National Insurance Law Forum

National Insurance Law Forum

Published By The Attorneys of the National Insurance Law Forum

Tag Archives: liability

The Question of Allocation in Contribution Claims Between Insurers

Posted in Liability Coverage, Recent Cases
Often a number of insurers are involved in claims that concern damage that takes place over several years such as environmental damage claims.  Oregon law allows claims for contribution by non-settling insurers against settling insurers under certain circumstances, Certain Underwriters v. Mass. Bonding and Ins. Co., 235 Or. App. 99, 230 P.3d 103 (2010), and… Continue Reading

Xia v. ProBuilders Specialty

Posted in Bad Faith/Extra Contractual, Liability Coverage, Recent Cases
Insurers should be aware of the recent Washington State Supreme Court decision in Xia v. ProBuilders Specialty, No. 92436-8 ___ Wn.2d ____ (2017) handed down on April 27, 2017. The decision may have significant impacts not only in coverage litigation regarding environmental contamination, but across a broad spectrum of liability claims under CGL policies. In short, the Washington State Supreme Court… Continue Reading

Exhausting Policy Limits

Posted in Duty to Indemnify, Excess and Umbrella Insurance, Liability Coverage, Recent Cases
As insurance is depleted for ongoing claims like asbestos bodily injury and long-term environmental pollution, how an insured is to use its layers of insurance is an issue.  The California Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in on the question of whether “horizontal exhaustion” or “vertical exhaustion” principles should apply to excess and umbrella… Continue Reading

West Hills Development Company v. Chartis Claims, Inc., et al., 273 Or App 155 (2015)

Posted in Duty to Defend
In the recent case West Hills Development Company v. Chartis Claims, Inc., et al., 273 Or App 155 (2015) (“West Hills”), the Oregon Court of Appeals provided further guidance to Oregon insurers on their handling of tenders of defense from parties who contend that they are additional insureds. In particular, the court addressed the scope… 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

ALI Adopts Tentative Draft No. 1

Posted in News
The American Law Institute voted yesterday to adopt most of Chapters One and Two of the proposed Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance.   Although the spirited debate concerning some of these provisions prevented the ALI from considering Section 16-23 of Tentative Draft No. 1, the ALI did approve those portions of the draft dealing with principles… Continue Reading

New Washington Supreme Court Decision

Posted in Recent Cases
We wanted to alert you to a recent Washington Supreme Court case that alters the scope of the attorney client relationship between an insurer and coverage counsel.  In Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Washington, –Wn. – (February 21, 2013), the Washington Supreme Court created a presumption of no attorney-client privilege for "first party" insured’s… Continue Reading

Adherence to policy language in California

Posted in Liability Coverage
To add to the post on the State of California (Stringfellow) decision from California’s Supreme Court, the decision is consistent with California’s highest court’s adherence to and strict interpretation of policy language.  Public policy did not play a part in this, or most, coverage determinations.  On the "all sums" ruling, the court relied on the policies’ insuring agreements which provided… Continue Reading

EPL Policies Should Be Reviewed With FLSA Damages In Mind

Posted in Recent Cases
Employers—who are often sued for discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, and statutory violations—have increasingly turned to Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL) to protect themselves against a coverage gap for employment-related claims.  In turn, coverage disputes under EPL policies have led to litigation over how the policies should be interpreted and administered.  It should come as… Continue Reading

Ongoing Debate Over The Ongoing Operations Limitation On Additional Insured Coverage

Posted in Liability Coverage
In the context of “additional insured” coverage, the question of whether a tendering party qualifies as an insured is often complicated by restrictions in additional insured endorsements that limit who qualifies for “additional insured” status.  Of these restrictions, one of the most debated is the “ongoing operations” limitation, commonly stated as follows:  “Such person or… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court distinguishes impact of Foster-Gardner “suit” ruling

Posted in Liability Coverage
In 1998, the California Supreme Court, consistent with contract interpretation rules, took a literal approach to what is meant by “suit” in liability insurance policies, ruling that when not otherwise defined, “suit” means a proceeding brought in a court of law by the filing of a complaint. Foster-Gardner, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. (1998)… Continue Reading

A Oregon District Court Considers Whether A Dissolved Corporation’s Liability Policy Constitutes An Undistributed Asset

Posted in Recent Cases
The issue of whether a liability policy of a dissolved corporation is an undistributed corporate asset capable of being distributed has not been addressed by Oregon’s state appellate courts. In the recent Oregon District Court opinion, Ironwood Homes, Inc. v. Bowen, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59933 (D. Or. June 14, 2010), Oregon District Court Judge Anna… Continue Reading

Oregon’s Court of Appeals Defines “Collapse”; Rules on Scope of Coverage

Posted in Recent Cases
In Hennessy v. Mutual of Enumclaw Ins. Co., A133592 (April 29, 2009), Oregon’s Court of Appeals adopted a “none of the above” approach to first-party “collapse” claims. The majority of jurisdictions that have considered the undefined term “collapse” have found coverage to be triggered by one of the following three circumstances: (1) a finding of… Continue Reading

U.S.D.C. for Southern District of Mississippi Allows Insurer to Correct Admission as to Operative Policy

Posted in Recent Cases
Geico Insurance Co. v. Hall, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 77347 (S.D. Miss. Oct. 1, 2008) presents at least some evidence that in some states insurers are able to make mistakes and still prevail. When Geico filed its complaint, it included a copy of the insurance policy Geico claimed was the operative policy at issue. Under… Continue Reading