Perkins Coie LLP on Denial of Coverage to Direct Action Statute Claimant for Failing to Report the Claim to the Insurer During the Policy Period Provides Reason to Review Notice Rules and Pertinent Recent Developments

By Stephen M. Feldman and Nicholas P. Gellert, Attorneys, Perkins Coie LLP Although the case arose within the unique framework of Louisiana's Direct Action Statute and was said to be an issue undecided by the Louisiana Supreme Court requiring an " Erie guess," the Fifth Circuit's...

High Court Will Not Consider Whether ERISA Claim Is Time-Barred

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 1 denied review of a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the limitations period for filing a legal claim provided in a disability plan bars a participant's claim for reinstatement of benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security...

SNR Denton on Cedell v. Farmers Insurance Co.: Washington Limits Attorney-Client Privilege in First-Party Bad Faith Cases

By William T. Barker & Ronald D. Kent, Partners, SNR Denton In Cedell v. Farmers Insurance Co., the Washington Supreme Court held that, in a first-party bad faith claim (other than regarding a uninsured or underinsured motorist claim), the insurer's quasi-fiduciary duty of good faith and fair...

7th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Favor Of Professional Liability Insurer

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 2 that a professional liability insurer had no duty to defend its law firm insured because it is clear that a reasonable attorney would have realized that his failure to deliver a sales contract, considering the subsequent communications...

Magistrate: Some Coverage, Reserves Documents Not Privileged In Bad Faith Case

DENVER - Finding that certain of an insurer's claim file documents pertained to claims investigation, rather than legal counsel, a Colorado federal magistrate judge on April 2 held that the documents were not protected from discovery under the attorney-client privilege, granting in part a policyholder's...

Judge: Underlying Claims Are Not Based On Providing Legal Services; No Coverage

OAKLAND, Calif. - Underlying complaints against an attorney insured do not create the potential for coverage under a lawyers' professional liability insurance policy because they are not based on providing legal services, a California federal judge ruled April 3, granting the insurer's motion...

Perkins Coie LLP on Fifth Circuit Holds That Terms of Insurance Policy, Not Indemnification Provision of Contract, Controls Coverage for BP in Deepwater Horizon Insurance Dispute

By James G. Bernald, Associate, Perkins Coie LLP Many different civil suits arose out of the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon , a semi-submersible, mobile offshore drilling unit, and the resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This commentary analyzes an important decision in one of...

Federal Judge: Law Firm's Loss From Alleged Phishing Scam Potentially Covered

CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on April 8 refused to dismiss a law firm insured's declaratory judgment and breach of contract claims against its legal malpractice insurer in a coverage dispute arising from an alleged phishing scam but granted the insurer's motion to dismiss the bad faith claim...

Legal Malpractice Action Was Perempted, Louisiana Panel Affirms

GRETNA, La. - A malpractice lawsuit against an attorney and his liability insurer is perempted, a Louisiana appeals panel affirmed April 10 (Michael G. Lewis v. Jerald L. Album, et al., No. 12-854, La. App., 5th Cir.).

Jenner & Block: Insurer Unable To Step Into CERCLA Shoes Of Insured

A recent Ninth Circuit decision limited the ability of an insurer to seek CERCLA contribution and/or cost recovery from potentially responsible parties ("PRPs"). In Chubb Custom Insurance Company v. Space Systems/Loral et al. , [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Chubb...

Coverage Opinions–September 11th: Revisiting The “War Risk” Exclusion

By Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP New York Federal Court Holds That September 11th Was An "Act Of War" In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, there was intense political pressure on the insurance industry not to invoke the "war risk" exclusion...

Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 Amendments to Flood Disaster Protection Act

By the Ballard Spahr LLP Mortgage Banking Group The federal banking agencies, together with the Farm Credit Administration, have issued joint guidance on amendments to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (FDPA). The amendments were part of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012...

