Tag Archives: Geoffrey B. Fehling

Sixth Circuit Appeal Underscores Numerous Marijuana Operations Insurance Coverage Issues

Commercial landlord KVG Properties Inc. has appealed a district court summary judgment ruling dismissing its claims under a first-party property policy issued by Westfield Insurance Company, arguing that the district court improperly rejected its claim because KVG’s tenants’ use of the property for marijuana growing operations was illegal under federal law. The appeal underscores the … Continue Reading

Hunton Insurance Lawyers Advise the Oil and Gas Industry on How Insurance Mitigates Cyber-Related Risk

In today’s interconnected society, a cyber breach is inevitable. For energy companies in particular, the threat is even more acute as cyber security improvements lag behind the rapid digitalization in oil and gas operations. One recent cyber security report stated that 68% of respondents reported that their organization experienced at least one cyber compromise. And, … Continue Reading

“Watershed” Cyber Attack Targets Industrial Plant: Highlights Need for Adequate Cyber Insurance

In what has been described as a “watershed” cyber incident, hackers recently used sophisticated malware—dubbed Triton—to take control of a key safety device installed at a power plant in Saudi Arabia. One of the few confirmed hacking tools designed to manipulate industrial control systems, this new breach is part of a growing trend in hacking … Continue Reading

Initial Coin Offerings and Insurance

This week, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a statement on Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) addressing the legality, fairness, and risks associated with those offerings. Although the agency’s bulletin was one of many recent public statements by federal agencies on ICOs and cryptocurrencies generally, this new warning highlights additional issues and concerns with the ICO phenomenon … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court to Review Policy Exhaustion in Chemical Manufacturer Coverage Dispute

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court agreed to review Montrose Chemical Corporation’s appeal from a September appellate court ruling that rejected Montrose’s preferred “vertical exhaustion” method of exhausting excess-layer policies in favor of a policy-by-policy review to determine which policies are triggered. The California high court’s grant of Montrose’s petition for review is potentially … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Finds No Coverage Under Commercial Crime Policy Based on Narrow Construction of Undefined Terms

The Fifth Circuit recently upheld the dismissal on summary judgment of a policyholder’s claim under a commercial crime insurance policy, affirming the trial court’s narrow interpretation of the terms “owned” and “loss,” concluding that the policyholder did not “own” the funds at issue or suffer a “loss” when it loaned those funds to the fraudsters. … Continue Reading

New Jersey Decision Highlights Importance Of Reviewing Historical Liability Insurance Policies

In a recent Client Alert, Hunton & Williams insurance attorneys Lorelie Masters, Michael Levine, and Geoffrey Fehling discuss the importance of reviewing historical liability insurance policies and the potential benefit these policies can have on minimizing exposure to environmental hazards. In Cooper Industries, LLC v. Employers Insurance of Wausau, et al., No. L-9284-11 (N.J. Super. … Continue Reading

Are Your Drone Operations Covered By Insurance?

Earlier this week, Canada’s transport minister announced that a drone had collided with a commercial aircraft, the first confirmed collision of its kind in North America. Thankfully, the aircraft sustained only minor damage and was able to land safely. But this recent incident, which many commentators believed was inevitable given the proliferation of consumer and … Continue Reading

Insurer Must Pay Post-Merger Defense Costs Under Merged Entity’s D&O Policy

Corporate policyholders should carefully consider insurance coverage implications when structuring mergers, acquisitions, or other transactions that may impact available insurance assets. A New Jersey federal court recently granted summary judgment for a surviving bank asserting coverage rights under a D&O policy issued to an entity that dissolved in a statutory merger, based in part on … Continue Reading

Multi-Disciplinary Team Announces Blockchain-Based Marine Insurance Platform

Consulting firm Ernst & Young recently announced that it is collaborating with Microsoft, data security firm Guardtime, and shipping and logistics conglomerate Maersk to create a marine insurance platform based on blockchain technology. The companies anticipate that their blockchain-based product—to be implemented globally beginning in early 2018—will connect clients, brokers, insurers, and third parties to … Continue Reading

