SDV Insights

NY Court Holds Excess Liability Coverage Could Never be Triggered Where Employers' Liability Policy Provided Unlimited Insurance Coverage

A New York court held that an employers' liability policy providing unlimited coverage was unambiguous and that, as a result, the insured's excess liability policy could not be triggered. This unusual result highlights the need for careful review of insurance policies to ensure that there are no unexpected exhaustion issues when a claim is made.

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A New Hope - You Now May Have Coverage for Punitive Damages in Connecticut

On December 19, 2017, the Pasiak decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court opened the door to finding coverage for punitive damages under an insurance policy related to certain common law claims. While the case involves a homeowner's policy, other policyholders may be able to use the court's reasoning when seeking coverage for punitive damages. The case also clarifies the amount of proof required for an insurer to prove that a policy exclusion bars coverage.

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Whose Lease Is It Anyway: Physical Occupancy Not Required in Landlord-Tenant Dispute

When a prospective tenant alleged a wrongful interference claim against a landlord, the landlord sought coverage under the "Personal and Advertising Injury" coverage section of his CGL policy. Unfortunately, the insurer denied defense, arguing that the coverage required the tenant to have physically occupied the space. In the ensuing coverage action, a Texas Federal district court judge made a surprising ruling that is now up on appeal to the Fifth Circuit.

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Confirming Coverage: The Importance of Vetting Downstream Insurance

The cost of insurance is often a critical factor driving subcontractor pricing. While alternative risk transfer schemes--such as consolidated insurance programs--have grown in popularity, the typical upstream/downstream structure where owners and general contractors contractually require downstream entities to procure insurance remains a common approach.

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Case Alert Update: SDV Case Tabbed as One of New York's Top Three Cases to Watch

Argument before the Court of Appeals has now been scheduled for February 7, 2018, in Gilbane Building Co. v. St. Paul Insurance, with a long anticipated decision by New York's highest court to be issued shortly thereafter.

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Top 10 Insurance Cases of 2017

From elephant mistreatment, misleading marketing and its effect on the nation's opioid problem, to wiring money overseas to fraudsters, it's been an eventful year in insurance law. Read on to hear about SDV's Top Ten Insurance Cases for 2017 as well as some key cases to watch in 2018.

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Florida Supreme Court: Notice of Right to Repair is a CGL

The New Year started off with a bang for Florida construction insurance policyholders. In late December, the Florida Supreme Court acknowledged a contractor's right to a CGL defense during Florida's right-to-repair process.

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New York High Court: "Issued or Delivered" Includes Policies Insuring Risks in New York

On November 20th, the New York Court of Appeals expansively interpreted the language of New York Insurance Law Section 3420 by holding that the statute, which applies to policies "issued or delivered" in New York, extends to policies insuring risks in New York, not just policies that originated from or were actually handed over to the insured in the state.

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Unshared Risk in the Sharing Economy: Insurance Coverage Pitfalls

You arrive home after Airbnb-ing your home to find that the back deck is gone--during a particularly rowdy party hosted by your Airbnb guests, a smoldering cigarette negligently left on the railing started a fire, which on that hot, dry, summer night, quickly engulfed the deck. But the fire didn't stop at the deck; the entire back wall of the house, covered in weathered shingle siding, was singed and blackened to a crisp.

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N.J. Appellate Court Applies Continuous Trigger Theory in Property Damage Case and Determines "Last Pull" for Coverage

The New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, published an important decision addressing several fundamental issues regarding how a commercial general liability (CGL) policy applies to long-term property damage.

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