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Ted serves as coverage counsel for claims under professional liability and general liability policies, with a focus on media, technology, and privacy-related exposures. He routinely advises insurers in connection with cyber insurance and other first- and third-party technology risks.

A Maryland federal district court has ruled that a ransomware event involved “direct physical loss of or damage to” software, data, and computer systems, thus triggering coverage under a businessowner’s insurance policy.  National Ink & Stitch, LLC v. State Auto Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. SAG-18-2138 (D. Md. Jan. 23, 2020).

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An Illinois intermediate appellate court has held that an exclusion for claims arising from “unfair or deceptive business practices” including “violations of any local, state or federal consumer protection laws” did not bar coverage against an insured property manager for alleged violations of a city residential landlord-tenant ordinance.  Evergreen Real Estate Servs., LLC v. Hanover Ins. Co., 2019 WL 5704599 (Ill. App. Ct. Nov. 4, 2019).

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A Texas intermediate appellate court, applying Texas law, has held that an insured-versus-insured (IvI) exclusion did not bar coverage for an arbitration award because the underlying dispute arose from alleged wrongful employment practices, bringing the claim within an exception to the exclusion.  Prophet Equity LP v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 2019 WL 3886651 (Tex. App. Aug. 19, 2019).  The court also determined that the insurer had not met its burden of proving that any portion of the arbitration award constituted uncovered loss such that an allocation should be imposed.  Id.

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A Utah federal district court has held that claims based on similar acts of wrongdoing were barred by a prior notice exclusion despite geographic differences among the putative class definitions.  Starr Indem. & Liab. Co. v. Monavie, Inc., 2019 WL 1227930 (D. Utah Mar. 5, 2019).  The court also ruled that the insurer was entitled to recoup defense costs incurred in connection with the non-covered claims.

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An Alabama federal district court has ruled that a third-party claim seeking indemnification for a medical malpractice suit, allegedly resulting from the insured’s allegedly faulty performance of technology services, was barred from coverage by “medical services” and bodily injury exclusions.  Jackson, Key & Assocs., LLC v. Beazley Ins. Co., Inc., 2018 WL 6710041 (S.D. Ala. Nov. 30, 2018) (report and recommendation adopted on December 20, 2018).

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A Florida federal district court has ruled that a claim asserting that an insured’s negligent data security practices led to a payment card breach did not trigger personal injury coverage under a CGL policy.  See St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Rosen Millennium, Inc., No. 6:17-cv-540-Orl-41GJK (M.D. Fla. Sept. 28, 2018).  The court reasoned that because the hacker’s conduct, not the insured’s omissions, led to the breach, the insured did not make known any private information.  The alleged damages therefore did not “result[] from [the insured’s] business activities” but instead arose from the third-party hacker’s criminal conduct.

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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.

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A Nevada federal district court has applied the “direct means direct” rule to conclude that losses an insured suffered from payment card chargebacks when certain employees made fraudulent charges on customers’ payment cards were only the “indirect” result of employee theft, and therefore not covered under the insured’s commercial crime policy.  CP Food & Beverage, Inc. v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., No. 1:16-cv-02421-APG-GWF (D. Nev. Aug. 6, 2018).

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