Hunton Insurance Lawyers Analyze How Ninth Circuit’s Recent Lakers Opinion Impacts Future Coverage for TCPA Claims

On August 29, 2017, my colleagues Lawrence J. Bracken, Michael Levine, and Geoffrey Fehling published an article in Law360 discussing the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision rejecting coverage for the Los Angeles Lakers’ director’s and officer’s (D&O) insurance claim arising from a fan’s class action lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), based on a … Continue Reading

Hunton Insurance Lawyers Syed Ahmad and Geoffrey Fehling Discuss The Importance of Insurance Coverage for Commercial Drone Operations

From disaster preparedness and workplace safety to autonomous deliveries and performance arts, companies worldwide increasingly rely on drones as a natural extension of their business. Recent Federal Aviation Administration forecasts predict that nearly 4 million drones—over 420,000 of which will be used for commercial operations—will be operating in the U.S. by the year 2021.… Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Refuses to Disturb Pro-Policyholder Pollution Exclusion Ruling Based on “Efficient Proximate Cause”

Earlier this month, the Washington Supreme Court reaffirmed coverage for injuries for carbon monoxide, holding that an insurer acted in bad faith when it improperly relied on an absolute pollution exclusion to deny coverage for a lawsuit involving alleged release of carbon monoxide gas inside a home.… Continue Reading

District Court Holds Narrow Computer Fraud Provision, Restrictive State Law, Means No “Direct Loss” Arising From Fraudulent E-mail Scheme

Highlighting the continued problems faced by policyholders in obtaining coverage for “computer fraud,” a Michigan district court recently held that a manufacturer could not recover $800,000 in funds lost after an employee mistakenly wired payment for legitimate vendor invoices into a fraudster’s bank account after receiving a spoofed e-mail requesting payment. In American Tooling Center, … Continue Reading

Hunton Insurance Lawyers Sergio F. Oehninger and Geoffrey Fehling Provide a Primer on Insurance Coverage for FCPA Claims and Investigations

The frequency and magnitude of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) (15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1, et seq.) investigations and claims continue to grow. Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Halliburton Co. had agreed to pay $29.2 million in fines and penalties to settle allegations that its operations in Angola and … Continue Reading

The Cost of Cyber Exposure: A Further Look A Lloyd’s Emerging Risk Report 2017

Last month’s post summarized key findings from the recent emerging risk report issued by Lloyd’s of London and risk-modeling firm Cyence, highlighting several key findings about cyber risks and the cyber insurance market more generally. In this post, we provide a closer look at some of the more significant cyber coverage issues discussed in the … Continue Reading

Where Are Those Dragons?: A Look at HBO’s Recent “Game of Thrones” Data Theft and Coverage for Cyber Crimes

Earlier this week, HBO announced that it had suffered a “cyber-incident” involving the compromise of “proprietary information” that reportedly includes forthcoming episodes and scripts from popular HBO shows such as Game of Thrones. The HBO breach is the most recent in a growing list of cybersecurity issues faced by Hollywood studios this year. In an … Continue Reading

District Court Rejects Insurer’s Attempt to Recoup Defense Costs, Citing Defective Reservation of Rights

A Georgia district court recently denied an insurer’s attempt to recoup defense costs, holding that even where the court previously determined that coverage was barred under the policy’s pollution exclusion, the insurer could not “rewrite the record” or clarify its “defective” reservation of rights letters to show that it fairly informed the policyholder of its … Continue Reading

Insurer Report Predicts Increasing Global Risk, Up to $53 Billion in Losses, Following Major Cyber Event

As discussed in prior posts, recent cyber events, such as the “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack, serve as important reminders to policyholders that cyber insurance should remain a priority for any business facing potential exposure from a cyber event. A recent report further underscores the potential impact of a major global cyber event, estimating that the … Continue Reading
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