In a prior post, we discussed a New York trial-court decision that found an insurance policy issued in 1966, to insure the construction of the World Trade Center, continues to cover modern-day asbestos claims, with each claim constituting an individual occurrence. Last week, in American Home Assurance Co. v. The Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J., 7628-7628A (1st Dep’t Nov. 15, 2018), an intermediate appellate court affirmed that decision, agreeing that coverage is triggered for claims tied to alleged asbestos exposure at the WTC site in the 1960s and ’70s.
A recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Byron of the Middle District of Florida has made clear that the actual words used in an insurance contract matter. The court, in Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Tactic Security Enforcement, Inc., No. 6:16-cv-01425 (M.D. FL. 2018), denied an insurance company’s motion for summary judgment attempting to rely on an exclusion to deny coverage to its policyholder. The policyholder, Que Rico La Casa Del Mofongo, operated a restaurant establishment in Orlando, Florida, and sought coverage for two negligence lawsuits filed against it for allegedly failing to prevent a shooting and another violent incident on its premises.
A New York trial court held last week in American Home Assurance Co. v. The Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J., Index No. 651096/2012 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Nov. 29, 2017) (Bransten, J.) that an insurance policy issued in 1966, to insure the construction of the World Trade Center, continues to provide insurance coverage over modern-day asbestos claims, with each claim constituting an individual occurrence.
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).
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.
Insurance-giant American International Group (AIG) announced that it will be the first insurer to offer standalone primary coverage for property damage, bodily injury, business interruption, and product liability that result from cyberattacks and other cyber-related risks. According to AIG, “Cyber is a peril [that] can no longer be considered a risk covered by traditional network security insurance product[s].” The new AIG product, known as CyberEdge Plus, is intended to offer broader and clearer coverage for harms that had previously raised issues with insurers over the scope of available coverage. AIG explains its new coverage as follow:
AIG is offering its new coverage with limits of up to $100 million. The new coverage should be considered by policyholders looking to further mitigate their potential cyber exposure. It is important for policyholders to be aware, however, that the new AIG product, like any new insurance product, is yet to be tested in the courts, and challenges as to the scope of its coverage as well as the scope of its conditions and limitations are certain to follow. It is important, therefore, that policyholders continue to seek the advice of experienced coverage lawyers when considering this or any new insurance product.