LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
SNR Denton on Winning A Defense Verdict On Damages After Losing Summary Judgment On Liability

Plaintiffs in breach of contract cases often attempt to sustain their burden of proving proximate causation merely by substantiating “but for” causation and then forcing Defendants to prove a negative (i.e., that proximate causation is not present). Emerald Investments Limited Partnership...

SNR Denton on Punitive Damages: Supreme Court Cuts Exxon Valdez Award by $2 Billion

The Supreme Court has essentially brought the Exxon Valdez case to a close, more than 19 years after the supertanker ran aground, spilling millions of gallons of oil into Prince William Sound. The tanker’s captain, Joseph Hazlewood, had a history of alcohol abuse and still had a high level of blood...

Wiley Rein LLP on Exxon Shipping and State Punitive Damages

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ongoing effort to limit excessive punitive damages takes a different twist in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker. Rather than relying on due process, the Court uses its “common law” power over federal maritime law to hold that punitive damages in maritime cases must...

Third Circuit Vastly Reduces Punitive Damages Award Against Insurer, Applies 1:1 Ratio

Recently the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reduced an award of punitive damages by over two-thirds, holding that a 1:1 ratio between punitives and compensatory damages is the appropriate limit where the harm is purely economic and the compensatory damages award is substantial. Jurinko v. Medical Protective...

Expect Gulf Oil Slick Claims to be Extensive and Impact Multiple Lines of Business

By Marc Lanzkowsky, Founder and Principal, Lanzko Consulting, Inc. As the losses in the gulf continue to rise, the true claims impact has yet to unfold I don’t think the insurance industry has felt the true brunt of the horrific events of the April 20 blast on the Deepwater Horizon...

Environmental Coverage Summary: 2013 – Environmental Cases Addressing Other Significant Issues

Other cases decided in 2013 addressed certain issues that were typical of environmental coverage actions past, present and future. These issues include choice of law, what constitutes an "occurrence," the number of occurrences, and what constitutes "damages." We summarize key decisions...

Washington Court Holds Covenant Judgment Sets a Floor, Not a Ceiling, on Damages

By Matthew J. Sekits , Daniel R. Bentson . Recently, the Washington Court of Appeals increased the damages available to an assignee of an insured's bad faith claims, holding that a "covenant judgment sets a floor, not a ceiling, on the damages a jury may award." In other words, the...

Texas Appeals Court Provides Roadmap For Punitive Damages Coverage

When it comes to the potential availability of coverage for punitive damages there is often more than meets the eye. First, the answer to the oft-asked question, whether punitive damages are insurable in such and such state, is many times provided by one word: yes or no. While one of those two answers...

Ammonia Spill Constitutes "Direct Physical Loss or Damage" Under Property Insurance Policy, US District Court in NJ Finds

What constitutes "direct physical loss or damage" under a property insurance policy? Granting partial summary judgment to Newark, NJ-based Gregory Packaging in an insurance coverage dispute with Travelers, a U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey has found that a discharge of ammonia...

California Appellate Court Upholds Replacement Cost Condition but Authorizes "Conditional Judgment" for Replacement Cost Benefits

By Samuel H. Ruby , Andrew B. Downs Recently, a California Court of Appeal upheld the standard condition that a policyholder must actually repair or replace in order to claim replacement cost value. However, the court held a policyholder could recover a "conditional judgment" for replacement...

In A New York State Of Bind: Achieving Allocation Between Covered And Uncovered Claims [A First For New York?]

I have said this so, so many times. But given the huge importance of the issue, it is restated here. If you’ve read this before please forgive me. You have just written the greatest reservation of rights letter ever. If Felix Unger handled claims, this is what his letter would look like. If there...

Top 10 Case of 2015: Court Addresses Impact Of Punitive Damages On Bad Faith Failure To Settle

The Third Circuit’s decision in Wolfe v. Allstate Property & Casualty Company, No. 12-4450 (3d Cir. June 12, 2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], addresses a very interesting and important coverage issue and one where the existing...

How to Lose A Judgment by Taking an Assignment – Don’t Take Defendant’s Case Against His Insurer in Lieu of a Collectable Judgment

Greed often overrules common sense. When an insurer refuses to defend or indemnify its insured the plaintiff will take an agreed judgment against the defendant, then agree not to execute on the judgment in exchange for an assignment from the defendant of its right to sue the insurer. In so doing it takes...

CGL Policy Did Not Afford Coverage for an Underlying Construction Defect Action because the Alleged Property Damage Was Discovered after the Policy Period and the Total Residential Construction Exclusion Was Implicated

In Atain Speciality , [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], the Northern District of California entered a default judgment in favor of the insurer because the damages alleged in an underlying construction defect action were not discovered until after...