Property

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Regulators' Pitch On Insurance Reform Draws Scrutiny

    Two regulations proposed to help lure insurers back to California's market by speeding up the state's rate approvals and allowing insurers to use catastrophe models to set rates are drawing scrutiny as industry and consumer groups weigh their potential effects.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sanitizer Co. Faces Tough Ad Injury Coverage Bid In 2nd Circ.

    A company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces faces an uphill battle, experts say, as the Second Circuit is poised to hear oral arguments Monday over whether the company is owed coverage under its commercial general liability policy for an underlying class action.

  • March 19, 2024

    8th Circ. Won't Rethink Mo. City's COVID-19 Coverage Loss

    The Eighth Circuit shot down a Missouri city's request to reconsider a panel ruling denying its request for coverage of sales tax revenue losses stemming from pandemic-related shutdowns, rejecting the city's argument that the panel misinterpreted policy terms and skewed its review in favor of the insurer.

  • March 18, 2024

    Justices Tilt Toward NRA In Free Speech Row With Regulator

    A cautious U.S. Supreme Court seemed poised Monday to rule in favor of the National Rifle Association in a case over allegations that a former New York state official pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association in violation of its free speech rights.

  • March 18, 2024

    Colo. HOA Not Covered In Travelers Repair Payment Row

    A Colorado federal judge ruled a Travelers unit doesn't have a duty to defend or indemnify a Denver homeowners association seeking coverage for a dispute with a different Travelers unit that alleged it overpaid for a hailstorm property damage claim.

  • March 18, 2024

    Chicago Can Keep $26M Willis Tower Suit In Federal Court

    A federal judge in Illinois has declined to send a $26 million lawsuit against the City of Chicago over rain damage at Willis Tower back to state court, finding the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago acts under federal authority in maintaining the minimum water levels dictated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • March 15, 2024

    U. Of Wash. Opposes Question Cert. In COVID Coverage Suit

    The University of Washington's board of regents urged a state court to reject a Liberty Mutual unit's motion to certify COVID-19 coverage questions to a state appeals court, pointing to the Washington Supreme Court's previous rejection of such a move in a separate case that similarly involved pleadings-stage coverage claims.

  • March 15, 2024

    Wash. Justices Affirm Condo's Roof Damage Coverage Win

    A resulting loss exception in a condominium complex's policy with Farmers Insurance Exchange preserves coverage for damage caused by potentially covered perils, such as condensation and water vapor, even though the loss resulted from excluded faulty workmanship, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously ruled.

  • March 15, 2024

    'Needless Circuit Split' In Tribal COVID Row, 9th Circ. Told

    An AIG unit and other insurers are urging the Ninth Circuit to rethink its decision ordering them to litigate the Suquamish Tribe's COVID-19 business interruption claims in tribal court, arguing that a three-judge appeals panel's unanimous affirmation "creates a needless circuit split on the scope of tribal-court jurisdiction."

  • March 14, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    A divided Colorado Supreme Court expanded application of the state's notice-prejudice rule, the Fourth Circuit tossed a COVID-19 coverage class action and the Eighth Circuit considered whether insurers' billing agreements with healthcare providers violated Minnesota's No-Fault Act. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • March 14, 2024

    8th Circ. Weighs If No-Bill Agreements Break Minn. Law

    The Eighth Circuit carefully considered arguments Thursday between six Farmers units and a policyholder class as to whether the carriers' agreements with healthcare providers restricted the class's medical expense coverage in violation of Minnesota law, giving little indication of which way it leaned.

  • March 14, 2024

    Justices To Consider Insurer's Right To Participate In Ch. 11

    The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments Tuesday on whether Truck Insurance Exchange retains standing to oppose the proposed reorganization plan of two bankrupt manufacturers facing a bevy of underlying asbestos injury claims, after the Fourth Circuit blocked Truck's opposition since the plan was "insurance neutral."

  • March 14, 2024

    Insurer Climate Info Partnership Ups Federal Monitor's Role

    A new data-sharing partnership between the U.S. Treasury and state insurance regulators reflects the government's growing interest in understanding and monitoring climate change risks to insurance markets, experts say, but questions remain over the extent to which the data will fully reflect the industry's risks and carbon footprint.

