General Liability

  • February 14, 2024

    Hospitality Cos. Seek To Sink Trafficking Survivor's Suit

    Choice Hotels International Inc., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc. and other hotel companies are urging an Ohio federal judge to end a suit from a sex trafficking survivor alleging they allowed crimes against her to continue, with Choice Hotels eyeing dismissal and the other defendants seeking early wins.

  • February 14, 2024

    $600K In Dairy Queen Fire Damages Not Covered, Court Told

    A Dairy Queen franchisee is attempting to overstep boundaries by asking for more coverage than the policy provides, its insurer told a Texas federal court, saying the restaurant's claim stems from the business's personal property damage from a fire at a leased location.

  • February 14, 2024

    Homebuilder, Insurer Settle Coverage Suit Over Fatal Fire

    A builder accused of causing the deaths of two people by failing to install working smoke detectors in a home it constructed has settled its dispute with an insurer over $1 million in coverage for underlying litigation related to the deaths in California federal court.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Can't Toss Claims As Sanctions In Hotel Fire Suit

    A Colorado federal judge has rejected an insurer's request to toss a construction contractor's counterclaims as sanctions for discovery failures in a dispute over a $3 million hotel fire, with the judge finding no problems with a magistrate judge's decision to instead award attorney fees and costs.

  • February 13, 2024

    Kidde-Fenwal Row Not For Bankruptcy Court, Insurers Say

    A group of insurers have asked that a Delaware federal court, rather than a bankruptcy court, handle their dispute with Kidde-Fenwal Inc. over whether they owe a defense in thousands of suits the fire-suppression company is facing over so-called forever chemicals.

  • February 13, 2024

    $3.3M Loss Of Stolen Nokia Phones Not Covered, Insurer Says

    An insurer told a Florida federal court Tuesday it doesn't owe coverage to a trucking company for an underlying lawsuit seeking over $3.3 million for a shipment of Nokia cellphones stolen during transport, arguing that the phones weren't in the company's custody at the time of the loss.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Must Face Bad Faith Claim In Premium Refund Suit

    A Liberty Mutual unit can't escape a proposed class action's remaining claim that the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to adequately adjust auto insurance premiums collected during the COVID-19 pandemic, a California federal court ruled.

  • February 13, 2024

    Dallas Venue Not Covered For Shooting Death, Insurer Says

    The property owner of a Dallas event space is not owed defense or indemnity for an underlying wrongful death lawsuit, an insurer told a Texas federal court, arguing that negligent inaction by the property owner triggers two exclusions barring coverage.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Says Fire Co. Owes $3.7M For Hotel Water Damage

    A fire protection and security services company must pay more than $3.7 million for water damage at an Ohio hotel, a Liberty Mutual unit told an Ohio federal court, arguing that the damage was caused by the company's negligence in maintaining a fire sprinkler system.

  • February 12, 2024

    Trailer Owner Covered Under Driver's Policy, 9th Circ. Affirms

    A Berkshire Hathaway unit must cover a trucking company that was sued over a fatal car accident involving one of its trailers, the Ninth Circuit found Monday, affirming a California federal court's finding and saying the company qualifies as an insured under the policy without exception.

  • February 12, 2024

    Ex-McCarter & English Client Can Pursue $20M Loan Claims

    A Connecticut state court judge has denied a bid by McCarter & English LLP and a former partner for an early win in an insurance company's multimillion-dollar malpractice suit, ruling that the continuing representation doctrine allowed the plaintiff to toll the statute of limitations and continue to press its case.

  • February 12, 2024

    NM Dry Cleaner Says Policy Covers Chemical Cleanup Costs

    The property owner of a New Mexico dry cleaner told a federal court Monday that State Farm has refused to defend it against an investigation and demand for remediation from the state's environmental protection agency after the discovery of chlorinated solvent contamination in its property's soil.

  • February 12, 2024

    Three-State Test Critical To Evaluating Carrier Climate Risk

    An analysis finding that insurers' investment portfolios are at risk of losing billions of dollars under delayed climate-transition plans is an important step to fully understanding how well carriers' business activities are aligned with climate goals, experts say.

  • February 12, 2024

    Tree Removal Mixup Merits Coverage, Homebuilder Tells Court

    A homebuilder's insurer must defend it in litigation over the accidental removal of 66 trees in an adjacent lot, the homebuilder told a Texas federal court, arguing the tree removal was accidental and thus an occurrence under its commercial general liability policy.

  • February 12, 2024

    Travelers Says No Coverage For $1.8M Pollution Cleanup

    A Travelers unit said it has no duty to reimburse an oil and gas company over $1.8 million for costs it incurred cleaning up 1,600 barrels of spilled brine water, telling a Pennsylvania federal court the company failed to meet its policies' reporting requirements.

  • February 09, 2024

    No Coverage In Home Remodel Row, Insurer Says

    State National Insurance Co. should have no duty to defend or indemnify a general contractor accused of submitting fraudulent invoices for a home remodel, the insurer told a California federal court, arguing that two faulty work exclusions are applicable.

