SDV Insights

Signed, Sealed and (Almost) Delivered: EU Council Authorizes Signing of U.S. - EU Bilateral Insurance Agreement

On July 14, 2017, the Trump administration released a statement indicating that the United States intends to sign the U.S. - EU bilateral insurance agreement. The announcement came several weeks after the Council of the European Union adopted a decision authorizing the signing of this agreement.

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Stormy Seas Ahead: 5th Circuit to Review Whether Maritime Law Applies to Offshore Service Contract

Earlier this year, the 5th Circuit applied the Davis factors to determine the validity of an indemnity clause in a Master Services Contract. In Larry Doiron Inc. et al., v. Specialty Rental Tool & Supply LLP et al., the court affirmed the notion that if a contract provides services on navigable waters aboard a vessel, a maritime contract exists, even if the contract calls for incidental or insubstantial work unrelated to the use of a vessel.

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Affirmed: Nationwide Acted in Bad Faith by Failing to Settle Within Limits

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed that Nationwide acted in bad faith by refusing to settle a claim against its insured for the policy limits of $100,000, exposing the policyholder to a $5.83 million verdict.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules that Insurance Salesman had No Fiduciary Duty to Policyholders

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a life insurance salesman had no fiduciary duty to his customers where the customers retained decision-making authority regarding which policies to purchase.

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Refinery Power Outage Illuminates Importance of Service Interruption Coverage

In an action filed against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in the Eastern District of California last month, Valero Refining Co. alleges it sustained damages in excess of $75 million, including costs to restore operations and lost profits from decreased output, as a result of a power outage to its Benecia, California refinery. See Valero Refining Co. -- California v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 2:17-cv-01359-TLN-EFB (E.D.Cal. June 30, 2017).

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Florida's New Statute of Repose for Construction Defect Claims

On June 15, 2017, Governor Rick Scott ratified H.B. 377, which amends Florida's statute of repose for construction defect claims to include, for the first time, a definition for contract completion.

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Connecticut District Court to Review Proposed Class Action in Defective Concrete Suit

Thousands of Connecticut homeowners have fallen victim to a defective concrete epidemic. Over the last thirty years, the foundation in many homes, particularly in the Northeast region of the state, was built with a concrete aggregate that contained the mineral pyrrhotite.

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Additional Insured Coverage Under Excess Policies

SDV Partner Gregory Podolak recently published “Additional Insured Coverage Under Excess Policies,” a ...

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Texas Court Denies Exxon a La Carte Coverage

In April, the Court of Appeals of Texas held that a party seeking additional insured coverage under an umbrella general liability policy issued by Lexington Insurance Company cannot reap the benefits of being an additional insured, and simultaneously avoid the limitations of an arbitration clause contained in the policy.

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Massachusetts High Court Holds insurers Have No Duty to Prosecute Counterclaims on Behalf of Their Insureds

The Massachusetts Supreme Court has held that an insurer's duty to defend does not include a duty to prosecute or fund its insured's affirmative counterclaim against a third party under an employment practices liability insurance policy. The insured manufacturer in this case was sued for wrongful termination by a former employee whom the manufacturer accused of misappropriating company funds, and intended to pursue a counterclaim to recover the money.

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