General Liability

  • June 13, 2024

    High Court Sticks To Status Quo In Insurance-Packed Term

    The U.S. Supreme Court embraced an insurance-packed docket in its current term, tackling thorny coverage issues head on or indirectly, hewing close to the status quo in decisions whose impact will be felt by insurers and policyholders across the industry. Here, Law360 reviews the top insurance-related decisions issued this term.

  • June 13, 2024

    Prudential Investors Get Final OK On $35M Settlement

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday granted final approval to a $35 million class action settlement between Prudential Financial Inc. and shareholders who alleged the company hid the risks associated with the purchase of thousands of life insurance policies.

  • June 13, 2024

    NJ Justices Create New Liability Rule For Property Owners

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday voted 4-3 to craft a new rule stating that owners of commercial vacant lots have a duty to maintain the public sidewalks abutting the lots, and reinstated a woman's trip-and-fall injury suit.

  • June 13, 2024

    Calif. Insurance Chief Proposes Key Tradeoff In Reform Bid

    Insurers in California will need to weigh whether the financial benefits of using new risk models to price policies is worth increasing their risk exposure in some of the state's most fire-prone areas following newly proposed rules from state insurance regulators. 

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Eighth Circuit pondered whether Geico was responsible for an HPV infection, a Michigan court said lies could eliminate a dead man's payout, a Texas roofer was told that public adjusting wasn't a free-speech matter, and House of Cards' California suit withstood an insurer's attempt to knock it down.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurer Calls Convicted Mogul's $633M IOU 'Worthless' Ruse

    Convicted insurance mogul Greg Lindberg has offered a "worthless" $633 million promise as a ruse to end an insurance company's bid to collect a $524 million arbitration award, a North Carolina federal court heard this week.

  • June 13, 2024

    NJ Judge Denies Liberty Mutual's Recusal Bid in Accident Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge will not step away from a construction accident coverage suit, ruling Liberty Mutual's recusal bid, which cited his failure to disclose his multiple policies with the insurer and a previous investigation over a missing jewelry claim, would potentially block hundreds of judges from presiding over similar cases.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Cases Remain High Despite 2023 Downturn

    Though insurance litigation in federal district courts took a slight dip in 2023, diverging from the upward trend that insurance cases have exhibited since 2016, the number of cases initiated last year remained the second-highest number filed over a 10-year span, according to a report by Lex Machina.

  • June 12, 2024

    Baltimore Diocese Fights Insurers' Dismissal Attempt

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore defended its adversary action in Maryland bankruptcy court seeking coverage from its insurance carriers, arguing that resolving the issue is crucial to resolving its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

  • June 12, 2024

    8th Circ. Judge Calls Car Sex 'Clearly Foreseeable' In HPV Suit

    An Eighth Circuit judge said Wednesday that having sex in a vehicle is "clearly foreseeable," challenging Geico's contention that such activity does not constitute normal use of an automobile in a coverage suit over a woman's claim that she contracted HPV during sexual encounters in a policyholder's car. 

  • June 12, 2024

    Doctor Says Lawyer, Insurer Agreed To Backdoor Settlement

    A Colorado neurosurgeon accused an attorney and an insurer of interfering with the legal services provided to him in defense of an underlying medical malpractice suit, telling a state court the underlying suit was settled without his consent, elevating the carrier and its insured's interests over his own.

  • June 12, 2024

    Judge Won't Trim $18M Shareholder Settlement Coverage Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal judge declined to toss certain bad faith allegations against an insurer accused of wrongfully denying coverage for an $18 million settlement between an asset management company and a group of shareholders, adopting a magistrate judge's recommendation that the company sufficiently alleged its claim of bad faith.

  • June 12, 2024

    $18.8M Theft Coverage Suit Must Be Heard In State Court

    A Texas federal judge ruled that a lawsuit brought against an insurer over $18.8 million in theft and vandalism at a Georgia shopping center belongs in state court, refusing to create diversity by removing a plaintiff. 

  • June 11, 2024

    Precedent Favors Nationwide In Mich. Tax Fight, Judge Says

    A Michigan Court of Appeals judge said Tuesday that the state's tax agency was asking the court to turn its back on recent precedent to hold that Nationwide entities couldn't file as a unitary business to share insurance tax credits across their group members.

  • June 11, 2024

    Brach Eichler Adds Insurance Pro From Garces Grabler In NJ

    Brach Eichler has continued a recent boom in its litigation team with the hire of a no-fault insurance expert from personal injury giant Garces Grabler & LeBrocq PC in New Jersey who also brings expertise as a former in-house attorney for GEICO.

  • June 11, 2024

    Mich. Court Says Insurer Can Yank Benefits For Litigation Lies

    The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously reversed an appeals court decision, ruling Tuesday that misrepresentations made during discovery could prevent the family of a deceased car accident victim from recovering benefits from an insurer assigned to his claim by a state safety net program.

  • June 10, 2024

    Judge Sides With Tenants In Legionnaires' Coverage Dispute

    A Kentucky federal court declined to exercise jurisdiction in an insurer's attempt to secure a ruling that coverage isn't available to its landlord-insureds in a $4.5 million underlying state court action in which a tenant alleged that the landlords' negligence caused her to contract Legionnaires' disease.

  • June 10, 2024

    High Court On Ch. 11, New Bank Rules, Alex Jones Ch. 7 Shift

    The U.S. Supreme Court said an insurance company has "party in interest" standing to intervene in a Chapter 11 case, the U.S. Department of Justice's bankruptcy watchdog "modernized" its agreement for banks holding debtor funds, and recent motions could pivot Alex Jones and his media company's Chapter 11s to Chapter 7 liquidations.

