Recent Publications - Alan S. Rutkin


Rutkin Writes on Differing Interpretations of Cyberfraud Cases for Best’s Review
June 16, 2022 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin authored, “US Courts Offer Differing Interpretations of Cyberfraud Cases” for the June 2022 issue of Best’s Review. The article explores the prominent court recently addressed whether commercial crime insurance covers cyberfraud. The decision illustrates courts’ confusion in this area. When it comes to cyberfraud, courts continue to give different answers to the same questions.

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Courts Favor Insurers in COVID-Related BI Lawsuits
February 8, 2022 | Insurance Coverage

The range of issues covered in this column over the years would not be complete if I did not discuss COVID-related insurance claims. When addressing these claims, courts throughout the country have been true to policy language. Courts have enforced policy terms tying coverage to “direct physical damage” and upheld insurers’ denials.

A good context

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Zurich ‘War Exclusion’ Lawsuit Remains in Limbo as Judge Rules in Similar Case
January 28, 2022 | Insurance Coverage | Medical Malpractice Defense

A possible precedent-setting $100 million lawsuit over Zurich American’s use of the rarely applied war exclusion to deny coverage remains in legal limbo, court documents show — even as a judge ruled in early January against an insurer in a similar case.

Attorneys for Mondelez and Zurich American, which was sued over its denying the

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Rutkin Writes on Cyber Liability for Best’s Review
November 9, 2021 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin authored, “As Cybercrimes Continue, Lawsuits for Damages Will Grow,” for the December 2021 issue of Best’s Review. The article explores the challenges to insurers posed by the ever-evolving world of cyber liability:

  1. The threats are growing.
  2. Underwriters are trying to assess where the biggest threats exist.
  3. Coverage litigation is still relatively new.
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Rutkin Authors Best’s Review article, “Cyber Threats: Get Ready and Get Tough”
July 12, 2021 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin authored the Best’s Review article,  “Cyber Threats: Get Ready and Get Tough.”

In the article, Rutkin discusses the steady increase of cyber incidents and how insurers should prepare for future attacks.

“Cybercrimes, along with the related coverage issues, are among the biggest challenges now facing insurers,” Rutkin says.

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Rutkin Predicts 4 New Liability Issues for 2021
February 1, 2021 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin’s article, “2021 Liability Forecast: COVID, Cyber, Opioids, Sex Abuse,” appeared in the February 2021 issue of Best’s Review.  Alan notes that these liability issues will, in turn, create insurance coverage issues.

To read the article, click here.

 

 

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Rutkin Publishes A.M. Best Article, “Scam Sophistication”
August 9, 2019 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin’s article entitled “Scam Sophistication” has been published in the August 2019 issue of Best’s Review magazine. The article speaks about taking the warnings of cybercrime seriously as scammers have become more cunning and that vigilance is important.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  August 2019. Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2019. 

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Rutkin, Tugander and Klubok author USLAW article
July 25, 2019 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin, Robert Tugander and Greg Klubok authored USLAW article, “Cybercrime and Insurance: The Key Issues.”

Reprinted with permission from USLAW.

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Rutkin Publishes A.M. Best Article entitled, “Money? Or Not?”
February 6, 2019 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin’s article entitled “Money? Or Not?” has been published in the February 2019 issue of Best’s Review magazine. The article speaks about questions that may arise in several financial sections, including insurance, with the use of bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  February 2019. Copyrighted A.M.

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Rutkin Publishes A.M. Best Article entitled, “A Direct Answer”
August 2, 2018 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin’s article entitled, “A Direct Answer,” has been published in the August 2018 issue of Best’s Review magazine. The article speaks about the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals siding with insurers in looking to “plain language” to define causation language in a cyber coverage case.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  August

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Rutkin Publishes A.M. Best Article entitled, “Cyber Health”
February 16, 2018 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin’s article entitled, “Cyber Health,” has been published in the February 2018 issue of Best’s Review magazine. The article shows how most cyber coverage cases concern one or more of the following issues:  authority, causation, act and injury – ACAI.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  February 2018. Copyrighted A.M. Best Company,

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Rutkin Publishes A.M. Best Article Entitled, “Cyber Concerns”
August 15, 2017 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin’s article entitled, “Cyber Concerns,” has been published in the August 2017 issue of Best’s Review magazine. The article discusses how spyware, installed on computers by retailers, led to lawsuits involving insurance companies.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  August 2017. Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2017.  All Rights Reserved, Reprinted with Permission.

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Rutkin Publishes Article entitled, “Insight – Too Good to Be True?”
February 17, 2017 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin article entitled, “Insight – Too Good to Be True?,” has been published in the February 2017 issue of Best’s Review magazine.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  February 2017. Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2017.  All Rights Reserved, Reprinted with Permission.

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Rutkin Publishes Article Entitled, “Insight – A Lesson in Cyber”
November 17, 2016 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law | Compliance, Investigations & White Collar

Alan Rutkin article entitled, “Insight – A Lesson in Cyber,” has been published in the November 2016 issue of Best’s Review magazine.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  November 2016. Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2016.  All Rights Reserved, Reprinted with Permission.

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Rutkin publishes article in Best’s Review Entitled, “A Broad Brush”
June 8, 2016 | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin, a partner in the Firm’s Insurance Coverage & Litigation Practice Group, has published an article entitled, “A Broad Brush,” in the June 2016 issue of Best’s Review.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  June 2016. Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2016.  All Rights Reserved, Reprinted with Permission.

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Protection Against Fraud Must Be Specific
August 31, 2015

Alan Rutkin, a partner in the Firm’s Insurance Coverage & Litigation Practice Group, has published an article entitled, “Protection Against Fraud Must Be Specific,” in the September 2015 issue of Best’s Review.

Click here to read the article.

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Rutkin Publishes Article in Best’s Review Entitled, “The Square Peg of Cyber Coverage”
April 30, 2015 | Privacy, Data & Cyber Law | Insurance Coverage

Alan Rutkin, a partner in the Firm’s Insurance Coverage & Litigation Practice Group, has published an article entitled, “The Square Peg of Cyber Coverage,” in the May 2015 issue of Best’s Review.

