Between the Lines

A Discussion of Case Law and Statutory Law Affecting Commercial Lines of Insurance

Archive for April, 2012

Posted In: Practice and Procedure

Pring-Wilson Redux: Insurance Coverage Shapes Litigation Strategies

The 2003 fatal altercation between Harvard graduate student Alexander Pring-Wilson and restaurant cook Michael Colono and the resulting criminal prosecution of Pring-Wilson received extensive media coverage.  One aspect of the…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Pring-Wilson: The Cutting Edge of Intentional Acts Exclusions

Whether a loss was intended by the wrongdoer is a recurring issue in insurance coverage cases.  Many liability policies, both commercial and personal, exclude from coverage loss or damage that…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Abuse Exclusions – When is Someone in the “Care, Custody or Control of the Insured”?

Sadly, cases of sexual and physical abuse remain an ongoing problem.  Because the perpetrators are often judgment proof, suits against others who allegedly could have prevented the abuse, such as…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Does Suing Your Insurer Mean Waiving the Attorney-Client Privilege?

According to the First Circuit, the answer is a definite maybe if the attorney was retained by the insurer to defend the insured, and also reported to the insurer. In…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Small Words Make A Big Difference – Use of “an” Instead of “the” in an Exclusion Leads to No Coverage. A Severability Clause Does Not Save the Day.

A March 30, 2012 decision by the Vermont Supreme Court in Co-operative Insurance Companies v. Woodward, is a good reminder of how small differences in policy wording can have a…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Concurrent Causation Creates Concurrent Confusion

It’s not unusual for an accident to have multiple causes.  What happens when an accident has multiple causes and only one of those causes falls within a policy exclusion?  Two…

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Posted In: Personal and Advertising Injury

Does Your CGL Policy Provide Coverage For Invasion of Privacy Actions? The Answer May Turn On Whether Privacy Rights In Your State Are Conferred By Statute or By Common Law.

While some commercial general liability policy provisions are standard, others vary considerably from carrier to carrier.  This tends to be particularly true in areas where liability law is changing relatively…

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Posted In: Construction Defects

Are Construction Defects an Occurrence? Some State Legislatures Say Yes.

Windows are falling out of a prominent skyscraper.  Has there been an “occurrence” under the contractor’s general liability policy? Coverage for construction defects has been a hotly contested commercial general…

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