The Daily Business Review, an ALM publication covering the south Florida business community, has named Hunton’s Insurance practice head, Walter Andrews, as a recipient of its 2018 Professional Excellence Award.   The award recognizes exemplary work by attorneys in the legal profession and community.  The award is a precursor to an event hosted by the Daily Business Review on May 30 at the Rusty Pelican in Miami, where one of this year’s three Professional Excellence Award winners will be named Attorney of the Year.  Congratulations, and good luck Walter!

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.

Continue Reading Florida Federal Court Reinforces Principle That Precise Policy Language Is Required Before An Insurer Can Deny Coverage Based On An Exclusion

With the wave of wage and hour litigation showing no signs of receding, employers often have questions about whether they should consider insurance coverage for these claims. In the first of this two-part interview, Hunton & Williams partners Emily Burkhardt Vicente and Walter Andrews discuss what employers need to understand about insurance coverage for state and federal wage and hour claims.  View the 5-minute video here.

A Florida state court has awarded over $5.5 million to singer Gloria Estefan’s hotel company in a lawsuit against Landmark Insurance Company because the insurer wrongly refused to cover building code-related upgrade costs after two 2004 hurricanes, Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne, severely damaged the hotel property. The case is Pin-Pon Corp. v. Landmark American Ins. Co., No. 312009CA0122-44 (Fla. 19th Cir. Ct. Dec. 28, 2017).

Continue Reading Florida Court Holds Commercial Property Insurance Policy Covers Costs to Comply with Building Code Post-Hurricane

On Wednesday, my colleagues Walter Andrews and Katie Miller published a timely article in Florida’s Daily Business Review discussing the availability of insurance coverage for continuing losses suffered by businesses directly and indirectly affected by Hurricane Irma.  The article, titled After Irma: Is Your Business Entitled to Insurance Coverage for Additional Lost Profits?, has equal application to those affected by Hurricanes Maria and Harvey.  As the article explains, continuing business income losses may be covered under common property insurance policy provisions.  Where they are not, the article provides insightful advice for policyholders as they approach policy renewal so they can fill gaps that may exist in their current coverages.  A copy of the article can be found here.

Continue Reading As 2017 Winds Down, Are Lingering Irma, Maria and Harvey Business Losses Insured?

In an article published in Law360, Hunton & Williams LLP partners Walter Andrews, Malcolm Weiss, and I discuss two recent decisions in Tree Top Inc. v. Starr Indem. & Liab. Co., No. 1:15-CV-03155-SMJ, 2017 WL 5664718 (E.D. Wash. Nov. 21, 2017).  There, the Eastern District of Washington rejected an insurer’s attempt to escape insurance coverage for a Proposition 65 lawsuit filed against juice-maker Tree Top Inc.

Continue Reading “3 Takeaways Squeezed Out of Juicer’s Insurance Battle” – Hunton Attorneys Discuss Insurance Coverage for Prop. 65 Claims and Key Takeaways from Recent Set of Washington District Court Rulings.

In an article appearing in Law360, Hunton & Williams LLP’s insurance coverage practice group head, Walter Andrews, weighs in on the Florida Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Altman Contractors, Inc. v. Crum and Forster Specialty Insurance Co. As I discussed in my previous blog post on the Altman Contractors case, available here, the Florida Supreme Court held that a Chapter 558 notice of construction defect constitutes a “alternative dispute resolution proceeding” under the definition of “suit” in a commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy so as to possibly trigger the insurer’s duty to defend. There, the policy defined “suit” as including “[a]ny other alternative dispute resolution proceeding in which such damages are claimed and to which the insured submits with our consent.”

Continue Reading Hunton Practice Group Head, Walter Andrews, Discusses Implications of Florida Supreme Court’s Recent Opinion on Coverage for Chapter 558 Notices

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, in Innovak International v. The Hanover Insurance Co., recently granted summary judgment in favor of Hanover Insurance Company finding that it had no duty to defend Innovak against a data breach lawsuit. Innovak, which is a payroll service, suffered a breach of employee personal information, including social security numbers. The employees then filed suit against Innovak alleging it had negligently created a software that allowed personal information to be accessed by third parties. Innovak sought a defense for the lawsuit from its commercial general liability carrier, Hanover Insurance Company. Innovak argued that the employee’s allegations triggered the personal and advertising injury coverage part of the policy, which covers loss arising out of the advertising of the policyholder’s goods or services, invasion of privacy, libel, slander, copyright infringement, and misappropriation of advertising ideas. The court disagreed and found the employees’ allegations did not involve a publication that would trigger coverage under the commercial general liability policy.

Continue Reading Recent Decision Is Reminder That Separate Cyber Insurance Policies Are Necessary