LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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"...

Marten Law on AES Corp. v. Steadfast Insurance Co. – Virginia Supreme Court Holds That Climate Change Allegations Do Not Trigger Insurer's Duty to Defend

By Steven Jones, Partner, Marten Law PLLC "In a case being closely watched by both insurers and insureds, the Virginia Supreme Court has held that an insurer's duty to defend is not triggered by allegations of damages flowing from intentional actions that the plaintiffs claim resulted in...

Sweet Defective-Home Alabama: Supreme Court Addresses The “Occurrence” Issue

"Sub-Contractor" Exception Applies - But Not To A Sub-Contractor's Own Work Randy J. Maniloff, White and Williams, LLP Last month I was in Las Vegas where I had the privilege of speaking at the CPCU Society's Annual Meeting (and paying $9 for a Diet Coke at a restaurant - Really...

Construction Defects as an ‘Occurrence’: State Legislatures Weigh In

By Edwin L. Doernberger and Theresa A. Guertin, Attorneys, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C. In their article appearing in the November/December 2011 issue of Coverage, "Construction Defects as an 'Occurrence': State Legislatures Weigh In" by Edwin L. Doernberger and Theresa A....

Supreme Court of Virginia Once Again Holds That Climate Change Lawsuit Did Not Trigger Duty to Defend by Insurer

RICHMOND, Va. - (Mealey's) An underlying complaint alleges that damages were the "natural and probable consequence" of an insured's intentional actions, the Virginia Supreme Court said April 20, upholding its finding that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend...

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...

Ala. Supreme Court: Insured Contractor’s Own Work Needing Repair or Replacement Not an “Occurrence”

By Scott C. Turner, Attorney, Anderson Kill On May 3, the Supreme Court of Alabama's issued its decision in Shane Traylor Cabinetmaker, L.L.C. v. American Resources Ins. Co., Inc. , --- So.3d ---- , 2013 Ala. LEXIS 42 (2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], which maintains...

I See Dead People Causing Coverage Disputes

Look, it’s not pleasant, but when you are involved in liability claims you will be forced to confront scenarios involving death. It’s simply the nature of the beast. Liability insurance claims are, by their nature, all about when things go wrong. And when things go wrong – really wrong...

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...

Central District of California Denies Insurer’s MSJ On the Basis That There Was an Issue of Material Fact as to Whether an Alleged Failure to Construct a Home in Accordance With the Residential Community’s CC&Rs Constituted an “Occurrence”

Barks v. Castlepoint Nat’l Ins. Co. , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43447 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 26, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] In Barks , the district court found that there was an issue of material fact as to whether the general contractor’s alleged failure to construct...

Killing Two Is Not an Accident – Three Shots at Head Not an Occurrence

After State Farm intervened in a wrongful death action the trial court granted the insurer summary judgment and found State Farm owed neither defense nor indemnity to a person who was convicted of negligently killing two people by firing three shots at a man’s head. Nathan Leinweber and John Doe...

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...

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...