Heartbreak in the First Circuit: Court Dismisses Suit Against Insurer Over Coverage for Claims Related to Attorney’s Rocky Affair with Client

In Sanders v. The Phoenix Insurance Co. (1st Cir. Dec. 7, 2016), the First Circuit held that a homeowner’s insurance company had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured, a divorce attorney, against claims stemming from his “on-again/off-again intimate relationship” with his client. The First Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of a complaint filed by the assignee of the insured attorney against his insurer, Phoenix Insurance Company , for its failure to provide coverage.

As background, Phoenix issued a homeowner’s insurance policy to …

Continue Reading

Blast from the Past: First Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Coverage Dispute Concerning 50-Year Old Missing Policy

In Cardigan Mountain School v. New Hampshire Insurance Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8725 (1st Cir. May 27, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed the dismissal of an action based on events that occurred nearly 50 years ago, nixing the ruling that the lawsuit failed to state a claim under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The First Circuit instead held that the complaint survives dismissal by pleading the existence of an insurance policy from a …

Continue Reading

1st Circuit is “Honorably Engaged” by Reinsurance Arbitration Award

In First State Insurance Co. v. National Casualty Co., No. 14-1644, 2015 WL 1263147 (1st Cir. Mar. 20, 2015) the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit addressed a motion to vacate an arbitration award related to multiple reinsurance and retrocessional agreements. The decision was the court’s first to address the operation and effect of a so-called “honorable engagement” provision in an arbitration clause.

The case arose out of multiple agreements between First State Insurance Company and New England Reinsurance Corporation (collectively “First State”) …

Continue Reading

Toll Free: First Circuit’s Decision Potentially Leaves Thousands of Asbestos Claimants Without Remedy Due to Expiration of Statute of Limitations

In Lydon v. T& N Ltd., 2015 WL 544970 (1st Cir. 2015), the First Circuit found in favor of T&N Limited, an asbestos manufacturer, effectively denying thousands of asbestos-related claims. Once T&N became aware that its product exposed it to significant liability due to its propensity to cause mesothelioma, T&N filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization. Although one of T&N’s principal assets was a 500 million pound liability insurance policy issued by Hercules, United Kingdom law controlled the bankruptcy and the Hercules policy could …

Continue Reading