  • June 10, 2024

    AM Best Boosts Reinsurance Market Outlook To 'Positive'

    AM Best revised its outlook on the global reinsurance market Monday from "stable" to "positive," pointing to "robust" profit margins and a well-capitalized market amid a backdrop of higher interest rates, which AM Best said are not expected to decrease anytime soon.

  • June 07, 2024

    Texas Top Court Denies Roofer's Challenge To Adjuster Laws

    The Supreme Court of Texas tossed on Friday a roofing company's challenge to the state's public adjuster licensing laws, saying that requiring a license or preventing certain conduct didn't violate the roofer's free speech rights.

  • June 07, 2024

    State Farm Denies Defense Of Daycare In Nap Drugging Suits

    State Farm told a Washington federal court it had no duty to defend a childcare center accused of deploying corporal punishment and nonconsensually drugging children with Benadryl to induce nap time.

  • June 07, 2024

    Calif. Developer Seeks $5M Excess Coverage For Defect Suits

    A California developer is seeking coverage under a $5 million excess policy for an underlying settlement stemming from construction defect claims, telling a federal court that its excess insurer wrongfully refused to cooperate in the dispute resolution and that the policy expressly provided coverage.

  • June 06, 2024

    Texas AG Takes Aim At Carmakers Selling Drivers' Data

    Texas' attorney general has become the latest to turn up the data-privacy heat on connected car manufacturers, revealing Thursday that his office has begun an investigation into how these companies amass and sell drivers' data to third parties, including insurance providers.

  • June 06, 2024

    11th Circ. Won't Revive State Farm Auto Policy Coverage Fight

    The Eleventh Circuit affirmed Thursday the dismissal of a State Farm auto policyholder's proposed class action alleging the insurer breaches its own policies by routinely denying medical expense coverage based on an ambiguous "reasonableness" standard, finding that the policyholder's interpretation of the policy would render parts of it "meaningless."

  • June 06, 2024

    Justices' Standing Ruling May Embolden Carriers In Ch. 11

    The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday that an insurer with a responsibility for its policyholder's Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims can intervene in those bankruptcy proceedings, potentially giving insurers greater leverage in reorganization negotiations and likely causing an influx of insurer objections in bankruptcy court, experts tell Law360.

Expert Analysis

  • Notable Q1 Updates In Insurance Class Actions

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    Mark Johnson and Mathew Drocton at BakerHostetler discuss notable insurance class action decisions from the first quarter of the year ranging from salvage vehicle titling to rate discrimination based on premium-setting software.

  • Why RWI Insurers Should Consider Excluding PFAS

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    As regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances escalates, carriers providing representations and warranties insurance should reconsider providing PFAS coverage on a case-by-case basis, say Dave Bartoletti and Ina Avalon at Taft Stettinius.

  • Parsing Insurance Issues After Mass Shooting 'Occurrences'

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    A Florida district court’s recent decision in Tony v. Evanston Insurance, which held that the 2018 Parkland High School mass shooting was a single "occurrence" under the town's commercial general liability policy, sheds light on how other courts may make this determination following other mass shooting events, says Elan Kandel at Bailey Cavalieri.

  • Being An Equestrian Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Beyond getting experience thinking on my feet and tackling stressful situations, the skills I've gained from horseback riding have considerable overlap with the skills used to practice law, particularly in terms of team building, continuing education, and making an effort to reset and recharge, says Kerry Irwin at Moore & Van Allen.

  • 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.

  • Considering CGL Defense For Social Media Addiction Claims

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    A recent lawsuit filed in California state court against Meta seeks damages from technology companies for the costs of treating children allegedly suffering from social media addiction, but the prospects of defense coverage under commercial general liability insurance policies for a potential new wave of claims look promising, say Craig Hirsch and Tae Andrews at Pasich.

  • 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. 

  • The Future Of BIPA Insurance Litigation After Visual Pak

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    A recent Illinois appellate court decision, National Fire Insurance v. Visual Pak, may have altered the future of insurance litigation under the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act by diametrically opposing a prominent Seventh Circuit ruling that found insurance coverage for violations of the act, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • Policy Misrepresentations Carry Insurance Rescission Risks

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    The Second Circuit's recent decision in Medical Mutual v. Gnik, finding that material misrepresentation in a clinic's insurance applications warranted policy rescission, is a clear example of the far-reaching effects that misrepresentations can have and provides a reminder that policyholders should employ relatively straightforward steps to decrease risks, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • 2nd Circ. Ruling Clarifies When Demand Letters Are Claims

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    The Second Circuit’s decision last week in Pine Management v. Colony Insurance, affirming that an insurer had no obligation to defend an insured for claims made before the policy period, provides clarity on when presuit demands for relief constitute claims — an important issue that may be dispositive of coverage, says Bonnie Thompson at Lavin Rindner.

  • SC Ruling Reinforces All Sums Coverage Trend

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    A South Carolina state court's recent ruling in Covil v. Pennsylvania National is the latest in a series of decisions, dating back to the 2016 New York Court of Appeals ruling in Viking Pump, that reject insurers' pro rata allocation argument, further supporting that all sums coverage is required whenever a loss could be covered under a policy in any other year, say Raymond Mascia and Thomas Dupont at Anderson Kill.

  • Del. Supreme Court Insurance Ruling Aids In Defining 'Claim'

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    The recent Delaware Supreme Court decision in Zurich v. Syngenta, finding that a presuit letter did not constitute a claim for insurance purposes, sets out a three-factor test to help policyholders distinguish when a demand rises to the level of a claim, says Lara Langeneckert at Barnes & Thornburg.