In a win for Wiley Rein’s client, a federal district court applying Connecticut law has held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an attorney in a lawsuit that arose out of a fee dispute and did not seek any covered relief. Continental Cas. Co. v. Parnoff, 2018 WL 4356746 (D. Conn. Sept. 12, 2018).
The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has held that two liability insurers did not owe coverage for the insured’s SEC investigation defense costs because the SEC investigation was a “claim” first made before the policy period. Jalbert v. The Zurich Servs. Corp., 2018 WL 4232905 (D. Mass. Sept. 5, 2018). Wiley Rein represented one of the prevailing carriers.
The Supreme Court of Montana has held that a Montana statute allowing insurers to “prevent a recovery” under an insurance policy in certain circumstances, including when the insured made misrepresentations or omissions in its application, does not provide a right to rescind the policy ab initio. ALPS Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. McLean & McLean, PLLP, 2018 WL 3737950 (Mont. Aug. 7, 2018). The court also held that an innocent insured attorney had a reasonable expectation of retaining attorney malpractice insurance by purchasing an extended reporting period endorsement.
Applying Texas law, a federal district court has denied a motion for reconsideration of its prior ruling that a securities exclusion barred coverage for claims involving alleged misrepresentations made in connection with the sale of securities. Gleason v. Markel Am. Ins. Co., 2018 WL 3819928 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 10, 2018). The court rejected the insured’s argument that an exception to the exclusion restored coverage, concluding that the insured failed to fully brief the argument in the earlier summary judgment motion.
Applying Maine law, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has held that a professional liability insurer had no duty to defend a physician for claims arising out of his alleged improper accessing of his ex-wife’s medical records on the basis that such action did not constitute the rendering of professional services. Med. Mut. Ins. Co. of Me. v. Burka, 2018 WL 3805909 (1st Cir. Aug. 10, 2018).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, applying Florida law, has affirmed a district court’s holding that multiple lawsuits filed against the insured over a fifteen-year period involving a “continuing pattern of anticompetitive behavior” constitute claims “related logically, causally or in any other way.” Health First, Inc. v. Capitol Specialty Ins. Corp., 2018 WL 4025461 (11th Cir. Aug. 22, 2018).
A Delaware trial court, applying Tennessee law, has ruled that an insurer was entitled to recover defense costs it advanced under a reservation of rights for a non-covered claim. Catlin Specialty Ins. Co. v. CBL & Assocs. Props., 2018 WL 3805868 (Del. Super. Ct. Aug. 9, 2018). In so doing, the court cited the American Law Institute Restatement on the Law of Liability Insurance (Restatement), but it ultimately refused to follow the Restatement, concluding that it did not accurately reflect Tennessee law.
In a win for Wiley Rein’s client, a Texas state court, applying Texas law, has held that no coverage was available for Wells notices issued and an enforcement action brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because they were related to the SEC’s original investigation, which commenced prior to the claims-made policy period. UniPixel, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., (Tex. Dist. Ct., Harris Cnty. Aug. 23, 2018).
Applying Rhode Island law, the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island has held that an insured was entitled to coverage for a settlement because the settlement related back to a prior notice of circumstances. Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 2018 WL 3640995 (D.R.I. Aug. 1, 2018).
A Missouri federal district court, applying Missouri law, has held that an insurer had an obligation under a law enforcement liability policy to defend a county and law enforcement officials in a suit alleging violation of the plaintiff’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights based on the initiation of prosecution of criminal charges, even though the investigation by the law enforcement officials commenced prior to the policy period. Argonaut Great Central Ins. Co. v. Lincoln County, Mo., No. 4:17-CV-00762 JAR (E.D. Mo. Aug. 8, 2018). In addition, the court held that an exclusion for malicious conduct did not preclude coverage for the claim.