Specialty Lines

  • March 07, 2024

    Towers Watson Insurers Off Hook For $90M Merger Coverage

    Towers Watson's insurers do not need to cover settlements totaling $90 million in two shareholder suits stemming from the company's merger with Willis, a Virginia federal judge ruled, saying the transaction was barred by a so-called bump-up exclusion.

  • March 07, 2024

    Women In Insurance Law On Breaking Down Barriers

    Building a better environment for women in the legal industry starts from the top, women in insurance law told Law360. To mark International Women's Day, both junior and senior women attorneys share their experiences in the industry and offer words of advice.

  • March 05, 2024

    Calif. Justice Asks Why COVID Triggers Insurance But Not Flu

    A California Supreme Court justice appeared skeptical during a hearing Tuesday that COVID-19's presence fulfills the "physical loss or damage" requirement in commercial property insurance policies under Golden State law, questioning whether COVID-19 is different from the flu with respect to property coverage and calling asbestos litigation "far afield."

  • March 05, 2024

    NC Panel Says Co. Can't Intervene In Insurer Liquidation

    A holding company owned by insurance mogul Greg Lindberg shouldn't have been allowed to intervene in the North Carolina insurance commissioner's liquidation of two insolvent insurers, a state appeals court held Tuesday, saying only a company's directors are permitted to do so under state law.

  • March 04, 2024

    Insurer Wants Trade Secret Suit Dropped Sans Atty Fee Award

    A dental health insurer asked a Washington federal judge on Monday to toss its trade secret claims against an ex-executive without leeway for her to request legal fees, arguing that she can't be considered a winning party because she handed over a company laptop after being hit with the suit.

  • March 04, 2024

    5th Circ. Says Hurricane Coverage Battle Must Be Arbitrated

    A Louisiana property owner and its eight domestic insurers must arbitrate the owner's claims that they mishandled and delayed paying its Hurricane Laura property damage claim in bad faith, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday, reversing a district court's decision that found an arbitration provision at issue unenforceable.

  • March 04, 2024

    States, Scholars Back Ex-NY Official In NRA Free Speech Suit

    States, scholars and public officials have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the National Rifle Association's contention that a former New York state official violated the group's First Amendment rights.

  • March 01, 2024

    11th Circ. Revives Alabama Life Insurance Class Action

    An Eleventh Circuit panel on Friday revived a South Carolina man's Alabama class action alleging his life insurer's costs on his $100,000 policy weren't linked to life expectancy, though the policy said they would be.

  • February 29, 2024

    9th Circ. Sends COVID-19 Coverage Row Back To Tribal Court

    A Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the Suquamish Tribal Court's jurisdiction over a COVID-19 coverage dispute, finding in a published opinion Thursday that although the tribe's insurers weren't present on its land, a consensual business relationship means tribal law applies.

  • February 29, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Texas Supreme Court found that a handful of insurers may be on the hook for a $220 million bankruptcy settlement, while another state Supreme Court said it will take on underpayment claims against Geico, as insurance experts heed emerging privacy risks and prepare for more PFAS litigation. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • February 29, 2024

    Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance

    A deadly apartment fire in Valencia, Spain, is drawing renewed attention to the use of flammable materials on building exteriors, a global problem that insurance experts say implicates complicated webs of liability and a need for strong government oversight.

  • February 29, 2024

    Texas Justices' Unusual Remedy Presents A Win For Insurers

    The Texas Supreme Court handed several carriers a victory in its ruling that a $220 million settlement between now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. and its investors is not binding on the energy company's insurers to establish coverage, a decision notable for the unusual relief granted by the state justices, experts say.

  • February 29, 2024

    New AI Risks Pressure Policyholders To Fill Coverage Gaps

    Growing scrutiny from the public and regulators in the U.S. over artificial intelligence use and rising threats of AI-enabled schemes are sending insurance experts scrambling to evaluate their coverage options in a rapidly changing risk environment.

  • February 29, 2024

    Auto Co. Says $50M Policy Endorsement Covers COVID Loss

    An auto parts manufacturer is seeking $50 million in coverage for its COVID-19 pandemic-related losses in North Carolina federal court, claiming its policy's "unique" communicable disease provision was misrepresented when its insurer denied coverage for losses at its Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina locations.

  • February 29, 2024

    SVB Parent's Counsel Booted From Fraud Coverage Row

    The bankrupt parent company of Silicon Valley Bank cannot use Farella Braun & Martel LLP as counsel in litigation over the parent company's claims that it alone must be covered for a fraud scheme that caused over $73 million in losses, a North Carolina federal court ruled.

  • February 28, 2024

    BASF Says Insurers Owe Coverage For PFAS Suits

    Major chemical manufacturer BASF Corp. told a South Carolina court Wednesday that 23 insurers should cover thousands of lawsuits that alleged a chemical the company produced for firefighting foam caused pollution and injuries.

  • February 27, 2024

    Egg Co. Not Covered For Avian Flu Losses, Minn. Judge Says

    A Markel unit does not owe coverage to an egg supplier for losses it sustained due to an avian flu outbreak in 2022, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Tuesday, finding that a communicable disease exclusion in a site pollution and environmental policy precluded coverage.

