Massachusetts Court Holds that All Excess Policies are Created Equal

In Massachusetts, competing excess insurance policies will apply equally to provide excess coverage even if one policy is a true excess policy and the other is a hybrid policy that provides either primary or excess coverage depending on the circumstances. See Great Divide Ins. Co. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2017 WL 4969942 (Mass. Nov. 1, 2017). In a November 1, 2017 opinion, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that the plain language of the insurance policies was the determinative factor in establishing priority of …

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Massachusetts Ruling Costs Plaintiff More Than $4 Million in Bad-Faith Litigation Lawsuit: Post-Judgment Interest Not a Factor in Punitive Damages Calculations

In Anderson et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA & Others, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that post-judgment interest should not be factored into a punitive damages calculation against an insurer when it was found to have acted willfully and egregiously by engaging in unfair trade practices and refusing to settle the underlying tort suit. In reversing the lower court’s grant of trebled post-judgment interest, the court left other parts of the verdicts undisturbed, ending a case that began …

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Massachusetts’ Highest Court Rejects Targeted Tenders

Only three states have adopted the “targeted tender” rule. Massachusetts recently had the chance to join those ranks, but it firmly declined. The concept of “targeted tender” or “selective tender” allows a policyholder to single out one insurer among co-insurers and trigger only that insurer’s policy, leaving the insurer without entitlement to contribution from co-insurers.

In Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Great Northern Insurance Company, an employee reported his injury to the insured employer, which then notified only one of two …

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