Specialty Lines

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Won't Pay Half Snow Remover's Fraud Coverage Suit

    An insurer avoided paying for half of a nearly $360,000 wire fraud scheme targeting a snow removal company Thursday, after a Minnesota federal judge found its policy precluded coverage for a variety of reasons.

  • March 28, 2024

    Q&A: Former Calif. Insurance Chief On Climate & Rate Setting

    From intense wildfires to devastating floods, the effects of climate change on California's insurance market cannot be understated, a fact that experts point to often as regulators weigh how to bring insurers back to business in the Golden State.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    A marine insurer confirmed it's cooperating with Baltimore authorities after an insured cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, music festival South by Southwest's class action coverage efforts were renewed, and North Carolina justices dismantled 30 years of intermediate appellate court adherence to "stacking" underinsured motorist policies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Foxwoods Tribal Owner Loses $76M COVID Insurance Appeal

    The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, did not meet a key burden when suing its insurer for more than $76 million in losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's intermediate-level appeals court ruled Thursday in declining to revive the litigation.

  • March 28, 2024

    Wash. Appeals Court Asked To Mull COVID Coverage Question

    A Washington state court has halted litigation over the University of Washington's bid for COVID-19 business interruption coverage from a Liberty Mutual unit, asking a state appeals court to first determine whether the presence of COVID-19 satisfies UW's policies' direct physical loss or damage requirement and if a contamination exclusion applies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Flood Risk Disclosure Law Uptick Offers Insurance Upsides

    A growing trend of states adopting and implementing flood risk disclosure laws must continue, experts say, touting such laws as protecting consumers and informing efforts to mitigate climate change costs through insurance and other risk management efforts.

  • March 28, 2024

    5th Circ. Limits Broad Contract Liability Exclusions In SXSW

    The Fifth Circuit awarded policyholders a major victory over a thorny issue when it ruled that Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer owed defense coverage for a ticket holder class action over unpaid refunds from the canceled 2020 festival.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer's $1.37M Suit Over Stolen Walmart Flare Gun Misfires

    An Oregon federal judge has thrown out a $1.37 million suit from Ascot Specialty Insurance Co. against Walmart Inc. seeking to hold the retailer liable for a fire started by a stolen flare gun, saying the insurer has failed to show how Walmart is responsible for a third party's criminal acts.

  • March 28, 2024

    NC Justices' Split Leaves Willful Violation Question Unsolved

    A dispute over coverage for a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act provided an opportunity for the North Carolina Supreme Court to interpret a policy exclusion for the willful violation of a statute, but experts say a deadlocked decision will leave the issue for another day.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Ordered To Defend Legionnaires' Suits

    The insurer of a nonprofit providing housing to at-risk individuals in New York City must defend it in three underlying lawsuits alleging that numerous residents contracted Legionnaires' disease at two properties in the Bronx, a New York federal court ruled, finding a communicable disease exclusion inapplicable.

  • March 27, 2024

    NC Commissioner Says Insurance Mogul's Argument 'Mistaken'

    The North Carolina insurance commissioner asked the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow him to give his take on a group of insurers' lawsuit against embattled mogul Greg Lindberg that alleges he pilfered the insurance companies as owner, saying if the court lets him submit an amicus brief he'll explain how Lindberg's main argument is "mistaken."

  • March 27, 2024

    2nd Circ. Weighs Broadening 'Claim' In Shareholder Dispute

    The Second Circuit questioned Wednesday whether it should use a New York state appeals court ruling to broaden the meaning of "claim" in a propane company's directors and officers policy with a Liberty Mutual unit, including not just an entire underlying lawsuit but the individual causes of action within.

  • March 26, 2024

    UK Marine Insurer Investigating Baltimore Bridge Crash

    Britannia, a British marine insurer, confirmed Tuesday that it is working with authorities in Baltimore after a container ship destroyed the city's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge in a collision that experts say is likely to cost the insurance sector billions of dollars in claims.

