The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas recently rejected a claim by a group of insurance companies (“Underwriters”) against American Global Maritime Inc. for more than $500 million that the Underwriters paid the named insured under an Off-Shore Construction Risk insurance policy for losses resulting from the an alleged off-shore oil rig failure.

Continue Reading

On June 17, 2019, the First Circuit held that an insurer’s duty to defend was triggered because the underlying complaint set forth claims that required a showing of intent as well as claims that sought recovery for conduct that “fits comfortably within the definition of an ‘accident.’” In Zurich American Ins. Co v. Electricity Maine, LLC, Zurich sought declaratory judgment that, under a D&O policy, it had no duty to defend the insured, Electricity Maine, an electrical utility company being sued in the underlying class action. Zurich argued it had no duty to defend because the underlying complaint failed to allege that Electricity Maine engaged in conduct that qualified as an “occurrence” or that caused “bodily injury” under the terms of the policy. The First Circuit disagreed.

Continue Reading

The Supreme Court of California has ruled that a general liability insurer must defend an employer against allegations of employee misconduct, reinforcing the breadth of (1) what constitutes an “occurrence” under an employer’s commercial general liability (CGL) policy and (2) the duty to defend regarding claims for negligent hiring, retention and supervision. The opinion in Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Constr. Co., Inc. can be found here.

Continue Reading

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