Applying Pennsylvania law, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that no coverage is available under a professional liability policy for a lawsuit alleging human trafficking, wage and hour, and consumer protection violations because all counts rested on intentional conduct that occurred after professional services were rendered.  Hemphill v. Landmark Ins. Co., 2020 WL 3871295 (E.D. Pa. July 9, 2020).

Continue Reading No Coverage for Lawsuit Alleging Human Trafficking and Wage and Hour Violations

Applying New York law, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has held that an EPL insurer need not reimburse a CGL insurer for a settlement and defense costs incurred in connection with two lawsuits alleging sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault, concluding that the policy’s criminal act exclusion barred coverage because the suits both arose from alleged sexual assault.  Hamilton Specialty Ins. Co. v. Kinsale Ins. Co., 2020 WL 1876358 (S.D.N.Y Apr. 15, 2020).

Continue Reading Criminal Act Exclusion Bars EPL Coverage for Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Assault Suits

The Eighth Circuit, applying Missouri law, has held that a law enforcement liability insurer has a duty to defend a county and law enforcement officials in a suit alleging violation of the plaintiff’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights because charges were first filed against the plaintiff during the policy period, even though the complaint against the insureds included a count for an unlawful seizure that occurred before the policy period.  Argonaut Great Cent. Ins. Co. v. Lincoln Cty., 2020 WL 1264213 (8th Cir. Mar. 17, 2020).  The court also held that neither the policy’s intentional conduct exclusion nor application of Missouri public policy precluded a duty to defend.

Continue Reading Arrest and Filing of Charges Triggers Wrongful Conviction Defense Coverage

Applying New York law, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has held that, because a subpoena duces tecum previously issued to the insured by a post-judgment creditor of a non-insured entity was not a “Claim” against the insured, the subpoena and a later-filed lawsuit against the insured could not qualify as “Related Claims” deemed first made when the subpoena was issued. Protective Specialty Ins. Co. v. Castle Title Ins. Agency, Inc., 2020 WL 550700 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2020). The court also held that the “warranty exclusion” in the application for the policy (in which the insured warranted that it was “not aware of any incident or circumstance which may result in a claim”) did not bar coverage for the lawsuit, even though the insured failed to disclose the subpoena in the application.

Continue Reading Subpoena Not a ‘Claim’ When Issued in Litigation Not Involving Insured’s Professional Services

Applying California Law, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California has held that an insurer must pay defense costs contemporaneously, even where the policy’s advancement provision merely requires payment “prior to final disposition of a claim,” because the insured became legally liable for defense costs as they were incurred.  Renovate Am., Inc. v. Lloyd’s Syndicate 1458, 2019 WL 6716735 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 10, 2019).  The court further held that the insured was excused from obtaining the insurer’s prior written consent regarding defense arrangements given the insurer’s seven-month delay in responding to the insured’s initial notice.

Continue Reading Insurer Must Advance Defense Costs as Incurred and Cannot Enforce Policy’s Defense Arrangement Consent Provision