General Liability

  • May 30, 2024

    Active Hurricane Season Looms Over Insurance Industry

    The Atlantic hurricane season could continue to stress fragile insurance markets, according to forecasts of a particularly active 2024 season, but experts say there are some positive developments for Florida insurers despite years of elevated losses.

  • May 30, 2024

    Consumer Advocate Unpacks Big Issues Facing Insureds

    The use of socioeconomic factors in auto insurance, climate change's impact on the rising cost of homeowners insurance and the hollowing out of insurance policies are some of the most pressing issues consumers face today, says an advocate from the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurer Rebukes Bad Faith Claims In $25M Child Abuse Row

    An insurer urged a Washington federal court to dismiss bad faith counterclaims brought against it by families who say the insurer failed to provide coverage toward a daycare center's $24.5 million settlement of claims that its former employee sexually molested children.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurance Atty Fights For Lone Woman On Death Row In Miss.

    Attorney A. Kate Margolis lives a double life: one, in which she fights on behalf of insurance policyholders as counsel at Bradley, and another, spent trying to save convicted murderer Lisa Jo Chamberlin, the only woman on Mississippi's death row.

  • May 30, 2024

    Bottler Says It's Owed Defense In Wine Contamination Dispute

    A wine bottler told a California federal court its insurer must reimburse defense costs it incurred while fighting a now-settled suit seeking to hold the company liable for a $1.2 million wine contamination, arguing the lawsuit didn't specifically allege what the bottler's actions were nor the cause of contamination.

  • May 30, 2024

    Meet The Attys In Margolis Edelstein Malpractice Fight

    Counsel representing Margolis Edelstein and an insurer that has accused the firm of malpractice are gearing up for a July oral argument so the Delaware Supreme Court can decide if the firm can escape the suit.

  • May 30, 2024

    Justices Revive NRA's Free Speech Claims Against NY Official

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the National Rifle Association can proceed with certain claims in its lawsuit alleging that a former New York state official violated the gun rights group's free speech protections by pressuring financial institutions to cut ties with it.

  • May 29, 2024

    Archdiocese Seeks NY High Court Clarity In Abuse Row

    The Archdiocese of New York asked a state appeals court for leave to appeal to the state's highest court to clarify the proper pleading standards in a coverage dispute brought by Chubb over sexual abuse claims, arguing Chubb's "collective pleading strategy" is inconsistent with state precedent.

  • May 29, 2024

    11th Circ. Backs Insurer's Win In Trampoline Injury Suit

    United Specialty Insurance had no duty to defend or indemnify a landscaper accused of negligently installing a trampoline that led to a child's injuries, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed, finding that the landscaper's insurance application expressly disclaimed the installation of recreational or playground equipment.

  • May 28, 2024

    US Property Insurers See Record Investment Income In 2023

    U.S. property and casualty insurers earned a record income of $73.9 billion from their investments in 2023, market analyst AM Best reported Tuesday, a bright spot for an industry beset by underwriting losses connected to natural disasters and high inflation.

  • May 28, 2024

    No Coverage For IT Co.'s 'Collusive' Settlement, Insurer Says

    Chubb unit ACE American Insurance Co. told a Colorado federal court it owes no coverage to an IT company found liable by a jury for making fraudulent misrepresentations and breaching its cybersecurity agreement with an investment company, arguing the parties' post-verdict settlement was merely a workaround to "create insurance coverage."

  • May 24, 2024

    No-Show Plaintiff, 'Jackass' Atty Booted Too Fast, Court Says

    A Michigan appellate court sympathized with a trial court dealing with a no-show plaintiff and his lawyer who acted like a "jackass" — according to one appellate judge — but ruled Thursday that the trial court needed to do a better job documenting why it tossed the case instead of issuing a lesser sanction.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Auto Insurers Should Reassess Calif. Diminished Value Claims

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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.