Click here to read the article.

Best’s Review:  May 2015. Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2016.  All Rights Reserved, Reprinted with Permission.

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Coverage vs. Crime
December 31, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

Please click the link below to view Coverage vs. Crime. Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install.

Coverage vs. Crime

Copyright © 2015 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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No Oil Change In Rhode Island
August 31, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

Please click the link below to view No Oil Change in Rhode Island. Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install.

No Oil Change in Rhode Island

Copyright © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights

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Hacking Discovered, Losses Not Covered
April 30, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

Please click the link below to view “Hacking Discovered, Losses Not Covered.” Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install.

Hacking Discovered, Losses Not Covered

Copyright © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Golfer Who Allegedly Fought with Another Golfer, Striking Him with His Club, Loses Bid for Coverage
January 31, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, affirming a district court decision, has ruled that a homeowner’s insurance carrier was not obligated to defend or indemnify its insured for claims that he got into a fight with a golfer, struck him with his golf club, and injured him.  

The Case 

While golfing with

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Third Circuit Rejects Insureds’ Claim for Coverage in Unsolicited Fax Case
January 31, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, affirming a district court’s decision, has ruled that an insurance company was not required to defend or indemnify its insureds for claims that they had sent out unsolicited facsimile advertisements in violation of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). 

The Case

After an insured corporation

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Court Rejects Insured’s Argument that Suit Sought Damages for Slogan Infringement Rather than Trademark Infringement
January 31, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Minnesota has ruled that a policy’s trademark infringement exclusion barred coverage for an action against the insured, rejecting the insured’s argument that the suit was one for covered “slogan infringement.”  

The Case 

The insured company was sued for (1) unfair competition under the Lanham Act, (2) unfair business practices under

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“Septage” Is Unambiguously a Pollutant, Wisconsin Appellate Court Holds
January 31, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

An appellate court in Wisconsin, affirming a trial court’s decision, has ruled that “septage” was “unambiguously” a pollutant within the meaning of various insurance policies’ pollution exclusions. 

The Case 

A lawsuit against the insureds alleged that they had contaminated well water by over-spraying septage – a combination of water, urine, feces, and chemicals – and

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Nebraska Supreme Court Holds that Severability Clause Did Not Change Exclusions’ “Plain” Language or “Create Ambiguity”
January 31, 2014 | Insurance Coverage

The Nebraska Supreme Court has affirmed a trial court’s decision that exclusions in a homeowner’s insurance policy and in a personal umbrella insurance policy barred coverage for claims against the homeowner that his son had sexually assaulted a minor, ruling that a severability clause in the policies did not change the exclusions’ “plain language” or

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If All Else Fails, Bang the Table
December 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

Please click the link below to view “If All Else Fails, Bang the Table.” Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install.

If All Else Fails, Bang the Table

Copyright © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission. 

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Asbestos Exclusion in Policy Issued to Building’s Sellers Precludes Coverage for Losses Claimed by Building’s Buyers
December 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, affirming lower court decisions, has ruled that an asbestos exclusion in a business owners policy that had been issued to the sellers of a building precluded coverage for losses claimed by the buyers of the building. 

The Case 

A company that purchased an apartment building asserted that its contractor cut through

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Pennsylvania Appeals Court Reverses Trial Court, Finds Coverage for Multiple Lawsuits Alleging Defective Windows and Doors
December 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A Pennsylvania appellate court ruled that a commercial umbrella insurance policy covered product-liability-based tort claims.  In doing so, it rejected the trial court’s decision that the underlying lawsuits involved only claims of “faulty workmanship.”

The Case 

Homeowners and other property owners filed multiple out-of-state lawsuits against two companies, alleging that their windows and doors had

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District Court Grants Discovery of Reserve Amount
December 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Michigan has upheld a magistrate judge’s decision requiring an insurance company to disclose the reserve amount to its insured in a coverage action. 

The Case 

After water damaged an apartment building, the building owner submitted a proof of loss to its insurance company for approximately $5.6 million. The insurer made

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Court Rejects “Overbroad” Discovery Requests, Ordering that Insurer Only Provide Limited Statistical Information
December 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in California has refused to order an insurance company to comply with a plaintiff’s “overbroad” discovery requests. The court, instead, only ordered the insurer to provide “some statistical discovery.”  

The Case 

An employee who was insured under an employer sponsored plan was fatally injured in a single vehicle accident after he

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Agency Misunderstood Effect of Exclusion, Circuit Rules in Affirming Decision in Favor of Insurer
November 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a district court’s decision in favor of an insurance company, ruling that an errors and omissions policy did not cover alleged intentional misconduct and that the insured had “misunderst[ood]” the effect of a provision in the policy’s “Exclusions” section. 

The Case

One insurance agency

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Policy Excluded Coverage Even if Insured’s Voluntary Intoxication Affected His Intent, Court Rules
November 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Georgia has ruled that a homeowner’s insurance policy excluded coverage for claims that the insured had assaulted his daughter-in-law even if the insured’s voluntary intoxication had affected his intent. 

The Case

A woman sued her father-in-law, alleging that, after they had left a bar, he was intoxicated, placed her in

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Reinsurer’s Denial Letters Doom Insurer’s “Equitable Estoppel” Argument for Coverage
November 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Florida has rejected an insurance company’s argument for coverage under a reinsurance treaty on the basis of equitable estoppel.

The Case

A contractor entered into a contract with a city in Florida to relocate utilities within the right-of-way along Florida State Road 50. At the completion of the project, the

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Court Says There May Be No Coverage Even If Pedestrian Acted Intentionally in Collision with Vehicle
November 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Michigan has refused to dismiss an insurer’s declaratory judgment action, ruling that an alleged collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle might not have been an “accident” for purposes of the insureds’ no-fault insurance policy if the pedestrian’s intentional acts had led to the collision.

