New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Defense Verdict in Slip-and-Fall Case

New Jersey Appellate Division Affirms Defense Verdict in Slip-and-Fall Case In Anderocci v. Coach, Inc., the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division reviewed a trial court decision granting summary judgment to the defendants in a slip-and-fall case. The fall occurred in a retail store in a shopping mall. The plaintiff contended that the fall was caused by a slippery floor. The plaintiff supported her claim with an expert opinion concluding that the establishment’s wood floor became slippery due to the use of excessive water in cleaning it. In granting summary judgment for the defendants, the trial court determined that the
Read More

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
Read More

New York Court Enforces Policy’s Suit Limitation Clause

The Kings County Supreme Court enforced a 12-month suit limitation clause and dismissed a wind and hailstorm claim involving damage to two apartment complexes in Dallas, Texas. In doing so, the Court enforced well-established New York authority holding that policy provisions that modify the statute of limitations by mandating that suit be brought within 12-months of any loss are reasonable and enforceable. In Chandler Management Corp. Corp. v. First Specialty Insurance Corp., the insured sought recovery under its commercial property policy for wind and storm damage to the roofs of two Dallas apartment complexes damaged during a May 24, 2011
Read More

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
Read More

New York Trial Court Applies Flood Exclusion to Superstorm Sandy Business Interruption/Food Spoilage Claim

In Northern Spy Food Co., LLC v. Tower Nat’l Ins. Co., an insured restaurant challenged its insured’s denial of a business interruption/food spoilage claim with regard to a power outage occurring during Superstorm Sandy. In denying the claims, the insurer contended that the policy’s flood exclusion applied, as the power outage was caused by extensive flooding at a power station. In analyzing coverage, the Supreme Court of New York County noted that the business interruption policy language provided coverage for a suspension in operations resulting from a “direct physical loss” that is “caused by or result[ed] from a Covered Cause
Read More

Bad-Faith Failure-to-Settle Claims Accrues Only After Final Judgment, Delaware High Court Says

The statute of limitations for a bad-faith failure-to settle claim accrues when an insured suffers a judgment in excess of policy limits and that judgment becomes final and non-appealable, according to the Delaware Supreme Court. In Connelly v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., C.A. No. K14C-09-002 (March 4, 2016), the Court rejected State Farm’s contention that the bad-faith claim accrues only when the insurer allegedly acts in bad faith and breaches its duty to the insured. State Farm had provided a defense to its insured for a motor vehicle accident lawsuit. The driver offered to settle the case with
Read More

Split NJ Supreme Court Rules That Liability Insurer Can Rescind Policy for Doctor’s Material Misrepresentation on Application

Reversing a lower court’s ruling, in DeMarco v. Stoddard the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (“RIJUA”) did not have to provide any defense or indemnification in a medical malpractice action to a doctor who made a material misrepresentation on his application for insurance. Plaintiff attempted to argue that because medical malpractice insurance is mandatory in New Jersey and a minimum amount of $1,000,000 in coverage is required, then RIJUA should be required to cover the doctor for the statutory minimum, similar to the protection afforded innocent third parties when a motor
Read More

Issues of Fact Preclude Summary Judgment in New York Trip and Fall Case

In Hines v. HSBC Bank USA, Inc., the Wayne County Supreme Court held that a Plaintiff in a trip and fall action provided enough proof of her negligence cause of action to create triable issues if fact that defeated Defendant’s summary judgment motion. The facts in Hines are relatively straightforward. Plaintiff Hines tripped and fell on the sidewalk outside of the HSBC Bank, where she was a regular customer, in what was later determined to be a small depression in the sidewalk. Under New York law, as an owner or possessor of a property open to the public, HSBC had
Read More

New York Homeowners’ Suit Against Insurer for Mold Damage Barred by Policy’s Suit Limitations Provision

Rejecting the homeowners’ argument that the insurer was equitably estopped from asserting a statute of limitations defense, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently held that the two year suit limitations provision of the insurer’s policy barred the insured’s breach of contract action, which was not filed until almost nine years after the date of loss. In granting the insurer’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, the court in Clement v. Farmington Casualty Company found that the insureds failed to prove any affirmative wrongdoing by the insurer that could meet the requirements of the
Read More