“It Wasn’t Me, It Was Lil Johnny!” Wisconsin District Court Holds Third-Party Publication Triggers Prior Publication Exclusion

In Design Basics LLC v. J & V Roberts Investments, Inc., No. 14-cv-1083-JPS, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121372 (E.D. Wis. Sept. 11, 2015), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin determined, in pertinent part, that in a case involving allegations of copyright infringement, a commercial general liability insurer, Acuity A Mutual Insurance Company (Acuity), had no duty to defend because the prior publication exclusion barred coverage.

The dispute arose when the plaintiffs, who are engaged in the business of publishing …

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Not If, But When: Another Health Insurer Hacked

In mid-September, it was reported that hackers hit another set of health insurance companies. In this case, the hackers hit The Lifetime Healthcare Companies and its affiliates including Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Univera Healthcare, and The MedAmerica Companies. A full list of plans affected can be found on the press release outlining the details of the attack.

Hackers took information on approximately 10 millions customers including seven million from Excellus and three million from associated entities. Company IT officials first discovered the intrusion on August 5, …

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Earth, Wind, and Water: New York Court Enforces Anti-Concurrency Clause In Superstorm Sandy Case

In Clarke v. Travco Insurance Company, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104267 (SDNY, August 7, 2015), a federal judge sitting for the United States District Court, Southern District of New York granted a homeowners insurer summary judgment in a dispute with its policyholder regarding coverage for a Superstorm Sandy claim.

The homeowner was insured for first-party property damage to his home pursuant to a standard homeowners policy. His home, located near the Hudson River, sustained damage as a result of flood water during the storm. …

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NAIC Tackles Cybersecurity Including Proposed Consumer Cybersecurity Bill of Rights

In the wake of recent cyber breaches against major health insurance companies, the NAIC is undertaking three initiatives designed to “protect consumer information and educate the public about cyber risks.” First, on July 28, 2015, the NAIC’s Cybersecurity Task Force issued a proposed Consumer Cybersecurity Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights contains 12 specific rights for consumers including:

  • Know what type of personally identifiable information is being collected by the insurer and how long that information is being kept by the insurer, insurance
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Blurred Lines Between Trademark and Trade Dress: Fifth Circuit Rules on “Web-Dress” Infringement

In Test Masters Educational Services, Inc. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-20473, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11148 (5th Cir. June 29, 2015), the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that the amended counterclaim in the underlying lawsuit did not trigger a duty to defend on the basis of trade dress infringement.

The underlying dispute arose from the ongoing legal saga between Test Masters Educational Services, Inc. (TES) and Robin Singh Educational Services, Inc. Both entities provided test preparation services under the name “Testmasters.” …

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Google ‘Adwords’ Advertisements Trademark Infringement, Not Slogan Infringement

In Auto Mobility Sales, Inc. v. Praetorian Insurance Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84777 (S.D. Fla. June 30, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida held that an insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against allegations of trademark infringement resulting from the insured’s use of certain language in a Google ‘Adwords’ Advertisement.

Auto Mobility Sales, Inc. (AMS) sells and rents handicap-enabled vehicles. AMS was insured by a general liability insurance policy issued by Praetorian Insurance Company. …

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Violation of Statutes Exclusion Bars Coverage for Ancillary TCPA Claims

In Emcasco Insurance Co. v. CE Design, Ltd., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Court granted summary judgment to Emcasco, finding it had no duty to defend the insured against a junk fax suit. In doing so, the court joined a number of jurisdictions holding that an ISO exclusion in a commercial general liability policy applies to all claims that arise, even indirectly, from violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. § 227).

As background, CE Design brought a …

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A Continuing Trend of Illinois State Courts Finding Trigger for Malicious Prosecution is Initiation of Prosecution — Not Termination of Proceedings

On April 21, 2015, we wrote about the Illinois Appellate Court Second District’s decision in Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. City of Waukegan, 2015 IL App (2d) 140293 (Mar. 6, 2015). There, the Appellate Court followed its decision in St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. City of Zion, 2014 IL App (2d) 131312, which held that only the date of conviction triggers malicious prosecution coverage. As we noted, this constituted a rejection of the Illinois Supreme Court precedent, Security Mutual

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Insurers’ Duty of Good Faith Continues After the Filing of a Lawsuit

In  Am. Nat’l Prop. & Cas. Co. v. Stutte, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55280 (E.D. Tenn. Apr. 28, 2015),  a federal court in Tennessee recently ruled that a finding of bad faith can be based on decisions made by the insurer after a declaratory action has been filed.

The claim at issue in this litigation related to the loss of the insured’s home in a fire. The insured made a claim on their policy and the subsequent investigation into the circumstances of the fire …

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Illinois Appellate Court Extends Bridgeview on Choice of Law and Finds No Duty To Defend Against Blast Fax Suit

After vacating its prior decision pursuant to an order by the Illinois Supreme Court, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, in G.M. Sign, Inc. v. Pennswood Partners, Inc. 2015 IL App (2d) 121276-B, determined that the insurers, Maryland Casualty Company and Assurance Company of America (collectively “Zurich”), had no duty to defend or indemnify Pennswood Partners, Inc., with respect to a blast fax case filed by G.M. Sign, Inc. The crux of the Appellate Court’s decision was how to properly analyze a …

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