The Case

An insurer sought

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Policy’s Intentional Acts Exclusion Bars Coverage Even Where Insured May Have Lacked Mental Capacity to Govern His Conduct
November 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Pennsylvania has ruled that an intentional acts exclusion in a homeowner’s insurance policy barred coverage of claims arising from an assault even where the defendant may have lacked the mental capacity to govern his conduct.

The Case

The administrator of the estate of a deceased man sued a couple and

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Independent Contractor Exclusion Is Not Ambiguous, Delaware Supreme Court Rules
October 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled that an independent contractor exclusion in an insurance policy was not ambiguous and that it applied to employees of an independent contractor.

The Case

A company contracted to handle the dining services for a nursing home in Wilmington, Delaware. An employee of the company alleged that he was injured

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Unambiguous Medical Expenses Exclusion Did Not Cover Expenses for Bodily Injury to Insured, Excluding Insured’s Claims against Additional Insureds
October 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Indiana has ruled that a medical expenses exclusion in a businessowners liability insurance policy unambiguously excluded coverage of bodily injury to the insured, and that, as a result, claims by the insured against additional insureds under the policy also were excluded. 

The Case

A landscaper contracted with a bank to

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Auto Exclusion in CGL Policy Bars Coverage for Claims against Moving Company Executives Alleging They Failed to Maintain a Truck
October 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Kansas has ruled that an auto exclusion in a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy excluded coverage for claims against a moving company’s executives alleging that they had failed to maintain a truck. 

The Case

An employee of a moving company was fatally injured while loading furniture and belongings into

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Patent Infringement Exclusion “Unambiguously” Barred Coverage for Injury Arising Out of Patent Infringement, Court Rules
October 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Hawaii has ruled that a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy “unambiguously” did not provide coverage for two lawsuits filed against the insureds that were based on allegations of patent infringement.

The Case

A life-sciences inventor brought two lawsuits – a “business interference” action and a “patent infringement” case –

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Unambiguous Homeowner’s Policy Excluded Coverage for Lawsuit Seeking
October 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Michigan has ruled that a homeowner’s insurance policy unambiguously excluded coverage for a lawsuit stemming from a moped accident.

The Case

While vacationing in Ohio, a policyholder was driving a rented moped on a public street when she crashed into a golf cart, and three of the four occupants of

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Insured’s Failure to Sign and Swear to a Proof of Loss Dooms Flood Insurance Claim
September 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has ruled that a homeowner was not entitled to recover under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (“SFIP”) where he had not signed and sworn to a proof of loss as required by the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”).

The Case

After his house was flooded, a

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Shooting of Person by Driver from His Parked Car Was Not an “Accident Involving a Vehicle”
September 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Alabama has ruled that a driver sitting in his parked car who shot a person walking toward him was not entitled to a defense or indemnity from his automobile insurance carrier in the lawsuit the victim brought against the driver.  

The Case

After Dale Christian stopped his car in a

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Finding No “Occurrence” Underlying Homeowners’ Judgment against Builder for Faulty Workmanship, Alabama Supreme Court Rules against Coverage
September 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Alabama Supreme Court has reversed a trial court’s decision that a builder’s insurance carrier was obligated to pay an arbitration award entered against the builder. The court found that the builder’s alleged faulty workmanship was not an “occurrence.”  

The Case

Thomas and Pat Johnson contracted with Jim Carr Homebuilder, LLC, a licensed homebuilder, for

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In Long-Tail, Continuous-Trigger Cases, Solvent Carriers’ Policies Must Be Exhausted Before Guaranty Association Can Be Tapped, NJ Supreme Court Rules
September 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that, in long-tail, continuous-trigger cases where an insolvent carrier is on the risk along with solvent carriers, an insured first must exhaust the policy limits of the solvent carriers before seeking statutory benefits from the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association.  

The Case 

In two consolidated cases involving

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Appellate Court Confirms that “Assault or Battery” Exclusion Did Not Require Direct “Body-to-Body” Contact
September 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A California appellate court has ruled that the term “physical contact” in an insurance liability policy’s “Assault or Battery” exclusion did not require direct “body-to-body” contact.  

The Case 

A nightclub dancer was injured when a patron threw flammable liquid on her and then set her on fire. She sued the club. 

The club’s insurance carrier

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Over Two Year Delay in Notifying Insurer of Environmental Suit Dooms Coverage Case
September 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Illinois has ruled that an insurance carrier did not have to defend or indemnify the defendant in an environmental lawsuit where it had not provided notice of the suit to the insurer for more than two years.  

The Case

 Fairmount Park, Inc., the successor in interest to Ogden Fairmount, Inc.,

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N.J.: Insurer Has Direct Claim for Contribution against Co-Insurer for Defense Costs Arising from Continuous Property Damage Litigation
September 27, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that an insurance carrier with an obligation to indemnify and defend an insured has a direct claim for contribution against its co-insurer for defense costs arising from continuous property damage litigation. The court also decided that the contribution claim was not extinguished when the insured gave up its

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Sixth Circuit Affirms Decision that CGL Policy’s Auto Exclusion Barred
September 27, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a district court’s decision that plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of demonstrating that an exception applied to an auto exclusion in a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy.  

The Case

A Mack truck with an attached tree spade that was owned by a

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Ninth Circuit Rejects Contention that Failure to Include SIR on Certificate of Insurance Was a Material Misrepresentation
September 27, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed a district court’s decision dismissing a lawsuit alleging that the failure to mention a $1 million self-insured retention (“SIR”) in a certificate of insurance was a material misrepresentation.

The Case

Medical Staffing Network contracted with a hospital to provide the hospital with temporary nursing

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Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Criminal Claims Based on Alleged Violation of Air Use Permit
September 27, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Michigan has ruled that an insurance policy’s pollution exclusion barred coverage for criminal charges that were based on an alleged violation of a state-issued air use permit.

The Case

Curtis Metal Finishing Company allegedly operated two zinc-phosphate plating lines at its steel treating facility with a “scrubber” that was offline,

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“Prior Publication” Exclusion Bars Advertising Injury Coverage, Court Finds
September 27, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Pennsylvania has ruled that “prior publication” exclusions in a commercial general liability and commercial umbrella liability policies barred coverage of an action against the insured that sought damages for advertising injury allegedly begun before the policies’ inception date.  

