Commercial General Liability Dispatch

Tressler attorneys discuss recent legal developments in commercial general liability!

Latest from Commercial General Liability Dispatch

The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District ruled that an insured was entitled to independent counsel where its insurer was reserving rights based on a punitive damages exclusion and the claim for punitive damages was the greatest part of the insured’s exposure. In Xtreme Protection Services LLC v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 2019 IL App (1st) 181501 (Ill. App. Ct. May 3, 2019), the underlying case involved a suit against Xtreme Protection Services LLC for…
In Evanston Ins. Co. v. A&R Homes Development, LLC, 2019 WL 661587 (N.J. Super. App. Div. Feb. 19, 2019), the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed a trial court ruling that an exclusion for an insured’s liability to employees of its contractors or subcontractors was unambiguous and barred coverage. The case is significant on several fronts. First, it reaffirms New Jersey law that where an injured party has been made a…
In Steadfast Ins. Co. v. Greenwich Ins. Co, 2019 WI 6 (2019), the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that an insurer that breached its duty to defend did not have to repay the full $1,550,000 that another insurer expended in defending the insured. Instead, the court apportioned the defense costs among the two insurers on a pro rata basis according to each insurer’s policy limits.The court declined to hold that the insurer who breached its duty…
With social media use on the rise, insurers and insureds alike should be mindful of posts that can implicate the prior publication exclusion to coverage. In Scout, LLC v. Truck Ins. Exchange, 2019 WL 347471 — P.3d —- (Idaho Jan. 29, 2019), the Idaho Supreme Court addressed this issue in a trademark infringement case that began with what seemed like a simple Facebook post. Scout involved an Idaho LLC that purchased and renovated a downtown…
In American Family Mutual Ins. Co. v. Vein Centers for Excellence, Inc., 912 F.3d 1076 (8th Cir. 2018), the Eighth Circuit considered two questions. The first was whether the claims against an insured in an underlying class action suit could be aggregated to satisfy the $75,000 jurisdictional minimum for federal diversity jurisdiction of the coverage suit. The second was whether the endorsement American Family added to the policy restricting coverage for TCPA claims and…
In  Century Sur. Co. v. Andrew, 134 Nev.Adv.Op 100, No. 73756 (December 12, 2018), the Nevada Supreme Court, answering a certified question submitted by the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, held an insurer who breaches the duty to defend can be held liable for the entirety of a judgment in excess of policy limits, even if the insurer acted in good faith when it denied the defense. It also concluded,…
While you’re looking at airplanes fly by, you may also want to look for drones too. In a recent decision by the United States District Court in the Central District of California, the court found drones are equivalent to aircrafts, at least as it applies to the aircraft exclusion to bodily injury. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. Hollycall Productions, Inc. et al, 2018 WL 6520412 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 7, 2018) (“Hollycall”).  This decision serves as…
The holidays are a great time for reflection, and in that spirit, we here at the CGL Dispatch Blog would like to take a brief look back at some 2018 cases in which high courts addressed commercial general liability insurance coverage issues. Kentucky and Ohio Supreme Courts Hold Faulty Workmanship Is Not An “Occurrence” Early this year, Tressler published a 50-State Survey addressing whether claims for faulty workmanship qualify as an “occurrence” under commercial general…
In Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services, Inc., 2018 WL 4926159, — N.E.3d —- (Ohio 2018), the Ohio Supreme Court held that claims against an insured for alleged construction defects do not constitute an “occurrence” even if they arise out of the work of the insured’s subcontractor. Ohio Northern is consistent with the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling in Westfield Ins. Co. v. Custom Agri Sys., Inc., 979 N.E.2d 269 (Ohio 2012) that faulty workmanship…
This month, we have reviewed a few 2018 cases in which courts held claims arising out of faulty workmanship did not involve an “occurrence” and were not covered by liability insurance policies under Pennsylvania law. Westfield Ins. Co. v. Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes, 2018 WL 1300005 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 13, 2018); Sapa Extrusions, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 2018 WL 2045496 (M.D. Pa. May 1, 2018); Lenick Constr., Inc. v. Selective Way