General Liability

  • June 20, 2024

    Attys See Huge Financial, Legal Stakes In Hawaii Climate Suit

    A novel Hawaiian case over whether an AIG insurer needs to pay a Sunoco subsidiary’s legal fees to beat claims it contributed to climate change has huge stakes for carriers and policyholders as they increasingly tussle over the cost of Earth-warming emissions.

  • June 20, 2024

    Calif. Justices Give Insureds Certainty On Policy Exhaustion

    The California Supreme Court's clarification that an insured can look to first-layer excess policies as soon as primary coverage for that period is exhausted has favorable implications for policyholders, experts say, yet questions remain as a lower court weighs whether excess insurers must contribute to a primary insurer's coverage.

  • June 20, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The California Supreme Court opened the door to excess coverage for a policyholder's asbestos injury suits, the Hawaii Supreme Court questioned whether reckless behavior could trigger a Sunoco subsidiary's liability coverage, and the Second Circuit affirmed a Liberty Mutual unit's coverage win in a family shareholder dispute. Here, Law360 takes a look at the past week's top insurance news.

  • June 20, 2024

    Novel Vermont Polluter Law Raises Insurance Liability Issues

    A new Vermont law requiring fossil fuel companies to fund projects ameliorating the negative effects of climate change could raise questions about what constitutes a covered occurrence and how pollution exclusions may apply, while also igniting choice-of-law disputes, experts say.

  • June 20, 2024

    Insurer Hit With Coverage Suit Over Ohio Grocery Shooting

    Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc. is claiming that a security contractor's insurer, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., has refused to cover its defense costs in a lawsuit over a shooting at a Cleveland, Ohio, store, and was trying to get the grocer to drop its third-party claims against the contractor.

  • June 20, 2024

    2nd Circ. Affirms AIG's Win In Ex-Atty's Retaliation Suit

    A former legal executive's retaliation lawsuit against American International Group Inc. has fizzled out as the Second Circuit on Thursday upheld an earlier ruling that found he was not fired for blowing the whistle on alleged fraud.

  • June 20, 2024

    Nationwide Wins Mich. Combined Filing Tax Fight On Appeal

    Nationwide entities can file as a unitary business in Michigan to share tax credits across their group members, the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, overturning a state tax tribunal decision that said insurance companies were required to file separate returns.

  • June 18, 2024

    'Reckless' Behavior Centered In Climate Coverage Suit Args

    Attorneys for a Sunoco subsidiary and AIG offered sharply differing views to Hawaii's top court Tuesday in oral arguments over whether reckless behavior would trigger the oil company's liability coverage in a novel suit over coverage for underlying climate change claims.

  • June 18, 2024

    Condo's Historic Location Doesn't Bar Bombing Coverage

    The insurer for a Nashville, Tennessee, condominium owners association cannot use a historic structures exclusion to dodge covering the repair costs associated with damage caused by a bombing on Christmas Day 2020, a federal court ruled Tuesday.

  • June 18, 2024

    AIG Unit Says Exclusions Bar Pet Supply Co.'s BIPA Claims

    An AIG unit has told a Michigan federal court a pet supply store isn't owed defense for an underlying class action brought by employees alleging the store violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, maintaining that a "recording and distribution" exclusion and "employment-related practices exclusion" were triggered.

  • June 18, 2024

    Life Insurance Fraudster Deserves Tax Penalties, 7th Circ. Told

    The IRS urged the Seventh Circuit to maintain nearly $400,000 in fraud penalties assessed against an Illinois man who pled guilty to falsifying his tax returns as part of a scheme to poison his wife and collect on a $20 million life insurance policy.

  • June 18, 2024

    Insurers Must Keep Defending Heating Oil Co. In Class Suit

    Two Crum & Forster units must continue defending a heating oil company and several executives in a class action claiming the company provided oil with elevated levels of biodiesel that caused property damage, a Massachusetts federal court ruled, saying the policies' "failure to supply" provisions do not limit or exclude coverage.

