Property

  • March 05, 2024

    Calif. Justice Asks Why COVID Triggers Insurance But Not Flu

    A California Supreme Court justice appeared skeptical during a hearing Tuesday that COVID-19's presence fulfills the "physical loss or damage" requirement in commercial property insurance policies under Golden State law, questioning whether COVID-19 is different from the flu with respect to property coverage and calling asbestos litigation "far afield."

  • March 04, 2024

    5th Circ. Says Hurricane Coverage Battle Must Be Arbitrated

    A Louisiana property owner and its eight domestic insurers must arbitrate the owner's claims that they mishandled and delayed paying its Hurricane Laura property damage claim in bad faith, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday, reversing a district court's decision that found an arbitration provision at issue unenforceable.

  • March 04, 2024

    Arizona Iced Tea Asks 2nd Circ. To Affirm Audit Expense Win

    The maker of Arizona Iced Tea told the Second Circuit that Hanover Insurance Co. must cover additional audit expenses it incurred after a power surge erased two years' worth of financial data, arguing its "period of restoration" ended when the audit concluded, not when replacement accounting software was in place.

  • February 29, 2024

    9th Circ. Sends COVID-19 Coverage Row Back To Tribal Court

    A Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the Suquamish Tribal Court's jurisdiction over a COVID-19 coverage dispute, finding in a published opinion Thursday that although the tribe's insurers weren't present on its land, a consensual business relationship means tribal law applies.

  • February 29, 2024

    State Farm Must Face Bad Faith Claims In $3M Crash Row

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday clarified a prior ruling reviving bad faith claims against State Farm for rejecting an offer to settle a car crash injury suit that led to a $3 million verdict, saying the insurer could still have acted in bad faith in handling the settlement offer even if it had no obligation to accept it.

  • February 29, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Texas Supreme Court found that a handful of insurers may be on the hook for a $220 million bankruptcy settlement, while another state Supreme Court said it will take on underpayment claims against Geico, as insurance experts heed emerging privacy risks and prepare for more PFAS litigation. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • February 29, 2024

    Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance

    A deadly apartment fire in Valencia, Spain, is drawing renewed attention to the use of flammable materials on building exteriors, a global problem that insurance experts say implicates complicated webs of liability and a need for strong government oversight.

  • February 29, 2024

    Texas Justices' Unusual Remedy Presents A Win For Insurers

    The Texas Supreme Court handed several carriers a victory in its ruling that a $220 million settlement between now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. and its investors is not binding on the energy company's insurers to establish coverage, a decision notable for the unusual relief granted by the state justices, experts say.

  • February 29, 2024

    New AI Risks Pressure Policyholders To Fill Coverage Gaps

    Growing scrutiny from the public and regulators in the U.S. over artificial intelligence use and rising threats of AI-enabled schemes are sending insurance experts scrambling to evaluate their coverage options in a rapidly changing risk environment.

  • February 29, 2024

    Auto Co. Says $50M Policy Endorsement Covers COVID Loss

    An auto parts manufacturer is seeking $50 million in coverage for its COVID-19 pandemic-related losses in North Carolina federal court, claiming its policy's "unique" communicable disease provision was misrepresented when its insurer denied coverage for losses at its Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina locations.

  • February 29, 2024

    SVB Parent's Counsel Booted From Fraud Coverage Row

    The bankrupt parent company of Silicon Valley Bank cannot use Farella Braun & Martel LLP as counsel in litigation over the parent company's claims that it alone must be covered for a fraud scheme that caused over $73 million in losses, a North Carolina federal court ruled.

  • February 28, 2024

    Insurer Wins New Trial Due To Paralegal's Surprise Testimony

    An insurer will receive a new trial in its coverage dispute with two homeowners over damage caused by a water supply line failure, a Florida state appeals court ruled, finding the insurer was prejudiced by the trial court allowing a paralegal to testify as a surprise witness.

  • February 28, 2024

    No More Coverage For Aluminum Co.'s $165M Fire Damage

    A South Carolina federal judge on Wednesday snuffed out an aluminum company's $165 million fire damage suit, ruling that its insurers had already paid up to their limits of $10 million for the molten material damage.