  • March 22, 2024

    Ind. Factory Adds To Historic $112M Bad Faith Coverage Win

    A flooded factory building that was awarded $112 million in a historic bad faith win added to its victory Friday when an Indiana federal court denied its insurers' requests for a new trial and granted the factory more than $7 million in costs and interest.

  • March 22, 2024

    5th Circ. Revives Coverage Row Over SXSW Ticket Refunds

    Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer must cover its defense in a class action by ticket holders who didn't receive refunds after the city of Austin canceled the March 2020 event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fifth Circuit said, reviving the dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    AI Presents Risk To Insurers And Policyholders, Panelists Say

    The growing use of artificial intelligence presents a risk to both insurers and insureds, experts said during a webinar Thursday, advising policyholders and their attorneys on how to navigate novel issues arising from the use of AI in the insurance industry.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Panel Revives Diner's COVID Sanitization Coverage Bid

    A California state appeals court revived a diner's bid for property insurance coverage of COVID-19 losses after it determined the restaurant credibly alleged direct physical losses and that the policy's language covering losses attributable to a virus applied to COVID-19 sanitization efforts.

  • March 21, 2024

    2nd Circ. To Weigh 'Claim' Meaning In Family Share Dispute

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether a New York federal court erred in finding that a contract exclusion barred any duty a Liberty Mutual unit had to defend a propane company and two of its executives in a family shareholder dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    6 Questions For ZestyAI CEO Attila Toth

    As California regulators push proposals aimed at luring back insurance companies to the state's challenged market, advanced modeling techniques have taken a prominent place in the debate over how to best price risk as traditional methods lose relevance. Here, Law360 talks to Attila Toth, chief executive officer of ZestyAI, a risk modeling company that sells artificial intelligence-based risk models to insurers seeking to refine their risk assessment capabilities.

  • March 21, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court considered the NRA's free speech rights and whether an insurer had standing in bankruptcy court, Geico was slammed with a $164 million payout, the Sixth Circuit seemed hesitant to force Amway to pay its own defense costs and Metallica's COVID-19 coverage case faded to black.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Regulators' Pitch On Insurance Reform Draws Scrutiny

    Two regulations proposed to help lure insurers back to California's market by speeding up the state's rate approvals and allowing insurers to use catastrophe models to set rates are drawing scrutiny as industry and consumer groups weigh their potential effects.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sanitizer Co. Faces Tough Ad Injury Coverage Bid In 2nd Circ.

    A company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces faces an uphill battle, experts say, as the Second Circuit is poised to hear oral arguments Monday over whether the company is owed coverage under its commercial general liability policy for an underlying class action.

  • March 19, 2024

    Metallica's Bid For COVID-19 Coverage Fades To Black

    California appellate justices on Monday upheld Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London's summary judgment win against heavy metal band Metallica's breach suit seeking coverage for shows canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic, siding with the lower court's order finding the policy's communicable disease exclusion precluded coverage as a matter of law.

  • March 19, 2024

    FTC Sends Benefytt's Sham Health Plan Buyers $100M

    The Federal Trade Commission is sending refund checks to hundreds of thousands of customers from the $100 million Benefytt Technologies Inc. paid to settle allegations that it deceptively marketed sham health plans as qualified under the Affordable Care Act.

  • March 19, 2024

    Uber, Progressive Unit Settle NC Widower's Coverage Fight

    The widower of an Uber Eats driver who died in a car crash on the job has settled his lawsuit seeking a payout for the accident from the ride-hailing giant and its insurer, according to a notice filed in North Carolina federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • 7th Circ. 'Reasonable Costs' Ruling Is A Win For Policyholders

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    The Seventh Circuit's decision in USA Gymnastics v. Liberty Insurance last month establishes useful precedent for policyholders, affirming and expanding on its rule that defense costs are presumed to be reasonable and necessary when insurers breach their duty to defend, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • Insurance Implications For Aircraft Grounded In Russia

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    Russia's invasion of Ukraine and new law that allows the government to ground planes leased from foreign companies threatens massive losses for insurers in the aviation insurance market and necessitates a closer look at which policy exclusions may apply, say attorneys at Hinshaw.