  • June 17, 2024

    Excess Insurers May Need To Pay In Kaiser Asbestos Dispute

    A policyholder can tap into first-layer excess policies as soon as the primary coverage for that period is exhausted, the California Supreme Court ruled, potentially implicating several first-level excess insurers to contribute to coverage for underlying asbestos exposure claims against Kaiser Cement and Gypsum Corp.

  • June 17, 2024

    NY Archdiocese Wants Abuse Coverage Suit Tossed

    The Archdiocese of New York sought dismissal of Chubb's bid to evade coverage of over 1,700 underlying sexual abuse claims brought under the Child Victims Act, filing counterclaims with a state court alleging that the carrier has wrongfully refused coverage and must indemnify the organization in the underlying claims.

  • June 17, 2024

    Insurers Ask 6th Circ. To Undo $13.3M Murder Coverage Loss

    Two Liberty Mutual units said their insurers must reimburse them for a $13.3 million judgment stemming from a murder in a Florida motel, urging the Sixth Circuit on Monday to toss a lower court's ruling that a demand letter in the underlying suit didn't constitute a claim for bad faith.

  • June 14, 2024

    Tata Must Pay $168M For Trade Secret Theft, Texas Judge Says

    A Texas federal judge has ordered Tata Consultancy to pay $168 million for willfully misappropriating an IT company's trade secrets concerning source code and life insurance software documentation, plus $25 million in prejudgment interest.

  • June 14, 2024

    Insurer Seeks Quick Exit In Casino $130M COVID Loss Suit

    The insurer of a casino operator with properties on the Las Vegas strip and beyond told a Nevada federal judge to toss a $130 million COVID-19 pandemic loss coverage suit, arguing it had already paid $1 million — the only benefits due under the all-risk policy.

  • June 14, 2024

    Trucking Co. Whittles $11.5M Suit Over Stolen Cellphones

    A North Carolina federal court pared an $11.5 million lawsuit brought by a cellphone dealer and its insurer after a truckload of devices was stolen, reasoning that a negligence claim was preempted.

  • June 13, 2024

    Top Specialty Lines Decisions From The First Half Of 2024

    The first half of this year brought notable pro-policyholder rulings in specialty insurance disputes on the applicability of contract exclusions and related-acts provisions, but also some rulings giving insurers a leg up when it comes to choice-of-law clauses in maritime insurance contracts and bump-up exclusions. Here, Law360 breaks down the top specialty lines decisions so far in 2024.

  • June 13, 2024

    Youth Org. Not Covered For Ex-Worker's Claim, 6th Circ. Rules

    A sexual misconduct exclusion bars a youth advocacy organization's bid for coverage of an ex-employee's claim that they were sexually harassed and assaulted by a supervisor, the Sixth Circuit affirmed Thursday, saying the organization's failure to raise certain arguments before the district court was fatal to its appeal.

  • June 13, 2024

    Prudential Investors Get Final OK On $35M Settlement

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday granted final approval to a $35 million class action settlement between Prudential Financial Inc. and shareholders who alleged the company hid the risks associated with the purchase of thousands of life insurance policies.

  • June 13, 2024

    NJ Justices Create New Liability Rule For Property Owners

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday voted 4-3 to craft a new rule stating that owners of commercial vacant lots have a duty to maintain the public sidewalks abutting the lots, and reinstated a woman's trip-and-fall injury suit.

  • June 13, 2024

    Calif. Insurance Chief Proposes Key Tradeoff In Reform Bid

    Insurers in California will need to weigh whether the financial benefits of using new risk models to price policies is worth increasing their risk exposure in some of the state's most fire-prone areas following newly proposed rules from state insurance regulators. 

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Eighth Circuit pondered whether Geico was responsible for an HPV infection, a Michigan court said lies could eliminate a dead man's payout, a Texas roofer was told that public adjusting wasn't a free-speech matter, and House of Cards' California suit withstood an insurer's attempt to knock it down.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurer Calls Convicted Mogul's $633M IOU 'Worthless' Ruse

    Convicted insurance mogul Greg Lindberg has offered a "worthless" $633 million promise as a ruse to end an insurance company's bid to collect a $524 million arbitration award, a North Carolina federal court heard this week.

