Automobile Policy’s Exclusion for Bodily Injury to “an Insured” Held Unenforceable and Against Public Policy With Regard to Injuries Sustained by a Non-Relative of the Named Insured

Mercury Cas. Co. v. Chu , 229 Cal. App. 4th 1432 (2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In Mercury , the California Court of Appeal held that an exclusion in an automobile policy for “bodily injury to an insured” was contrary to California Insurance Code Section...

Court Provides A Clinic In Sometimes Overlooked Coverage Issue

When an insurance company is evaluating whether to file a declaratory judgment action or defend one filed against it, the principal issues under consideration are likely to be its chance of success and the amount of attorney’s fees that it will incur to achieve the desired result. But there is...

CGL Policy’s “Employment-Related Practices Exclusion” Held to Preclude Coverage for Lawsuit Involving Claims of Sexual Harassment and False Imprisonment

John Davler, Inc. v. Arch Ins. Co. , 229 Cal. App. 4th 1025 (2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In John Davler , the California Court of Appeal held that a CGL Policy’s exclusion for employment-related practices barred coverage for a sexual harassment lawsuit that...

CGL Policy with Specific “Other Insurance” Clause Ruled Excess Over Auto Policy for Claim Arising out of Automobile Accident

Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau v. Lexington Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115747 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 19, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In Employers , the Central District of California found that a CGL Policy was excess to an automobile policy with regard to an accident...

More On The Duty To Defend -- And When It Might Never End

Whether an insurer’s duty to defend attaches arises in every liability claim. In the November 5, 2014 issue of Coverage Opinions I addressed the less-frequent issue -- when an insurer’s duty to defend un-attaches. The rule in the great majority of states is that the duty to defend ends...

Under California Law, an Insurer’s Duty to Defend is Based on Facts Alleged in the Complaint and Facts Otherwise Known by the Insurer; Speculation and Arguments are not Relevant to the Duty to Defend Analysis

A common dispute between carriers and insureds involves the scope of information that may be considered when determining whether a duty to defend exists. Under California law, an insurer’s duty to defend is determined by facts – both facts alleged in the underlying complaint and facts known...

Siblings Who Hate Each Other and Insurance Coverage

Tapas: Small Dishes of Insurance Coverage News & Notes In Peerless Indem. Ins. Co. v. Moshe & Stimson LLP, 2014 Ind. App. LEXIS 642 (Ind. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the court held that no coverage was owed to a law partner, under a...

Intentionally Striking Another Individual Ruled Not an “Occurrence” and Therefore Uncovered Even if Done in Self-Defense

David v. Allstate Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119473 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 25, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In David, the Central District of California ruled that intentionally hitting and biting another person was not an accident, and therefore did not fall within...

The Ninth Circuit Finds Carrier Had Duty to Defend Based on Potential that Erosion to Land Could Have Occurred During its Policy Period

St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Vadnais Corp. , 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13084 (9th Cir. July 10, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In St. Paul , the Ninth Circuit reversed the ruling by the Eastern District of California that an exclusion for work performed by the...

Neighbors Who Hate Each Other and Insurance Coverage

Tapas: Small Dishes of Insurance Coverage News & Notes In Lawellin v. Kemper Independence Ins. Co., No. 14-315, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164293 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 21, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the California federal court held that no coverage was owed to a resident...

Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies Duty to Defend Standards

By David F. Cutter and William P. Pipal In a decision issued on January 13, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], affirmed a trial court's ruling that insurers had a duty to defend an insured against the thousands of lawsuits filed against...

Mealey’s Insurance — Jury Awards $4.5 Million To Homeowners’ Class For Insurer’s Bad Faith (Trial Videos Available)

RENO, Nev. — (Mealey’s) A jury in the Washoe County, Nevada, Second Judicial District Court on Feb. 13 awarded $4.5 million in compensatory damages for a commercial general liability insurer’s breach of its duty of good faith and fair dealing in declining a defense and indemnity for...