Insurer Need Only Respond to Risk It Agreed to Insure

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant In Seneca Insurance Company, Inc., Plaintiff-Appellant-Respondent v. Cimran Co., Inc., et al., Defendants-Respondents-Appellants. , No. 9226 (N.Y.App.Div. 04/09/2013), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the parties brought an appeal that...

Bullivant Houser Bailey: Attorney-Client Privilege Analyzed by Idaho Federal Court in Insurance Company's Bad Faith Case

By Matthew E. Hedberg , Bullivant Houser Bailey PC In an opinion issued April 3, 2013, the Idaho federal district court held that when an attorney participates in the investigation of a claim and provides coverage advice, the facts gathered by the attorney may be discoverable in a bad faith lawsuit...

DLA Piper – Australia: Insurance Review April 2013

Welcome to Insurance Review April 2013 , DLA Piper's publication dedicated to the insurance industry. In this edition we report on developments across the insurance industry, including the long-awaited amendments to the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), the proposal to introduce unfair contract...

The Boston Bombing: Early Thoughts On Insurance Coverage

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, the insurance industry and federal government took a hard look at insurance coverage and put many provisions in place to address any future attacks. Thankfully, all of that work collected dust for over a decade. But the tragic Boston Marathon bombings changed...

Missouri Panel Affirms Ruling For Insurer In Malpractice Coverage Dispute

ST. LOUIS - A Missouri appeals panel on April 23 affirmed a lower court's finding that a 2009 insurance policy did not apply to the causes of action in an underlying legal malpractice action, further affirming that the insurer did not act in bad faith in refusing to settle the suit (The Bar Plan...

Smaller Companies Should Consider Cyber-Liability Insurance

By Kevin M. LaCroix, Esq., Executive Vice President, OakBridge Insurance Services Smaller companies increasingly are the subject of data breaches and those smaller companies "are the number-one target of cyber-espionage attackers," according to a recent study detailed in a April 24, 2013...

Massachusetts Rejects “In For One, In for All” Theory in Title Insurance Coverage

By Richard D. Vetstein, ESQ One little mistake in drafting and recording legal documents during a refinance can result in a huge problem for a lender - such as the lender having no legal ability to enforce the mortgage! (A slight problem..) GMAC Mortgage learned this the hard way at the Supreme Judicial...

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP: Missouri Court Applies “All Sums” Allocation to Long-Tail Environmental Coverage Dispute

by Seth Lamden , Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP The court in Doe Run Resources Corporation v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London , No. ED98086, 2013 Mo. App. LEXIS 468 (April 16, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], held that excess liability insurers were...

Traub Lieberman Insurance Law Blog: Oklahoma Court Addresses Time Element Pollution Exclusion

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in Colony Insurance Company v. Bear Products, Inc ., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43716 (E.D. Okl. Mar. 26, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States District Court for the...

Eighth Circuit Affirms Denial of Insurance Company's Motion to Compel Arbitration

On April 19, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri's September 4, 2012 decision in Union Electric Company v. Aegis Energy Syndicate 1225 , holding that a policyholder could avoid arbitration based on an Endorsement that conflicted with a...

Illinois Panel: No Coverage For Claims That Meat Producer Illegally Used Hormones

CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth Division, on May 10 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend its meat-producing insured against federal criminal allegations that it illegally used hormones in the production of veal (Indiana Insurance Co. v...

Judge: World Trade Center Properties Cannot Recover Against Aviation Defendants

NEW YORK — (Mealey’s) World Trade Center Properties LLC and its holding companies’ $4.09 billion insurance recovery stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks corresponds to and offsets their maximum potential tort damages recovery of $2.8 billion, a New York federal judge...

Rx For Litigation: New Inpatient Rule May Lead To More Medical Malpractice Suits

Our circumstances are often defined by fateful decisions. Those decisions can be our own, those made by others (with or without our knowledge or consent), or both. That’s particularly true with regard to our personal health. You climb a wonky ladder to adjust a second-story TV antenna, for example...