National Insurance Law Forum

National Insurance Law Forum

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Tag Archives: oregon

Certain Underwriters v. Mass. Bonding and Ins. Co. Court of Appeals Decision

Posted in Appeals, Recent Cases
The Oregon Court of Appeals delivered a decision in the Certain Underwriters v. Mass. Bonding and Ins Co, 287 Or App 279 (2017).  The trial court’s decision to dismiss London’s contribution claims was affirmed.  The Court of Appeals decided that the trial court properly concluded that there had been “no final judgment after exhaustion of… Continue Reading


Posted in Appeals, Recent Cases
The Oregon Court of Appeals, in Brockway v. Allstate Prop. And Cas. Ins. Co., 284 Or.App. 83 (March 1, 2017), recently ruled in favor of an insurance company’s reliance on a suit limitation policy provision, issuing an opinion that reinforces the value for an insurance company in the practice of reserving all of  its rights… Continue Reading

Criminal Acts Exclusion and Joint Obligations Clauses Bar Coverage for Claims Arising from Insured’s Criminal Act

Posted in Personal and Advertising Injury, Property Insurance, Recent Cases
Criminal Acts Exclusion and Joint Obligations Clauses Bar Coverage for Claims Arising from Insured’s Criminal Act In Allstate Insurance Company v. Morgan, 123 F. Supp. 3d 1266 (D. Or. 2015), the District of Oregon held an insurer was not obligated to defend their insured’s son against tort claims arising out of the son’s assault on… Continue Reading

Additional Insured Status

Posted in Additional Insured, Duty to Defend, Recent Cases
In Homeland Insurance Company of New York v. AAM, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 633033 (D. Or. May 13, 2016), the District Court for the District of Oregon held that a construction subcontract and accompanying additional insured endorsements were partially enforceable for purposes of the insurer’s duty to defend, despite the subcontract’s noncompliance with Oregon’s… Continue Reading


Posted in Liability Coverage, News, Recent Cases
The Oregon Supreme Court held yesterday that an insurer may be liable for a full jury award for property damages against its insured if the insurer fails to refute the insured’s factual position that it was impossible to determine what portion of the damage occurred during the policy period, if some damage took place during… Continue Reading


Posted in Liability Coverage
One of the more common questions that clients ask coverage counsel is how a court will interpret a new policy provision. This is especially true of clients that make a point of using the latest endorsements which may not have been tested in a particular state's courts. The issue is complicated by the different policy interpretation approaches taken by different states, which make it difficult to apply out of state law even when the particular policy provision at issue is identical to one interpreted in a case from another jurisdiction. In states like Oregon and Washington, where case law interpreting newer policy language may be scarce, insurers can put themselves at increased risk if they rely too heavily on their own interpretation of the policy's "plain meaning" or their experience in other jurisdictions.… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit (Erroneously) Holds That An Insurer Which Breaches The Duty To Defend May Not Contest Indemnity

Posted in Recent Cases
In Desrosiers v. Hudson Specialty Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 12591 (9th Cir. Or. June 21, 2011), the Ninth Circuit found that an insurer had a duty to defend an insured against a complaint alleging negligence and intentional torts. The Ninth Circuit also found that the insurer had a duty to indemnify, stating that “an… 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

UPDATE: Oregon Bill for Expanded Remedies for Insureds

Posted in Legislation
As reported in March, a bill was introduced, H.B. 2791, in the Oregon Legislature that would allow "any person" suffering injury or loss as a result of a practice prohibited under Oregon’s unfair claim settlement practices statute to sue for triple damages plus attorney’s fees. This would have drastically changed Oregon law that there is… Continue Reading

Where’s the roof? Oregon’s Court of Appeals Confirms that Undefined Policy Terms are not Necessarily Ambiguous

Posted in Recent Cases
  Insurers should welcome the Oregon Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Dewsnup v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Oregon, A136394 (July 1, 2009), because it signals the Court’s reluctance to accept insureds’ arguments that ordinary words are ambiguous — and must be construed in their favor — if they are not defined by the policy.… Continue Reading

Oregon Court of Appeals Addresses CGL Policy’s Definition of ‘Temporary Worker’

Posted in Recent Cases
In Rhiner v. Red Shield Insurance Co., issued May 27, 2009, the Oregon Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether an individual whom an insured hired directly, and who filed a workers’ compensation claim against the insured for on-the-job injuries is an “employee” or a “temporary worker” within the meaning of the policy. The… Continue Reading

Limitation to Specified Tanks Upheld

Posted in Recent Cases
In Cain Petroleum Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Company, Court of Appeals of Oregon, A134133 (December 3, 2008), the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a distinction in a “Storage Tank System Third Party Liability and Cleanup Policy” between scheduled and unscheduled underground storage tanks (“USTs”). The policy provided coverage for environmental cleanup costs and third… Continue Reading

PIP Insurer Required to Defend Process for Denying Claims

Posted in Bad Faith/Extra Contractual
Oregon courts have consistently held that an insurance company may only be liable for tortuous bad faith in situations where it is defending its insured.  In Ivanov v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon, the Oregon Supreme Court addressed an insurer’s obligations under personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.  The decision itself addresses an insurer’s obligation to… Continue Reading

More on the Oregon Supreme Court’s Opinion in Goddard

Posted in Bad Faith/Extra Contractual
As reported earlier by Mike Aylward below, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the maximum constitutionally acceptable punitive damages award is four times the amount of compensatory damages. The case, Goddard v. Farmers Insurance Co. of Oregon, concerns Farmers’ claims handling with respect to a car accident that occurred in 1987and the resultant… Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court Revisits Constitutionality of Punitive Damage Bad Faith Award

Posted in Bad Faith/Extra Contractual
Only weeks after its opinion in Williams v. Philip Morris upholding a punitive damage award that was nearly 100 times the amount of punitive damages (and largely ignoring the U.S. Supreme Court’s directions through its application of state law to jury instructions),  the Oregon Supreme Court issued a new opinion discussing the constitutionallity of punitive damages… Continue Reading

Williams v. Philip Morris – the Latest from Oregon on the $79.5 million Punitive Damages Award

Posted in News
On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Oregon Supreme Court has reinstated the $79.5 million punitive award in Williams concluding that the trial court did not err in refusing to give a proposed jury instruction concerning whether the jury could use punitive damage to punish Philip Morris for the impact of its misconduct on other… Continue Reading

Policyholder Struck By Bicyclist after Parking Car Not Entitled to PIP Benefits

Posted in Auto Liability Coverage
Reversing a trial court’s grant of summary judgment for the plaintiff policyholder, the Oregon Court of Appeals found that a plaintiff’s injuries from being struck by a bicyclist as she crossed the street did not trigger PIP coverage under her auto insurance policy. In this case, the plaintiff had parked her car across the street… 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

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