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Applying California law, a federal district court has rejected an insured law firm’s argument that the terms “may” and “might” as used in connection with an application question regarding knowledge of potential claims are ambiguous and unenforceable.   Am. Alternative Ins. Corp. v. Warner, 2019 WL 6493945 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 3, 2019).

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The Supreme Court of Vermont has held there is no coverage for breach of contract and intentional torts under an errors and omissions (E&O) liability policy, where all counts of the complaint rested on allegations that the insured used misrepresentations and falsehoods to undermine a competitor, which did not fall within the definition of “professional services” under the policy.  Integrated Tech., Inc. v. Crum & Forster Specialty, 2019 WL 3759175 (Vt. Aug. 9, 2019).

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The United States District Court for the Central District of California, applying California law, has held that there is no coverage for a False Claims Act settlement where the insured company’s alleged wrongful acts took place outside the policy period and were independently barred from coverage by a contract exclusion, prior acts exclusion and regulatory exclusion. Office Depot Inc. v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co. No. 2:15-cv-02416 (C.D. Cal. June 21, 2019).

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The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, applying Florida law, held that the fraud exclusion in a company owner’s D&O policy barred coverage because a Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) civil action found the owner to have engaged in intentionally fraudulent conduct. Imperato v. Navigators Ins. Co., 2019 WL 2443034 (11th Cir. June 11, 2019).

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