LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
John J. Pappas On The Doctrine of Contextual Ambiguity

It is always reassuring when our courts’ legal decisions are consistent with common sense. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing astonishes us so much as common sense and plain dealing." Of course all words are ambiguous to the extent they may have more than one meaning. Most of the time...

Prosecutors Claim Mississippi Attorney Willfully Violated Injunction

Since first reporting on the filing of criminal contempt charges against prominent Mississippi attorney Richard F. Scruggs ( USA v. Scruggs , N.D. Ala., No. 07-325), special prosecutors have filed a reply to the attorney's response to show cause order and claim that Scruggs willfully violated a judge's...

Scruggs, Four Others Indicted For Attempt To Bribe State Judge

Prominent Mississippi attorney Richard Scruggs has made news headlines again. This time, the headlines are focused on an indictment handed down yesterday by a federal grand jury, alleging that he and four others attempted to bribe a state judge assigned to hear an attorney fee dispute stemming from a...

Insurers "Adversarial"? Bloomberg Report "Intellectually Shabby"? Insurance Scrawler Marc Mayerson Weighs In

Lawyer and blogger Marc Mayerson generated a good bit of comment, and some useful links, in his post on the back-and-forth between Bloomberg and the insurance industry. Bloomberg reporters wrote that “when there's a disaster, the companies homeowners count on to protect them from financial...

Louisiana Judge Reluctantly Dismisses U.S. Army Corps From Katrina Suit

While insurance coverage cases are normally the focus of the Hurricane Katrina litigation that I follow, an important non-insurance ruling in the Katrina Canal Breaches litigation is worth noting here. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr., for the Eastern District of Louisiana, dismissed...

March is "Hurricane Katrina and Catastrophic Loss Month" (more or less) on the Insurance Law Center

We’re going to try something a little different in an effort to enrich your experience when you visit the insurance law center. With the assistance of that eclectic group known as the Insurance Law Center Advisory Board (two coverage attorneys, a couple of insurance law professors and a former...

Reforming the Insurance Industry to Better Compensate Victims of Catastrophe

A plenary session at the ICLC Annual Meeting on February 28 was entitled “Confronting Catastrophe: Pandemics, Hurricanes, Terrorists – Oh My!” The program noted that “ The extreme ruin caused by Hurricane Katrina would pale in comparison to a nationwide calamity, such as a flu...

SNR Denton on Earthquake Insurance Coverage: Then and Now

While earthquakes and earthquake insurance are primarily matters of concern in California, there have been earthquakes in 46 states since 1975 and insurers underwrite earthquake policies in all 50 states. The California experience with earthquake insurance is therefore potentially important well beyond...

Catastrophe Insurance: Do it right or not at all

This forum focuses on legal issues and my background is in underwriting, specifically commercial property insurance, so I’m hoping to bring a different perspective to the table. Public policy debates on catastrophe insurance plans have been a hot topic lately so I thought this would be a relevant...

Earthquake Insurance Coverage

Here on the east coast, most people probably don't know or don't care that their property insurance policies -- both commercial and personal lines policies -- exclude coverage for losses due to earthquakes . The HO-3 (10/00 edition) , for example, provides: SECTION I – EXCLUSIONS ...

Preparing Your Business for the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, though peak activity usually occurs in August and September. With the beginning of tropical storm activity just around the corner, now is the time to prepare your company and review your insurance coverage for what may lie ahead...

Beware the Benign Hurricane Forecast

The 2009 hurricane season is expected to be moderate, but that’s no reason to let your defenses down. In setting your expectations for the coming months, it pays to consider severity as well as frequency. Most major forecasts address the number of storms anticipated — but they don’t...

Chinese Drywall: Testimony of David Kodama on Behalf of PCI Before Catastrophic Insurance Working Group

TESTIMONY OF DAVID KODAMA ON BEHALF OF THE PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURERS ASSOCIATION OF BEFORE THE CATASTROPHE INSURANCE WORKING GROUP OF THE PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMMITTEE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INSURANCE COMMISSIONERS PUBLIC HEARING ON THE IMPLICATIONS TO REGULATORS AND INSURERS REGARDING...

Army Corps of Engineers Held Liable in the "MRGO" Katrina-Related Litigation

Recently, Judge Stanwood Duval, Jr. of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers liable for damages resulting from Hurricane Katrina-related flooding that occurred in certain areas outside of New Orleans. In re Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated...

Insurance and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

By Michael Kotula , Partner, Rivkin Radler, LLP. The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon platform and rupture of an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, and the ensuing oil spill, is likely to result in significant liability exposures for a number of companies. Here is what is currently known about the...

Emerging Legal and Insurance Issues from the Gulf Oil Spill

By John L. Watkins, Shareholder, Chorey, Taylor & Feil Last week, courtesy of my friends at LEXIS, I attended the HB Litigation Conference in Atlanta on litigation and insurance coverage issues arising from the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The presenters included extremely well...

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...