In a seemingly illogical decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Apache Corp. v. Great American Ins. Co., No 15-20499 (5th Cir. Oct. 18, 2016), that loss resulting from a fraudulent e-mail did not trigger coverage under a crime policy’s “computer fraud” coverage because the loss was not the “direct result” of computer use.
Hunton & Williams LLP’s insurance coverage counseling and litigation team has relocated its core group of lawyers to Washington from McLean, Va. Hunton’s Washington office is home to more than 150 lawyers and is the firm’s second-largest office.
“The move is good for us and great for our clients,” says practice head Walter J. Andrews. “Being in the nation’s capital better provides us with national exposure and a central location to assist our clients nationally and internationally.”
Hunton’s insurance coverage counseling and litigation lawyers have kept pace with changes in the law and industry, addressing all aspects of insurance coverage and helping clients maximize insurance recoveries through insurance program reviews, claims presentation and negotiation, litigation, alternate dispute resolution, trials and appeals. We have advised policyholders with traditional and emerging insurance products in virtually every sector of the economy, including financial services, utilities, energy, natural resources, health care, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, telecommunications, technology, e-commerce, manufacturing, among others.
Visit the team’s Insurance Recovery Blog at https://www.huntoninsurancerecoveryblog.com/.
About Hunton & Williams LLP
Hunton & Williams is a global law firm of more than 750 lawyers serving clients in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm handles transactional, litigation and regulatory matters for a diverse client base, with significant experience in retail and consumer products, energy, financial services, real estate, and privacy and cybersecurity. Visit www.hunton.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
With hurricane season in full swing, policyholders should keep an eye on the Texas Supreme Court for a decision that may impact future recovery efforts. On Tuesday, October 11, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court heard oral argument in USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Gail Menchaca, Case No. 14-0721, regarding whether a jury’s award of damages for the insurer’s failure to conduct a reasonable investigation (in violation of the Texas Insurance Code) could stand despite the jury’s finding that the insurer did not breach the insurance policy.
On October 7, 2016, an article by Hunton & Williams’ insurance lawyers Walter J. Andrews, Michael S. Levine and Andrea DeField, discussing insurance recovery options for those affected by Hurricane Matthew, was published in the Daily Business Review. The full article is available here. In the article, the authors discuss the types of coverage that may be available to affected policyholders and some of the pitfalls they should look out for as they mitigate their losses and navigate the claim process. The authors can be contacted directly for follow up at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The Court of Appeals of Georgia recently found an excess insurer liable for environmental costs related to a leak in an insured’s pipeline. In doing so, the court rejected the insurer’s argument that liability for the costs should be spread among policies issued by other insurers spanning nearly three decades. The opinion is available here.
On September 22, 2016, the Oregon Supreme Court rejected an insurer’s attempt to separately relitigate issues of liability previously decided in an underlying lawsuit. The decision in Fountaincourt Homeowners’ Ass’n v. Fountain Dev., LLC, 360 Or. 341 (2016), reaffirms the settled liability paradigm that “an insurer cannot, in a subsequent proceeding, retry its insured’s liability, or alter the nature of the damages awarded in that proceeding.” Id.
The Delaware Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a long-running dispute involving Viking Pump’s and Warren Pumps’ claims for recovery under primary, umbrella, and excess insurance. The Delaware high court had certified two questions to the New York Court of Appeals. The Delaware decision follows the New York high court’s ruling in May that the policies required “all sums” allocation and “vertical” exhaustion” (click here and here for prior posts).
Congratulations, your cracker-jack defense team just won the underlying case. They also just lost your insurance coverage and you now must repay millions of dollars of defense costs. Seem odd? Not according to the Second Circuit in Petroterminal de Panama, S.A. v. Houston Cas. Co., No. 15-2941-cv (2d Cir., Sept. 8, 2016).
Earlier today, FC&S Legal published an article by Hunton & Williams insurance lawyers Mike Levine and Matt McLellan, discussing the Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. H.D. Smith, LLC , in which the court held that a general liability insurer must defend a West Virginia pharmaceutical distributor in litigation brought by the State of West Virginia alleging it had contributed to an epidemic of prescription drug abuse. The decision is significant for policyholders in West Virginia and elsewhere because it illustrates that the general liability policy’s defense coverage is not to be read narrowly; rather, the causal connection between the damages alleged and any “bodily injury” to which they relate can be quite attenuated and still be sufficient to trigger a defense.
A federal judge in Georgia held last week that a Commercial Crime Policy must cover a $1.7 million wire-transfer of funds precipitated by a fraudulent e-mail, purportedly authored by one of the insured’s managing directors. The decision marks yet another attempt by insurers to improperly narrow the scope of coverage afforded for cyber and technology-related losses.