  • What Snap Removal Debate Means For Insurance Disputes

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    A potential circuit split regarding the permissibility of snap removal to federal court, which allows defendants to circumvent the forum defendant rule, is particularly a concern in insurance cases due to the difficulty of removing such cases, and the perception that some state courts are more favorable to policyholders, says Greg Mann at Rivkin Radler.

  • How D&O Insurers Can Limit Bankruptcy Exclusion Risks

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    Amid challenging economic conditions, directors and officers underwriters can't always rely on insolvency exclusions to protect against insured's bankruptcy claims, but there are ways to limit risk exposure, like by adding creditor exclusions or sublimiting coverage, say Kristine Christ at Crum & Forster, and Scott Schechter and Joshua DiLena at Kaufman Borgeest.

  • Questions Remain On Computer Fraud Coverage For Phishing

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    There are questions regarding the applicability of computer fraud coverage to phishing scheme losses in the wake of the Ninth Circuit's decision in Ernst & Haas v. Hiscox earlier this year, with a backdrop of differing case results and evolving fact patterns over the past few years, say Robert Callahan and Melissa D’Alelio at Robins Kaplan.

  • Insurers Must Be Vigilant About Cannabis Lounge Risks

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    Because cannabis lounges face a number of unique risks, such as overserving cannabis to patrons, insurers and risk management providers must be able to recognize and properly address the full range of potential liabilities, say Jonathan Isaacson and Adam Nicolazzo at Kaufman Dolowich.

  • Insurers Should Beware Risks From Digital Asset Losses

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    Personal lines insurers should not underestimate the potential severity of future exposure to digital asset loss claims, and should consider protecting themselves with new underwriting practices and policy exclusions, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • State Ransomware Payment Laws Raise Insurance Questions

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    Recent Florida and North Carolina statutory prohibitions on government agencies' ransomware payments will not just affect public entities' response to ransomware incidents, but also require consideration from insurers whose policies may cover ransom payments, say Ted Brown and Mallory Meaney at Wiley.

  • Anti-Kickback Circuit Split Holds Implications For Defendants

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    The Eighth Circuit's recent decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical represents a significant step toward holding plaintiffs to more exacting burdens of proof in Anti-Kickback Statute False Claims Act suits, and the outcome of the resulting circuit split could decrease estimated damages for defendants, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn.

  • 8th Circ. Ruling Raises Bar For Anti-Kickback FCA Claims

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    The Eighth Circuit's decision in U.S. v. D.S. Medical makes it more difficult for plaintiffs to claim that a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute supports False Claims Act liability, but an emerging circuit split and uncertainty regarding evidentiary requirements must be considered when developing a defense strategy, say attorneys at Winston & Strawn.

  • Insurance Tips For Cos. Offering Reproductive Health Benefits

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    Post-Dobbs state laws allowing legal action against anyone who facilitates an abortion could lead to claims against employers providing reproductive health benefits, so companies must ensure their insurance policies afford sufficient protection for any novel claims, say Heather Habes and Gretchen Hoff Varner at Covington.

  • Texas Tax Talk: Ruling May Erode Pro-Taxpayer Presumption

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    Following the recent Texas Supreme Court opinion in Hegar v. Health Care Service, the state comptroller may try to limit the utility of a long-standing presumption that ambiguous tax statutes must be construed strictly against the taxing authority and liberally for the taxpayer, say attorneys at Baker Botts.

  • Understanding Legal Considerations In Cannabis M&A Deals

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Zachary Turke and Peter Park at Sheppard Mullin discuss the unique set of challenges for both buyers and sellers in cannabis industry merger and acquisition deals, given the rapidly changing economic conditions, the ever-changing regulatory landscape and new market entrants.