applied to COVID-19 sanitization efforts.

  • March 21, 2024

    2nd Circ. To Weigh 'Claim' Meaning In Family Share Dispute

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether a New York federal court erred in finding that a contract exclusion barred any duty a Liberty Mutual unit had to defend a propane company and two of its executives in a family shareholder dispute.

Expert Analysis

  • Lessons From 1st COVID Biz Interruption Policyholder Verdict

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    Robyn Anderson at Lathrop examines what made Baylor College of Medicine's recent COVID-19 business interruption case a success in Texas state court, and considers whether this first win on behalf of an insured is an outlier or a sign of more to come.

  • State COVID Insurance Rulings Highlight Errors In Dismissals

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    Recent California and Vermont decisions in favor of policyholders, along with a $48 million jury verdict in Texas, underscore the error that courts are making by dismissing COVID-19 business interruption lawsuits at the pleading stage without consideration of the facts and evidence in each case, say Joseph Niczky and Michael Levine at Hunton.

  • Fla. Evidence Code Update Lowers Burden For Image Use

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    Florida's recent evidence code change permits judicial notice of images and certain other graphics, a hugely meaningful development for litigants across a wide range of practice areas, though the effect will likely be immediately felt in property insurance cases, say Eve Cann and David Levin at Baker Donelson.

  • Courts Are Not Shifting On COVID Biz Interruption Stance

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    Although a recent Law360 guest article suggested that the pendulum is about to swing in favor of policyholders seeking business interruption coverage for pandemic-related losses, the larger body of appellate case law — applying the laws of 25 states — continues to find no coverage, say attorneys at Dentons.

  • What Snap Removal Debate Means For Insurance Disputes

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    A potential circuit split regarding the permissibility of snap removal to federal court, which allows defendants to circumvent the forum defendant rule, is particularly a concern in insurance cases due to the difficulty of removing such cases, and the perception that some state courts are more favorable to policyholders, says Greg Mann at Rivkin Radler.

  • Questions Remain On Computer Fraud Coverage For Phishing

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    There are questions regarding the applicability of computer fraud coverage to phishing scheme losses in the wake of the Ninth Circuit's decision in Ernst & Haas v. Hiscox earlier this year, with a backdrop of differing case results and evolving fact patterns over the past few years, say Robert Callahan and Melissa D’Alelio at Robins Kaplan.

  • Storm Insurance Considerations For Cos. New To Florida

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    As more and more businesses migrate to Florida, commercial property owners and tenants should carefully consider specific contract terms in order to avoid insurance issues and litigation in the event of storm damage, say Philippe Lieberman and Marko Cerenko at Kluger Kaplan.

  • Business Insurance Considerations Amid Conflict In Ukraine

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    As the conflict in Ukraine continues to wreak havoc on global business operations and supply chains, companies should carefully assess all the various types of insurance coverage that may mitigate corporate losses, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • Recent State Rulings Buck Trend In COVID Insurance Disputes

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    For the last two years, policyholders have been mostly unsuccessful in arguing that commercial property policies should cover losses suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a trio of recent state court decisions suggests that the pendulum may swing in policyholders' favor, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • NY Waterborne Property Ruling Is A Warning To Policyholders

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    A New York state court's recent decision in Mill Basin v. Markel, adopting an expansive interpretation of a waterborne exclusion, is a reminder to policyholders that courts may rule against them even when case law and insurance principles are seemingly in their favor, say Catherine Doyle and Caroline Meneau at Jenner & Block.

  • 2 Reasons Why Ill. Virus Coverage Ruling Is Significant

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    An Illinois federal court's recent decision in Dental Experts v. Massachusetts Bay Insurance is especially useful due to the scarcity of relevant pandemic-related business interruption case law involving first-party policies, and because it clarifies how the cause test should be applied in similar cases, say Christopher Kuleba and Adrienne Kitchen at Reed Smith.

  • Tracking Class Certification Changes, 1 Year After TransUnion

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    In the year since the U.S. Supreme Court's TransUnion v. Ramirez decision, defense lawyers have invoked it as support for denying class certification or decertifying classes — but an analysis suggests that the main impact of the ruling has simply been closer scrutiny of class definitions by district courts, say James Morsch and Jonathan Singer at Saul Ewing.

  • What's At Stake In Fla. Insurance Appraisal Case

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    The Florida Supreme Court's decision in Weston Property & Casualty Insurance v. Riverside Club Condominium Association, determining whether trial courts should have discretion to sequence appraisal and fraud in insurance disputes, will influence how claims are handled on a national basis, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

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