The Fifth Circuit recently held that Blue Bell Creameries’ commercial general liability (CGL) insurers do not have a duty to defend the ice cream company in a shareholder lawsuit, which arose from a Listeria outbreak. The decision underscores the importance of coordination of different coverages and policies across insurance programs, as well as the potential perils policyholders may face if forced to seek recovery for certain losses under non-traditional policies.
The False Claims Act continues to make headlines. The DOJ announced earlier this year that its fiscal-year recoveries—across 351 settlements and judgments—exceeded $2.2 billion, which was the second-highest number of settlements recorded in a single year. More recently, the US Supreme Court heard oral argument and is poised to issue a decision in a closely-watched FCA case that could radically change the balance of power between the government and industry.…
The Delaware Chancery Court recently held that the duty of oversight extended to corporate officers. The important decision came after McDonald’s shareholders sued the company’s former head of human resources, alleging that the officer breached his duty of oversight by “allowing a corporate culture to develop that condoned sexual harassment and misconduct.” In that same decision, Vice Chancellor Laster also determined that acts of sexual harassment can constitute a breach of fiduciary duty. Officers are rightly focused on the potential ramifications on their personal liability following the ruling. But that potential increased exposure also raises several insurance implications for companies to consider while procuring and renewing directors and officers insurance coverage.…
While Harvard prepares to defend its admissions policies to the Supreme Court, one of its insurers continues to argue that a technicality prevents Harvard from recovering $15 million to defray its defense costs under its insurance policies.
Last month, we discussed an insurance coverage dispute between Harvard College and Zurich American Insurance Company. The dispute arises from Zurich’s refusal to cover a 2014 lawsuit that an affirmative-action group filed against Harvard, alleging that the university’s admissions policies violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Since the affirmative action suit was filed, Harvard has been defending its admissions policies through the trial and appellate court systems, an effort that has cost the university more than $25 million.…
Another state court has issued a ruling favoring insurance policyholders in a COVID-19 business interruption dispute. This decision further confirms the trend of state courts recognizing the potential for coverage where many federal courts have not.
Continue Reading Another State Court Rules That Insurers Cannot Escape COVID-19
Even an insurance practitioner’s grandmother would agree that an omitted comma can have dire consequences: compare “Let’s eat grandma with “Let’s eat, grandma.” Yet, to the possible dismay of grammar purists and grandmothers, alike, and despite acknowledging that “the placement (or omission) of one comma can make the difference,” a federal court recently found that an omitted comma in an insurance policy provision had no impact on the policy’s meaning.
Continue Reading Grammatical Imprecision Continues to Fuel Coverage Disputes
Last year, we wrote about the UK’s National Security and Investment Bill, which was pending approval at the end of 2020. A few months into the New Year, the bill received Royal Assent, making it the “biggest shake-up of UK’s investment screening regime in 20 years.”…
Continue Reading UK’s National Security Act Is Coming
The Seventh Circuit has reversed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Federal Insurance Company and a health insurance technology company for unauthorized robocalls soliciting the sale of health insurance. The court emphasized that the complaint, which alleged the two companies were vicariously liable for the calls, pled sufficient detail to move forward.
Continue Reading Robocalling Suit Against Insurer Survives and Illustrates Proper Application of Federal Pleading Standards
We are proud to share that Hunton Andrews Kurth insurance coverage Partner Andrea (“Andi”) DeField and Counsel Cary D. Steklof were recently recognized as 2021 Legal Elite Up & Comers in Florida Trend magazine. Florida Trend invited all in-state members of the Florida Bar to name attorneys whom they highly regard or would recommend to others. Only the top 111 attorneys were recognized for their leadership in the legal field and in the community. Andi and Cary are both well deserving of this honor and the award reflects their dedication to providing excellent legal services.
Continue Reading Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Insurance Recovery Practice, Andrea DeField and Cary D. Steklof, Recognized as Legal Elite
The Indiana Supreme Court recently reversed a trial court’s finding and an affirming intermediate appellate court opinion regarding the interpretation of a policy providing coverage for cyber-crime. In G&G Oil Co. of Indiana, Inc. v. Continental Western Insurance Co., the state high court rejected the lower courts’ narrow interpretation of coverage and impractical view on causation. A copy of the decision can be found here.
Continue Reading Indiana Supreme Court Decrypts Computer Crime Coverage