General Liability

  • 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.

  • March 21, 2024

    6 Questions For ZestyAI CEO Attila Toth

    As California regulators push proposals aimed at luring back insurance companies to the state's challenged market, advanced modeling techniques have taken a prominent place in the debate over how to best price risk as traditional methods lose relevance. Here, Law360 talks to Attila Toth, chief executive officer of ZestyAI, a risk modeling company that sells artificial intelligence-based risk models to insurers seeking to refine their risk assessment capabilities.

  • March 21, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court considered the NRA's free speech rights and whether an insurer had standing in bankruptcy court, Geico was slammed with a $164 million payout, the Sixth Circuit seemed hesitant to force Amway to pay its own defense costs and Metallica's COVID-19 coverage case faded to black.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Regulators' Pitch On Insurance Reform Draws Scrutiny

    Two regulations proposed to help lure insurers back to California's market by speeding up the state's rate approvals and allowing insurers to use catastrophe models to set rates are drawing scrutiny as industry and consumer groups weigh their potential effects.

  • March 21, 2024

    9th Circ. Backs Rescission Of Homeowner's Property Policies

    Two Safeco insurers are entitled to rescind policies issued to a woman who misrepresented that her house wasn't used for business when in fact it was rented to short-term guests, the Ninth Circuit affirmed, saying there's no genuine issue of material fact as to the commercial use of the property.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sanitizer Co. Faces Tough Ad Injury Coverage Bid In 2nd Circ.

    A company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces faces an uphill battle, experts say, as the Second Circuit is poised to hear oral arguments Monday over whether the company is owed coverage under its commercial general liability policy for an underlying class action.

  • March 19, 2024

    Justices Lean Toward Insurer Standing In Ch. 11 Case

    The U.S. Supreme Court appeared reluctant Tuesday to uphold a Fourth Circuit ruling that Truck Insurance Exchange lacked standing to oppose the proposed Chapter 11 reorganization plan of two manufacturers facing numerous asbestos claims, noting it's Truck that must ultimately cover the vast majority of such claims. 

  • March 19, 2024

    Ky. Woman Gets $164M Verdict In Geico Roadside Crash

    A Kentucky state jury on Monday hit auto insurance giant Geico with a $164 million verdict over claims it negligently sent a tow truck out on a roadside assistance job only for it to ultimately rear-end a motorist stopped at a red light, leaving her a quadriplegic.

  • March 19, 2024

    Uber, Progressive Unit Settle NC Widower's Coverage Fight

    The widower of an Uber Eats driver who died in a car crash on the job has settled his lawsuit seeking a payout for the accident from the ride-hailing giant and its insurer, according to a notice filed in North Carolina federal court.

  • March 19, 2024

    Allstate Seeks To Trim $10M Conn. Shotgun Injury Suit

    Allstate Insurance Co. wants a Connecticut federal court to cut four of five claims from a lawsuit brought by a man demanding $10 million that he won from a homeowner who seriously injured him with a shotgun blast, arguing that the victim asserted causes of action that are duplicative or unavailable to him.

  • March 18, 2024

    Justices Tilt Toward NRA In Free Speech Row With Regulator

    A cautious U.S. Supreme Court seemed poised Monday to rule in favor of the National Rifle Association in a case over allegations that a former New York state official pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association in violation of its free speech rights.

  • March 18, 2024

    Colo. Wildfire Plaintiffs Say Xcel Trial Plan Would Sow 'Chaos'

    Nearly 4,000 Colorado property owners suing Xcel Energy over a 2021 wildfire have argued that the utility's proposal to try all of their liability claims together would create a "chaotic and expensive mess" and potentially result in "serial juries" awarding different damages later on.

  • March 16, 2024

    Up Next At High Court: Gov't Jawboning & Retaliatory Arrests

    The U.S. Supreme Court has a packed oral arguments calendar this week that includes disputes over the Biden administration's work with social media companies to combat misinformation, the appropriate evidence standard for bringing retaliatory arrest claims and whether the federal government can object to a consent decree entered into by three states.

  • March 15, 2024

    Fla. Jury Lets Insurer Off Hook For $12M Award

    A Florida federal jury on Friday found that National Indemnity Company of the South did not act in bad faith in its handling of claims against a Florida Keys construction and landscaping company and the company's employee over a fatal car crash that led to an $11.8 million judgment.

  • March 14, 2024

    'Secret Meeting' Settlement OK Draws Mich. Justices' Scrutiny

    A Michigan Supreme Court justice expressed discomfort Thursday with the idea that government officials could ratify a settlement in a closed-door meeting without consequences, in a case brought by three insurers against a county government's road agency trying to back out of a settlement to which it says it never agreed. 

  • March 14, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    A divided Colorado Supreme Court expanded application of the state's notice-prejudice rule, the Fourth Circuit tossed a COVID-19 coverage class action and the Eighth Circuit considered whether insurers' billing agreements with healthcare providers violated Minnesota's No-Fault Act. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • March 14, 2024

    8th Circ. Weighs If No-Bill Agreements Break Minn. Law

    The Eighth Circuit carefully considered arguments Thursday between six Farmers units and a policyholder class as to whether the carriers' agreements with healthcare providers restricted the class's medical expense coverage in violation of Minnesota law, giving little indication of which way it leaned.

  • March 14, 2024

    Justices To Consider Insurer's Right To Participate In Ch. 11

    The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments Tuesday on whether Truck Insurance Exchange retains standing to oppose the proposed reorganization plan of two bankrupt manufacturers facing a bevy of underlying asbestos injury claims, after the Fourth Circuit blocked Truck's opposition since the plan was "insurance neutral."

  • March 14, 2024

    Insurer Climate Info Partnership Ups Federal Monitor's Role

    A new data-sharing partnership between the U.S. Treasury and state insurance regulators reflects the government's growing interest in understanding and monitoring climate change risks to insurance markets, experts say, but questions remain over the extent to which the data will fully reflect the industry's risks and carbon footprint.

  • March 14, 2024

    4th Circ. Weighs Insurer's Duty To Defend Land-Use Dispute

    The Fourth Circuit will decide whether to overturn a West Virginia federal ruling allowing an insurer to avoid covering a sustainable farm that has been accused by the oil and gas company of blocking it from drilling wells in a $4 million state land-use dispute. Here, Law360 breaks down the case in advance of the forthcoming decision.

  • March 14, 2024

    Justices To Weigh Free Speech, Gov't Oversight In NRA Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next week over whether a former New York state official illegally pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association, setting up a showdown between free speech rights and regulatory oversight.

  • March 14, 2024

    An Insurance Attorney's Call To Military Service

    Jeffrey Bristol of Parrish Law PA is a self-described "later-in-life lawyer" wearing many hats because he has dedicated more than a decade to serving in multiple branches of the U.S. armed forces.

  • March 14, 2024

    Towers Watson Ruling Energizes Bump-Up Supporters, Critics

    A Virginia federal court decision freeing Towers Watson's insurers from covering shareholder suit settlements totaling $90 million has offered carriers support for their use of the so-called bump-up exclusion and prompted criticism from policyholders that the exclusion has gone too far.

  • March 13, 2024

    Aetna Can't Avoid Bias Suit Over Fertility Treatment Policy

    Aetna must face a proposed class action alleging it readily covers fertility treatments for infertile heterosexual women but forces non-heterosexual women to spend thousands out of pocket before paying for their treatments, with a Connecticut federal judge saying it doesn't matter if the insurer didn't control the health plan's terms.

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.