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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 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).

Continue Reading Seventh Circuit: Breach of Contract Exclusion Renders E&O Coverage Illusory

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).

Continue Reading Professional Services Performed Outside Covered Territory Precludes Coverage for Medical Negligence Claim

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).

Continue Reading Interrelated Claims Provision Precludes Coverage for Putative Class Action

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).

Continue Reading Third Party’s Breach of Contract Claim Against Broker Survives Motion to Dismiss

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).

Continue Reading Failure to Give Timely Notice of Arbitration Bars Coverage, Even Where Insured Gave Timely Notice of Related Claim

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).

Continue Reading Duty to Defend Triggered Given “Possibility” of Wrongful Act

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).

Continue Reading Options Trading Exclusion Unambiguously Bars Coverage for Investor Claims

The United States District Court for the Central District of California, applying California law, has held that an insurer was not entitled to summary judgment in full, finding that triable issues of fact remained regarding the insurer’s alleged failure to provide an immediate defense to the insured corporation and to assign separate counsel for an insured director.  Celerity Educ. Grp. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 2019 WL 430497 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2019).

Continue Reading Fact Disputes Preclude Summary Judgment Over Insurer’s Failure to Provide Immediate Defense

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, applying Indiana law, has revived a coverage dispute over whether a medical malpractice insurer’s professional liability insurer must cover the malpractice insurer’s post-verdict excess settlement of an underlying wrongful death claim, finding that factual questions remain as to whether the malpractice insurer’s refusal to settle the wrongful death claim on behalf of its insured physician was an actual “Wrongful Act” triggering a prior knowledge exclusion.  Med. Protective Co. v. Am. Int’l Specialty Lines Ins. Co., 2018 WL 6613336 (7th Cir. Dec. 18, 2018).

Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds that Actual Wrongful Act Must be Established to Trigger Prior Knowledge Exclusion

A Montana federal district court has ruled that a false pretense exclusion did not preclude coverage under a crime policy for monetary losses resulting from a fraudulent email scheme, reasoning that the exclusion was ambiguous.  Ad Advert. Design, Inc. v. Sentinel Ins. Co., 2018 WL 4621744 (D. Mont. Sept. 26, 2018).  The court also held that further briefing was necessary to determine the amount recoverable under the policy.

Continue Reading Monetary Loss from Fraudulent Email Scheme Triggers Coverage Under Business Owners’ Policy