General Liability

  • 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

    High Court Sticks To Status Quo In Insurance-Packed Term

    The U.S. Supreme Court embraced an insurance-packed docket in its current term, tackling thorny coverage issues head on or indirectly, hewing close to the status quo in decisions whose impact will be felt by insurers and policyholders across the industry. Here, Law360 reviews the top insurance-related decisions issued this term.

  • 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.

  • June 13, 2024

    NJ Judge Denies Liberty Mutual's Recusal Bid in Accident Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge will not step away from a construction accident coverage suit, ruling Liberty Mutual's recusal bid, which cited his failure to disclose his multiple policies with the insurer and a previous investigation over a missing jewelry claim, would potentially block hundreds of judges from presiding over similar cases.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Cases Remain High Despite 2023 Downturn

    Though insurance litigation in federal district courts took a slight dip in 2023, diverging from the upward trend that insurance cases have exhibited since 2016, the number of cases initiated last year remained the second-highest number filed over a 10-year span, according to a report by Lex Machina.

  • June 12, 2024

    Baltimore Diocese Fights Insurers' Dismissal Attempt

    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore defended its adversary action in Maryland bankruptcy court seeking coverage from its insurance carriers, arguing that resolving the issue is crucial to resolving its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding.

  • June 12, 2024

    8th Circ. Judge Calls Car Sex 'Clearly Foreseeable' In HPV Suit

    An Eighth Circuit judge said Wednesday that having sex in a vehicle is "clearly foreseeable," challenging Geico's contention that such activity does not constitute normal use of an automobile in a coverage suit over a woman's claim that she contracted HPV during sexual encounters in a policyholder's car. 

  • June 12, 2024

    Doctor Says Lawyer, Insurer Agreed To Backdoor Settlement

    A Colorado neurosurgeon accused an attorney and an insurer of interfering with the legal services provided to him in defense of an underlying medical malpractice suit, telling a state court the underlying suit was settled without his consent, elevating the carrier and its insured's interests over his own.

  • June 12, 2024

    Judge Won't Trim $18M Shareholder Settlement Coverage Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal judge declined to toss certain bad faith allegations against an insurer accused of wrongfully denying coverage for an $18 million settlement between an asset management company and a group of shareholders, adopting a magistrate judge's recommendation that the company sufficiently alleged its claim of bad faith.

  • June 12, 2024

    $18.8M Theft Coverage Suit Must Be Heard In State Court

    A Texas federal judge ruled that a lawsuit brought against an insurer over $18.8 million in theft and vandalism at a Georgia shopping center belongs in state court, refusing to create diversity by removing a plaintiff. 

  • June 11, 2024

    Precedent Favors Nationwide In Mich. Tax Fight, Judge Says

    A Michigan Court of Appeals judge said Tuesday that the state's tax agency was asking the court to turn its back on recent precedent to hold that Nationwide entities couldn't file as a unitary business to share insurance tax credits across their group members.

  • June 11, 2024

    Brach Eichler Adds Insurance Pro From Garces Grabler In NJ

    Brach Eichler has continued a recent boom in its litigation team with the hire of a no-fault insurance expert from personal injury giant Garces Grabler & LeBrocq PC in New Jersey who also brings expertise as a former in-house attorney for GEICO.

  • June 11, 2024

    Mich. Court Says Insurer Can Yank Benefits For Litigation Lies

    The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously reversed an appeals court decision, ruling Tuesday that misrepresentations made during discovery could prevent the family of a deceased car accident victim from recovering benefits from an insurer assigned to his claim by a state safety net program.

  • June 10, 2024

    Judge Sides With Tenants In Legionnaires' Coverage Dispute

    A Kentucky federal court declined to exercise jurisdiction in an insurer's attempt to secure a ruling that coverage isn't available to its landlord-insureds in a $4.5 million underlying state court action in which a tenant alleged that the landlords' negligence caused her to contract Legionnaires' disease.

  • June 10, 2024

    High Court On Ch. 11, New Bank Rules, Alex Jones Ch. 7 Shift

    The U.S. Supreme Court said an insurance company has "party in interest" standing to intervene in a Chapter 11 case, the U.S. Department of Justice's bankruptcy watchdog "modernized" its agreement for banks holding debtor funds, and recent motions could pivot Alex Jones and his media company's Chapter 11s to Chapter 7 liquidations.

  • June 10, 2024

    AM Best Boosts Reinsurance Market Outlook To 'Positive'

    AM Best revised its outlook on the global reinsurance market Monday from "stable" to "positive," pointing to "robust" profit margins and a well-capitalized market amid a backdrop of higher interest rates, which AM Best said are not expected to decrease anytime soon.

  • June 07, 2024

    Texas Top Court Denies Roofer's Challenge To Adjuster Laws

    The Supreme Court of Texas tossed on Friday a roofing company's challenge to the state's public adjuster licensing laws, saying that requiring a license or preventing certain conduct didn't violate the roofer's free speech rights.

  • June 07, 2024

    State Farm Denies Defense Of Daycare In Nap Drugging Suits

    State Farm told a Washington federal court it had no duty to defend a childcare center accused of deploying corporal punishment and nonconsensually drugging children with Benadryl to induce nap time.

  • June 07, 2024

    Calif. Developer Seeks $5M Excess Coverage For Defect Suits

    A California developer is seeking coverage under a $5 million excess policy for an underlying settlement stemming from construction defect claims, telling a federal court that its excess insurer wrongfully refused to cooperate in the dispute resolution and that the policy expressly provided coverage.

Expert Analysis

  • 3 Pointers From Tilton Case To Help Win Advancement Suits

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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'

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    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.