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Interpretation of Trust Agreements

A recent Supreme Court of Virginia case illustrates the process by which courts analyze and interpret the language that grantors use in their trust agreements. In Harbour et al v. SunTrust Bank et al (Record No. 082023, November 5, 2009), the Court considered an inter vivos trust agreement...

California Appeals Court Holds That Insurer Can Rely on Voluntary-Parting Exclusion to Deny Coverage to Jewelry Owner who Mistakenly Gave Away $1.5 Million in Jewels

A California appeals court has ruled that an insurance company did not act in bad faith when it refused to reimburse a jewelry wholesaler for more than $1.5 million in property that the wholesaler claimed was mistakenly handed over to an individual who was merely posing as an armored-car agent. PNS Jewelry...

Illinois Court Addresses Liquor Liability Exclusion

Brian Margolies, Partner, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP In its recent decision in Netherlands Insurance Co. v. Phusion Projects, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5222 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 17, 2012) , the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois had occasion to consider...

Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center makes some interesting points on the scope and interpretation of the CWA

In Decker v. Northwest Envtl. Def. Ctr ., 2013 U.S. LEXIS 2373 (3/20/13), the Court addressed stormwater runoff from logging roads in Oregon. Georgia-Pacific et al used two logging roads from which rainwater runs off into ditches, culverts, and channels that discharge into nearby rivers and streams....

Wife’s Arson Defeats Husband’s Claim

Intentional Act Exclusion Applies Insurance, by definition, only provides indemnity for contingent or unknown events. A fire intentionally set by an insured is neither contingent nor unknown, that is, it must be fortuitous. To make clear the concept of fortuity insurance companies have rewritten...

4 corners puzzle pieces

Effect of “Assault & Battery” Exclusion: Entire Policy Must Be Read to Interpret Policy

Insurance policies, contrary to the belief of some members of the plaintiffs’ bar, are nothing more than a contract that needs to be interpreted like any other contract. In so doing the entire contract must be read to determine the intent of the parties to the contract. In Certain Interested...

When an Additional Insured Is the Party Seeking Coverage, Courts Must Resolve Ambiguities in a Manner Consistent With the Objectively Reasonable Expectations of the Additional Insured

Transport Ins. Co. v. Superior Court , 222 Cal. App. 4th 1216 (2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In Transport Insurance Co. , the California Court of Appeal held that because the additional insured was the party seeking coverage, ambiguities found in the insurance policy...

Does Pennsylvania Law Permit Contractors And Owners To Extend the Six-Month Filing Deadline By Agreement?

By Dylan B. Spadaccino It is not uncommon for a subcontractor, for example, to call his or her attorney regarding filing a lawsuit against the prime contractor, 13 months after the dispute arose, only to learn that buried deep within the 50 page, single spaced, 8-point font contract, lurks a clause...

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...

Report From The Rutgers ALI Restatement Conference: The Role Of Minority Positions In The Process

I attended The Rutgers Law School–Camden Center for Risk and Responsibility’s ALI Restatement conference on February 27th. It had been my first time on the Rutgers-Camden Law School campus since I’d been deemed unworthy of being there 27 years ago. Frankly, after being underwhelmed...

Insured v. Insured Exclusion Held Ambiguous With Regard to Claims by the FDIC as Receiver

St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. v. Hahn , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153643 (C.D. Cal. October 8, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In Hahn, the Central District of California ruled that the claims of the FDIC as receiver for a failed bank against the bank’s former officers...

Illinois Appellate Court Further Clarifies the “Eight Corners Rule” While Construing The Term “Collectible” As Applied To Contingent Coverage

In Bartkowiak v. Underwriters at Lloyd’s London , 2015 Ill. App. (1 st ) 133549 (Aug. 13, 2015), the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], affirmed the decision of the trial court in a declaratory judgment...

Fifth Circuit Takes the Bang Out of Winchester

By Paul B. Howell, Franke & Salloum, PLLC, Gulfport, Mississippi For 33 years the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals promulgated an expansive view of the situs test for jurisdiction under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA, 33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq .).[fn1] The situs...