Specialty Lines

  • March 28, 2024

    Foxwoods Tribal Owner Loses $76M COVID Insurance Appeal

    The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, did not meet a key burden when suing its insurer for more than $76 million in losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's intermediate-level appeals court ruled Thursday in declining to revive the litigation.

  • March 28, 2024

    Wash. Appeals Court Asked To Mull COVID Coverage Question

    A Washington state court has halted litigation over the University of Washington's bid for COVID-19 business interruption coverage from a Liberty Mutual unit, asking a state appeals court to first determine whether the presence of COVID-19 satisfies UW's policies' direct physical loss or damage requirement and if a contamination exclusion applies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Flood Risk Disclosure Law Uptick Offers Insurance Upsides

    A growing trend of states adopting and implementing flood risk disclosure laws must continue, experts say, touting such laws as protecting consumers and informing efforts to mitigate climate change costs through insurance and other risk management efforts.

  • March 28, 2024

    5th Circ. Limits Broad Contract Liability Exclusions In SXSW

    The Fifth Circuit awarded policyholders a major victory over a thorny issue when it ruled that Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer owed defense coverage for a ticket holder class action over unpaid refunds from the canceled 2020 festival.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer's $1.37M Suit Over Stolen Walmart Flare Gun Misfires

    An Oregon federal judge has thrown out a $1.37 million suit from Ascot Specialty Insurance Co. against Walmart Inc. seeking to hold the retailer liable for a fire started by a stolen flare gun, saying the insurer has failed to show how Walmart is responsible for a third party's criminal acts.

  • March 28, 2024

    NC Justices' Split Leaves Willful Violation Question Unsolved

    A dispute over coverage for a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act provided an opportunity for the North Carolina Supreme Court to interpret a policy exclusion for the willful violation of a statute, but experts say a deadlocked decision will leave the issue for another day.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Ordered To Defend Legionnaires' Suits

    The insurer of a nonprofit providing housing to at-risk individuals in New York City must defend it in three underlying lawsuits alleging that numerous residents contracted Legionnaires' disease at two properties in the Bronx, a New York federal court ruled, finding a communicable disease exclusion inapplicable.

  • March 27, 2024

    NC Commissioner Says Insurance Mogul's Argument 'Mistaken'

    The North Carolina insurance commissioner asked the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow him to give his take on a group of insurers' lawsuit against embattled mogul Greg Lindberg that alleges he pilfered the insurance companies as owner, saying if the court lets him submit an amicus brief he'll explain how Lindberg's main argument is "mistaken."

  • March 27, 2024

    2nd Circ. Weighs Broadening 'Claim' In Shareholder Dispute

    The Second Circuit questioned Wednesday whether it should use a New York state appeals court ruling to broaden the meaning of "claim" in a propane company's directors and officers policy with a Liberty Mutual unit, including not just an entire underlying lawsuit but the individual causes of action within.

  • March 26, 2024

    UK Marine Insurer Investigating Baltimore Bridge Crash

    Britannia, a British marine insurer, confirmed Tuesday that it is working with authorities in Baltimore after a container ship destroyed the city's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge in a collision that experts say is likely to cost the insurance sector billions of dollars in claims.

  • March 22, 2024

    Ind. Factory Adds To Historic $112M Bad Faith Coverage Win

    A flooded factory building that was awarded $112 million in a historic bad faith win added to its victory Friday when an Indiana federal court denied its insurers' requests for a new trial and granted the factory more than $7 million in costs and interest.

  • March 22, 2024

    5th Circ. Revives Coverage Row Over SXSW Ticket Refunds

    Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer must cover its defense in a class action by ticket holders who didn't receive refunds after the city of Austin canceled the March 2020 event because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fifth Circuit said, reviving the dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    AI Presents Risk To Insurers And Policyholders, Panelists Say

    The growing use of artificial intelligence presents a risk to both insurers and insureds, experts said during a webinar Thursday, advising policyholders and their attorneys on how to navigate novel issues arising from the use of AI in the insurance industry.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Panel Revives Diner's COVID Sanitization Coverage Bid

    A California state appeals court revived a diner's bid for property insurance coverage of COVID-19 losses after it determined the restaurant credibly alleged direct physical losses and that the policy's language covering losses attributable to a virus applied to COVID-19 sanitization efforts.

  • March 21, 2024

    2nd Circ. To Weigh 'Claim' Meaning In Family Share Dispute

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether a New York federal court erred in finding that a contract exclusion barred any duty a Liberty Mutual unit had to defend a propane company and two of its executives in a family shareholder dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    6 Questions For ZestyAI CEO Attila Toth

    As California regulators push proposals aimed at luring back insurance companies to the state's challenged market, advanced modeling techniques have taken a prominent place in the debate over how to best price risk as traditional methods lose relevance. Here, Law360 talks to Attila Toth, chief executive officer of ZestyAI, a risk modeling company that sells artificial intelligence-based risk models to insurers seeking to refine their risk assessment capabilities.

  • March 21, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court considered the NRA's free speech rights and whether an insurer had standing in bankruptcy court, Geico was slammed with a $164 million payout, the Sixth Circuit seemed hesitant to force Amway to pay its own defense costs and Metallica's COVID-19 coverage case faded to black.

  • 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

    Metallica's Bid For COVID-19 Coverage Fades To Black

    California appellate justices on Monday upheld Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London's summary judgment win against heavy metal band Metallica's breach suit seeking coverage for shows canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic, siding with the lower court's order finding the policy's communicable disease exclusion precluded coverage as a matter of law.

