Applying Pennsylvania law, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has held that an insurer wrongfully withdrew its defense after paying a covered verdict because the duty to defend extended until the court deemed the verdict to be “satisfied.”  Highland Park Care Ctr., LLC v. Campmed Cas. & Indem. Co., 2020 WL 2571900 (W.D. Pa. May 21, 2020).  The court also concluded that the policy’s standard-interest clause required the insurer to pay all post-judgment interest on the covered verdict.

Continue Reading Insurer Required to Defend Until “Satisfaction” of Covered Verdict

The Pennsylvania Superior Court has held that two men who held senior management roles at a hotel and used their positions to cause the hotel to make payments to a fake company that they created were performing “Professional Services” within the meaning of a professional liability policy while doing so.  Gemini Ins. Co. v. Meyer Jabara Hotels LLC, 2020 WL 1649888 (Pa. Super. Ct. Apr. 3, 2020).  Because the policy excluded coverage for losses arising out of criminal acts committed by employees while rendering Professional Services, the court held that no coverage was available.

Continue Reading Wire Fraud and Money Laundering Can Be “Professional Services” Triggering Criminal Acts Exclusion

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, applying Pennsylvania law, has held that an insurer was not entitled to summary judgment voiding a medical malpractice liability policy, finding that triable issues of fact remained about whether an insured could have anticipated litigation stemming from past medical procedures at the time it completed its policy application.  MDAdvantage Ins. Co. of N.J. v. Hasiuk, 2020 WL 1531817 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 31, 2020).

Continue Reading Issues of Fact Halt Insurer’s Attempt to Rescind Malpractice Policy

Applying Pennsylvania law, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that a shareholder demand letter, a derivative action and a shareholder lawsuit against the insured were not “related” because the alleged conduct took place at different times and involved different individuals.  Vito v. RSUI Indem. Co., 2020 WL 424592 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 27, 2020).

Continue Reading Claims Alleging Same Conduct Against Same Insured But Based on Different Specific Facts Not Related Under D&O Policy

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, applying Pennsylvania law, found that an attorney “knew or should have known” he might get sued for (allegedly) botching a settlement term sheet where a worker’s compensation review board publicly criticized his handling of the settlement, even though his client did not appear angry at the time.  Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC v. Nat’l Liab. & Fire Ins. Co., 2019 WL 1003157 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 1, 2019).  Because the insured attorney knew the relevant facts before his professional liability policy incepted, the district court granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment that there was no coverage.

Continue Reading Insured’s Subjective Belief Regarding Likelihood of Being Sued Irrelevant to Prior Knowledge Analysis Under Pennsylvania Law

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, applying Pennsylvania law, has held that a professional liability insurance policy’s outside business exclusion precluded coverage for an underlying lawsuit arising out of an insured attorney’s alleged use of privileged information to benefit his own business interests.  Westport Ins. Co. v. Hippo Fleming & Pertile Law Offices, 2018 WL 4705780 (W.D. Pa. Oct 1, 2018).

Continue Reading No Coverage for Malpractice Suit Implicating Policy’s Outside Business Exclusion

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, applying Pennsylvania law, has held that an insured’s failure to provide timely notice of a claim under a claims-made policy barred coverage for that suit.  Frazier v. Exide Techs., No. 17-2399, 2018 WL 2727396 (3d Cir. June 6, 2018).

Continue Reading Failure of Insured to Provide Timely Notice Under Claims-Made Policy Bars Suit Against Insurer of Bankrupt Insured

Applying Pennsylvania law, a federal district court has held that an insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a judgment for excessive legal fees because a court-ordered letter predating the policy period and previewing objections to the insured law firm’s fees was a “claim” first made prior to the policy’s inception.  Allied World Ins. Co. v. McErlane, P.C., 2018 WL 1035781 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 23, 2018).  The district court held that the letter, issued at the request of a state court during estate proceedings in which the insured law firm represented the executor, constituted a “claim” because it was a “written notice” for monetary relief.

Continue Reading Letter Outlining Objections to Excessive Legal Fees Constitutes “Claim”

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has held that where an occurrence-based crime policy covers only losses discovered “during the Policy Period,” no coverage is available for losses discovered after the policy period concluded, despite the fact that a prior policy issued to the insured contained a discovery period extending beyond the termination of the policy.  Wescott Electric Co. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., 2018 WL 1210543 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 8, 2018).  Furthermore, where the policy defines one “occurrence” as a “series of acts whether or not related,” multiple employee thefts over ten years constitute a single occurrence.

Continue Reading No Coverage Available Under Crime Policy for Losses Not Discovered “During the Policy Period”