SDV Insights

Au Pair Agency Entitled to Defense in Wage-Fixing Class Action

In a recent pro-policyholder decision, a federal court in Colorado ruled that, under Massachusetts law, an insurer must defend an au pair placement agency under its Travel Agents and Tour Operators General and Professional Liability Policy in a class action lawsuit alleging that the agency conspired to set au pair rates of compensation below market rate in violation of federal and state minimum wage laws and consumer protection laws.

Read More +

The "Unavailability Exception" is Unavailable to Policyholders, According to New York Court of Appeals

The New York Court of Appeals recently upheld a prior appellate division decision finding that policyholders facing environmental claims, spanning multiple years, cannot force their insurers partially on the risk to provide coverage for years where the insurers did not issue policies, even though pollution insurance was unavailable in the marketplace.

Read More +

California's Highest Court Set to Rule on Insurer's Duty to Defend Lawsuits Relating to the Opioid Crisis

The extreme cost and harm of the opioid crisis in the United States is well-documented, and the California Supreme Court is set to decide if insurance coverage is in play for many related lawsuits. Courts across the country have seen an influx of lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies for their role in the ongoing epidemic. The allegations have come from all over and in many forms, from wrongful death and personal injury claims to products liability and derivative suits.

Read More +

Contractual Indemnity: Anti-Indemnity Statutes and Additional Insured Coverage

Indemnification provisions and agreements are commonplace in contracts across all industries. The pervasive use of contractual indemnification in business transactions has resulted in state regulation called anti-indemnity laws. While the exact prohibitions of anti-indemnity laws vary by state, they generally prohibit one party from absorbing the sole negligence of another.

Read More +

Second Circuit Holds That Employer's Liability Exclusion Does Not Bar Coverage Due to its Ambiguity

In Hastings Development, LLC v. Evanston Insurance Company,1 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that an Employer's Liability Exclusion in a commercial general liability policy does not bar coverage of an underlying personal injury lawsuit because of the ambiguity within the language of the exclusion.

Read More +

Washington Policyholders Can Sue Insurance Adjusters Personally for Bad Faith Claims Handling

In a new decision, a Washington State appellate court ruled recently that insureds may sue an insurance adjuster personally for bad faith claims handling. The decision is unusual and has interesting implications for policyholders and insurance companies nationwide.

Read More +

Interpreting "Prior Knowledge" Clauses in Claims-Made Policies: When Knowing Too Much Can Hurt You

Claims-made insurance policies are designed to protect policyholders from liability for claims brought during the relevant policy period. From the perspective of the insurer, these policies have the distinct advantage of providing certainty that when the policy period ends without a claim having been made, the insurer will not be exposed to any further liability.

Read More +

Insureds Failure to Timely Report Claim Eliminates Coverage

A recent federal court decision, applying California law to directors and officers liability policies, addressed two important issues: the importance of a policyholder's strict compliance with a claims-made-and-reported policy's notice provision, and the importance of accurate representations in an insurance application.

Read More +

The Outer Limits: Indiana Federal Court Refuses to Apply Interrelated Wrongful Acts Exclusion in D&O Coverage Dispute

In a recent pro-policyholder decision, an Indiana federal court held that a common, broadly-worded exclusion in Directors & Officers ("D&O") insurance for "Interrelated Wrongful Act[s]" did not preclude coverage, since a literal interpretation would produce "absurd" results. In the past, the all-encompassing language of the exclusion has been abused by insurers who have sought to construe the concept of "interrelation" so broadly as to exclude coverage for otherwise covered claims.

Read More +

New York Court of Appeals Addresses Choice of Law Challenges

In June, the New York Court of Appeals examined the application of a New York Choice of Law provision in a contract - a determinative issue for the case. In Ontario, Inc. v. Samsung C&T Corp., the issue was whether the plaintiff's claims were subject to Ontario, Canada's 2-year statute of limitations or New York's 6-year statute of limitations for breach of contract where the contract contained a broad New York Choice of Law provision.

Read More +


The email you are sending does not create an attorney-client relationship with SDV. We do not agree to representation until we have performed a check for conflicts of interest and expressly agree to provide services in a particular matter via an engagement letter. The information submitted to us via this website will NOT be treated as confidential or privileged as a lawyer/client communication and our receipt of this information does not prevent us from representing a client related to the subject of your inquiry.


35 Nutmeg Drive
Trumbull, CT 06611



851 5th Avenue N
Naples, FL 34102


West Coast

Two BetterWorld Circle
Temecula, CA 92590


SDV is based in Connecticut, conveniently located between New York City and Boston, with regional offices in Florida and California to better serve our clients. We're ready to answer your questions and eager to assist you in developing solutions.