  • February 09, 2024

    Fruit Of The Loom Entity Seeks Pay For Sports Complex Work

    Fruit of the Loom subsidiary Russell Brands LLC said it's owed $256,000 for its work on the construction of an Ohio sports complex, telling an Ohio federal court that the builder, property owner and surety have failed to tender payment nearly a year after the work was completed.

  • February 09, 2024

    Insurer, Day Care Battle Coverage For $21.6M Death Judgment

    A day care's insurer told a Florida federal court it owes no coverage for a $21.6 million judgment over an infant's death because the day care's premium-financing company canceled the policy "several weeks" before, while the day care argued that the financing company lacked the power to do so.

  • February 09, 2024

    New York Teacher Pays $75K For Mock Slave Auction Harm

    A northern New York teacher will pay $75,000 for holding a mock slave auction of Black students in her classroom, settling a federal suit over a lesson a 10-year-old student's mother said emotionally damaged her son.

  • February 09, 2024

    Widow Can Sue Trucking Co.'s Agent Over Policy, Panel Says

    The widow of a man who died in a trucking accident may proceed with her suit accusing the company's insurance agent of negligently procuring an excess policy, a Michigan state appeals court held, finding that an assignment of rights to the widow did not release the company from liability.

  • February 08, 2024

    'Utter Chaos' If Duty To Defend Ruling Is Upheld, 5th Circ. Told

    Upholding a Texas district court's ruling that Kinsale Insurance Co. must defend wrongful death claims stemming from an amateur racing event because of policy ambiguities would create "utter chaos," the insurer told the Fifth Circuit on Thursday, noting the policy at issue involved standard-form exclusionary endorsements.

  • February 08, 2024

    Insurer Says Policy Won't Cover $1.3M Title Agency Defense

    An insurer wants a North Carolina federal court to rule that a policy excludes defending a title insurance agency in an underlying lawsuit alleging the agency worked with an unapproved and financially questionable law firm, costing an underwriter at least $1.25 million.

  • February 08, 2024

    11th Circ. Won't Undo State Farm's Shooting Coverage Loss

    The Eleventh Circuit refused Thursday to hear State Farm's challenge to a lower court decision ordering it to cover an $877,660 judgment for a gas station employee shot on the premises that he obtained against his employers, finding it lacked jurisdiction since the decision wasn't final or immediately appealable.

  • February 08, 2024

    Mass Shooting Survivor Loses $17M Judgment On Appeal

    A Texas appellate court has overturned a mass shooting victim's $17 million judgment she won against a restaurant after accusing one of its managers of not sufficiently intervening, ruling that the food joint can't be held to account because the manager wasn't found to have had a responsibility to control the shooter.

  • February 08, 2024

    Insurance Orgs. Say Bill Would Prevent CFPB Overreach

    Bipartisan legislation seeking to clarify the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has drawn support from insurance regulators and industry trade groups who say the bureau has encroached upon state-based insurance regulation despite clear statutory limitations.

Expert Analysis

  • 3 Pointers From Tilton Case To Help Win Advancement Suits

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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

    Author Photo

    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.

  • Insurance Considerations For Cos. Assessing New AI Risks

    Author Photo

    Because no two businesses will have the same artificial intelligence risk profile, they should consider four broad risk categories as a baseline for taking a proactive approach to guarding against AI-related exposures, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • AI Brings New Insurance Concerns For Healthcare Providers

    Author Photo

    As the healthcare industry increasingly invests in medical artificial intelligence tools, it confronts a variety of liability risks that necessitate careful consideration and potential recalibration of providers' insurance programs, say Marialuisa Gallozzi and Megan Mumford Myers at Covington.

  • Superfund Site Reopenings Carry Insured Risk, Opportunity

    Author Photo

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's reported plans to reopen certain Superfund sites citing the presence of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances raise notable liability concerns, but may also present unique opportunities for policyholders under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, say attorneys at Haynes and Boone.

  • 3 AI Regulation Developments Insurers Must Follow

    Author Photo

    Insurance regulators continue to actively develop regulations and guidance on the use of artificial intelligence, so insurers should be aware of recent developments from the Colorado Division of Insurance, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the New York Department of Financial Services, say attorneys at Willkie.

  • Harvard's Broker Fight Shows Active Risk Management Is Key

    Author Photo

    Harvard University’s recently filed suit against its insurance broker for alleged malpractice in handling the Students for Fair Admissions claim illustrates that risk management requires the concerted effort of policyholders, brokers and insurers to protect against disastrous losses, say William McMichael and David Klein at Pillsbury.

  • Illinois Trump Tower Ruling Illuminates Insurance 'Occurrence'

    Author Photo

    In Continental Casualty v. 401 North Wabash Venture, an Illinois appellate court found that Trump Tower was not entitled to insurance coverage for operating its HVAC system without a permit, helping to further define a widely litigated general liability insurance issue — what constitutes an "occurrence," say Robert Tugander and Greg Mann at Rivkin Radler.