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Nate represents insurers in connection with coverage issues and disputes arising under professional liability and general liability insurance policies. Nate, a certified Legal Lean Sigma Institute (LLSI) White Belt, uses the LLSI process and project management tools to continually improve the value proposition the firm delivers to its clients.

Applying Maryland law, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland has held that an insurer had no right to allocate a global settlement of two underlying lawsuits between covered and non-covered claims, where the damages sought in each action were identical and based on the same misconduct.  Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. The Fund for Animals, Inc., 2019 WL 7369221 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Dec. 30, 2019).

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Applying Illinois law, a federal district court has held that a policy’s sexual misconduct exclusion did not apply to preclude coverage for an underlying lawsuit against a school district involving a student’s acts of sexual misconduct, where the applicability of the exclusion in that context was not “clear and free from doubt.”  Netherlands Ins. Co. v. Macomb Cmty. Unit Sch. Dist., 2019 WL 5417144 (C.D. Ill. Aug 6, 2019).

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Applying Wisconsin law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that a breach of contract exclusion did not apply to bar coverage for a claim because it had the effect of rendering the insured’s errors and omissions professional liability coverage illusory.  Crum & Forster Specialty Ins. Co. v. DVO, Inc., 2019 WL 4594229 (7th Cir. Sept. 23, 2019).

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The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin has held that the “location endorsement” in a professional liability policy precluded coverage for a medical negligence claim where the insured’s liability was “connected with” professional services performed outside the covered territory.  Paynter v. ProAssurance Wisconsin Ins. Co., 2019 WL 4018339 (Wis. Ct. App. Aug. 27, 2019).

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The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington has held that a liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured against a putative class action because the lawsuit involved “Related Wrongful Acts” and therefore constituted a single claim first made prior to the inception of the policy.  Navigators Specialty Ins. Co. v. Double Down Interactive, LLC, 2019 WL 3387458 (W.D. Wash, July 26, 2019).

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The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts has held that a third party claimant’s breach of contract claim could proceed against an insurance broker where the third party’s claims against the insured were known to the broker before the broker procured additional insurance that effectively reduced the amount of coverage available.  In re GlassHouse Techs., 2019 WL 2477430 (Bankr. D. Mass. May 31, 2019).

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The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, applying Texas law, has granted an employment practices liability insurer’s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit alleging that it wrongfully denied coverage for an arbitration award, concluding that the insured failed to provide timely notice of the arbitration to its insurer.  Stadium Motorcars, LLC v. Federal Ins. Co., 2019 WL 212111 (S.D. Tex. May 15, 2019).

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The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, applying South Carolina law, has denied a professional liability insurer’s motion to dismiss, holding that the insured’s alleged conduct could fall within the policy’s definition of “Wrongful Act,” thus giving rise to a duty to defend.  Harriman v. Associated Indus. Ins. Co., 2019 WL 1670801 (D.S.C. Apr. 17, 2019).

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The United States District Court for the District of Utah has held that an errors and omissions policy’s “options trading” exclusion applied to bar coverage for claims resulting from an insured investment company’s high-risk trade.  Allegis Invest. Servs., LLC v. Arthur Gallagher & Co., 2019 WL 1002364 (D. Utah Mar. 1, 2019).

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