A Louisiana federal court has held that no coverage was available under a claims-made-and-reported policy where no claim was made during the policy period or noticed in accordance with the terms of the policy. Cupps v. Torus Spec. Ins. Co., 2015 WL 3755860 (E.D. La. June 16, 2015).
A man was murdered by two escaped prisoners. The decedent’s relatives hired a law firm to file a wrongful death action against the state government for negligently permitting the escape of the prisoners. The lawsuit was dismissed in November 2013 on, among other grounds, statute of limitations. Days later, the plaintiffs advised the law firm that the firm’s negligence in filing the lawsuit might have caused them injury.
The law firm’s malpractice carrier issued a claims-made-and-reported insurance policy with a policy period that expired on January 26, 2013. The insurance carrier was notified of a potential claim on January 13, 2014, and the decedent’s relatives filed a malpractice action against the law firm on February 3, 2014.
The policy at issue was a claims-made-and-reported policy that required a claim to be made during the policy period and noticed to the insurer within 60 days of the policy period. Because no claim was made or noticed to the insurer within the relevant timeframe, the court granted summary judgment to the insurer.