Property

  • March 08, 2024

    State Farm Beats Spas' COVID Shutdown Suit At 4th Circ.

    The Fourth Circuit sided with State Farm insurance entities Friday in tossing a coverage dispute brought by a class of spa businesses alleging they were owed under "all risk" policies after COVID shutdown orders, with the court holding that recent precedent determined similar policies dealt with physical damage, not business closings.

  • March 07, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The California Supreme Court heard COVID-19 coverage arguments, the Fifth Circuit ordered arbitration between a property owner and its domestic insurers, and a New Hampshire federal court said Liberty Mutual owes no defense for class action claims over a sleep machine cleaner.

  • March 07, 2024

    5th Circ. Affirms Arbitration In Hurricane Coverage Feud

    The Fifth Circuit has ordered the owner of a New Orleans luxury apartment and retail complex to arbitrate a dispute with its domestic surplus lines insurers over coverage for $7 million in hurricane damage, ruling that arbitration is permitted under a carveout in conflicting Louisiana state law.

  • March 07, 2024

    Mixed Feelings On AI At Cyberinsurance Symposium

    Panelists at the Professional Liability Underwriting Society's cyber symposium in New York City on Tuesday and Wednesday were both excited and scared about generative artificial intelligence, acknowledging that it may be used in more complicated cyberattacks yet curious about the possibility the new market could bring. 

  • March 07, 2024

    Texas Wildfires Strike Underinsured Agricultural Sector

    A series of Texas wildfires including one estimated to be the worst in the state's history are underscoring the increasing risk of severe natural catastrophes to underinsured populations and insurance markets already under stress, experts say.

  • March 07, 2024

    Anti-Fraud Tool At Risk In 8th Circ. Billing Row, Carriers Say

    Insurers' ability to enter agreements that limit billings with healthcare providers, which they contend help combat insurance fraud, is up in the air in Minnesota as the Eighth Circuit gears up to hear arguments Thursday over whether such agreements violate a state law guaranteeing prompt automobile accident insurance payouts.

  • March 07, 2024

    Towers Watson Insurers Off Hook For $90M Merger Coverage

    Towers Watson's insurers do not need to cover settlements totaling $90 million in two shareholder suits stemming from the company's merger with Willis, a Virginia federal judge ruled, saying the transaction was barred by a so-called bump-up exclusion.

  • March 07, 2024

    Women In Insurance Law On Breaking Down Barriers

    Building a better environment for women in the legal industry starts from the top, women in insurance law told Law360. To mark International Women's Day, both junior and senior women attorneys share their experiences in the industry and offer words of advice.

  • March 06, 2024

    Fla. Judge Relieves Insurer Of $1M Construction Defect Row

    An insurer has no obligation to defend or indemnify a general contractor or subcontractor in an over $1 million faulty construction dispute, a Florida federal judge ruled, finding that the subcontractor's policies contained an unambiguous "residential construction" exclusion that clearly barred coverage.

  • March 06, 2024

    Power Co. Can't Escape Explosion Fraud Claim

    An infrastructure supply company can't toss a fraud claim brought by an industrial company's insurers in a suit seeking to recoup $18.7 million in damages for a manufacturing facility explosion, an Ohio federal court ruled, finding that the carriers can bring both a breach of contract claim and a fraud claim.

  • March 05, 2024

    Calif. Justice Asks Why COVID Triggers Insurance But Not Flu

    A California Supreme Court justice appeared skeptical during a hearing Tuesday that COVID-19's presence fulfills the "physical loss or damage" requirement in commercial property insurance policies under Golden State law, questioning whether COVID-19 is different from the flu with respect to property coverage and calling asbestos litigation "far afield."

  • March 04, 2024

    5th Circ. Says Hurricane Coverage Battle Must Be Arbitrated

    A Louisiana property owner and its eight domestic insurers must arbitrate the owner's claims that they mishandled and delayed paying its Hurricane Laura property damage claim in bad faith, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday, reversing a district court's decision that found an arbitration provision at issue unenforceable.

