The United States Supreme Court recently accepted review of In re Kaiser Gypsum Co., Inc., 60 F.4th 73 (4th Cir. 2023), a Fourth Circuit decision concerning “whether an insurer with financial responsibility for a bankruptcy claim is a ‘party in interest’ that may object to a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.” This issue, while one of first impression for the SCOTUS, has been litigated several times in the appellate courts, leading to a circuit split over the interplay between Article III and 11 U.S.C. Section 1109(b). 
Continue Reading Standing Room Only: SCOTUS Accepts Review of Circuit Split on Whether Insurer is a Party in Interest in Policyholder’s Bankruptcy

Major sneaker brands have capitalized on new trends in technology and social media to hype sneaker culture. As sneakers become more popular, sneaker collections increase in value, thus increasing financial exposure for collectors and other entities in the sneaker industry. One might first think of theft, authentication, fire, floods, or market valuation as the general risks associated with sneaker collections. But many sneaker companies have made headlines over the past few years with numerous lawsuits against other sneaker companies and entities with issues ranging from traditional patent battles to exhaustive fights against counterfeiters. Often overlooked by collectors and sneaker companies alike, insurance can and does play a critical role in helping both collectors and companies faced with unexpected liability related to sneaker culture.Continue Reading Solefully Designed: Insurance Coverage in the Sneaker Industry

Directors and officers should take note of a recent decision from the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York concerning access to D&O insurance policy proceeds.  In In re SVB Financial Group, Case No. 23-10367 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. May 22, 2023)[1], the Bankruptcy Court found cause to lift the automatic stay to allow directors and officers to access the proceeds of SVB Financial Group’s (“SVB”) directors and officers (“D&O”) insurance policies to pay for legal costs incurred in responding to investigations and defending litigation.  Moreover, it declined to impose a “soft cap” on the advance of defense costs. Continue Reading Hard on Soft Caps – Bankruptcy Court Declines to Limit Access to D&O Insurance

Artificial intelligence technology (“AI”) is poised to radically improve human functionality, although some say the technology is quietly learning how to overtake it. In the meantime, the insurance industry has been using AI to save time, attain consistency and improve risk mitigation. However, while the industry looks forward to cost savings and better business utilizing generative AI, some insurers have simultaneously cautioned policyholders about the potential risks that reliance on AI may pose. Insurer’s cautionary statements cast doubt on the integrity of their own reliance on the technology.Continue Reading Insurance Industry Highlights Inconsistent Reliance on AI

Congratulations to Jae Lynn Huckaba, an associate in Hunton’s Miami office and a member of the Firm’s insurance coverage team, for being named to the Miami Dade Bar Young Lawyers Section (YLS) board of directors.
The Miami Dade Bar YLS is comprised of attorneys aged 36 and under, competitively selected from among a large group of nominees. As a member of the YLS board of directors, Jae Lynn will help organize member and networking events, as well as judicial receptions and CLE programs.
Congrats, Jae Lynn!

Continue Reading Hunton’s Jae Lynn Huckaba Named to the Miami Dade Bar Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors

Congratulations to Alice Weeks, an associate on Hunton Andrews Kurth’s insurance coverage team, for being selected to the Miami Dade Bar’s Circle of Excellence for Insurance Litigation.

The Circle of Excellence award is awarded to peer-selected attorneys in their area of practice. Alice was selected from among many highly qualified nominees and was recognized at the Miami Dade Bar’s Judicial Reception. Alice is a past board member of the Miami Dade Bar YLS, as well as past-editor of the Miami Dade Bar’s newsletter, the Bulletin. Alice’s Circle of Excellence selection follows her recent selection to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Outstanding Young Professionals of South Florida and her receipt of the Miami Dade Bar’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Congrats, Alice!

Continue Reading Hunton’s Alice Weeks Selected to the Miami Dade Bar’s Circle of Excellence for Insurance Litigation

As discussed in a recent client alert, on March 24, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 837 into law, making it more difficult and costly for insurance policyholders of all sizes to sue insurers for bad faith by eliminating fee-shifting for most policyholders and requiring something “more than” negligence for bad faith claims.
Continue Reading Florida Enacts Sweeping Tort Reform Legislation, Raising Barriers to Insurance Coverage Claims

Despite the seemingly calm tropics, hurricane season is still going strong and will be for another two months. Is your business prepared in the event a hurricane hits? Andrea DeField and Alice Weeks recently published an article in Risk Management Magazine which is full of tips to minimize losses and maximize recovery in the event

Last week, a New York federal court ruled that an insurer’s “exceedingly broad duty to defend the insured” extended to the policyholder’s indemnification of its landlords in an underlying tort claim. ConMed Corporation (“ConMed”), a medical technology company, filed suit against Federal Insurance Company (“Federal”), a division of Chubb, alleging that Federal breached the terms of its insurance contract when it refused to defend ConMed’s landlords in a Georgia lawsuit.

The coverage dispute stemmed from ConMed employees’ claims that they were exposed to unsafe levels of ethylene oxide, a chemical used to sterilize ConMed’s equipment. Initially, the employees sued ConMed and its contractor that conducted the sterilization, but in April of 2021 the employees initiated a separate suit against ConMed’s landlords (“Landlord Action”). In the Landlord Action, plaintiff employees alleged negligence, aiding and abetting tortious conduct, fraud, wrongful death, and vicarious liability/respondeat superior claims, all stemming from their exposure to ethylene oxide. Pursuant to the lease agreement with ConMed, the landlords tendered the defense and indemnity of the Landlord Action to ConMed, which subsequently tendered the defense to Federal. Federal failed to accept defense of the Landlord Action, and ConMed filed suit.Continue Reading NY Federal Court Rules Insurer Must Cover Policyholder’s Landlords Under Lease Agreement’s Indemnity Provision