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Written by: Nolan Hendricks On September 7, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that an insurance company, Acuity, owed no duty to defend its insured, Masters Pharmaceutical, in a series of lawsuits brought by cities and counties in West Virginia, Michigan, and Nevada. The general thread of claims in these suits is that Masters' conduct contributed to the opioid epidemic that continues to plague communities, resulting in the governments’ suffering

Written by: Karl Braun In January, 2021, District Judge, Aleta Trauger, issued a comprehensive and well-reasoned memorandum and order in the case of For Senior Help v. Westchester Fire Insurance Company, 515 F. Supp. 3d 787 (M.D. Tenn. 2021). In her lengthy analysis, Judge Trauger skillfully navigated a complex landscape of coverage issues under Tennessee law. For coverage practitioners in Tennessee it is a “must read” in terms of

Written by: C. Peter Bolvig On July 6, 2022, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that an award of attorney fees pursuant to a fee shifting provision in a Mass. consumer-protection statute was not covered by a commercial liability policy. Vermont Mutual Insurance Co. v Poirier, 189 N.E. 3d 306 (2022). The coverage action arose out of a lawsuit against the named insured (a remediation contractor) resulting from its

Written by: Thomas Barrow, Esq. On April 13th the South Carolina Supreme Court elected to adopt the majority rule of the “post loss exception”. This exception dictates an assignment of policy rights executed after a loss already occurred does not require the insurer’s authorization despite that insurer’s consent being expressly required under the terms of the policy. In PCS Nitrogen, Inc. v. Cont'l Cas. Co., the court considered a collection

Written by: Ryland Avery, Esq. In McNamara v. Gov't Emps. Ins. Co., 30 F.4th 1055 (11th Cir. 2022), the 11th Circuit found that a final judgment that exceeds all available insurance coverage—regardless of whether it results from a consensual settlement or a verdict—constitutes an “excess judgment” that can satisfy the causation element of a bad-faith claim against an insurer under Florida law. In McNamara, the insured allowed his friend to

Written by: Melissa A. Ogburn, Esq. On March 14, 2022, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its ruling in Skillett v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., infra, definitively deciding whether insurance adjusters themselves can be held liable for unreasonably delaying or denying benefits under a policy of insurance pursuant to C.R.S. §§ 10-3-1115 and -1116.  Colorado has historically recognized bad faith claims against insurance providers under the common law. 

Written by: Joshua T. Reece, Esq. Edited by: Nicole A. Callahan, Esq. New York's governor closed 2021 by signing into the law the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act (CIDA), which placed onerous new insurance disclosure requirements on defendants. The most onerous provisions of CIDA were struck when the law was amended on February 24, 2022. Given this rapidly shifting landscape, we summarize and propose several strategies to successfully manage the brave

Written by: Timothy A. Bishop, Esq. In Siplast, Inc. v. Emps. Mut. Cas. Co., 23 F.4th 486 (5th Cir. 2022), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, construing Texas law, applied the "eight-corners rule" in finding that the insurer had a duty to defend. In Siplast, the insured, a roofing manufacturer, brought an action against its commercial general liability (CGL) insurer for breach of contract and a declaratory judgment that the

Written by: Kelly P. Corrubia, Esq. On January 18, 2022, Governor Murphy signed Senate Bill 1559,   the “New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act” (“NJIFCA”). The NJIFCA creates an individual cause of action for bad faith arising from a claimant’s uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM/UIM”). The Act permits an insured to file a lawsuit when that individual is “unreasonably denied a claim for coverage or payment of benefits, or who experiences an

Written by: Alan R. Belcher, Jr., Esq. USAA v. Pickens, __ S.C. ____, 2021 (Filed August 11, 2021.) In this appeal, the Supreme Court of South Carolina was asked to address the applicability of mandatory uninsured motorist coverage (UM) under a USAA personal lines auto policy (Policy).  The Court determined that the Policy did not provide UM benefits to the USAA insured passenger in her own, insured vehicle when the