Proof’s in the Pudding: Sexual Misconduct Exclusions Do Not Preclude Coverage for Defamation Claims, Massachusetts Federal District Court Says

A federal district court in Massachusetts determined that Bill Cosby’s insurer has a duty to defend the former entertainment icon in three defamation suits despite potentially applicable policy exclusions because the defamation claims did not necessarily “aris[e] out of” sexual misconduct.

In AIG Property Casualty Co. v. Green, Civil Action No. 15-30111-MGM, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154881 (D. Mass. Nov. 8, 2016), the court dismissed an insurer’s attempt to obtain a determination that it had no duty to defend Cosby, finding that the underlying …

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The Irony of Not Fixing What Isn’t Broken: Wisconsin Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Extrinsic Evidence of Subcontractors’ Involvement in Replacement of Damaged Well Pump

Bootstrapping upon its decision in Marks v. Houston Casualty Co., 2016 WI 53, the Wisconsin Supreme Court in Water Well Solutions Service Group Inc. v. Consolidated Insurance Co., 2016 WI 54, affirmed summary judgment in favor of the insurer. The Supreme Court concluded, based upon a four-corners analysis, that the policy’s “your product” exclusion barred coverage entirely for the underlying lawsuit. The Supreme Court further rejected the insured’s invitation to recognize an exception to the four-corners rule to allow courts to examine extrinsic …

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Impactful Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision Overturns “Unsound” Precedent

In Marks v. Houston Casualty Company, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reached a decision upholding the application of a business enterprise exclusion in a professional liability policy. Importantly, the decision clarifies Wisconsin law such that an insurer may rely upon policy exclusions in denying coverage outright.

The coverage dispute arose out of six lawsuits filed against David Marks for his involvement in various enterprises across different industries. The lawsuits generally alleged Marks, as an officer or director of numerous entities (including Titan Global Holdings, Inc.), …

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Alcohol, Caffeine and Stimulants: Unambiguous Liquor Liability Exclusion Bars Coverage for Bodily Injury Claims

Refusing to succumb to pressure by an insured to find an ambiguity in an exclusion to a commercial general liability (CGL) policy where none existed, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District in Phusion Projects, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co., 2015 IL App (1st) 150172 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2015) confirmed that plainly written policy exclusions will be enforced.

In Phusion Projects, the manufacturer of an alcoholic beverage containing high levels of alcohol and other stimulants sought coverage from its CGL insurer for …

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Anti-Concurrent-Causes Clause Bars Coverage When One Cause is Excluded

In JAW The Pointe, L.L.C., v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1870054 (Tex. April 24, 2015), the Texas Supreme Court found an insurer did not violate the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by denying coverage where the damages in question were caused in part by flooding, a cause excluded by the policy.

JAW The Pointe purchased an apartment complex in Galveston, Texas in 2007, only 14 months before Hurricane Ike struck. The complex sustained significant damage – estimated at …

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