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

The United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, applying West Virginia law, has held that claims against a surgery center arising out of medical procedures performed by a doctor while patients were anesthetized, primarily related to alleged sexual abuse, were “related claims” subject to a single limit of liability pursuant to a sexual misconduct endorsement.  Allied World Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. Day Surgery Ltd. Liab. Co., 2020 WL 1545881 (S.D. W. Va.) (Mar. 31, 2020).  However, the court held that the surgery center’s excess policy, which did not contain a sexual misconduct endorsement, did not cover claims arising solely out of sexual abuse.

Continue Reading Claims Arising Out of Alleged Sexual Abuse by Doctor are “Related Claims” Subject to Single Limit of Liability Under Sexual Misconduct Endorsement

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit seeking to rescind a doctor’s professional liability policy on the grounds that the insured made material misrepresentations in applying for the policy.  Admiral Ins. Co. v. Fisher, 2018 WL 2688182 (W. Va. June 6, 2018).  In reversing the trial court, the Supreme Court of Appeals noted that the insured omitted information concerning several patient overdose deaths in response to questions on the application for the policy.

Continue Reading West Virginia High Court Reinstates Rescission Suit

The United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, applying West Virginia law, has held that an insurer which was entitled to rescind a lawyer’s professional liability policy, and thus owed no duty to defend the underlying action, was not entitled to reimbursement of defense costs.  ALPS Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Turkaly, 2018 WL 385195 (S.D. Va. Jan. 11, 2018).

Continue Reading Insurer Entitled to Rescind Policy But Not to Reimbursement of Defense Costs

The United States District Court for the District of West Virginia, applying West Virginia law, has held that lack of prior knowledge of a claim constitutes a condition precedent to coverage under an accountant’s professional liability policy.  Camico Mutual Ins. Co. v. Hess, Stewart & Campbell P.L.L.C., 2017 WL 926770 (S.D. W. Va. Mar. 8, 2017).  In so holding, the court found that the insurer was not estopped from declining coverage based on an insured’s prior knowledge of a claim despite issuance of a prior reservation of rights letter that only reserved the insurer’s right to raise “all policy provisions and defenses.”

Continue Reading Lack of Prior Knowledge of Claim a Condition Precedent to Coverage

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia has held that a consent judgment did not bind a general liability insurer because the insurer was not a party to the lawsuit and did not expressly agree to the judgment.  Penn-America Ins. Co. v. Osborne, 2017 WL 878716 (W. Va. March 1, 2017).

Continue Reading Court Finds Insurer Not Bound by $1 Million Consent Judgment