  • March 14, 2024

    4th Circ. Weighs Insurer's Duty To Defend Land-Use Dispute

    The Fourth Circuit will decide whether to overturn a West Virginia federal ruling allowing an insurer to avoid covering a sustainable farm that has been accused by the oil and gas company of blocking it from drilling wells in a $4 million state land-use dispute. Here, Law360 breaks down the case in advance of the forthcoming decision.

  • March 14, 2024

    Justices To Weigh Free Speech, Gov't Oversight In NRA Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments next week over whether a former New York state official illegally pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association, setting up a showdown between free speech rights and regulatory oversight.

  • March 14, 2024

    La. Strip Mall Says Insurers' Arbitration Clause Unenforceable

    A New Orleans-area strip mall owner said it shouldn't be forced to arbitrate its bad faith claim against its insurers for the handling of its Hurricane Ida damage claim, telling a Louisiana federal court that the arbitration clause in its policies is unenforceable.

  • March 14, 2024

    An Insurance Attorney's Call To Military Service

    Jeffrey Bristol of Parrish Law PA is a self-described "later-in-life lawyer" wearing many hats because he has dedicated more than a decade to serving in multiple branches of the U.S. armed forces.

  • March 14, 2024

    Towers Watson Ruling Energizes Bump-Up Supporters, Critics

    A Virginia federal court decision freeing Towers Watson's insurers from covering shareholder suit settlements totaling $90 million has offered carriers support for their use of the so-called bump-up exclusion and prompted criticism from policyholders that the exclusion has gone too far.

  • March 13, 2024

    Wash. Law Firm, Travelers Settle $136K Theft Coverage Fight

    A Seattle law firm and Travelers settled their coverage dispute over an employee's nearly $136,000 worth of unauthorized charges on a credit card, the parties told a Washington federal court.

  • March 13, 2024

    Ala. Hotelier Says Insurer Must Cover Fire Damage

    A Montgomery, Alabama, hotel owner said an insurer must cover a property-destroying fire under a $13 million policy, telling a New York federal court the insurer made "no attempt whatsoever" to meet its obligations despite the hotelier having met all conditions under the policy.

  • March 12, 2024

    La. Property Owners, Insurers Settle $5M Hurricane Ida Fight

    Lloyd's of London and other insurers and underwriters have agreed to settle claims by a group of New Orleans-area property owners who allege the insurers wrongly denied more than $5.1 million in claims from Hurricane Ida damage after the insurers demanded the dispute be resolved in arbitration.

  • March 12, 2024

    Maui Wildfire Case Sent Back To Hawaii State Court

    A Hawaii federal judge lobbed to state court a family's suit seeking to hold Maui County, energy utilities, telecommunication companies and others liable for property damage caused by a wildfire that left over 100 people dead, rejecting the defendants' argument this case should be removed and consolidated in federal court.

  • March 12, 2024

    Pa. Property Owner Knocks Insurer's Early Win Bid

    A Pennsylvania property owner urged a federal court to reject its insurer's bid for a pretrial win, arguing that a vacancy provision in its policy is ambiguous and does not preclude coverage of the $5 million in damages it seeks following a warehouse break-in.

  • March 11, 2024

    Prejudice Rule Applies To Property Claims, Colo. Justices Say

    A rule excusing some policyholders for filing late claims applies to occurrence-based, first-party homeowners' property policies, a divided Colorado Supreme Court held Monday, reversing two insurers' wins in a pair of coverage disputes over hail damage.

  • March 11, 2024

    Travelers Owes No Coverage For Mo. Wall Mishap, Judge Says

    Travelers has no duty to provide over $1.4 million to a St. Louis area property developer for administrative expenses and loss of rental income stemming from a retaining wall failure, a Missouri federal court ruled Monday, finding such coverage didn't extend to additional insureds on a general contractor's policy.