The Case

The Navajo Nation sued Urban Outfitters and its wholly-owned and

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City Limits
August 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

Please click the link below to view City Limits. Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin. If Adobe Reader is not installed on your PC, click here to download and install.

City Limits

Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Insurer Not Obligated to Defend Apartment Building Owner Where Tenants Complained of Asbestos and Other Contaminants after Renovation of Their Unit
July 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in California has ruled that claims of asbestos and other contamination brought by tenants against the owner of their apartment building after it renovated their unit were not covered by the owner’s insurance policy.   

The Case 

Parklyn Bay Company, LLC, owned an apartment building in San Francisco. After

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First-Party Mold Damage Claim Was Not Covered by Premises Liability Endorsement
July 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Connecticut has ruled that a homeowner’s first-party claim for mold damage and remediation was not covered by a Limited Fungi, Wet or Dry Rot, or Bacteria Endorsement. The endorsement only covered premises liability claims, the court decided. 

The Case 

After Homestead Country Properties, LLC, found mold in

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Business Owner’s Policy Does Not Cover Claims Alleging that Plaintiffs Had Been Injured By Employee Driving His Own Truck from a Party
July 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Tennessee has ruled that a business owner’s insurance policy did not cover claims brought by people who alleged they had been injured in an accident with the insured’s employee, who left a holiday party in his own truck after drinking.  

The Case 

J. O. Adams, who owned

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Umbrella Policy Excluded Coverage for Costs Incurred in Aftermath of Gas Well Blowout
July 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Louisiana has ruled that an umbrella insurance policy excluded coverage for costs incurred in the aftermath of a gas well blowout.  

The Case 

Pioneer Exploration, LLC, operated a gas well in Louisiana under a mineral lease. The well suffered a blowout. After Pioneer incurred costs to remediate the

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Claims Alleging Seller’s Failure to Disclose Property’s Prior Use as a Junkyard are Not Covered by His Homeowner’s Policy, Maine’s Top Court Decides
June 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine has affirmed a lower court’s ruling in favor of Allstate Insurance Company, finding that claims that its insured had misrepresented the condition of property he sold and failed to disclose the property’s prior use as a junkyard were not covered by his homeowner’s insurance policy.   

The Case 

After Patrick

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Claims that Insured Intended to Cause Harm Were Excluded from Personal and Advertising Injury Coverage, Circuit Decides
June 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has affirmed a district court’s decision in favor of an insurer, concluding that its policy excluded coverage for actions taken with an intent to cause harm, and that the underlying complaint against the insured alleged “an intent to harm, not recklessness.”  

The Case 

Sylvan Heights Realty

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Condominium Buyers’ Claims against City Arose When They Purchased Their Units, before Policies’ Effective Dates, Circuit Court Holds
June 30, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that claims against a city by condominium buyers arose when they purchased their units, well before the effective dates of insurance policies that had been issued to the city. Therefore, there was no coverage for the buyers’ claims.  

The Case 

The City of San

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Absolute Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage of Environmental Property Damage Claims against Lead Producer, Circuit Holds
June 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled that absolute pollution exclusions in commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policies issued to a lead producer unambiguously barred coverage of claims alleging environmental property damage stemming from the insured’s operation of a mill.  

The Case 

Nadist, LLC, sued Doe Run Resources Corporation, the largest

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Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Claims that House was Damaged by Bat Guano
June 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Louisiana has ruled that a pollution exclusion barred coverage for allegations that damage to a house was caused by the accumulation of guano in and below the attic, which had become a bat roosting colony.  

The Case 

Michael Marcelle alleged that his home’s attic had been invaded and damaged by

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Insurer Has No Duty to Defend Student Against Association’s Suit Alleging that Student Trespassed on Its Property and Damaged It
June 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Pennsylvania has granted judgment in favor of a homeowner’s insurer, finding that allegations that its insured trespassed on an association’s property, set fire to leaves, and damaged the property were excluded from coverage by the policy’s criminal acts exclusion.  

The Case 

A 22 year old student living with his parents

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Absolute Pollution Exclusion Encompassed Carbon Monoxide Released Indoors, Minnesota Supreme Court Rules
May 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that the absolute pollution exclusion encompassed carbon monoxide released in a home by a boiler that allegedly had been negligently installed. 

The Case 

Homeowners sued a contractor, alleging that negligence in the installation of a boiler led to the discharge of carbon monoxide in their home, which injured them.

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Pro Rata Time-on-Risk Allocation Method Applied to Claims for Alleged Asbestos-Related Injuries, Massachusetts Appeals Court Decides
May 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

An appellate court in Massachusetts has ruled that the pro rata time-on-the-risk allocation method adopted by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2009 in Boston Gas Co. v. Century Indem. Co. should be applied to determine the extent of indemnity coverage owed by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company for claims brought against its insured, New England

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Pollution Exclusions Barred Coverage for Environmental Contamination at Former Fertilizer Manufacturing Facility, Fourth Circuit Holds
May 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled, for an insurer represented by Mike Kotula of Rivkin Radler, that “qualified” pollution exclusions and “absolute” pollution exclusions in commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policies barred coverage of claims arising out of the cleanup of environmental contamination at a former fertilizer manufacturing facility. 

The

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Release’s Operative Language, Not Its Recitals, Determined Its Meaning, Appellate Court Says
May 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

An Indiana appellate court has ruled that recital language in a release signed by an insured in favor of its insurer that arguably suggested that the release applied to only some of the insurance policies the insured had with its insurer did not trump the “clear language” in the release that released the insurer from

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Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Environmental Contamination Claim
May 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled that an excess insurer had no duty to defend the owners of a business that made photograph albums on property in Connecticut against a claim by the property’s purchaser that they had contaminated the property.  

The Case 

Sheldon and Melvin Holson operated a business that made photograph albums

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Insurer Must Pay Attorney’s Fees and Costs Awarded against Insured Even Though Damages Were Not Covered by the Policy
April 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that an insurance company was obligated to pay costs and attorney’s fees awarded in an action against its insured ? even though the compensatory damages awarded against its insured were not covered by the policy.