  • February 28, 2024

    Insurance Agency Says It Wasn't Told Of Airbnb Shooting Suits

    A Pennsylvania insurance agency accused of concealing that a Pittsburgh Airbnb property was subject to numerous lawsuits over a mass shooting has claimed that the property owner never revealed the problems when shopping for a new policy, so it wasn't the agency's fault when the new insurer canceled coverage.

  • February 28, 2024

    Seattle Convention Center's Virus Losses Not Covered

    A Seattle convention center operator is not owed coverage for pandemic-related business interruption losses, a Washington federal judge ruled, finding that although the governor's emergency pandemic proclamations prohibited access to the convention center, they weren't issued because of physical loss or damage to the property.

  • February 28, 2024

    BASF Says Insurers Owe Coverage For PFAS Suits

    Major chemical manufacturer BASF Corp. told a South Carolina court Wednesday that 23 insurers should cover thousands of lawsuits that alleged a chemical the company produced for firefighting foam caused pollution and injuries.

  • February 27, 2024

    La. Comfort Inn Owner Ordered To Arbitrate $2.6M Storm Suit

    A Louisiana federal judge has ordered the owner of a Comfort Inn outside New Orleans to arbitrate a $2.6 million suit against its insurer over coverage for damage from Hurricane Ida, saying its insurance policy compels arbitration.

  • February 27, 2024

    Egg Co. Not Covered For Avian Flu Losses, Minn. Judge Says

    A Markel unit does not owe coverage to an egg supplier for losses it sustained due to an avian flu outbreak in 2022, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Tuesday, finding that a communicable disease exclusion in a site pollution and environmental policy precluded coverage.

  • February 26, 2024

    Atty's Letter Is Not A Claim For Damages, Del. Justices Rule

    An attorney's presuit letter claiming that Syngenta's herbicide Paraquat caused his clients' Parkinson's disease does not constitute a "claim for damages" under the company's insurance policies with a pair of Zurich units, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Monday.

  • February 26, 2024

    Colo. Justices To Hear If Insurers Can Withhold Some Payouts

    The Colorado Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether the state's insurance code allowed Geico, following unsuccessful settlement attempts, to refuse paying noneconomic damages to a policyholder for his underinsured motorist claim, given what Geico said is the "inherently subjective" nature of such damages.

  • February 26, 2024

    Mo. City Asks 8th Circ. To Revisit COVID-19 Coverage Ruling

    A Missouri city urged the full Eighth Circuit Monday to reconsider a panel decision that denied its request for coverage for sales tax revenue losses resulting from shutdowns related to COVID-19, saying the panel misinterpreted the policy's terms and skewed its review in favor of the insurer.

  • February 26, 2024

    Liberty Cuts Off Drivers' Rentals Too Soon, Suit Claims

    Liberty Mutual systematically and arbitrarily ends replacement transportation coverage after seven days for policyholders whose vehicles are totaled in collisions, in violation of its own policy language, a proposed class action alleges.

  • February 26, 2024

    Texas Justices Say $220M Cobalt Deal Is A Loss Under Policy

    A $220 million settlement that now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. reached with a group of investors constitutes a loss under the energy company's insurance policies, but the agreement is not binding on Cobalt's insurers to establish coverage, the Texas Supreme Court ruled.

  • February 26, 2024

    State Farm Seeks Exit From Aircraft Designer's Explosion Row

    An aircraft design company is not owed coverage for five underlying lawsuits surrounding an explosion at an aeronautical test site that killed one employee, State Farm has told a California federal court, arguing that the underlying actions triggered multiple policy exclusions.

  • February 23, 2024

    La. Hotel Owner Must Arbitrate Hurricane Ida Damage Claims

    A Louisiana federal judge has ordered the owner of an extended-stay hotel near New Orleans to go to arbitration with a group of insurers over coverage for damage caused by Hurricane Ida, finding that the policy under dispute contains a valid arbitral clause.