  • March 04, 2024

    Arizona Iced Tea Asks 2nd Circ. To Affirm Audit Expense Win

    The maker of Arizona Iced Tea told the Second Circuit that Hanover Insurance Co. must cover additional audit expenses it incurred after a power surge erased two years' worth of financial data, arguing its "period of restoration" ended when the audit concluded, not when replacement accounting software was in place.

  • February 29, 2024

    9th Circ. Sends COVID-19 Coverage Row Back To Tribal Court

    A Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the Suquamish Tribal Court's jurisdiction over a COVID-19 coverage dispute, finding in a published opinion Thursday that although the tribe's insurers weren't present on its land, a consensual business relationship means tribal law applies.

  • February 29, 2024

    State Farm Must Face Bad Faith Claims In $3M Crash Row

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday clarified a prior ruling reviving bad faith claims against State Farm for rejecting an offer to settle a car crash injury suit that led to a $3 million verdict, saying the insurer could still have acted in bad faith in handling the settlement offer even if it had no obligation to accept it.

  • February 29, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Texas Supreme Court found that a handful of insurers may be on the hook for a $220 million bankruptcy settlement, while another state Supreme Court said it will take on underpayment claims against Geico, as insurance experts heed emerging privacy risks and prepare for more PFAS litigation. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • February 29, 2024

    Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance

    A deadly apartment fire in Valencia, Spain, is drawing renewed attention to the use of flammable materials on building exteriors, a global problem that insurance experts say implicates complicated webs of liability and a need for strong government oversight.

  • February 29, 2024

    Texas Justices' Unusual Remedy Presents A Win For Insurers

    The Texas Supreme Court handed several carriers a victory in its ruling that a $220 million settlement between now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. and its investors is not binding on the energy company's insurers to establish coverage, a decision notable for the unusual relief granted by the state justices, experts say.

  • February 29, 2024

    New AI Risks Pressure Policyholders To Fill Coverage Gaps

    Growing scrutiny from the public and regulators in the U.S. over artificial intelligence use and rising threats of AI-enabled schemes are sending insurance experts scrambling to evaluate their coverage options in a rapidly changing risk environment.

  • February 29, 2024

    Auto Co. Says $50M Policy Endorsement Covers COVID Loss

    An auto parts manufacturer is seeking $50 million in coverage for its COVID-19 pandemic-related losses in North Carolina federal court, claiming its policy's "unique" communicable disease provision was misrepresented when its insurer denied coverage for losses at its Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina locations.

  • February 29, 2024

    SVB Parent's Counsel Booted From Fraud Coverage Row

    The bankrupt parent company of Silicon Valley Bank cannot use Farella Braun & Martel LLP as counsel in litigation over the parent company's claims that it alone must be covered for a fraud scheme that caused over $73 million in losses, a North Carolina federal court ruled.

  • February 28, 2024

    Insurer Wins New Trial Due To Paralegal's Surprise Testimony

    An insurer will receive a new trial in its coverage dispute with two homeowners over damage caused by a water supply line failure, a Florida state appeals court ruled, finding the insurer was prejudiced by the trial court allowing a paralegal to testify as a surprise witness.

  • February 28, 2024

    No More Coverage For Aluminum Co.'s $165M Fire Damage

    A South Carolina federal judge on Wednesday snuffed out an aluminum company's $165 million fire damage suit, ruling that its insurers had already paid up to their limits of $10 million for the molten material damage.

  • February 28, 2024

    Insurance Agency Says It Wasn't Told Of Airbnb Shooting Suits

    A Pennsylvania insurance agency accused of concealing that a Pittsburgh Airbnb property was subject to numerous lawsuits over a mass shooting has claimed that the property owner never revealed the problems when shopping for a new policy, so it wasn't the agency's fault when the new insurer canceled coverage.

  • February 28, 2024

    Seattle Convention Center's Virus Losses Not Covered

    A Seattle convention center operator is not owed coverage for pandemic-related business interruption losses, a Washington federal judge ruled, finding that although the governor's emergency pandemic proclamations prohibited access to the convention center, they weren't issued because of physical loss or damage to the property.

