Archives for General Insurance Liability

Middle District of Pennsylvania Holds That UIM Insurance Action Arising From 2003 Accident Timely When Filed Shortly After 2016 Coverage Denial

In Legos v. Travelers Cas. Co. of Conn., the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania examined an underinsured motorist insurance claim arising from a 2003 automobile accident. The injured party filed a writ of summons against the other driver in 2005, followed by a lawsuit in 2006. Shortly thereafter, the injured party filed an underinsured motorist claim with his automobile insurer. The insurer acknowledged receiving the claim. In 2012, the injured party settled his action against the driver. In 2016, the injured party’s insurer sent a letter advising that the statute of limitations on the UIM
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New Jersey Appellate Division Holds That Failure to Disclose Excess Nature of Coverage on Certificate of Insurance Does Not Constitute a Misrepresentation

In The State-Operated School District of the City of Paterson v. American Alternative Ins. Co., the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division examined allegations of misrepresentation by a transportation company retained by a school district to transport its students. The school district solicited bids for companies to provide transportation, noting in its bid specifications that the selected company must obtain insurance (including automobile liability insurance) naming the school district as an additional insured. The transportation company chosen by the school district entered into a contract requiring it to obtain such insurance. The company was also required to provide a certificate
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Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds That Vehicle Dismantling Exclusion Does Not Apply to Liability Insurance Claim Regarding Fueling Accident

In Tuscarora Wayne Ins. Co. v. Hebron, Inc., the Pennsylvania Superior Court reviewed a declaratory judgment action brought by a commercial general liability insurer regarding an incident at the insured’s vehicle dismantling facility. While one of the policyholder’s employees was fueling a flatbed truck, a fire started that caused damage to the facility, as well as neighboring vehicles and businesses. The subject policy contained an endorsement providing that the insurance did not apply to “property damage arising out of” the policyholder’s operations, which were identified as “vehicle dismantling.” The term “vehicle dismantling” was not defined in the policy. The liability
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Pennsylvania Federal Court Holds Shopping Center Tenant’s Insurer Has No Duty to Defend Landlord and Property Manager as Additional Insureds With Regard to Accident That Occurred Outside Tenant’s Premises

In Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Selective Ins. Co. of America, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania considered a demand for defense and indemnification of a lawsuit concerning an accident at a shopping center. An employee of a tenant was seriously injured after falling on a purportedly defective sidewalk outside the tenant’s establishment during a break from work. The employee and his wife filed a negligence action against six entities that owned and/or managed the center. These entities referred the action to their liability insurer, which in turn demanded defense and indemnification from the tenant’s
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Middle District of Florida Applies Bar/Tavern Exclusion to Claim Tendered by Security Company

In Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. Tactic Security Enforcement et al., the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida examined a claim for the defense and indemnification of two lawsuits against the policyholder security company, alleging inadequate security with regard to shooting incidents at a facility where the policyholder provided services. The subject policy contained language excluding coverage for “[a]ny and all operations involving bars, taverns, gentlemen’s clubs and nightclubs.” The plaintiff insurer brought an action seeking a declaratory judgment that it was not required to provide coverage. At trial, the sole issue for the jury was
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New Jersey Appellate Court Holds That There is No Coverage for Domestic Violence Under a Standard Liability Policy

In D.G. v. B.E.A., the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division addressed a demand for a homeowners’ liability insurer to provide defense and indemnification of a lawsuit raising allegations of domestic violence. The insurer denied coverage on the grounds that the lawsuit did not raise allegations of an “occurrence” as required by the policy, and also because the lawsuit fell within an exclusion for injuries “expected” or “Intended” by the policyholder. The policyholder claimed that the lawsuit should be covered because he was extremely intoxicated at the time of the incident and was unable to form an intent to cause
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New Jersey Appellate Court Holds That Insurer’s Decision to Provide “Courtesy Defense” of Non-Covered Action Does Not Constitute Estoppel

In Northfield Ins. Co. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, examined a declaratory judgment action brought by a property owner’s insurer against a contractor’s liability insurer. The case arose from a roof installation performed by the contractor and a subcontractor at a hotel in the summer of 2012. Shortly after the work was completed, Superstorm Sandy struck the property, causing roof damage and water damage to the hotel’s interior. The hotel’s property insurer advised the contractor’s insurer of a potential claim. The contractor’s insurer rejected the claim, determining that the damage at issue was
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New Jersey Appellate Court Holds That Additional Insured is Not Entitled to Coverage for Gross Negligence

In Moran-Alvardo v. Nevada Court Realty, LLC, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, addressed a liability insurance claim arising from a fall on snow in a shopping center parking lot. After the injured party filed an action against the shopping center owner and a tenant, the property owner filed a third-party indemnification action against the tenant and the tenant’s liability insurer. The trial court granted summary judgment in the tenant’s favor with regard to the indemnification claim, but granted summary judgment in the owner’s favor with regard to insurance coverage. Both decisions were reversed on appeal, as the
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New Jersey Appellate Court Rejects Premises Liability Claim When Plaintiff Was Aware of Risk

In Ilg v. Meade, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division addressed an action for injuries allegedly caused by a slip and fall on snow and ice while walking near the neighboring defendants’ home. Following a snowstorm, the defendants had parked their cars on their driveway in a manner that partially blocked the sidewalk in front of their residence. While walking to the defendants’ residence on the date of the accident, the plaintiff had walked from her driveway into the street to avoid the defendants’ vehicle. However, when returning to the residence later that day, the plaintiff walked from her
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Colorado Supreme Court Holds That Violation of “No Voluntary Payments” Clause Precludes Coverage Regardless of Prejudice to Insurer

The Colorado Supreme Court held that a liability insurer has no obligation to indemnify a policyholder for a settlement made without the insurer’s consent and in violation of the policy’s “no voluntary payments” clause. In so doing, the Court rejected the argument that this clause is only enforceable if its violation resulted in prejudice to the insurer. In Travelers Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. of Am. v. Stresscon, an insured subcontractor sought indemnification from its insurer for a claim made by a general contractor regarding a construction accident allegedly caused by a subcontractor of the insured. The subcontractor settled with
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