Eleventh Circuit Upholds Florida’s Strict Interpretation of Eight Corners Rule in Stabbing Case

In Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. Roebuck, the liability insurer for the owners of a Florida outdoor shopping mall sought to avoid coverage in connection with a stabbing that occurred at the mall based on the insureds’ failure to comply with conditions precedent to coverage. The Eleventh Circuit, however, in agreement with the district court, found that because the facts extrinsic to complaint that were necessary to establish the conditions’ application were in dispute, the insurer owed a duty to defend.

Mt. Hawley …

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It’s not “12 Corners” — Court Holds Answer does not Trigger Duty to Defend

It is a well-known insurance principle that the duty to defend is determined using the “Eight-Corners” method — comparing the four corners of the complaint to the four corners of the insurance policy. A federal court in Illinois recently maintained this principle and declined to extend coverage to an insured based allegations in the insured’s answer, limiting the analysis of the duty to defend only to the facts alleged in the complaint, and not the answer, unless “unusual circumstances” exist.

In the underlying complaint, the …

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A Line Drawn in the Soil: Jeep is Not a “Farm Implement” Under Farm Policy

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois applied the “eight-corners” rule to determine that insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify insured in Elmore v. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company et al. (S.D.Ill. July 27, 2015).

The plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action against Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance, alleging that Grinnell had a duty to defend and indemnify the plaintiff under the terms of his Farm-Guard policy for damages arising out of a motor vehicle accident on a public highway in Illinois. …

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Texas Federal Court Bars Coverage Attorney’s Expert Testimony

In Corinth Investor Holdings, LLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172647 (E.D. Tex. Dec. 15, 2014), the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted the plaintiff’s motion to strike the “expert” report of Michael W. Huddleston, an expert witness designated by the defendant insurer. Homeland Insurance Company (“HIC”) had designated Huddleston, an attorney with experience in insurance law, as an expert witness. Notably, HIC’s main coverage defenses were based on the policy’s “claims made” requirement and prior …

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