Expert Analysis

  • Fla. Bill Would Rein In Personal Injury Litigation Excesses

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    A recently proposed bill in the Florida House that would change bad-faith laws and the admissibility of medical bills for services performed under a letter of protection would provide reasonable checks on practices that are far too common in personal injury cases in the Sunshine State, say attorneys at Baker Donelson.

  • A Missing Issue In 'Blank Space' Insurance Ruling

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    As Norwegian Hull Club v. North Star heads to trial in Florida federal court, the most interesting part of the court opinion denying summary judgment is the argument it doesn't address — contra proferentem, which could have been used to resolve the case's blank space ambiguity in the policyholder's favor, say Jeffrey Mikoni and Scott Greenspan at Pillsbury.

  • High Court Ax Of Atty-Client Privilege Case Deepens Split

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent dismissal of In re: Grand Jury as improvidently granted maintains a three-way circuit split on the application of attorney-client privilege to multipurpose communications, although the justices have at least shown a desire to address it, say Trey Bourn and Thomas DiStanislao at Butler Snow.

  • Wis. High Court Ruling May Open Door To Coverage Exception

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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dostal v. Strand finding that an insurer had to defend a civil action following the defendant's criminal conviction on the same facts nonetheless may suggest an exception to the complaint test for determining an insurance company's defense obligation, say David Hollander and Clementine Uwabera at Stafford Rosenbaum.

  • Trial Lawyers Rejoice: Justices May Clarify Issue Preservation

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent grant of certiorari in Dupree v. Younger should be a boon to trial and appellate lawyers as the decision will likely standardize a rule for appellate issue preservation, bringing much-needed clarity to an area critical to general litigation success, says Jeremy Christiansen at Gibson Dunn.

  • Minimizing Landlord Exposure To NY's Gray Cannabis Market

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    As New York rolls out its legal adult-use cannabis regime, landlords renting to as-yet unlicensed cannabis establishments may face liability under two statutes — but a few commonsense steps can help protect them from this risk, say attorneys at Carter Ledyard.

  • Cultivating Good Relationships With Insurance Regulators

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Insurers can develop mutually beneficial working relationships with insurance regulators by following some simple tips for streamlining communication, knowing how and when to ask for help, and treating regulatory staff with professional courtesy, says Layna Rush at Baker Donelson.

  • How Ohio Software Ruling Implicates Crypto Insurance Claims

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    The Ohio Supreme Court's recent decision in EMOI Services v. Owners Insurance, holding that software can never be physically damaged, has limited precedential value for property claims, but serious implications for cases involving loss or damage to intangible assets like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, say Jane Warring and Shannon O’Malley at Zelle.

  • Courts Should Reject Mandatory Arbitration In Insurance Suits

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    The case of Friends of Young Audiences v. Certain Underwriters, currently before a Louisiana federal court, is one of several pending opportunities for courts to support policyholder rights by declining to enforce mandatory arbitration provisions in insurance contracts, say Christopher Kuleba and Maria Castro Sanchez at Reed Smith.

  • What To Expect In Builder's Risk Insurance Claims In 2023

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    The builder's risk insurance industry is in store for more complex claims this year due to rising interest rates, labor and materials volatility, and externalities complicating project scheduling, say Jane Warring at Zelle and Michael Haugen at J.S. Held.

  • Learning From This Year's Legal Industry Discrimination Suits

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    To limit the risk of lawsuits and make the workplace a more welcoming environment for female attorneys, it is important to reflect on lawyers' recent discrimination and sexual harassment claims against law firms and public employers, says Hope Comisky at Griesing Law.

  • More Stringent Calif. Claim Law Could Benefit Policyholders

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    Although a new California statute that imposes additional requirements for policyholder presuit demands — effective Jan. 1 — was ostensibly passed as a bad faith liability shield for insurers, used correctly it may provide a more specific road map for plaintiff recovery, says Shanti Eagle at Farella Braun.

  • Hard Insurance Market Will Influence Legal Industry, Economy

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    As the cost of claims starts to outstrip the value of premiums, insurers are denying more claims and considering scaling back coverage, leading to an influx of legal work and potential holes in the market, says Bruce Hepburn at Mactavish.

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