New Jersey Implements Complex Business Litigation Program on State-Wide Basis That May Impact Some Insurance Cases

On November 13, 2014, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an Order implementing the Complex Business Litigation Program on a state-wide basis. The Program, which has been operating in Bergen and Essex counties since 1996, will now encompass all cases filed in New Jersey on or after January 1, 2015 satisfying the criteria summarized below. The language in the Order may be interpreted to exclude insurance coverage matters filed by individual policyholders, including bad faith claims. However, the Program is likely to encompass many commercial insurance lawsuits, as well as construction defect matters wherein insurers are defending contractors. Cases under
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Third Circuit Says No Coverage for Damage Caused By Decomposed Body

In Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London Subscribing to Policy No. SMP3791 v. Creagh, 563 Fed. Appx. 2009 (3d Cir. 2014), a case of first impression, John M. Clark and Georgia S. Foerstner, convinced the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that coverage for property damage caused by a decomposed body was excluded per the policy’s Microorganism and “Seepage” exclusions. In August 2011, Underwriters’ insured, Williams Creagh, made a claim for property damage in the amount of $180,000 for damage caused by the decomposed body of a tenant. Fluids seeped from the body causing damage to several rooms
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New Jersey Court of Appeals Enforces Lloyd’s Suit Limitations Provision

In Rihanna Corp. v. Certain Underwriters At Lloyd’s of London, App. Div. (per curiam) (14 pp.), the New Jersey Court of Appeals found in favor of Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London and against plaintiffs enforcing the applicable policy’s one year suit limitations provision and concluding that plaintiffs filed their complaint outside of the required one year. Specifically, plaintiffs appealed an order granting defendant Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London summary judgment and an order denying plaintiffs’ motion to amend their complaint. Plaintiffs’ declaratory judgment action against defendant sought payment under a business owner’s insurance policy for an October 3,
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