The California Court of Appeal, applying California law, has held that two lawsuits arising from work performed by the same insured engineering firm on a housing development constitute related claims under the firm’s professional liability policies, and were thus subject to a single policy limit.  D.R. Horton Los Angeles Holding Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London Subscribing to Policy No. 146/LDUSA0700832, 2020 WL 7417409 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2020).

Continue Reading Lawsuits Concerning Same Housing Development Project Are Related Claims

The United States District Court for the Central District of California, applying Georgia law, has held that a claims-made policy did not provide coverage for an underlying lawsuit where the allegations in that lawsuit were first made in an email received by the insured prior to the start of the policy period.  Peachstate Health Mgmt. v. Chubb Ins. Co., 2020 WL 8184143 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 24, 2020).

Continue Reading No Coverage for Lawsuit Alleging Same Circumstances Asserted in Email Received Prior to Policy Period

Applying California law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that a letter proposing an informal settlement received before the policy period constituted a claim, such that no coverage was available for subsequent related lawsuits.  Pac. Coast Surgical Ctr., L.P. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 2020 WL 5870257 (9th Cir. Oct. 2, 2020).

Continue Reading Pre-Policy Settlement Letter Deemed a “Claim,” Barring Coverage for Related Lawsuits

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, applying Texas law, has held that an insured’s late notice of a claim bars coverage, rejecting arguments that (i) the initial complaint did not constitute a “claim” because it did not allege a “wrongful act;” (ii) notice to the broker was sufficient; and (iii) the issuance of a renewal policy on different terms triggered the automatic extended reporting period. Vela Wood PC v. Associated Indus. Ins. Co., 2020 WL 5440496 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 10, 2020).

Continue Reading Texas Court Holds Late Notice Bars Coverage

The United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, applying West Virginia law, has held that an insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured because two exclusions and the definitions of “damages” and “claim” each separately precluded coverage of a claim for a client’s lost settlement funds under the lawyer’s professional liability policy.  ALPS Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Murphy, 2020 WL 4141987 (N.D. W. Va. July 20, 2020).

Continue Reading No Coverage under Lawyer’s Professional Liability Policy for Client’s Lost Settlement Funds

Applying Kentucky law, a federal district court has held that a subpoena issued to an insured company was not a “Claim” under a D&O policy’s Side B coverage because the subpoena failed to identify an “Individual Insured.”  Springstone, Inc. v. Hiscox Ins. Co., 2020 WL 4506097 (W.D. Ky. Aug. 5, 2020).  The court also held that no coverage was available to the entity because coverage was barred by an exclusion for any Claim “seeking fines or penalties or non-monetary relief against the Company.”

Continue Reading Government Subpoena Issued to Insured Company Not a “Claim” Against Individual Insured

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, applying Illinois law, has concluded that a question of fact exists regarding when a “claim” was “first made” where the recipient of a “claim” sent via email allegedly did not become aware of the claim until days after it was received in the recipient’s inbox, after the end of the policy period.  Lloyd’s Syndicate 3624 (Hiscox) v. Clow, 2020 WL 4194213 (N.D. Ill. July 21, 2020).

Continue Reading Question of Fact When “Claim” “First Made” Where Insured Allegedly Did Not Become Aware of Claim Until After Policy Period

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, applying Illinois law, has held that a written demand for monetary relief, made as part of an ongoing civil proceeding, cannot constitute a second Claim distinct from the Claim already initiated by the civil proceeding itself under a claims-made policy.  Market Street Bancshares, Inc. v. Fed. Ins. Co., 2020 WL 3396303 (7th Cir. June 19, 2020).  The court based its holding on both the policy’s text and the principles underlying claims-made coverage.

Continue Reading “Written Demand” Made Within a “Civil Proceeding” is Not a New Claim

The Georgia Court of Appeals has held that correspondence to an insured attorney from a former client’s new counsel potentially alluding to a malpractice suit did not constitute a claim and that questions of fact remained as to whether the correspondence gave the insured a basis to reasonably expect a claim. Joseph v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, 2020 WL 3168543 (Ga. Ct. App. June 15, 2020).

Continue Reading Pre-Policy Period Letters to Disqualified Counsel from Claimant’s New Attorney are Not a Claim or A Prior Incident that Could be the Basis for a Claim

Applying the law of Puerto Rico, a federal district court held that coverage was unavailable for an underlying lawsuit under a claims-made policy because the claim was deemed first made prior to the inception of the policy period.  Galarza-Cruz v. Grupo HIMA San Pablo, Inc., 2020 WL 2843028 (D.P.R. May 28, 2020).

Continue Reading No Coverage for Claim Deemed First Made Prior to Inception of Policy Period