Expert Analysis

  • Keys To Keeping Law Firm Talent Amid The Great Resignation

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    With employees leaving their jobs at an unprecedented pace during the "Great Resignation," law firm leaders looking to retain associates and professional staff need to operate with emotional intelligence, talk about failures openly and take the time to offer frequent feedback, says Dorianna Phillips at Lane Powell.

  • How AI Can Transform Crisis Management In Litigation

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    Attorneys should understand how to use rapidly advancing artificial intelligence technology to help clients prepare for potential catastrophic events and the inevitable litigation arising from them, from predicting crises before they occur to testing legal theories once they arise, say Stratton Horres at Wilson Elser and David Steiger.

  • Litigation Complicates Surprise Medical Bill Law Compliance

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    Health care providers working on compliance with a recently effective law intended to curb surprise medical bills should prioritize provisions of the statute that are not being challenged by a group of ongoing lawsuits, and prepare to take advantage of potential provider-friendly court rulings regarding components in question, say Brenna Jenny and Jaime Jones at Sidley.

  • How NJ Bad Faith Auto Insurance Bill Compares To Pa.'s

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    The recently enacted New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act, is in some ways narrower and in other ways broader than Pennsylvania's notoriously strict bad faith statute and leaves open many fundamental questions, which took Pennsylvania decades of litigation to resolve, say Kristin Jones and Brian Callaway at Troutman Pepper.

  • The Rising Demand For Commercial Litigators In 2022

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    Amid broken supply chains, pandemic-induced bankruptcies and a rise in regulation by litigation, strong commercial litigators — strategists who are adept in trying a range of tortious and contractual disputes — are becoming a must-have for many law firms, making this year an opportune moment to make the career switch, say Michael Ascher and Kimberly Donlon at Major Lindsey.

  • Reach Of Ohio Ransomware Ruling Limited To Policy At Hand

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    While an Ohio appellate court's recent decision allowing the insured's ransomware attack claim to proceed in EMOI Services v. Owners Insurance may seem significant for insurance jurisprudence, it should not have implications beyond policies specifically insuring damage to software, says Jane Warring at Zelle.

  • To Retain Talent, GCs Should Prioritize Mission Statements

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    With greater legal demands and an increasing number of workers resigning during the pandemic, general counsel should take steps to articulate their teams' values in departmental mission statements, which will help them better prioritize corporate values and attract and retain talent, says Catherine Kemnitz at Axiom.

  • Flawed NY Insurance Law Needs Amendments

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    The New York Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act, recently signed by the governor, imposes a multitude of problematic disclosure obligations on defendant-insureds, which the Legislature should — and likely will — seriously consider modifying or eliminating, says Richard Mason at MasonADR.

  • Recent Bias Suits Against Law Firms And Lessons For 2022

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    2021 employment discrimination case filings and developments show that law firms big and small are not immune from claims, and should serve as a reminder that the start of a new year is a good time to review and update salary, promotion and leave policies to mitigate litigation risks, says Hope Comisky at Griesing Law.

  • Associate Hiring Outlook At Law Firms Is Bright For 2022

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    After a year of extraordinary signing bonuses, nearly instantaneous offers and flexible work arrangements, strong demand for talented law firm associates will continue into 2022 — with some differences between East and West Coast markets — and junior attorneys should take steps to capitalize on the opportunity, say Ru Bhatt and Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • The Most-Read Legal Industry Guest Articles Of 2021

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    Popular legal industry guest articles this year included commentary on the admissibility of video depositions, an unusual U.S. Supreme Court citation, the perils of lawyer perfectionism, and more.

  • How Firms Can Adapt Amid COVID's Shifting Legal Needs

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    Avi Stadler at Esquire Deposition Solutions discusses the practice areas that are expanding most aggressively during the COVID-19 era of increased litigation and technology needs, and offers recommendations for how law firms can attract and retain the expertise they need to thrive in today's competitive market for legal services.

  • How 11th Circ. Ruling Dominated 2021 COVID Insurance Cases

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    Despite being a case about construction dust and debris, the Eleventh Circuit’s 2020 opinion in Mama Jo’s v. Sparta Insurance had a pervasive and unwarranted effect this year on coverage for business interruption losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, say Hugh Lumpkin and Garrett Nemeroff at Reed Smith.

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