LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
California Supreme Court to Address One of My Favorite Issues - “Use of an Auto”

Two Lewis Brisbois Lawyers Superbly Explain What’s At Stake I’ve always liked “use of an auto” cases – be they in the context of coverage under an auto policy or the auto exclusion in a general liability or homeowners policy. It is usually a make or break issue for coverage...

Continental Wins $2.4 Million Summary Judgment Ruling against Policyholder

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recently granted Continental Casualty Company’s motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in the amount of $2,425,774.84 in favor of Continental against Indian Head Industries, Inc., [subscribers can access an enhanced...

Broad Interpretation Given To Liquor Liability Exclusion: New ISO Exclusion Not Needed

The Liquor Liability Exclusion, contained in commercial general liability policies, has been under attack. In general, some courts have held that the exclusion does not apply to the failure to prevent the excluded conduct. In other words, say a bar patron is served alcohol, gets in his car and causes...

Relatedness of Claims is Not Properly Addressed on a Motion to Dismiss Where it Involves a Factual Inquiry

Originally published in California Insurance Law Review - 2015 11.03.15 In Rancho Tehama , the district court held that, under the facts of the case before it, relatedness of claims could not be properly addressed on a motion to dismiss because it entailed a premature factual inquiry. The insured...

Sexual Abuse Can Be Within the Scope of Professional Liability Coverage

Tapas: Small Dishes of Insurance Coverage News & Notes For lots of reasons, securing coverage, under a professional liability policy, for sexual abuse, is going to be an uphill battle. But as a Connecticut federal court recently explained, under some scenarios, coverage can attach: “Lastly...

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...

Insured Not Entitled to Coverage for Third Party Loss Where Indemnity Policy’s Coverage Grants Require “Direct Loss”

In Taylor v. Fed. Ins. Co. , the court held that the insured, an accounting firm that performed business management services, account oversight and tax planning, could not show it was entitled to coverage because the losses of client funds did not qualify as “direct losses.” A client of...

Insurer Satisfied Duty to Defend By Obtaining Dismissal of Counterclaim Without Prejudice

In Haskins , the court granted the insurer’s (“Wausau”) motion for summary judgment, finding that it did not breach its duty to defend the insured (“Haskins”) in connection with an underlying environmental cleanup action. Haskins owned commercial property in San Francisco...

California Courts Maintain Position that EPL Policies Afford No Indemnity Coverage for Wage and Hour Claims

While some EPL policies explicitly provide defense coverage for wage and hour suits subject to a sublimit, virtually all EPL policies exclude indemnity coverage for wage and hour claims. Nonetheless, given the substantial rise in wage and hour class actions being brought in California, and the significant...

No Coverage Owed to Landlord for Tenant’s Marijuana Growing Operation

Tapas: Small Dishes of Insurance Coverage News & Notes A New York Federal Court held in United Specialty Insurance Co. v. Barry Inn Realty, Inc., No. 14-4892 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 8, 2015), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], that no coverage was...

Professional Services Exclusion in a D&O Policy Barred Coverage for Underlying Claims for Failure to Render Payroll Services

In Begun v. Scottsdale Ins. Co. , the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s determination that a professional service exclusion in a D&O policy precluded coverage for former directors of a payroll services company that allegedly stole a client’s funds. The directors first tendered...

West Virginia Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Landlords’ Homeowner’s Insurance Policy to Tenant’s Insurable Interest

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (“WVSCA”) recently rejected a circuit court decision finding that a tenant is an “equitable insured” under his landlords’ homeowner’s policy, which had precluded the landlords’ insurer from pursuing a subrogation claim...

Uncomfortable Thanksgiving Tables: Insurance Coverage And Relatives Who Hate Each Other

The reason why the first Thanksgiving was so successful was because the people sitting around the table didn’t know each other well enough to dislike one another. At lots of tables in America on Thursday that won’t be the case. There will be plenty of “pass the stuffing” [thought...

