Court Cousins

All articles by Court Cousins

 

Insurers’ Pre-Disclaimer Legal Privileges Against Disclosure Still Under Attack

Otsuka America, Inc. and Pharmavite LLC v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Company[1] is the latest in what looks like ongoing erosion of an insurer’s right to rely on attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine in connection with a determination of insurance coverage. The insurer denied coverage to the plaintiffs for a nine million dollar product recall loss. The plaintiffs filed this action to resolve the insurance coverage issue. The court correctly identified the governing law, recognizing that “attorney-client
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Reinsurance Trial Resolved after 10 Days and 15 Witnesses: “Follow the Fortunes” Cannot be Read into Reinsurance Contracts! Reinsurers Can Voluntarily Pay!

An insurer and reinsurer litigated their breach of contract actions against each other under two facultative reinsurance certificates in a New York federal court culminating in a 10-day bench trial presenting 10 fact witnesses and five experts. Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. (N.D.N.Y., March 29, 2019). The heart of their dispute was the reinsurer’s liability for additional loss expenses; that is, whether it must pay for expenses the ceding insurer incurred to investigate, adjust and litigate
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Vicarious Liability and Additional Insured Coverage: Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies Factual Allegations Sufficient to Trigger Defense Duty

The Appellate Court of Illinois recently considered whether an underlying complaint against an a general contractor (additional insured), filed by the estate of an independent contractor/subcontractor’s employee who was killed in a job site accident, triggered the defense of the general contractor under the subcontractor’s liability policy. The subcontract at issue contained the standard additional insurance requirements. The court first decided that the liability policy’s additional insured endorsement did not protect an additional insured for its own negligence; and the
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“Made Whole” Doctrine Prevents Equitable Subrogation Where Insureds with Tortfeasors

In re September 11 Litigation, World Trade Center Properties LLC et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London et al. (S.D.N.Y., August 2, 2018) Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Federal District Court in the Southern District of New York has, for years since the September 11th attacks, been assigned the countless actions dealing with the massive property damage resulting from the tragedy. This is the last such case, which involves insureds making a claim against their insurer’s recovery from a
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A Divided Court Finds Additional Insured Coverage is Enforceable Across New York

On March 27, 2018, the New York Court of Appeals, in a matter of first impression for the state’s highest court, held that a direct contract was required to confer automatic additional insured status under common policy language. Gilbane Bldg. Co./TDX Constr. Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 143 A.D.3d 146 (1st Dep’t 2016), aff’d, __N.Y.3d__, 2018 WL 1473553 (Mar. 27, 2018). Many standard blanket additional endorsements often confer additional insured status on entities “with whom” the
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Calling all Policies! N.J. Special Master Allocating Costs under Owens-Illinois Implicates Excess Before Primary Exhausts

In The Travelers Indemnity Company v. Thomas & Betts Corporation, No. 13-6187, 2017 WL 3187217 (D.N.J. July 26, 2017), New Jersey’s federal court offers a meaningful example of how trial courts can use a special master to help resolve the tricky issue of allocating defense and indemnity costs involving multiple policies, layers, and years. In Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. United Ins. Co., the Supreme Court of New Jersey urged trial courts to use a special master with “a substantial measure of
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Must an Additional Insured Have a Written Contract With the Named Insured to Get Coverage? It Depends Which Court You Ask

There is a growing list of trial court decisions in New York where the courts disagree of whether an additional insured endorsement to an insurance policy requires a written contract between the additional insured and the policy’s named insured for additional insured status to apply. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently held in Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Zurich American Insurance Company that contractual privity with the named insured was not required. In
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