The Case 

After a fire at their home, David and Kathy Donnelly hired Rimar

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“Owned Property” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Costs to Stabilize and Then Demolish Damaged Building, Circuit Court Rules
April 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has affirmed a district court’s decision that a building owner’s expenses in seeking to stabilize and then to demolish a building damaged in a windstorm were not covered under its commercial general liability insurance policy.  

The Case 

Several years ago, Clarinet, LLC, purchased a building in

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Finding that Shooting Was Not an “Accident,” Court Holds that Insurance Policy Did Not Cover Judgment against Insured
April 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court has ruled that a shooting that formed the basis of a state court judgment was not an “accident,” and therefore was not an “occurrence,” for purposes of determining coverage under two homeowner’s insurance policies.  

The Case 

Alexander Yin sued Andrew Pira and his father Richard, alleging that Andrew Pira and some

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Court Rejects Contention that Insured Had Intentionally Destroyed Evidenced by Removing a Wrecked Ship
April 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court has ruled that an insured did not destroy evidence when it removed a wrecked ship without first notifying its insurer.  

The Case 

During insurance coverage litigation between Starr Indemnity & Liability Company and New York Marine & General Insurance Company (together, “Starr”) and the Continental Cement Co., Starr asserted that Continental

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In Plain English
April 30, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

Please click the link below to view In Plain English. Adobe Reader is required to view the bulletin.

In Plain English

Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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“Wrongful Acts” Exclusion Bars Coverage of Claims against Accounting Firm
March 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in New York has ruled that the “wrongful acts” exclusion in a professional liability insurance policy issued to an accounting firm excluded coverage for claims against the accounting firm allegedly arising from fraud and misrepresentation by the firm’s clients.

The Case

Customers of Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. (“CCCC”) and Cambridge/Brighton Budget

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Lack of Insurable Interest Dooms Law Firm’s Coverage Claim
March 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Alabama has ruled that a law firm did not have an insurable interest in a commercial building that was destroyed by fire and it therefore granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer that had issued commercial liability and property insurance policies for the building.  

The Case

Guster Law Firm,

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Insurer May Not Rescind Policy that It First Sought to Cancel
March 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

An insurance company that first sought to cancel an insurance policy based on an alleged misrepresentation in an application for the policy waived its right to subsequently seek to have the policy declared void ab initio, a federal district court in Connecticut has ruled. Moreover, the court also decided, the insurer was equitably estopped from

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Life Insurer May Rescind Policy where Insured Misrepresented His Health
March 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A life insurance carrier may rescind a life insurance policy that it issued after it received an application from the insured, performed a medical exam on the insured, and obtained a form from the insured that misrepresented that there had been no changes to his health since the medical exam, a federal district court in

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Insurer’s Conclusory Allegations of Fraud Insufficient to Withstand Motion to Dismiss
March 31, 2013

A federal district court has decided that an insurance company’s “conclusory” allegations that applications contained false statements amounting to fraud were insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss. 

The Case

An insurance company alleged that there were false statements made in insurance applications and filed suit against Risk Placement Services, Gloria Lam, and Joan Vascones

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Coverage of Claims against Restaurant after it Dumped Cooking Grease into Sewer Is Barred by Pollution Exclusion
February 28, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Colorado Supreme Court has reversed an intermediate appellate court and decided that the pollution exclusion in a commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy issued to a restaurant barred coverage under the policy of claims against the restaurant that arose after it dumped cooking grease into the sewer and created a grease clog. 

The Case

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Idaho Supreme Court Rejects “Baseball Rule” in Case Seeking Damages for Injury from a Foul Ball
February 28, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Supreme Court of Idaho has rejected a minor league baseball team’s argument that the “Baseball Rule” limited its duty to spectators hit by foul balls.   

The Case

Bud Rountree was struck by a baseball while attending a minor league baseball game and, as a result, lost an eye. He sued the team and a

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Court, Not Jury, Should Decide whether Exclusion was Ambiguous and Had Been Brought to Insured’s Attention, West Virginia’s Top Court Decides
February 28, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has ruled that a court – not a jury – had to decide whether a policy exclusion was ambiguous and had been brought to the attention of the insured.

The Case

Gerald Kirchner was accidentally shot and killed by Robbie Bragg while both were working at Grimmett

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Alaska Supreme Court Rejects Bad Faith Claim and Upholds Award of Attorney’s Fees and Costs to Insurer
February 28, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

The Alaska Supreme Court has affirmed a decision rejecting a bad faith claim against an insurer and awarding the insurer attorney’s fees and costs.  

The Case

On the morning of September 3, 2000, Alya Landt and Innocent Dushkin ? both of whom were intoxicated ? were in a rented truck that Landt was driving. The

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Homeowner’s Policy Excludes Coverage for Claims Stemming from Insured’ Shooting of Woman
January 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

Does a homeowner’s policy cover a claim asserting that the insured was negligent when he placed a handgun on the victim’s neck and pulled the trigger? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has affirmed a district court decision finding that there was no coverage in this case.  

The Case 

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No Coverage for “Premises Liability” Claims Allegedly Arising from a Fight
January 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Virginia has ruled that an assault or battery exclusion barred coverage for claims allegedly arising from a fight at a billiards tournament.  

The Case 

The plaintiff in this case filed a premises liability lawsuit against The Locker Room, LLC, alleging that he was injured in a fight that took place

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Funeral Director Who Took and Sold Body Parts Loses Coverage Claim
January 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A Pennsylvania federal district court has ruled that complaints against a funeral director who had been convicted of crimes involving the unlawful taking and sale of body parts did not allege an “occurrence” and that none of the alleged damages met the definitions of “bodily injury” or “property damage.” 

The Case 

The case involved

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Appeals Court Confirms Contract Exclusion Bars Coverage for Statutory Claims Related to Alleged Contract Breach
January 31, 2013 | Insurance Coverage

A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that an insurance policy that expressly excluded coverage for claims arising from an alleged contract breach by the insured also excluded coverage for other statutory claims related to the alleged breach – and that the insurer was entitled to recover the defense costs it had previously advanced.  