  • 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

    Ex-Bank CFO Cops To $700K Theft And Life Insurance Scam

    An ex-Eastern International Bank chief financial officer has pled guilty to defrauding the bank out of more than $700,000 to pay his personal expenses, and he admitted to opening life insurance policies in the names of bank employees to benefit his wife, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • 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

    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 26, 2024

    Insurance Co. Beats Claims Analysts' OT Exemption Suit

    A life insurance company prevailed against disability claim analysts alleging they were wrongfully denied overtime pay, as an Illinois federal judge tossed their suit because the workers are administrative employees exempt from overtime requirements.

  • February 23, 2024

    State Farm Alleges Health Co. Violated Deal To Drop 366 Suits

    Two State Farm units are accusing an automobile accident-focused healthcare center of wrongly pursuing 366 lawsuits against the insurer despite a settlement agreement State Farm said requires the facility to drop those suits.

  • 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. 

Expert Analysis

  • Insurers Must Be Vigilant About Cannabis Lounge Risks

    Author Photo

    Because cannabis lounges face a number of unique risks, such as overserving cannabis to patrons, insurers and risk management providers must be able to recognize and properly address the full range of potential liabilities, say Jonathan Isaacson and Adam Nicolazzo at Kaufman Dolowich.

  • Insurers Should Beware Risks From Digital Asset Losses

    Author Photo

    Personal lines insurers should not underestimate the potential severity of future exposure to digital asset loss claims, and should consider protecting themselves with new underwriting practices and policy exclusions, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • State Ransomware Payment Laws Raise Insurance Questions

    Author Photo

    Recent Florida and North Carolina statutory prohibitions on government agencies' ransomware payments will not just affect public entities' response to ransomware incidents, but also require consideration from insurers whose policies may cover ransom payments, say Ted Brown and Mallory Meaney at Wiley.

  • Anti-Kickback Circuit Split Holds Implications For Defendants

    Author Photo

    The Eighth Circuit's recent decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical represents a significant step toward holding plaintiffs to more exacting burdens of proof in Anti-Kickback Statute False Claims Act suits, and the outcome of the resulting circuit split could decrease estimated damages for defendants, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • 8th Circ. Ruling Raises Bar For Anti-Kickback FCA Claims

    Author Photo

    The Eighth Circuit's decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to claim that a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute supports False Claims Act liability, but an emerging circuit split and uncertainty regarding evidentiary requirements must be considered when developing a defense strategy, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • Insurance Tips For Cos. Offering Reproductive Health Benefits

    Author Photo

    Post-Dobbs state laws allowing legal action against anyone who facilitates an abortion could lead to claims against employers providing reproductive health benefits, so companies must ensure their insurance policies afford sufficient protection for any novel claims, say Heather Habes and Gretchen Hoff Varner at Covington.

  • Texas Tax Talk: Ruling May Erode Pro-Taxpayer Presumption

    Author Photo

    Following the recent Texas Supreme Court opinion in Hegar v. Health Care Service, the state comptroller may try to limit the utility of a long-standing presumption that ambiguous tax statutes must be construed strictly against the taxing authority and liberally for the taxpayer, say attorneys at Baker Botts.

  • Understanding Legal Considerations In Cannabis M&A Deals

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
    Author Photo

    Zachary Turke and Peter Park at Sheppard Mullin discuss the unique set of challenges for both buyers and sellers in cannabis industry merger and acquisition deals, given the rapidly changing economic conditions, the ever-changing regulatory landscape and new market entrants.

  • Cybersecurity Basics Are Key to Combating Ransomware

    Author Photo

    Recent prohibitions on ransom payments and other public policy measures vastly underestimate the breadth and complexity of the ransomware problem and will only work if organizations adopt basic cyber defenses, says Kate Margolis at Bradley.

  • How M&A Insurers Can Increase Smaller Deal Servicing

    Author Photo

    As the number of M&A deals in the $50 million to $200 million range continues to grow, lawyers, insurance brokers and clients must address the trend away from covering these smaller transactions by working together to make it easier for carriers to consider submissions and to insure these types of risks, says Hilary Weiss at Liberty Global.

  • Lessons From Calif. Liability Claim Recoupment Ruling

    Author Photo

    A recent California federal court decision in Evanston Insurance v. Winstar Properties illustrates the perils of insurer recoupment and underscores the importance of assessing recoupment rights, if any, throughout the claims process, say Geoffrey Fehling and Veronica Adams at Hunton.

  • Awaiting Critical Bankruptcy Decision For Surety Industry

    Author Photo

    The recent oral argument in Argonaut Insurance v. Falcon V offers the Fifth Circuit an opportunity to create a rule for multilateral contracts in bankruptcy and exposed the common misconception that a surety assumes the risk of the principal's nonperformance when it issues a bond, say Lisa Tancredi at Womble Bond and Laura Murphy at Travelers.

  • Bankruptcy Case May Help Define Surety Executory Contract

    Author Photo

    Next week’s Fifth Circuit oral argument in Argonaut Insurance v. Falcon V is of great interest to the surety industry as this case presents an opportunity for the court to address several unsettled questions on whether a tripartite arrangement, such as a surety bond program, is an executory contract for bankruptcy purposes, say Lisa Tancredi at Womble Bond and Laura Murphy at Travelers.