Applying Illinois law, a federal district court has held that an insurer did not have a duty to defend or indemnify for a lawsuit that was filed and dismissed prior to the policy period and later refiled during the policy period.  Navigators Specialty Ins. Co. v. B.D. McClure & Assocs., Ltd., 2020 WL 5909067 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 6, 2020).

Continue Reading Insurer Had No Duty to Defend or Indemnify for Lawsuit Refiled During the Policy Period

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, applying Washington law, has held that exclusions for false advertising and trademark infringement in a media liability policy did not bar defense coverage for a claim alleging that Expedia violated the Lanham Act.  Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Expedia, Inc., 2020 WL 5893326 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 5, 2020).

Continue Reading Insurer Has Duty to Defend Lanham Act “False Advertising” Claims Despite False Advertising and Trademark Exclusions

An Illinois appellate court has held that an underlying action involving a fee dispute was not a claim involving professional services and was not covered under a professional liability policy.  RLI Ins. Co. v. Acclaim Res. Partners, LLC, 2020 WL 5548318 (Ill. App. Ct. Sept. 16, 2020).  The court further held that the underlying action’s conclusory allegations of “professional negligence” did not trigger coverage because the allegations were unsupported by the alleged facts.

Continue Reading Illinois Court Holds Fee Dispute Does Not Involve Professional Services

Applying Michigan law, a federal district court has held that an employment practices liability insurer had a duty to defend a lawsuit that derived in part from facts or circumstances that were the subject of an EEOC claim and lawsuit filed prior to the policy period.  City of Grosse Pointe v. U.S. Specialty Ins. Co., 2020 WL 3961481 (E.D. Mich. July 13, 2020).

Continue Reading EPL Insurer Must Defend Lawsuit Derived in Part from EEOC Claim and Retaliation Lawsuit Filed Prior to Policy Period

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado, applying Colorado law, has held that a professional liability insurer was not obligated to defend an attorney accused of discovery misconduct. The court ruled that an order requiring the attorney to show cause why he should not be sanctioned did not seek Damages, as defined in the policy, and fell within an exclusion for claims seeking payment of legal fees and costs. Godin & Baity, LLC v. Markel Ins. Co., Inc., 2020 WL 5076764 (D. Colo. Aug. 27, 2020). The court also addressed and rejected the insured’s “reasonable expectations” argument, as the facts did not satisfy either of the two conditions under which Colorado law recognizes the doctrine.

Continue Reading Sanctions Carve-Out Bars Coverage for Show Cause Order Issued to Attorney

Applying Arizona law, the United States District Court for the District of Arizona held that an insurer that breached its duty to defend bears the burden of demonstrating that an allocation of defense costs between covered and non-covered claims is possible. Tapestry on Cent. Condo. Ass’n. v. Liberty Ins. Underwriters Inc., 2020 WL 4607248 (D. Ariz. Aug. 11. 2020).

Continue Reading Insurer that Breached Duty to Defend Bears Burden on Allocation of Defense Costs

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, applying Ohio law, has held that an ERISA exclusion in two E&O policies barred coverage for a lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Labor alleging ERISA violations in connection with an employee stock ownership program (ESOP) stock purchase.  Gemini Ins. Co. v. Potts, 2020 WL 4000977 (S.D. Ohio July 15, 2020).

Continue Reading ERISA Exclusion in E&O Policies Bars Coverage for Suit Filed by the Department of Labor

Applying Oklahoma law, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has held that no coverage is available for a lawsuit involving an equity holder in an investment agreement because the action did not involve a “Wrongful Act” in an individual’s capacity as “an Insured Person.”  Turner v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 2020 WL 3547954 (W.D. Okla. June 10, 2020).  The court further held that the insured did not satisfy his burden of proving that his legal costs were “Defense Expenses” even though he was nominally a “defendant” in the suit.

Continue Reading No Coverage for Affirmative Lawsuit Challenging Distribution of Proceeds From Sale of Investment Assets

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, applying California law, has held that two exclusions in a D&O policy applicable to claims by employees and for Fair Labor Standards Act violations barred coverage for a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit.  U.S. Telepacific Corp. v. U.S. Specialty Ins. Co., 2020 WL 3265238 (9th Cir. June 17, 2020).

Continue Reading EPL Exclusions in D&O Policy Barred Coverage for Wage-and-Hour Class Action

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