The California Court of Appeal, applying California law, has held that two lawsuits arising from work performed by the same insured engineering firm on a housing development constitute related claims under the firm’s professional liability policies, and were thus subject to a single policy limit.  D.R. Horton Los Angeles Holding Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London Subscribing to Policy No. 146/LDUSA0700832, 2020 WL 7417409 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2020).

Continue Reading Lawsuits Concerning Same Housing Development Project Are Related Claims

The Missouri Court of Appeals, applying Missouri law, has held that multiple acts of negligence committed by a lawyer while representing a married couple in a lawsuit are related acts or omissions constituting a single claim under the law office’s professional liability policy, and thus were subject to a single limit of liability.  Stacy v. Bar Plan Mut. Ins. Co., 2021 WL 243515 (Mo. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2021).  The court also held that the insurer was not estopped from asserting the limits of liability when it failed to send reservation of rights or denial of coverage letters relating to its single-claim position.

Continue Reading Lawyer’s Multiple Acts of Negligence Constitute A Single Claim

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, applying Maryland law, has held that the professional services and managed care activity exclusions in a D&O policy did not bar coverage for a lawsuit against the insured healthcare facility where the underlying complaint included allegations concerning the insured’s business decisions.  Atlantic Healthcare v. Argonaut Ins. Co., 2021 WL 266281 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 27, 2021).  The court also held the prior acts exclusion inapplicable because some of the underlying claims were not premised on any alleged wrongful act that took place before the exclusion’s cut-off date.

Continue Reading Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage for Lawsuit Alleging “Business Decisions” of Healthcare Facility

The United States District Court for the Central District of California, applying California law, has ruled that an insurer could rescind a policy issued after a homeowners association falsely claimed in its application that it had not had any claims against it in the prior five years.  Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. Lake Lindero Homeowners Ass’n, 2020 WL 7416169 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 25, 2020).  The Court concluded that the information withheld was material to the insurer’s decision whether to issue the policy.

Continue Reading Insurer Entitled to Rescind Due to Misrepresentations on Application

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, applying Alabama law, has held that an insurer could not invoke a policy’s consent-to-settle requirement to avoid liability because the insurer refused to participate in settlement negotiations despite having notice of the negotiations, and thus had waived its right to challenge the settlement for lack of consent.  Granite State Ins. Co. v. New Way Out, Corp., 2021 WL 191637 (S.D. Ala. Jan. 19, 2021).

Continue Reading Insurer’s Refusal to Participate in Settlement Negotiations Waives Consent-to-Settle Requirement

The United States District Court for the Central District of California, applying Georgia law, has held that a claims-made policy did not provide coverage for an underlying lawsuit where the allegations in that lawsuit were first made in an email received by the insured prior to the start of the policy period.  Peachstate Health Mgmt. v. Chubb Ins. Co., 2020 WL 8184143 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 24, 2020).

Continue Reading No Coverage for Lawsuit Alleging Same Circumstances Asserted in Email Received Prior to Policy Period

A Kentucky federal court has held that an Insured v. Insured (IvI) exclusion that included an assistance exception precluded coverage for an entire lawsuit brought by both insureds and non-insureds and that no allocation was required.  Tarter v. Navigators Ins. Co., 2021 WL 149302 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 15, 2021).

Continue Reading Insured-versus-Insured Exclusion Precludes Coverage For Entire Suit Brought by Insureds and Non-Insureds

There were several important developments impacting private investment funds in 2020.  The SEC continued to prioritize this area of the capital markets, and it issued important rules and guidance impacting private funds and investment advisers.  There also were two important court rulings, one by the United States Supreme Court and one by the Delaware Supreme Court.  This Article summarizes the most important developments in the private fund space – in chronological order.

Continue Reading Private Investment Funds: Major Developments from 2020

The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division has held that, under New York Insurance Law § 3420(a)(5), an insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a personal injury action where the insured failed to provide notice of the claim during the policy period or extended reporting period, as required by the claims-made-and-reported policy.  Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London Subscribing to Policy No. PGIARK01449-05 v. Advance Transit Co., 2020 WL 6731791 (N.Y. App. Div. Nov. 17, 2020).

Continue Reading New York Insurance Law Does Not Preclude Enforcement of Claims-Made-and-Reported Policy’s Notice Requirements

The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota has held that an insurer had no duty to defend a claim under a lawyers professional liability policy where the insured had prior knowledge that a claim might be made and should have given notice of the potential claim prior to the policy’s effective date. ALPS Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Brehdal & Assoc., P.C., 2020 WL 6268043 (D.N.D. Oct 23, 2020). The court also held that the insurer was entitled to reimbursement of defense costs where the policy provided such a right, and the insurer reserved its rights to seek such reimbursement.

Continue Reading Prior Knowledge and Prior Notice Exclusions Barred Coverage For Legal Malpractice Claim