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One year ago today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued the first two of four important insurance-coverage law opinions that it would hand down in 2014 and 2015. Those four decisions – which address a number of topics including insurer bad faith, trigger of coverage, policy exclusions, and settlements and reservations of rights – significantly impacted the legal landscape in the commonwealth. While much has already been written about the specific holding in each of those…
Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a ruling that may make it more difficult for Pennsylvania policyholders to obtain coverage for the misappropriation of advertising ideas under standard commercial general liability policies. In The Hanover Insurance Company v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., No. 14-3705 (Oct. 23, 2015), the Third Circuit adopted a standard for the “prior publication” exclusion – an exclusion that precludes coverage for misappropriation of material that was…
Sally Yates of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently issued a memorandum detailing the DOJ’s increased commitment to pursue individuals engaged in corporate wrongdoing.  The memo will likely affect the manner in which companies conduct internal investigations and interact with government prosecutors.  Companies should take their current D&O insurance policies into consideration, as this memo will have significant insurance-related implications. For more information on this topic, please click here.…
On August 20, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Fluor v. Superior Court, overruling its prior holding in Henkel Corp. v Hartford, which precluded successor entities from tapping into their predecessors’ insurance assets for inherited long-tail liabilities.  In Henkel, the Court held that a contractual assignment of insurance assets in a corporate transaction was ineffective due to the insurance policies’ anti-assignment clauses, which require the insurer’s consent before any assignment is…
On July 21, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Babcock & Wilcox Company et. al. v. American Nuclear Insurers et. al, No. 2 WAP 2014. Reed Smith filed an amicus brief in the case urging the court to adopt a “reasonable settlement” standard. Under that standard, an insured is permitted to enter into a reasonable settlement over an insurer’s objection without forfeiting coverage when an insurer is defending under a…
Businesses in the dietary supplement supply chain are taking cover after the New York Attorney General (NYAG) ordered four major retailers to cease and desist the sale and alleged mislabeling of certain herbal supplements. After genetically testing store-brand product samples of Ginko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, and Saw Palmetto, the NYAG alleged that the supplements were unrecognizable or contained substances other than those disclosed on their packaging labels. Class action lawsuits already…