Georgia Joins Growing Consensus that Lead-Based Paint is a Pollutant

For the first time, the Supreme Court of Georgia declared that lead-based paint is a “pollutant” as the term is used in the absolute pollution exclusion of a commercial general liability policy.

The plaintiff, Amy Smith, individually and on behalf of her daughter, sued her landlord, Bobby Chupp for injuries the daughter sustained as the result of ingesting lead from deteriorating lead-based paint at the house Smith rented from Chupp. Chupp held a CGL policy issued by Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company (GFB) that …

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Exceptionally Navigating Abstention: Northern District of Illinois Applies the Colorado River Doctrine to Stay Arbitration

An insurer and a policyholder entered into an agreement, or didn’t they? Either way, the Northern District of Illinois doesn’t have to decide because “exceptional circumstances” triggered the Colorado River abstention doctrine, allowing the court to stay the case asking it to determine whether the agreement existed.

A policyholder and one of its insurers began having disputes about who had to provide coverage for certain claims. As a result of those disputes, the policyholder and the insurer allegedly entered into an agreement in 2007, where …

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Attorney-Negotiated Medical Discounts Reduce Tort Victim’s Recovery

The Louisiana Supreme Court has issued the first ruling from a state’s highest court on the issue of whether a tort victim’s potential recovery in a lawsuit is diminished when her attorney negotiates medical discounts on her behalf. The court ruled that tort victims can only recover the lower rate for medical services they actually pay.

The case, Hoffman v. 21st Century N Am. Ins. Co., No. 14-2279, 2015 La. LEXIS 1962 (La. Oct. 2, 2015), dealt with the collateral source rule. Under the …

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