One at a Time! Anti-Stacking Provision Upheld

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied appellants’ attempts to classify the language of an anti-stacking provision ambiguous in Gohagen v. The Cincinnati Ins. Co., (8th Cir., January 6, 2016).

The plaintiff was severely injured by a tree being removed by the policyholder.  He reached a settlement with the policyholder, which included the insurer’s payment of $1,000,000; that figure represented the per-occurrence limit under the commercial general liability policy (CGL). The policyholder also had a business owners package (BOP) with a $1,000,000 per-occurrence …

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Emotions Set Aside: Widow Denied Husband’s Life Insurance Benefits For Failure to Report Change in Health After Application

The case of Yafei Huang v. Life Insurance Co. of North America, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit dealt with the denial of life insurance benefits — and is a strong reminder to consumers to read the fine print.

On November 12, 2009, Ping Liu elected basic life insurance coverage from Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA) through his employers ERISA plan in the amount of his yearly salary. Liu also elected to get supplemental coverage in the amount …

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Eighth Circuit Confirms Focus on Global Settlement is Not Bad Faith

In Purscell v. Tico Insurance Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the insurer on a bad faith claim. The insured sued his motor vehicle carrier for alleged bad faith failure to settle third-party claims made against him following an automobile collision. The court held that the insurer did not breach the duty to act in good faith.

The case involved claims from multiple parties – two people who were injured and one who was …

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Eighth Circuit Deems MCS-90 Endorsement Applicable To Subrogation Claims

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit confronted a case of first impression and decided that the MCS-90 endorsement for motor carriers requires a tortfeasor’s insurer to compensate an injured party even if the injured party has already been compensated by its own insurer. More to the point, the Eighth Circuit allowed a subrogor to pursue relief against a tortfeasor’s insurer in accordance with the MCS-90 endorsement.

As background, a semi-tractor and trailer operated by Yelder collided with a Tri-National truck, causing …

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No Duty To Defend Malicious Defamation Claims: Eighth Circuit Finds No Coverage Based on Underlying Complaint’s Assertion of Defamation with Intent To Injure

In Sletten & Brettin Orthodontics, LLC v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 13-2918 (8th Cir., Mar. 19, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit considered and rejected the insured’s argument that its commercial general liability policy’s coverage provisions pertaining to defamation claims were ambiguous and/or illusory. As background, the underlying complaint alleged that one of the underlying defendants posted defamatory messages about a competing orthodontic practice on a Yahoo! Review site while pretending to be the claimants’ aggrieved patients. The underlying …

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