A Delaware State Court, applying New York law, affirmed a jury verdict in an asbestos coverage case. In addition to agreeing with the jury that the excess policies contained defense duties, the court also left intact the jury’s verdict applying an “all sums” methodology. The court found that the policies should exhaust horizontally and therefore the policyholders must exhaust... Read More
Cow manure odors barred by Pollution Exclusion in Wisconsin, but Illinois hog manure odors covered.
An Illinois Appellate Court found that the relevant policy’s pollution exclusion did not preclude coverage for nuisance and negligence claims asserting the release of “foul and obnoxious odors” caused by the operation of a hog farm and the land application of manure from the hog... Read More
5th Cir. and TN cases find that multiple claims arose out of a single occurrence, lowering the applicable SIR’s for Hurricane Katrina and med mal claims.
The Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that St. Bernard Parish was entitled to a defense from its insurer in relation to claims by seventy property owners alleging that the Parish had wrongfully... Read More
Settlement with a primary insurer for less than full limits forever precludes access to excess coverage:
A Washington Appellate Court found that a policyholder that settles with its primary investment management insurer cannot access its excess insurance, even if it assumes the remainder of the primary’s limits. The case involved a fraudulent $240 million tax shelter. The policyholder settled with... Read More
Court minimizes “energy” aspects of the product finding no duty to defend or indemnify based on liquor liability exclusion.
The Federal Seventh Circuit Appellate Court, applying Illinois law, found that a liquor liability exclusion applied to bar defense and indemnity coverage to Phusion, the producer of the Four Loko alcohol energy drink, for various suits alleging injury and death. The... Read More
Policyholder in NY defeats motion to dismiss on defense expenses despite having rejected Insurer’s counsel.
A New York State Judge refused to dismiss Colgate’s counterclaims that its insurer had breached its duty of the implied covenant of good faith in defending cases alleging that Colgate’s talc products contained asbestos. Colgate had rejected defense counsel appointed by OneBeacon to defend it,... Read More
California Federal Court rejects insurer’s attempt to limit its losses to a single occurrence limit of $1M.
A California Federal District Court denied a motion for summary judgment seeking a ruling that a salmonella outbreak arose out of a single occurrence, thereby limiting the CGL insurer’s liability to a $1,000,000 single occurrence limit. The court reasoned that federal regulators had... Read More
The Delaware Supreme Court permits suits against dissolved corporations through receiver or trustee.
The Delaware Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment and held that a dissolved corporation’s contingent rights under insurance policies are capable of vesting and a receiver must be appointed in order for the dissolved corporation to participate in claims against that dissolved corporation,... Read More
Notice is not necessarily late even when given after the jury verdict was rendered.
Applying Indiana law, the Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer and remanded the case for further fact findings. The court declined to bar coverage to Mead Johnson by primary and excess CGL carriers... Read More
Third-party complaints can be relied upon to establish a defense duty.
An Illinois Appellate Court applying Illinois law found that the trial court had properly relied on third-party complaints, rather than just the original complaint, in determining that a CGL insurer had a duty to defend where the third-party complaints were reviewed solely to determine whether there was a potential... Read More