The Case 

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Put on Hold
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

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Put on Hold

Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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No Coverage for Claims that Weight Loss Products Were Ineffective
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Claims that weight loss products were ineffective and did not lead to weight loss were not covered by the manufacturer’s insurance policy, which provided coverage for claims of “bodily injury,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has affirmed.   

The Case

Consumers sued CSA Nutraceuticals GP, L.L.C., and CSA Nutraceuticals, L.P., (collectively “CSAN”)

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Delay in Notifying Insurer of Claim Dooms Coverage – Even in Absence of Prejudice
December 31, 2012

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled that an insurer did not have to defend claims against its insured where the insured did not notify the insurer of the claim for over eight months, in violation of the policy’s notice requirement, even in the absence of prejudice to the insurer.

The

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Pollution Exclusion Clauses Bar Coverage for Claims Alleging Damage from Defective Chinese Drywall
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Pollution exclusions in insurance policies issued to a homebuilder did not cover claims for damages associated with the supply and installation of allegedly defective Chinese drywall, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled.  

The Case

KB Home, Inc., and KB Home Tampa, LLC, alleged that American Building Materials had supplied KB

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Pollution Exclusion and Damage to Property Exclusion Both Bar Coverage for Environmental Remediation
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy’s pollution exclusion and its damage to property exclusion both excluded coverage for the costs incurred by an insured oil company that had been directed to remediate and remove water and soil polluted with diesel fuel.   

The Court’s Decision

The court first decided that the claim of the insured,

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Assault and Battery Exclusion Bars Coverage for Claims Arising from Alleged Tavern Fight
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

The assault and battery exclusion in a tavern’s commercial general liability (“CGL”) insurance policy excluded coverage for claims asserted by a person allegedly injured in a fight at the tavern, a federal district court has ruled.   

The Case 

A person allegedly injured in a fight at TJ Coffey’s, a tavern located in Buffalo, New York,

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Computer Systems Fraud Rider Covers Hackers, Not Authorized Users’ Fraudulent Activity, Court Finds
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A New York court has ruled that a Computer Systems Fraud rider to a Financial Institution Bond did not cover alleged fraudulent activity by authorized users of the insured’s system.   

The Case 

Universal American Corp. offered a variety of insurance products to health care providers, including “Medicare Advantage Private Fee-For-Service” plans (“MA-PFFS”). The MA-PFFS plans

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Accountant Not Covered for Claims after Computer Disc with Clients’ Confidential Information Was Stolen from Her Car
December 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

While employed as an accountant at an accounting firm, Jeanne Hentz had a compact disc belonging to the firm stolen from her personal vehicle, which was parked at her house. The compact disc contained confidential information belonging to some of her employer’s clients. Those clients sued Hentz in Illinois state court for credit monitoring and

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Umbrella Insurer Failed to Show That Primary Policies Had Been Fully Exhausted, Court Rules
November 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Colorado has ruled that National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, was not obligated to reimburse Scottsdale Insurance Company for a portion of the $4.35 million that Scottsdale had contributed to the settlement of an underlying lawsuit against Northwest Construction Company.  

The Case 

The underlying lawsuit involved the construction

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Reservation of Rights Letter Received after Home’s Second Fire Was Timely, Court Rules
November 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Ohio has ruled that a reservation of rights letter that a homeowner’s insurance carrier sent to its insureds after a second fire at their home was timely.  

The Case 

State Farm Fire & Casualty Company issued a homeowner’s insurance policy to Mark and Brenda Gibney that contained a “Concealment or

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Insured’s Expenses Were Not “Reasonable and Necessary Cleanup Costs,” Court Decides
November 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A federal district court in Michigan was asked to consider whether certain expenses incurred by the insured fell within the definition of “cleanup costs” required by governmental regulation resulting from a release of contaminants into the ground from scheduled storage tank systems. 

The Case

After H & M Petro Mart discovered a “release” of contaminants

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No Coverage for Claims Alleging that Insured Conspired to Falsely Accuse Ex-Husband of Child Sex Abuse
November 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A court has ruled that claims that an insured engaged in a conspiracy to falsely accuse her former husband of child sex abuse were not covered by her insurance policy because they did not constitute an “occurrence” and because claims for emotional distress damages were not for “bodily injury.”  

The Case 

A woman who was

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No Coverage for Either Negligence or Intentional Claims against Archdiocese, Court Rules
November 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Are excess insurers obligated to indemnify a religious institution for a negligence-based claim? A federal district court in Missouri has determined that there was no coverage in these circumstances.  

The Case 

The plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Archbishop Robert J. Carlson alleged that a former priest and employee of

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Insured’s Motion to Compel Discovery Is Denied Where He Violated Two Local Rules
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

The efforts of policyholders involved in coverage litigation with insurance companies to discover insurer files often leads to extensive and complex litigation. In a recent case, however, a plaintiff seeking disability benefits saw his discovery motion doomed because of something rather basic:  His failure to comply with two local court rules.  

Thomas Neilson filed a

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“Tip” Cases Likely to Multiply, As Coverage Issues Abound
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

As more and more restaurant servers go to court to try to recover wages, tips, or other benefits that they contend have been unlawfully withheld by their employers, there are more and more insurance coverage claims relating to these actions.  Recently, for example, a federal district court in Massachusetts found that claims that a club

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Appellate Court Broadly Interprets “First-Party Claimant”
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A decision by a Colorado appellate court, as a matter of first impression, finding that a repair vendor was a “first-party claimant” where it sued an insurer on behalf of its insured seems to expand the definition of “first-party claimant” – and could lead to an increase in the number of plaintiffs suing insurance companies.  

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Reservation of Rights Letter Can Be Key to Coverage Litigation
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A case in which a court found that commercial general liability policies did not provide coverage for economic losses stemming from a breach of contract also had some interesting things to say about reservation of rights letters.  

