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ALI Restatement Set For Vote on Tuesday

Posted in Uncategorized
The Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance is scheduled for a debate and vote at the ALI’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, May 23.  To the surprise of many, however, the ALI announced this morning that any final vote on the project as a whole will be deferred until May 2018 to… Continue Reading

Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act Does Not Create a Cause of Action for Regulatory Violations

Posted in Auto Liability Coverage, Liability Coverage, News, Recent Cases, Uncategorized
Today, in Isidoro Perez-Crisantos v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, the Washington Supreme Court held the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) did not “create[] a new and independent private cause of action for violation” of  the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) “in the absence of any unreasonable denial of coverage or benefits.” This case arose… Continue Reading

2016: A Year of Anniversaries

Posted in Continuous or Progressive Property Damage, News, Uncategorized
Even as this annus horribilus passes into oblivion, we note several important anniversaries in 2016. Fifty years ago saw a confluence of legal theory, case law and insurance industry developments that  led ineluctably to the storm of mass tort litigation that crashed upon the insurance industry within a few years and that continues to plague us fifty… Continue Reading

DRI Schedules Free Seminars For Claims Executives in Atlanta and Hartford

Posted in Uncategorized
As part of its ongoing outreach to the insurance industry, DRI Insurance Law Committee will be presenting two one day seminars in Hartford and Atlanta next month at which senior claims executives and outside coverage counsel will partner to explore emerging legal issues confronting insurers in 2016.   Registration is free for industry people; $495 for… Continue Reading

Three Cases You Need to Know for Northwest Insurance Law

Posted in Bad Faith/Extra Contractual, Duty to Defend, Duty to Indemnify, Uncategorized
1. Reasonable or Questionable? Generally, to establish bad faith, the insured must show that the insurer’s breach of the insurance contract was “unreasonable, frivolous or unfounded.”  Kirk v. Mt. Airy Ins. Co., 134 Wn.2d 558, 561, 951 P.2d 1124 (1998).  However, under Washington law, an insurer that fails to defend based on “a questionable interpretation… Continue Reading

Hawai’i declines to adopt Cedell, for now . . .

Posted in Uncategorized
It has been more than two years since Washington’s Supreme Court issued its opinion in Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Washington, 176 Wash.2d 686, 295 P.3d 239 (2013), radically changing the attorney-client privilege for insurers in Washington. In Cedell, the court held that there is a presumption of no attorney-client privilege in “first party… Continue Reading

Recent Oregon Case Describes Burdens of Proof Applicable to Claims for Liability Coverage for Claims Involving Continuous or Progressive Property Damage

Posted in Uncategorized
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently issued a decision impacting burdens of proof and allocation of damages in cases involving liability insurance claims for coverage of progressive or continuous property damage.  The case, FountainCourt Homeowners Ass’n v. FountainCourt Development, LLC, 264 Or. App. 468, 334 P.3d 973 (2014), arose from a construction defect lawsuit that… Continue Reading

Insurance for Technology Problems

Posted in Uncategorized
In our increasingly digital age, we should expect a corresponding increase in the number of insurance claims involving lost data, security breaches, inadvertent dissemination of private information, and similar issues related to technology.  However, the usual insurance policies – such as general liability, first-party property insurance and errors and omissions coverage – are not a… Continue Reading

New Year – New Way of Writing

Posted in Uncategorized
Happy new year!  With every new year come resolutions to do better, be nicer, eat healthier, exercise more, work harder …. How about be a better writer (or demand that your attorneys write for a changing audience)! At the DRI’s annual insurance coverage meeting in New York last month, one of the most interesting topics for… Continue Reading

Global Warming – the Latest News

Posted in Uncategorized
As Mike Aylward posted in his Year in Review post, global warming claims look to be a major issue in the coming year. Indeed, a study released Wednesday by Ernst & Young ranked climate change as the number 1 issue facing the insurance industry. A new action filed in San Francisco by the Alaskan Native coastal… Continue Reading

Washington Federal District Court Finds Pollution Exclusion Inapplicable to Property Held in Trust

Posted in Uncategorized
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has held that a pollution exclusion’s language was ambiguous as to its application to a bank that acted as trustee for, among other assets, a piece of property that is allegedly the source of environmental contamination. In Bank of Am. v. Travelers Indem. Co., 2008… Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Hears Oral Argument on Burden of Proof for “Expected or Intended” Coverage Term

Posted in Uncategorized
The Oregon Court of Appeals heard oral argument in ZRZ Realty Co. et al v. Beneficial Fire and Casualty Insurance, CA No. A121145, on January 10, 2008 concerning several issues including whether it is the insurer or the insured that has the burden of proving whether damage is unintended or unexpected under a policy of… Continue Reading

The Utah Supreme Court Addresses “Accident” and the Reasonable Eight-Year Old Insured

Posted in Uncategorized
On October 26, 2007, the Utah Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s determination that injuries to a seven-year old boy that suffered brain injuries when the eight-year old insured swung a hockey stick at his head was an “accident” under the subject Safeco policy of insurance finding that “accident” must be viewed from the standpoint of a reasonable… Continue Reading

Oregon AG Settles Bid-Rigging Charges with ACE

Posted in Uncategorized
Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers filed a stipulated general judgment in Marion County Circuit Court on October 25, 2007 with ACE Group Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries in which ACE agreed to pay $4.5 million to a group of eight state AGs in settlement of antitrust claims.  The case alleged improper, fictitious quoting and steering… Continue Reading

Stoneridge and the Race for Amicus Briefs

Posted in Uncategorized
There is an interesting article from the front page section of the Wall Street Journal today concerning the Stoneridge Investment Partners LLP v. Scientific-Atlanta, et al, case that was heard by the US Supreme Court today. The Stoneridge case concerns whether private investors may sue third-parties such as accountants or lawyers that allegedly participate in a scheme… Continue Reading

The Duty to Defend a Practical Joke

Posted in Uncategorized
In a decision filed on July 26, 2007, the Washington State Supreme Court, in Woo v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., confirmed the expansive nature of Washington law on the duty to defend. Woo involved a practical joke that an oral surgeon, Dr. Woo, played on one of his employees, Tina Alberts. Ms. Alberts’ family raised potbellied pigs,… Continue Reading