Expert Analysis

  • How Sonic Boom Risk Informs 'Physical Loss' For COVID Era

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    Applied to today's COVID-19 business interruption insurance battles, insurers' historical treatment of damage associated with sonic booms — or explosive sounds stemming from supersonic airplane speeds — may call into question the many court rulings barring coverage for pandemic-related losses on narrow physical loss grounds, say Peter Kochenburger at the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey Stempel at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  • Justices Must Apply Law Evenly In Shadow Docket Rulings

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    In recent shadow docket decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has inconsistently applied the requirement that parties demonstrate irreparable harm to obtain injunctive relief, which is problematic for two separate but related reasons, says David Hopkins at Benesch.

  • Ill. COVID Rulings Correctly Adopt Physical Loss Standard

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    In two recent decisions, Sweet Berry Cafe v. Society Insurance and Lee v. State Farm, Illinois appellate courts properly followed the Illinois Supreme Court's standard for physical loss when deciding COVID-19 business interruption cases, says Melinda Kollross at Clausen Miller.

  • A Guide To Extrinsic Evidence In Determining Duty To Defend

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    As the eight-corners rule for the duty to defend is increasingly riddled with exceptions to its strict formulation of confining the analysis to only the language of the insurance policy and the underlying complaint, Richard Mason at MasonADR discusses the newest notable decisions and offers strategies for attorneys litigating the duty to defend.

  • Political Risk Insurance May Help Cos. Hurt By Russian War

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    As Russia’s war on Ukraine causes severe economic fallout, it’s crucial that U.S. companies with operations in the region understand what losses might be covered by their political risk insurance policies, and take steps to ensure that all available coverage is preserved and maximized, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes and Boone.

  • Conn. Ruling Widens Scope Of Property Insurance Appraisals

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    After the Connecticut Supreme Court’s recent decision in Klass v. Liberty Mutual, holding that appraisers can apply the state’s matching statute when determining the amount of loss, insurers may not avoid appraisal on the sole basis that there is a coverage dispute, and policyholders will likely attempt to further expand the scope of appraisers' authority, says Peter Kelly Golfman at Zelle.

  • New 'Bad Faith' Claim Law Holds NJ Insurers Accountable

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    New Jersey’s recently enacted Insurance Fair Conduct Act, giving policyholders a bad faith cause of action for claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, is an important step toward countering unfair insurer advantage and expanding consumer protections, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Insurance Implications Of Texas '8 Corners' Rulings

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    Two recent Texas Supreme Court opinions resolve a long-pending question by reaffirming the so-called eight-corners rule as the primary means for determining an insurer's duty to defend, which should provide greater consistency between future state and federal decisions, says Susan Kidwell at Locke Lord.

  • Why I'll Miss Arguing Before Justice Breyer

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    Carter Phillips at Sidley shares some of his fondest memories of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer both inside and out of the courtroom, and explains why he thinks the justice’s multipronged questions during U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments were everything an advocate could ask for.

  • Defense Counsel Must Alter Tactics To Fight Outsize Verdicts

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    If defense counsel continue to use the same strategies they’ve always relied on without recognizing plaintiffs attorneys’ new playbook, so-called nuclear verdicts, such as the recent $730 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case in Texas, will continue to proliferate, says Robert Tyson at Tyson & Mendes.

  • BigLaw Must Nix All-Or-Nothing Work Model To Retain Talent

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    Record numbers of workers quitting in the “Great Resignation,” paired with the growing success of nontraditional and freelance legal services, show that BigLaw’s management committees must reconsider rigid billable hour expectations and be open to part-time and noncontinuous work arrangements, says Hui Chen at Hui Chen Ethics.

  • 11th Circ. Ruling Highlights Trend Of Stricter Insurer Valuation

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    The Eleventh Circuit's recent decision in favor of the insurer in Metal Products v. Ohio Security Insurance is a jarring reminder that both Florida insurance companies and courts are increasingly viewing policy valuation provisions with stricter scrutiny, say Gina Lozier and Christopher Choquette at Berger Singerman.

  • The Flaws In The Traditional Approach To Hiring A Law Firm

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    Trevor Faure at Smarter Law Solutions and Gregory Richter at Major Lindsey offer an inside look at Teva Pharmaceuticals' recent overhaul of its law firm relationships through anonymous grading, and discuss how the company’s surprising findings on the correlation between quality and cost reveal shortcomings in traditional business development.

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