Expert Analysis

  • Insurers Have A Ch. 11 Voice Following High Court Ruling

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum — which reaffirmed a broad definition of "party in interest" — will give insurers, particularly in mass tort Chapter 11 bankruptcies, more opportunity to protect their interests and identify problems with reorganization plans, says George Singer at Holland & Hart.

  • 8th Circ. Insurance Ruling Spotlights Related-Claims Defenses

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    The Eighth Circuit’s recent Dexon v. Travelers ruling — that the insurer must provide a defense despite the policy’s related-acts provision — provides guidance for how policyholders can overcome related-acts defenses, say Geoffrey Fehling and Jae Lynn Huckaba at Hunton.

  • Managing Legal Risks After University Gaza Protests

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    Following the protests sparked by the war in Gaza, colleges and universities should expect a long investigative tail and take steps to mitigate risks associated with compliance issues under various legal frameworks and institutional policies, say Wiley's Diana Shaw and Colin Cloherty.

  • An Insurance Coverage Checklist For PFAS Defendants

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    With PFAS liability exposures attracting increased media attention, now is a good time for companies that could be exposed to liability related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to review existing and past insurance policies, and consider taking proactive steps to maximize their likelihood of coverage, say attorneys at Nossaman.

  • Class Actions At The Circuit Courts: May Lessons

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    In this month's review of class action appeals, Mitchell Engel at Shook Hardy discusses four notable circuit court decisions on topics from automobile insurance to securities — and provides key takeaways for counsel on issues including circuit-specific ascertainability requirements and how to conduct a Daubert analysis prior to class certification.

  • Key Insurance Considerations After $725M Benzene Verdict

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    The recent massive benzene verdict in Gill v. Exxon Mobil will certainly trigger insurance questions — and likely a new wave of benzene suits — so potential defendants should study Radiator Specialty v. Arrowood Indemnity, the only state high court decision regarding benzene claim coverage, says Jonathan Hardin at Perkins Coie.

  • Key Lessons From Recent Insurance Policy Reform Litigation

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    A review of recent case law reveals the wide range of misunderstandings that may arise between insurers and policyholders in the purchase and renewal of insurance policies, as well as the utility — and the limits — of reformation and related remedies for these misunderstandings, say Jad Khazem and Seth Tucker at Covington.

  • Corporate Insurance Considerations For Trafficking Claims

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    With the surge in litigation over liability under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, corporate risk managers and in-house counsel need to ensure that appropriate insurance coverage is in place to provide for defense and indemnity against this liability, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes Boone.

  • Exploring An Alternative Model Of Litigation Finance

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    A new model of litigation finance, most aptly described as insurance-backed litigation funding, differs from traditional funding in two key ways, and the process of securing it involves three primary steps, say Bob Koneck, Christopher Le Neve Foster and Richard Butters at Atlantic Global Risk LLC.

  • Leveraging Insurance Amid Microplastics Concerns

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    A pending microplastics lawsuit — New York v. PepsiCo Inc. — may be a harbinger of what is to come for companies whose products are exposed to the environment, so any company considering how to address microplastics liability should include a careful assessment of the potential for insurance coverage in its due diligence, say attorneys at Haynes Boone.

  • Examining Illinois Genetic Privacy Law Amid Deluge Of Claims

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    After a federal court certified an Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act class action in August, claims under the law have skyrocketed, so employers, insurers and others that collect health and genetic information should ensure compliance with the act to limit litigation risk, say attorneys at Squire Patton.

  • An American Policyholder's Guide To UK Insurance Arbitration

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    No matter how experienced U.S. policyholders are in stateside disputes, the procedural quirks of U.K. insurance arbitration mean Americans should learn a few key differences between U.S. litigation and London arbitration before heading across the pond, says Robert Jacobs at Blank Rome.

  • 5 Climate Change Regulatory Issues Insurers Should Follow

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    The climate change landscape for insurers has changed dramatically recently — and not just because of the controversy over the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's climate-related risk disclosure rules, says Thomas Dawson at McDermott.