Between the Lines

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

Archive for Duty to Defend Category

Posted In: Duty to Defend

Insurers Can No Longer Deny Coverage on the Basis that the Conduct Alleged is Intentional.

A recent Massachusetts federal court decision (Stearns, J.) addresses two vexing coverage questions involving Massachusetts coverage law: Does a tort plaintiff have standing to argue in favor of coverage before…

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Posted In: Claims Handling and Settlement, Duty to Defend, Duty to Indemnify, Intentional Conduct, Policy Construction, Uncategorized

SJC Addresses Whether and When Insured Can Settle Without Insurer’s Consent and Limits on Enforceability Against Insurer of a Settlement to Which the Insurer Did Not Consent

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Case also determines when an insurer can stay a suit against the insured when there is a coverage dispute and whether paying the limits into court tolls the insurer’s liability…

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Posted In: Cyber Liability, Duty to Defend, Uncategorized

An Insurer had a Duty to Defend a Claim Alleging the Negligent Transfer of the Claimant’s Money to an Email Scammer.

But No Duty To Indemnify Because The Insured Settled The Claim After The Statute Of Limitations Expired. A Texas federal District Court recently reconsidered its denial of cross-motions for summary…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend, Professional Liability

Professional Liability Insurer has Duty to Defend Counterclaims in Suit Over Law Firm Split, but No Duty to Fund Affirmative Claims, and the Burden to Allocate is on the Insured.

In a blog post last October, I discussed a District of Massachusetts decision denying a motion to dismiss a suit by a law firm against its professional liability insurer alleging…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend, Duty to Settle

Massachusetts Appeals Court Addresses Insurer’s Duty to Appeal and Right to Settle

Holding:  Insurer’s Good Faith Settlement After Filing Notice Of Appeal Is Not A Defense to Policyholder’s Liability For Retrospective Premium.  Under a typical general liability policy the insurer has a…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend

Massachusetts Appeals Court Confirms the Right of a Liability Insurer Defending Without a Reservation of Rights to Control Defense and Settlement Even Where the Policyholder Disagrees with the Insurer’s Defense Strategy

The Court Also Confirms That Massachusetts Applies A Per Se Rule That A Reservation of Rights Creates A Conflict Entitling A Policyholder To Independent Counsel.  A dispute concerning liability insurance…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend

General Liability Insurer Has No Claim Against Workers Compensation Insurer For Defense Of Suit Barred By Workers’ Compensation Exclusivity

  Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for an employee against her employer for a workplace injury.  However, as a Massachusetts Superior Court judge recently concluded, the fact that a…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend, Intentional Conduct

Do Allegations of Intentional Conduct Relieve an Insurer of Its Duty to Defend?

In Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Casey, 2017 WL 1186467 (Mass. App. Ct. 2017), Casey, Williams, and others, teenagers, smoke marijuana and consumed alcohol at a fiesta, then left…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend

Does an Additional Insured Get Coverage When the Named Insured Has Done Nothing Wrong?

Interpreting the duty to defend broadly, a Massachusetts superior court case addresses when an additional insured is entitled to a defense – a frequently-occurring but always confusing scenario. Much hinged…

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Posted In: Duty to Defend

A Chapter 93a Demand Letter Is Not a “Suit” and Therefore Does Not Trigger a Duty to Defend

In 1990, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that a demand letter from the EPA to a potentially responsible party (PRP) under CERCLA is the functional equivalent of a suit…

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