In an Opinion dated May 29, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, ruled in Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Ethel Mitchell that multiple insurers must provide coverage to a defendant county and its officials sued in a §1983 wrongful imprisonment lawsuit, including certain insurers who issued policies in post-conviction years.

For Lathrop Gage partners Bill Beck, Mike Abrams and Alex Brown, the Fifth Circuit’s opinion is the culmination of more than six years’ work on behalf of the families of three wrongfully convicted men who died from the injuries they sustained while imprisoned. In finding that multiple liability carriers must independently defend their insureds against the allegations, the decision rejects a so-called “single trigger” theory in favor of a plain language reading of the insurance policies.

A number of national media outlets have already covered the ruling and its implications, including The American Lawyer, Law360 and Business Insurance.


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