“All sums” or “pro rata” – which one is the majority view for allocation of long-trail claims? Well, after eight years of iterative revision, the proposed final draft no. 2 of ALI’s Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance was approved in May 2018. The restatement has received very critical feedback from both sides, chiefly that the ALI has abandoned its mission to “restate” common law in favor of advocating what the law should be. One of the more hotly contested sections is section 41, titled “Allocation …Continue Reading
Category: Emerging Issues
South Carolina High Court Allows Malpractice Claim by Insurer Against its Assigned Defense Counsel
Early March, in a narrow, carefully worded opinion, a divided Supreme Court of South Carolina ruled that a liability insurer may sue an attorney it retained to defend its insured where the attorney’s breach of its duty to the insured proximately causes the insurer damage. The decision adds South Carolina to the growing list of states that recognize a malpractice cause of action by an insurer against its assigned defense counsel. See Sentry Insurance Co. v. Maybank Law Firm, LLC, — S.E.2d —, 2019 WL 1119977, at …Continue Reading
The ALI’s Recently Adopted “Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance” Receives Mixed Reviews from Courts and Legislatures
The much-anticipated Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance (RLLI) was recently approved by the American Law Institute (ALI) during its Annual Meeting in May 2018. Since its adoption, the RLLI has been met with mixed reviews from courts as well as at least one state legislatures.
As discussed in previous blogposts, the RLLI is the ALI’s first publication in the field of insurance law and touches upon nearly every legal issue frequently faced by insurance professionals. Prior to its adoption, the RLLI had been …Continue Reading
Illinois Appellate Court Reaffirms Trigger Date for Malicious Prosecution Offense Under Coverage B
In First Mercury Insurance Company v. Ciolino, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District waded into the sea-change concerning the trigger of coverage for malicious prosecution offenses under a liability policy. The First District joined the other districts to consider the issue, departed from the Seventh Circuit’s Erie prediction, and reasoned that the trigger date for malicious prosecution coverage will be similar under law enforcement liability and commercial general liability policies.
The facts giving rise to the coverage dispute stem from a lawsuit filed by …Continue Reading
In the Emerging Area of Insurance Coverage for Opioid Litigation, Ohio Court Finds No Coverage for Opioid Distributor Due to Past Claim
An Ohio federal court recently added to the limited, but growing, body of case law on insurance coverage for opioid litigation. In Miami-Luken, Inc. v. Navigators Insurance Co., No 1:16-cv-00876 (S.D. Ohio July 11, 2018), the court found that a specific litigation exclusion precluded coverage for a DEA action against an opioid distributor.
Like many of the opioid coverage decisions thus far, this case stems from a 2012 lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of West Virginia against various opioid distributors, including Miami-Luken, captioned …Continue Reading
Death of Carrie Fisher Likely Triggers Largest Contractual Performance Indemnity Policy
On December 27, 2016, Carrie Fisher, who was perhaps best known as Princess/General Leia Organa in the Star Wars Universe, passed away after a heart attack. As Star Wars fans and the world mourn Ms. Fisher’s passing, questions are swirling about how the Star Wars franchise will handle her death and the future of Princess Leia. Ms. Fisher finished shooting Episode VIII prior to her passing and was expected to have a part in Episode IX.
What is clear now is that Disney purchased…Continue Reading
No Coverage for Innocent Insureds: West Virginia Supreme Court Decision Proves the Smallest Words Continue to Have Huge Impacts on Coverage
The distinction between the terms “the insured” and “any insured” in an insurance policy is a critical one and continues to spark coverage litigation. This distinction was key to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia’s recent decision denying coverage to parents sued in a wrongful death action arising from murder committed by their minor children. Answering certified questions from the federal court, the court held that the parents’ homeowners policies did not provide coverage because exclusions barring coverage for claims arising …Continue Reading
Two Illinois Federal Decisions Highlight the Dangers of Consent Judgments for Insurers
Two related decisions handed down this year by an Illinois federal district court involve thorny issues emanating from a multi-million dollar consent judgment. In the first decision, the district court denied cross-motions for summary judgment brought by the insurer and the underlying claimant in relation to a $14 million consent judgment. Specifically, the district court held the reasonableness of the settlement could not be resolved by summary judgment. In order for a consent judgment to be reasonable, Illinois uses the prudent uninsured test. Indeed, the …Continue Reading
Leaders of Major House Committee Wade into Equivalency Discussions
On August 17, 2016, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee waded into the ongoing discussions between U.S. and EU leaders regarding equivalency with the EU’s Solvency II and negotiation of a covered agreement. Chairman Kevin Brady and Ranking Member Sander Levin sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman expressing concern that Solvency II “unfairly discriminates against U.S. insurance and reinsurance (“(re)insurance”) business.”
EU regulators are concerned about the lack …Continue Reading
Seventh Circuit Finds Coverage for State’s Suit Seeking Costs of Drug Addiction
States and municipalities around the country have sued pharmaceutical companies for their alleged role in increasing levels of addiction and overuse of pharmaceutical products. These suits have given rise to insurance coverage disputes over whether such claims are covered under the pharmaceutical companies’ policies. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has now weighed in on one such dispute and held that West Virginia’s suit seeking recovery of costs it incurred to provide services to citizens addicted to prescription drugs is a covered …Continue Reading