NY Appellate Court Confirms an Absence of Negligence is no Roadblock to AI Coverage

New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, handed insurers a lump of coal this holiday season, unanimously holding that a contractor’s insurance company (Insurer) owed a property owner and manager (Building Defendants) primary coverage as additional insureds, even though its named insured had nothing to do with the allegedly negligent acts giving rise to the subject injury, and despite the named insured previously prevailing against the Building Defendants’ claims for common law and contractual indemnification. As the First Department panel concluded, because the additional insured clause …

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A Divided Court Finds Additional Insured Coverage is Enforceable Across New York

On March 27, 2018, the New York Court of Appeals, in a matter of first impression for the state’s highest court, held that a direct contract was required to confer automatic additional insured status under common policy language. Gilbane Bldg. Co./TDX Constr. Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 143 A.D.3d 146 (1st Dep’t 2016), aff’d, __N.Y.3d__, 2018 WL 1473553 (Mar. 27, 2018).

Many standard blanket additional endorsements often confer additional insured status on entities “with whom” the named insured has …

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Don’t Let The Door Hit You on the Way Out: Insurer Loses Coverage Suit Involving Injuries Sustained By Fitting Room Door

In Selective Insurance Co. of South Carolina v. Target Corporation, No. 16-1669, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23370 (7th Cir. Dec. 29, 2016), the Seventh Circuit affirmed an Illinois district court’s decision finding coverage for an additional insured after parsing through the language of two contractual agreements.

The coverage dispute arose when a customer shopping at a Target store was injured after a fitting room door came off and fell on her in December 2011. The customer filed suit against Target, alleging it was negligent …

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Must an Additional Insured Have a Written Contract With the Named Insured to Get Coverage? It Depends Which Court You Ask

There is a growing list of trial court decisions in New York where the courts disagree of whether an additional insured endorsement to an insurance policy requires a written contract between the additional insured and the policy’s named insured for additional insured status to apply. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently held in Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Zurich American Insurance Company that contractual privity with the named insured was not required.

In Liberty Mutual, the additional insured …

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Third-Party Complaints and the Duty to Defend – Another Decision Cementing Existing Precedent

In Pekin Insurance Company v. Illinois Cement Company, LLC, the Illinois Appellate Court again addressed the important issue of when third-party complaints can be used in evaluating an insurer’s duty to defend. Due to the circumstances surrounding the third-party complaint in question, the Appellate Court held that it was self-serving and could not be used to show that a putative additional insured was vicariously liable for the acts of the insured.

The facts underlying the coverage dispute involve an action brought by Michael Hanson …

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Maryland Joins the Rising Tide of States in Placing Limits on the Scope of Additional Insured Coverage

Maryland, home of the Chesapeake Bay, brings to mind the aphorism, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Maryland has joined the rising tide of states that have adopted a proximate cause standard to determine when an additional insured is entitled to coverage for injuries “caused, in whole or in part, by” another’s acts or omissions. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals’ October 28, 2015 decision in James G. Davis Construction Corp. v. Erie Insurance Exchange, marks …

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