The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently gave another reminder why cyber insurance should be part of any comprehensive insurance portfolio. In Construction Financial Administration Services, LLC v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 19-0020 (E.D. Pa. June 9, 2022), the court rejected a policyholder’s attempt to find coverage under its professional liability insurance for a social engineering incident that defrauded over $1 million.
Construction Financial Administrative Services, which goes by CFAS, disburses funds to contractors. One of its clients, SWF Constructors, was hacked, and a bad actor posing as the client asked CFAS to distribute $600,000 to a sham third party. John Follmer, an executive at CFAS and the only person authorized to approve distribution of funds, approved it. The next day, the bad actor, again posing as the client, asked Follmer to transfer an additional $700,000. Follmer approved that distribution too.

Continue Reading Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Silent-Cyber Basket

A Massachusetts federal court ruled last week that Allied World Insurance Co. must pay for a Boston law firm’s defense of counterclaims asserted against it in a lawsuit over, among other things, the proper ownership of client files and materials.

Continue Reading Counterclaims by Firm’s Former Lawyers Trigger Defense Duties under Professional Liability Policy

On Monday, a Tennessee jury awarded $55 million to FOX sportscaster Erin Andrews in her suit against Michael Barrett, her stalker, and the Marriott hotel where they both stayed. In 2008, Mr. Barrett secretly videotaped Ms. Andrews through a peephole as she changed clothes in her hotel room. Hotel staff had revealed that she was staying at the hotel and, upon Mr. Barrett’s request, gave him a room next to hers. Mr. Barrett’s surreptitious video of Ms. Andrews was later made public. Ms. Andrews sued Mr. Barrett, West End Hotel Partners, LLC (the owner/franchisee of the hotel) and Windsor Capital Group, Inc. (the operator of the hotel) for negligence, invasion of privacy, and infliction of emotional distress causing embarrassment. The jury found the hotel’s owner and operator 49% at fault, comprising approximately $27 million of the total verdict.

Continue Reading Erin Andrews’ Peeping Tom Verdict May Trigger Hotel Insurance Policies

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called Zika an international public health emergency. The insurance industry is taking notice. Civil authorities have already begun to issue notices, like the Center for Disease Control’s travel notices for areas in which Zika transmission is occurring. As highlighted by Marsh in a recent blog post, the potential for action by civil authorities can create problems for some policyholders.1

Continue Reading Insurance Industry Not Immune From Zika