California Supreme Court Holds That California Insurance Code Section 520 Prohibits a Carrier From Denying Coverage Based on “Consent-to-Assignment” Clauses in its Policy if the Loss Happened Prior to the Assignment

In Fluor v. Superior Court , the California Supreme Court overruled its prior decision in Henkel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. , 29 Cal. 4th 934 (2003), and held that an insurance company may not utilize a “consent-to-assignment” provision in its policy to deny coverage for...

Relatedness of Claims is Not Properly Addressed on a Motion to Dismiss where it involves a Factual Inquiry

In Rancho Tehama Ass’n v. Fed. Ins. Co. , the district court held that, under the facts of the case before it, relatedness of claims could not be properly addressed on a motion to dismiss because it entailed a premature factual inquiry. The insured, which operated as a homeowners association...

Gobble, Gobble: Thanksgiving and Insurance Coverage – They Go Together Like Peas and Carrots

You would think that Thanksgiving is one of a few days a year when insurance coverage could just take a break. A day when insurance policies and claims could just sit down on the sofa and drift into a deep turkey-induced nap. But insurance coverage gets no rest – even on one of the most restful...

Affiliated Carrier Dismissed from Action because it did not Issue the Policy in Question

In Wright v. Allstate Ins. Co. of Cal. , the Northern District of California granted Allstate Insurance Company of California’s (“Allstate California”) motion to dismiss, agreeing with Allstate California’s argument that it could not be held liable for breach of contract and breach...

Amounts Incurred in Lawsuit Involving Multiple Claims Must Be Allocated Equally as Between Multiple Retentions absent Evidence Supporting an Alternative Allocation

In Evanston Ins. Co. v. N. Am. Capacity Ins. Co. , the Eastern District of California, which previously held that each home involved in four underlying construction defect actions constituted a separate claim, held that amounts incurred in those actions must be allocated evenly as between the multiple...

Very Interesting “Expected Or Intended” Case

It is a safe bet that if a person fires a gun, and then seeks coverage for any resulting injuries, coverage issues, especially “expected or intended,” will ensue. It is also a safe bet that the person seeking coverage will come up empty. When it comes to wayward guns, it can be a challenge...

Chemical Discharge Exclusion Triggered by Insured’s 20-year Old Deposition Testimony

In Holloway Cleaners & Laundry Co. v. Central Nat’l Ins. Co. of Omaha, Inc. , the court granted a CGL carrier’s motion for summary judgment and held that it did not have a duty to defend its insured in an underlying action alleging that the insured’s conduct led to soil and groundwater...

Unique Look at One of the Newest Aspects of Construction Defect Coverage (And a Broker Warning)

If you do construction defect coverage work, then you’ve definitely seen an endorsement, on a general liability policy, that is along the lines of this (but with more detail): If liability arises out of the insured’s use of a sub-contractor, no coverage is owed to the insured if the sub-contractor...

Sealed, Unserved Complaint Not Considered a Claim First Made During the Policy Period

In Braden P’ship, LP v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co. , the Northern District of California found that, under a general partners liability policy, a sealed and unserved complaint was not “first-made” against insured partner during the policy period, as the policy provided that a claim is...

A Much Needed New Resource from LexisNexis for Professionals Who Work at the Intersection of Insurance Coverage and Intellectual Property Claims

LexisNexis is pleased to present a new publication, Insurance Coverage for Intellectual Property Claims: Personal and Advertising Injury, Media Liability and Cyber Claims. It brings clarity to several overlapping forms of insurance coverage that can potentially respond to a variety of intellectual property...

Claimant’s Assignee Unable to Pursue Breach of Contract Claim against Carrier Because the Claimant Did Not Assert His Claim during the Policy Period

In Petersen Arch Ins. Co. , the Central District of California granted the carrier’s motion to dismiss and held that the claimant’s assignee could not pursue a breach of contract claim against the carrier because the claimant did not make a claim against the insured attorney during the policy...

California Workers’ Comp Case Roundup (9/1/2016)

CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION CASES Vol. 81 No. 8 August 2016 A Report of En Banc and Significant Panel Decisions of the WCAB and Selected Court Opinions of Related Interest, With a Digest of WCAB Decisions Denied Judicial Review CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE © Copyright 2016 LexisNexis. All rights...