General Liability

  • February 27, 2024

    Insurer Misled Lockheed On Contamination Suit, Court Told

    Lockheed Martin has told a Maryland federal court that its insurer "lured" it into believing for months that it would defend the company against claims that Lockheed's release of various toxic substances contaminated property and injured individuals near its Orlando, Florida, weapons manufacturing facility.

  • February 27, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Reconsider Coverage Ruling For Deli Stabbing

    The Third Circuit declined to review its decision that an insurer for a Philadelphia deli does not owe coverage for a $900,000 settlement reached with a man stabbed on the premises.

  • February 26, 2024

    Atty's Letter Is Not A Claim For Damages, Del. Justices Rule

    An attorney's presuit letter claiming that Syngenta's herbicide Paraquat caused his clients' Parkinson's disease does not constitute a "claim for damages" under the company's insurance policies with a pair of Zurich units, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Monday.

  • February 26, 2024

    Colo. Justices To Hear If Insurers Can Withhold Some Payouts

    The Colorado Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether the state's insurance code allowed Geico, following unsuccessful settlement attempts, to refuse paying noneconomic damages to a policyholder for his underinsured motorist claim, given what Geico said is the "inherently subjective" nature of such damages.

  • February 26, 2024

    Liberty Cuts Off Drivers' Rentals Too Soon, Suit Claims

    Liberty Mutual systematically and arbitrarily ends replacement transportation coverage after seven days for policyholders whose vehicles are totaled in collisions, in violation of its own policy language, a proposed class action alleges.

  • February 26, 2024

    Texas Justices Say $220M Cobalt Deal Is A Loss Under Policy

    A $220 million settlement that now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. reached with a group of investors constitutes a loss under the energy company's insurance policies, but the agreement is not binding on Cobalt's insurers to establish coverage, the Texas Supreme Court ruled.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    From maritime contracts’ choice-of-law provisions to a question on how far an agency can steer companies from contracting with controversial groups, the past week saw two insurance-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, plus litigation over a mass shooting and a casino operator’s claims that its “unique” policy covers pandemic losses. Here, Law360 recaps the week's top insurance news. 

  • February 23, 2024

    The New BIPA? Attys Warn GIPA Is A 'Live Grenade'

    After notable appellate victories in biometric privacy cases, Illinois plaintiffs have seized upon a previously little-used law protecting workers' genetic privacy, leaving defense attorneys wondering if history will repeat itself and open companies to potentially explosive liability. 

  • February 26, 2024

    New York Pandemic Coverage Ruling Offers Few Surprises

    Businesses seeking insurance coverage for their pandemic losses were dealt yet another loss recently by New York's top court, a ruling that didn't surprise attorneys watching to see whether the Empire State might buck the trend of carrier victories.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance M&A Partner From Sidley Joins Kirkland

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP has added a corporate partner in its insurance transactions and regulatory and financial institutions practice groups, bringing on a former Sidley Austin LLP attorney who said he "couldn't be more excited" to join the firm's Chicago office.

  • February 23, 2024

    Agent Didn't Owe Mich. Co. Coverage Advice, Panel Says

    An insurance agent did not have a duty to advise a business that was damaged in a 2020 dam collapse that its insurance coverage might be inadequate, a Michigan state appeals court ruled, finding there is no special relationship between the parties that triggered that responsibility.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • PFAS Coverage Litigation Strategy Lessons For Policyholders

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    While policyholders' efforts to recover insurance proceeds for PFAS-related costs are in the early stages, it appears from litigation so far that substantial coverage should be available for PFAS-related liabilities, including both defense costs and indemnity payments in connection with those liabilities, say Benedict Lenhart and Alexis Dyschkant at Covington.

  • Exxon Ruling Highlights Additional Insured Coverage Conflict

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    Despite the Texas Supreme Court's recent decision in Exxon Mobil v. National Union, finding that contractual minimum insurance requirements cannot be used as a ceiling to bar umbrella coverage, the case nevertheless illustrates insurers' aggressive tactics to reduce the scope of additional insured coverage, say David Kroeger and Steven Tinetti at Jenner & Block.

  • Tackling Long-Tail Legacy Liability Risk: A Defendant's Toolkit

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    Johnson & Johnson was recently rebuffed in its efforts to employ the "Texas Two-Step," which is likely to affect this increasingly popular method to isolate and spin off large asbestos and talc liabilities, but companies have multiple options to reduce long-tail legacy liability risk, says Stephen Hoke at Hoke LLC.

  • 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.