Randy Spencer’s Open Mic – Brian Williams and Insurance Coverage

For years Brian Williams has been telling me about his accomplishments as a coverage lawyer. It’s been a very impressive list. I’ve listened in awe as he’s described each feat. I never once considered them to be anything but true. But now, with some of Brain’s other claims, about...

The 10 Most Significant Liability Coverage Cases – Of All Time

I have spent fourteen years coming up with a list of the ten most significant liability coverage cases of that year. In all that time it never occurred to me, until now, to put together a list of the ten most significant coverage cases of all-time. These would be the cases, more than any others, that...

Coverage Opinions’s Take On Nationwide’s Super Bowl Commercial

I saw Nationwide’s dead child Super Bowl commercial. And so did you. My jaw dropped. In fact, so much so that two tortilla chips fell out of my mouth. The ad, of course, evoked a lot of negative reaction. A Wall Street Journal story cited to a source that concluded that 64% of the social media...

CA Court of Appeals Confirms that Insured Need Not Accept 2860 Rate Caps For Work Done After Tender, But Before Insurer Accepts Defense

By Erica Villanueva A recent unpublished decision from California’s Second Appellate Division highlights one of the most common mistakes lawyers make when obtaining insurance coverage for the defense of a lawsuit: accepting the insurer’s ultra-low hourly rate caps for charges incurred...

Born To Litigate: Springsteen Makes A Coverage Case

What do you call a coverage case that quotes lyrics from a Bruce Springsteen song? An embarrassment of riches. A number of judicial opinions have quoted lyrics from Springsteen. His vivid descriptions and observations of everyday life, the human spirit and ordinary folks just trying to get by, offer...

NFL Highlights Film: The Best Of Football Litigation – When the Gridiron And Courtroom Collide

I have long been a student of the intersection between sports and the law. And there are countless opportunities to get this education. These two come together in innumerable ways – from the deadly serious to the hilariously entertaining and everything imaginable in between. And there should be...

A Zealous Defense Can Affect Insurance Coverage

By Dennis Cusack A law firm asked us for advice a few months into a fast-moving intellectual property lawsuit. The complaint alleged trademark and copyright infringement claims against the company and two of its officers. They noted that while the defense was being provided under the D&O policy...

NFL Highlights Film: The Best Of Football Litigation – When the Gridiron And Courtroom Collide

I have long been a student of the intersection between sports and the law. And there are countless opportunities to get this education. These two come together in innumerable ways – from the deadly serious to the hilariously entertaining and everything imaginable in between. And there should be...

Suing Bill Belichick For Cheating – Yes, It Has Been Done

Deflate-gate dominated pre-Super Bowl talk. One of the reasons why it received as much attention as it did was because of so-called “Spygate,” an incident in which the Patriots were found to have videotaped New York Jets’ coaches and players, during a September 2007 game, to steal their...

Interesting Case In The “What’s An Accident?” Category

I have long been a student of the “what’s an accident?” question for purposes of a liability policy. As I am fond of mentioning, the question has been before courts for a very, very, let’s add one more very, long time. There are cases asking it that date back to the early 1800s...

Perkins Coie LLP on Notable Insurance Coverage Decisions from the Second Half of 2014 and Early 2015

By Nishant Kumar The second half of 2014 and early 2015 brought noteworthy insurance coverage cases in contemporary areas of interest -- for instance, coverage for media providers and for privacy breaches -- as well as significant new developments in jurisprudence regarding oft-disputed aspects of...

Ricky's Believe It Or Not

By Julius F. "Rick" Parker III As an attorney for more than sixteen years, and a practitioner of insurance bad faith for nearly eleven years, I have seen virtually every kind of bad faith set-up one could imagine. I have shared my observations through various articles published in this...

New York Court Says N-O To Reimbursement Of Defense Costs: Most Extensive N.Y. Case To Address The Issue

I’ve been saying for years that reimbursement of defense costs can be an overrated issue. It is the CATS of coverage issues. First, many states – especially lately -- have rejected an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of defense costs. Second, even in a state where the right exists...