The plaintiff in litigation stemming from a construction project alleged that the insured defendants refused to pay for

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Why Would Court Reject Insurer’s Request for Prejudgment Interest?
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Suppose an insurer provides a defense to an insured and settles the claim over the insured’s objection. Suppose the insured refuses to pay the deductible and the insurer sues for breach of contract. If the insurer obtains a judgment against the insured, is the insurer entitled to prejudgment interest? 

That was the issue in the

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The Law and the Fax
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) makes it unlawful for any person within the United States to use any fax machine, computer, or other device to send unsolicited advertisements to another fax machine. The TCPA creates a private right of action and permits recipients of unwanted fax advertisements to obtain damages – including statutory damages

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No ‘Advertising Injury’ Where Copyrighted Materials Were Not Used to Draw Public’s Attention to Broker’s Proposals
October 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

An appellate court in Pennsylvania has rejected two insureds’ contentions that “advertising” included solicitation or marketing presented to an individual or group for the purpose of gaining their business, adopting the arguments presented by Rivkin Radler on behalf of the insurance carriers.

In this case, an insurance broker brought suit against a former employee and

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Insured’s Failure to Cooperate Dooms Judgment Creditor’s Claim against Insurer
September 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Kings Sports, Inc., which advertised and sold golf clubs online, was sued by Roger Cleveland Golf Company, Inc., for allegedly violating Cleveland Golf’s trademarks by advertising and selling golf clubs that looked like clubs it manufactured but that actually were not manufactured by it or with its permission. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company,

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Attempting To Escape
September 1, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

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Attempting To Escape

Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Coverage Forfeited for Failure to Give Notice to Excess Carriers until after Adverse Jury Verdict
August 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A jury awarded a dentist $1,654,663.50 for injuries she suffered at the insured’s property. The insured demanded that its excess insurer, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, pay the amount in excess of its primary coverage amount. Philadelphia contended that it first received notice of the dentist’s suit (or claim) after judgment and denied coverage for

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Claims Arising from Insured’s Alleged Role in Judicial Kickback Scheme Are Not Covered, Circuit Finds
July 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Robert Mericle, the owner of Mericle Construction, a company that built private juvenile facilities, was sued for his alleged role in a judicial kickback scheme. After he tendered the claims to the insurance company that had issued him a commercial general liability insurance policy, the insurer denied coverage. The insurer then filed a declaratory

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Excess Insurer May Recover Defense Costs from Primary Insurers
June 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Valero Refining Company contracted with Encompass Power Services to design, engineer, and construct a co-generation facility. After a fire caused significant damage, Valero sought over $40 million in damages from Encompass.

A federal district court held that Encompass’ three primary insurers had to split the costs initially spent by one of them defending Encompass

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Tort of Malicious Prosecution Occurs When Underlying Criminal Charges Are Filed, Circuit Rules
May 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Two people were arrested in 1977 for the murder of a retired police officer and were convicted in 1978.  In 2003, they were released from prison. They then filed suit against the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa, alleging malicious prosecution.

After the city sought coverage from Genesis Insurance Company, Genesis sought a declaratory judgment

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“Prior Publication Exception Clause” Bars Coverage for Product Disparagement Suit, Third Circuit Rules
April 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

A competitor of C.R. Bard, Inc., which manufactures urological medical products, alleged that Bard unlawfully had disparaged a catheter it manufactured by intentionally misrepresenting to prospective purchasers that nitrofurazone, an anti-microbial agent released into the catheter/urethra interface to protect the urethral tract and bladder tissues from infection, was an “antibiotic when it is in

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Claimed Tossed Under the Boss
April 30, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

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Claim Tossed Under the Bus

Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Claim for Home’s Loss Due to Accumulation of Bat Guano Barred by Pollution Exclusion Clause
March 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

Joel and Evelyn Hirschhorn owned a vacation home in Wisconsin that was covered by a homeowners insurance policy that insured the home, along with structures and personal property located at the insured property, against “accidental direct physical loss.” It also contained a pollution exclusion clause that excluded from coverage any loss “resulting directly or

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Insurer Obligated for Only 40 Percent of Judgment in Lead Poisoning Case
February 29, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

After Attsgood Realty Company was sued for lead poisoning injuries allegedly sustained by a young child, the court entered judgment against Attsgood for $850,000. Attsgood’s insurer contended that the child had been exposed to lead poisoning in a house in Baltimore from January 17, 1991, to August 1995 (55 full months), and that it

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Subcontractors’ Coverage Is Excess over CGL Coverage, Circuit Court Rules
January 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

 

After a condominium unit owners association sued the project’s general contractor, the general contractor filed a third party complaint against several subcontractors. The general contractor’s commercial general liability insurer defended the general contractor and paid to settle the state court litigation. The insurer then sued the subcontractors’ insurers, seeking equitable contribution.  A federal district

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The Dishonesty, Personal Profit, and Money Laundering Exclusions in D&O and E&O Insurance
January 31, 2012 | Insurance Coverage

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The Dishonesty, Personal Profit, and Money Laundering Exclusions in D&O and E&O

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Circuit Court Rejects Application of Doctrine of Contra Proferentem to Coverage Dispute
December 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

A severe flood that struck Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2008 damaged many of its businesses, including a manufacturing facility owned and operated by Penford Corporation. Penford submitted claims to its insurers, but they asserted that certain policy sublimits capped reimbursement for damages caused by a flood and that those sublimits applied to both property

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Shadowy Risks, Invisible Ruling
December 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

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Shadowy Risks, Invisible Ruling

Copyright © 2012 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Insurer That Acted “Quickly and Diligently” Did Not Breach Duty to Homeowners
November 30, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

After their son allegedly injured a man in a bar fight, the injured man’s lawyer sent a letter to the couple’s lawyer stating that he intended to pursue legal remedies against the couple’s son. The couple’s lawyer forwarded the letter to the insurance company that had issued the couple a homeowners’ insurance policy, and

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Damages from Failure to Reply to Writ’s Demand Are Not a Result of “Bodily Injury”
October 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

