General Liability

  • 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. 

  • May 16, 2024

    Oversight Hearing Adds Pressure On Calif. Insurance Chief

    Under growing pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom and the insurance industry, California’s top insurance regulator defended its process of implementing proposals to stabilize the Golden State’s faltering homeowners insurance market.

  • May 16, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    An Arizona judge issued an apparently novel ruling over a foreign discovery statute's applicability to a Canadian arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a $3.5 billion underwriting surplus class action and policyholders accused UnitedHealth of covering up a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust investigation.

Expert Analysis

  • Protections May Exist For Cos. Affected By Red Sea Attacks

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    Companies whose ships or cargo have been affected by the evolving military conflict in the Red Sea, and the countries under whose flags those ships were traveling, may be able to seek redress through legal action against Yemen or Iran under certain international law mechanisms, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • Time To Step Up PFAS Due Diligence In Cross-Border M&A

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    Regulations in the U.S. and EU governing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances will likely evolve to become global standards out of necessity and scale, so PFAS due diligence — particularly for buyers, sellers, and lenders and investors involved in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions — will be essential in 2024, say attorneys at Shipman & Goodwin.

  • 3 Significant Ohio Insurance Updates From 2023

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    The past year saw some significant changes and developments in Ohio's insurance coverage landscape, from new bad faith discovery mechanisms relating to out-of-state property to the Ohio Supreme Court's interpretation of what constitutes an assault or battery for coverage purposes, say Jenna Pletcher and William Peseski at Brouse McDowell. 

  • Ill. Justices Set New Standard For Analyzing Defect Claims

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    The Illinois Supreme Court's recent ruling in Acuity v. M/I Homes of Chicago has effectively changed the landscape for how insurers may respond to construction defect claims in the state, so insurers should carefully focus their coverage analysis on whether the business risk exclusions are applicable, say Bevin Carroll and Julie Klein at Kennedys.

  • Policyholders Must Object To Insurer Reorganizations

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    When insurance companies reorganize, policies often take years to ultimately pay out a fraction of what is owed, so policyholders should organize and urge insurance commissioners to take action when retroactive reinsurance deals are announced, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • Ill. BIPA Ruling May Spark Violation-Of-Law Exclusion Fight

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    An Illinois appeals court's recent holding in National Fire Insurance v. Visual Pak that a violation-of-law exclusion didn't preclude coverage for an underlying Biometric Information Privacy Act suit contradicts an earlier Seventh Circuit decision that aligns with long-standing insurance law principles — which may lead the state's high court to weigh in, says Tae Andrews at Pasich.

  • 3 Pointers From Tilton Case To Help Win Advancement Suits

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    The Delaware Superior Court’s refusal to let Lynn Tilton sue her advancers for legal fees, ruling she had not yet attempted to negotiate in good faith, suggests that policyholders may fare better if they attempt proactive strategies to narrow disputes over advancement agreements before taking their insurers to court, says Evan Bolla at Harris St. Laurent.

  • What Insurers Gain When Litigating Coverage Denials

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    Lately, insurance companies have denied coverage for lawsuits alleging liability relating to the ordinary operations of highly regulated businesses, such as those in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors — demonstrating time and again how litigation can be a vehicle for carriers to mitigate their own costs, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • NY Wrongful Death Law Revamp Retains Original's Drawbacks

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    If approved by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Grieving Families Act will transform the landscape of wrongful death law in New York by increasing the potential for damages, raising insurance premiums, burdening hospitals and courts, stifling the economy and subjecting parties to the unsettling effects of retroactive legislation, say attorneys at Shaub Ahmuty.

  • SEC, NY Cybersecurity Rules Create Complexity For Insurers

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    Two separate cybersecurity rules recently adopted by the New York Department of Financial Services and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pose distinct challenges for insurance industry participants, with important interactions, and potential tensions, for those required to comply with both frameworks, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • 5 Trends To Watch In Property And Casualty Class Actions

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    In 2023, class action decisions have altered the landscape for five major types of claims affecting property and casualty insurers — total loss vehicle valuation, labor depreciation, other structural loss estimating theories, total loss vehicle tax and regulatory fees, and New Mexico's uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage sale requirements, say Mark Johnson and Mathew Drocton at BakerHostetler.

  • Why Courts Are Nixing Insurer Defense Recoupment Claims

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    Following a recent trend, the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision in St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. Bodell Construction Co. provides a concise explanation of the argument that an insurer generally may not recoup costs for defending claims, based on three considerations, says Bradley Nash at Hoguet Newman.

  • Insurer's '600-Lb. Life' Win Shows Why Fraud Suits Don't Stick

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    A Texas federal court’s recent ruling that Philadelphia Indemnity Co. did not fraudulently induce Megalomedia, the production company behind reality show “My 600-Lb. Life,” into purchasing insurance, demonstrates why a policyholder’s fraudulent inducement claim against an insurer will rarely succeed, says Robert Tugander at Rivkin Radler.