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Trespass Can Never be an Accident

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant Insurance Is Insurance is a contract where a person (the insurer) agrees to indemnify another (the insured) against certain defined risks of loss, damage, or liability arising from a contingent or unknown event. Intentional acts can never be "contingent"...

Who’s On First – The Selective Tender Rule

By Barry Zalma, Attorney and Consultant The Illinois Court of Appeal was asked to resolve a dispute between the Illinois School District Agency (ISDA), a provider of commercial general liability insurance and St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 (District) concerning a series of lawsuits...

California Court Denies Rescission of Insurance Policy

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in Thompson v. Navigators Ins. Co ., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60122 (S.D. Cal. Apr. 30, 2012), the United States District Court for the Southern District of California considered whether an insurer was entitled...

McCarter & English LLP on Travelers Property Cas. Co. of Am. v. Mericle and Colony Ins. Co. v. Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corp., Third Circuit Affirms Lack of Coverage for Pair of Judicial Kickback Cases

By Anne Matthews, Associate, McCarter & English, LLP Robert Mericle and Mericle Construction Company (collectively, "Mericle") along with Robert Powell and Mid-Atlantic Youth Services Corporation (collectively, "MAYS") were each sued in connection with a kickback scheme wherein...

McCarter and English LLP on the Virginia Court’s Narrow Reading of “Proximate Cause” Allegations in a Complaint Is Contradicted by a California Court’s Reading of the Same Complaint

By Adam J. Budesheim, Associate, McCarter & English, LLP In AES Corp. v. Steadfast Insurance Co. , 725 S.E.2d 532 (Va. 2012), the Supreme Court of Virginia became the first ultimate appellate court to rule on whether general liability policies cover global warming injuries. The Virginia court...

"Blast Fax" TCPA Damages Covered Under CGL Policy

In Standard Mutual Insurance Co, v. Lay , 2013 IL 114617 [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the court held that damages awarded pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. § 227(b)(3) (the “TCPA”) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com...

The CGL “Business Risk” Exclusions

By David Smith I recently came upon an interesting case from the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that examined the complex and confusing Commercial General Liability (CGL) “business risk” exclusions. Oxford Aviation, Inc. et al. v. Global Aerospace, Inc. , 680 F...

The Next Coverage Battle Looming?: Eliminating Coverage Under A “Standard” CGL Policy For Construction Site Bodily Injury Claims

Over the past few years insurers have been taking various affirmative steps, such as adding endorsements, to attempt to limit their exposure for bodily injury claims on construction sites (not to mention for property damage). The Eleventh Circuit just provided (for the second time in six months) the...

Federal Court Answers The Question : “What Is A ‘Commercial General Liability Insurance’ Policy?”

The issue before the Southern District of Texas in Pac-Van, Inc. v. CHS, Inc., No. 12-341 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 31, 2014) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] -- just what is a commercial general liability insurance policy anyway -- isn’t likely to arise too often. Since this may be...

A Faulty Workmanship—“Occurrence” Case Worth Reading

The title of this article tells you how I feel about the continuous barrage of decisions addressing coverage for construction defects – in particular whether faulty workmanship constitutes an “occurrence” under a commercial general liability policy. I’m not saying that these cases...

CGL Carrier’s Duty To Defend Was Triggered Where Non-Professional Work Was Alleged and, Therefore, the Professional Services Exclusion Did Not Apply to Remove All Possibility of Coverage

North Counties Engineering, Inc. v. State Farm General Ins. Co. , 224 Cal. App. 4th 902 (2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In North Counties Engineering , the California Court of Appeal held that an insurer’s duty to defend its insured under a comprehensive business...

ISO Pull Up A Stool: Federal Appeals Court Offers A Different Way To, Er, Draft A Liquor Liability Exclusion

A couple of the amendments to the 2013 version of ISO’s workhorse commercial general liability policy (CG 00 01) involve the Liquor Liability exclusion. In general, it has been amended to state that it applies even if the claims against any insured allege negligence or other wrongdoing in the supervision...

Why I Don’t Own A Stairmaster

In Landmark American Insurance Co. v. VO Remarketing Corp, No. 13-1386 (D. Colo. June 13, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], a Colorado federal court interpreted the terms “finally delivered” as used in the “auto exclusion” in ISO’s standard...

California Court of Appeal Holds That a CGL Policy’s Coverage for Products Liability Applies Because Food Truck Fell Under “Mobile Equipment” Exception to an “Auto” Exclusion

Am. States Ins. Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. , 223 Cal. App. 4th 495 (2014), [ enhanced enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In American States , the California Court of Appeal held that the primary purpose of a food truck was to serve as a mobile kitchen and was not to...

West Virginia Supreme Court Finds No Duty to Defend or Indemnify under CGL Policy for Contractor’s Work

In yet another decision arising from the construction of a home, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (“WVSCA”) in SER Nationwide v. Wilson , No. 15-0424, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], (W.Va. October 7, 2015) examined coverage...