Commercial General Liability Dispatch

Tressler’s experienced Insurance attorneys provide the latest commercial general liability news and insights.

Latest from Commercial General Liability Dispatch

This summer, two courts weighed in on two California choice of law principles: the “place of performance” of an insurance policy determines which state’s law governs the interpretation of the policy and a California court will not apply another state’s law where the issue is a fundamental rule of public policy. In Arrow Elec., Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 775 Fed. Appx. 305 (9th Cir. 2019), the Ninth Circuit held that Alabama law…
In T-Mobile USA Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of Am., No. 96500-5, — P.3d —, 2019 WL 5076647 (Wash. Oct. 10, 2019), the Supreme Court of Washington answered the Ninth Circuit’s certified question regarding whether an insurance company is bound by its agent’s written representation — made in a certificate of insurance — that a particular corporation is an additional insured under a given policy. Under Washington law, the answer is “yes” — an insurance…
In most circumstances, Illinois courts have followed the “cause test” for determining the number of occurrences under an occurrence-based insurance policy. E.g., Nicor, Inc. v. Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Ltd., 223 Ill. 2d 407, 418-20 (2006). Under the cause test, the number of occurrences is determined by the number of causes of the damages, and if the damages are all caused by the same thing, such as the same defective product, there is only…
In Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. H.D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co., Case No. 12-3289 (C.D. Ill. Sep. 26, 2019), the court held that Cincinnati Insurance Company (“Cincinnati”) owes coverage for H.D. Smith’s settlement of a lawsuit filed by the State of West Virginia arising out of the opioid crisis (“the West Virginia Lawsuit”). Three years ago, the Seventh Circuit held that Cincinnati owed a duty to defend H.D. Smith in the West Virginia Lawsuit in…
In Illinois Tool Works, Inc. v. Ace Specialty Ins. Co., 2019 IL App (1st) 181945, the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the lower court’s grant of partial summary judgment to two insurance companies holding that the insurers had no duty to defend an insured in a pre-suit mediation of environmental contamination claims as said claims did not constitute a “suit” within meaning of the applicable commercial general liability (“CGL”) policy. On appeal, the court…
In Navigators Ins. Co. v. American Home Assurance Co., 2019 WL 2583253, — S.W.3d —- (Mo. Ct. App. 2019), the Missouri Court of Appeals held that a commercial general liability insurance policy provided no coverage for claims that an electrical cooperative wrongfully installed fiber optic cable on electrical transmission easements. The court held that there was no “property damage” coverage because the use of the easement did not involve tangible property damage and…
In Sterngold Dental, LLC v. HDI Global Insurance Company, ___ F.3d___, 2019 WL 2754185 (1st Cir. 2019), the First Circuit was presented the opportunity to address how to construe “the scope of the so-called intellectual property exclusion (IP exclusion) to the personal and advertising injury coverage under a standard commercial general liability policy (the Policy).” Sterngold manufactures and sells dental products. The Policy obtained by Sterngold by HDI Global Insurance Company (“HDI”) obligated…
In Penn National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company v. Beach Mart, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2019 WL 3483167  (4th Circ. Aug. 1, 2019) (North Carolina law), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina which found that an insurer’s exclusion precluding coverage for injuries arising out of oral or written publication of material whose first publication took place…
UPDATE: The Third Circuit recently affirmed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Transportation Ins. Co v. Heathland Hosp. Group LLC, — Fed. Appx. —-, 2019 WL 3383876, at *1 (3d Cir. July 26, 2019), a case which we wrote about last year.  Transportation arose out of a car accident in which the plaintiff’s husband was fatally injured when he was struck by a driver who allegedly became intoxicated…
In Pennsylvania Manufacturers Indem. Co. v. Pottstown Industrial Complex, LP, 2019 WL 3281746, — A.3d —- (Pa. Super. Ct. July 22, 2019), the Pennsylvania Superior Court held an insurer owed a duty to defend its insured against a tenant’s claim for damage to its inventory from flooding during rainstorms as a result of the insured’s alleged failure to maintain the roof of the building.  Distinguishing well-established Pennsylvania law holding claims for faulty workmanship…