  • March 19, 2024

    FTC Sends Benefytt's Sham Health Plan Buyers $100M

    The Federal Trade Commission is sending refund checks to hundreds of thousands of customers from the $100 million Benefytt Technologies Inc. paid to settle allegations that it deceptively marketed sham health plans as qualified under the Affordable Care Act.

  • March 19, 2024

    Uber, Progressive Unit Settle NC Widower's Coverage Fight

    The widower of an Uber Eats driver who died in a car crash on the job has settled his lawsuit seeking a payout for the accident from the ride-hailing giant and its insurer, according to a notice filed in North Carolina federal court.

  • March 19, 2024

    Insurer Meets 6th Circ. Resistance In Bid To Undo Amway Win

    Sixth Circuit judges appeared skeptical Tuesday of an AIG unit's argument that it shouldn't have to defend and indemnify Amway Corp. in copyright litigation, with one judge saying he doubted Amway's self-insured policies should take priority over an AIG internet policy.

  • March 19, 2024

    State Farm Must Face Wire Fraud Coverage Suit

    A State Farm unit can't escape a property owners association's suit seeking directors and officers coverage for underlying litigation stemming from an alleged wire fraud incident, a California federal court ruled, saying the association's claimed loss falls within the basic scope of coverage.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Insurance Implications Of High Court Affirmative Action Ruling

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down affirmative action admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina will likely result in more litigation related to hiring practices, with implications for insurance coverage, meaning policyholders must remain wary of exclusions and other potential roadblocks, say attorneys at Pillsbury.

  • What The ESG Divide Means For Insurers And Beyond

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    The debate around ESG is becoming increasingly polarized, with some states passing legislation that prohibits the use of ESG factors and others advancing affirmative legislation, highlighting the importance for insurers and other companies to understand this complex legal landscape, say Scott Seaman and Bessie Daschbach at Hinshaw.

  • 2 Years Later: TransUnion's Impact On Data Breach Litigation

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    In the two years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark TransUnion decision, plaintiffs have sought to bypass the effects of the ruling — which poses a significant impediment to large data breach class actions and uncertainty for cyber insurers — through various clever pleading forms, say Jason Fagelman and Sarah Cornelia at Norton Rose, and Amanda Thai at Beazley.

  • Insurance Considerations For State Biometric Privacy Claims

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    As Connecticut and Colorado join the growing number of states that have enacted biometric data privacy acts auguring significant damages, in-house counsel thinking about insurance coverage for privacy liability should consider several key factors including clarity of exclusions, say Peter Halprin and Tae Andrews at Pasich.

  • Case Law Is Mixed On D&O Coverage For Gov't Investigations

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    As the Fourth Circuit’s recent decision in Brown Goldstein v. Federal Insurance Co. demonstrates, federal appeals courts take different approaches to determine whether government investigations are covered by directors and officers liability insurance, so companies and individuals must review their policy language, say Chloe Law, Jan Larson and Caroline Meneau at Jenner & Block.

  • 4th Circ. Ruling Continues Trend Of Insurer Bump-Up Wins

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    The Fourth Circuit's recent decision in Towers Watson v. National Union Fire Insurance, finding no directors and officers insurance coverage for underpayment in a reverse triangular merger, supports an emerging consensus that "acquisition" encompasses a variety of transaction types for the purposes of D&O bump-up exclusions, say Joshua Polster and Charlotte McCary at Simpson Thacher.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Aids Insureds In Contractual Exclusion Rows

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    The Fifth Circuit's recent insurance decision in Windermere Oaks v. Allied World, in favor of coverage, provides policyholders with guidance on how to distinguish between contractual and noncontractual claims when insurers deploy broadly worded liability exclusions to deny coverage, say Max Louik and David Ledet at Reed Smith.

  • Greenwashing Suits May Implicate D&O Policies

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    As consumers, regulators, and state and local governments seek to use litigation to hold companies responsible for alleged greenwashing, businesses facing such claims have a number of approaches available for seeking insurance coverage under directors and officers policies, say attorneys at Haynes Boone.

  • ALI, Bar Groups Need More Defense Engagement For Balance

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    The American Law Institute and state bar committees have a special role in the development of the law — but if they do not do a better job of including attorneys from the defense bar, they will come to be viewed as special interest advocacy groups, says Mark Behrens at Shook Hardy.

  • Private Equity Firms Shouldn't Overlook Cybersecurity Risks

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    Given the operational, financial and reputational costs at stake, and the growing threat of cybercrime, cybersecurity should be central to deal making, internal governance and post-acquisition management for private equity firms, say Ray Bogenrief and William Ridgway at Skadden.

  • ​​​​​​​BIPA Ruling Furthers Mixed Signals On Insurance Coverage

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    A recent Illinois appellate ruling in Remprex provides another perspective on the issue of insurance coverage for Biometric Information Privacy Act lawsuits, but its reach will be limited, as it did not cover the three exceptions that have been the focus of related federal court decisions, says Charles Insler at HeplerBroom.

  • What Texas Misrepresentation Ruling Means For Insurers

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    The Texas Supreme Court's recent decision in American National Insurance v. Arce, confirming that insurers must prove intent to deceive in order to rescind coverage based on material misrepresentation, solidifies additional burdens for insurers to consider during both the underwriting and claims adjudication processes, say Josh Pedelty and Javon Johnson at Husch Blackwell.

  • Less Cyber Coverage, More Compliance Risk For Cos.

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    Despite recent favorable court decisions recognizing cyber coverage under various policies, policyholders face a challenging road ahead due to insurers' new policy exclusions and regulators' new reporting requirements and increased penalties, say Luma Al-Shibib and Steven Pudell at Anderson Kill.