After the minor daughter of the owner of Tri County Contractors, Inc., was involved in an automobile accident, the injured person and his wife sued the Tri County owner and his wife to recover for the injuries sustained in the accident. The plaintiffs obtained a judgment against the Tri County owner and his wife

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Circuit Court Finds No Coverage for “Property Damage” Claims Arising from Insured’s Work
September 30, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

After he was hired to deliver casing and oversee its installation in an oil well, the insured delivered the casing but removed more, as excess, than he should have. As a result of this error, the well was too shallow. The well owner had the well reworked and sued the insured to recover its

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Costs to Repair Work on Defective Sewer Pipe Are Not “Property Damage”under CGL Policy
August 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

Palm Beach Grading, Inc., a general contractor on the Moody River Project in Florida, contended that the work performed by one of its subcontractors, A-1 Underground Services, Inc., on a sewer system pipe was defective. Palm Beach hired another subcontractor, RDMC, Inc., to repair the work. As a result, Palm Beach incurred $256,208.01 in

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Poor Judgment, Uninsured Loss
August 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

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Poor Judgment, Uninsured Loss

Copyright © 2011 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Insurer Need Not Indemnify for Settlement that Did Not Involve Payment of “Money Damages”
July 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

After extensive litigation and negotiations, the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (“PVSC”) and Spectraserv, Inc., entered into a settlement agreement providing for the transfer of assets and other consideration from PVSC to Spectraserv. The settlement included the entry of a consent order resolving notices of violation that PVSC had issued to Spectraserv; PVSC’s agreement to

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Real Estate Developers Fail to Recover Premiums They Paid for Insurance for Projects They Never Completed
June 30, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

Real estate developers obtained insurance for the construction and sale of homes they were building, primarily against claims of defective construction. The developers received $10 million of coverage on each of two projects and paid the insurer an “advance premium” of approximately $1.3 million. Due to the deteriorating real estate and credit markets, however,

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Policy Does Not Separately Cover Mental Distress Damages, Appeals Court Rules
May 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

A vehicle driven by Marilyn Mong struck a tractor driven by her husband Tim, resulting in Tim’s death at the scene. Kolt Mong, Marilyn’s stepson and Tim’s natural son, was in Marilyn’s vehicle at the time; he subsequently filed a negligence action against Marilyn seeking damages for mental distress. In another case, Tim’s estate

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Battle Lines
April 30, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

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Battle Lines

Copyright © 2011 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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CGL Policy Does Not Cover Regulatory Liability for Response Costs, Fourth Circuit Rules
April 30, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

Portions of property owned by Industrial Enterprises, Inc., in Baltimore, Maryland, had been used as landfills from the 1940s through the 1970s. In 1999, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to include Industrial’s property, and neighboring properties, in a Superfund Site for cleanup. As part of its process, the EPA sent Industrial a letter

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Products Exclusion Blocks Coverage of Consumer Claims Against Mobile Content Provider
March 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

W3i Mobile, LLC, which provides mobile content such as ringtones, quizzes, horoscopes, and weather alerts to cellular telephone users, was sued by customers who claimed that W3i billed for products customers never ordered or received. W3i sought coverage under a Business and Management Indemnity policy and sued its insurer. The district court granted summary

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Pollution Exclusion Clause Bars Coverage of 90 Negligence Claims
February 28, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

Construction workers and landowners brought 90 negligence claims alleging that owners of more than 15.5 acres of land in Dania Beach, Florida, had been negligent in releasing, discharging, emitting or otherwise permitting extremely hazardous toxic chemicals from the soil and groundwater at the land; removing or transporting contaminated soil and groundwater from the property;

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Investment Losses From Madoff Ponzi Scheme Not Covered Under Homeowner’s Policy
January 31, 2011 | Insurance Coverage

After Sharon Lissauer allegedly invested more than $11 million with Bernard Madoff, and after she realized that she had lost millions of dollars when his Ponzi scheme collapsed, Ms. Lissauer brought a lawsuit in federal court in an effort to recover that money. The defendant Ms. Lissauer named in her lawsuit was Fireman’s Fund

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U.S. Supreme Court Asked To Decide Whether McCarran-Ferguson “Reverse Preempts” Federal Arbitration Act
December 31, 2010 | Insurance Coverage

 

Ernst & Young had been retained as an auditor for a now defunct workers’ compensation self-insurance group.  The rehabilitator appointed pursuant to Kentucky’s Insurers Rehabilitation and Liquidation Law (“IRLL”) asserted tort claims on behalf of the group against Ernst & Young in state court.  Ernst &

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Ring Around the Collar
December 31, 2010 | Insurance Coverage

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Ring Around the Collar

Copyright © 2011 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Getting To Yes
September 30, 2010 | Insurance Coverage

Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved. Posted with Permission.

Please click the link below to listen to the interview.

Getting To Yes

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Without Question, The Answer is Yes
September 30, 2010 | Insurance Coverage

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Without Question, The Answer is Yes

Copyright © 2010 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights

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Seeking Shelter
July 31, 2010 | Insurance Coverage

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Seeking Shelter

Copyright © 2010 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.  Reprinted with permission.  All rights reserved.

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Will Insurers Still Ride With Toyota?
April 30, 2010 | Appeals | Insurance Coverage

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Will Insurers Still Ride With Toyota?

Copyright © 2010 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights

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How Liability Issues Ultimately Lead to Insurance Concerns Podcast
April 30, 2010 | Insurance Coverage

Copyrighted A.M. Best Company, Inc. 2010. All Rights Reserved. Posted with Permission.

Please click the link below to listen to the interview.

How Liability Issues Ultimately Lead to Insurance Concerns

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Liability Issues Ultimately Lead to Insurance Concerns
March 3, 2010 | Insurance Coverage

Liability Issues Ultimately Lead to Insurance Concerns

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Way Out ‘West’
December 31, 2005 | Insurance Coverage

When a company is scammed, who pays the insurance?

Insurance coverage case law sometimes reads like a supermarket tabloid, and no case has more tabloid-like facts than the October 2005, decision in Federal Insurance Co. vs. Ace Property and Casualty Co., a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

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