Westlaw Topical Highlights: Insurance, September 23, 2016

September 23, 2016

insuranceWestlaw Topical Highlights for Insurance provides summaries of significant federal and state judicial decisions and legislative and administrative activities affecting Insurance law.  A Westlaw subscription is required to access the documents linked from this page.

Duty to Defend: Oil company’s claims against insured did not all fall clearly within general liability policy’s pollution exclusion.  Federal Insurance Company v. Northfield Insurance Company, 2016 WL 4978361 (C.A.5 (Tex.)) Under Texas law, an oil company’s claims against an insured did not all fall clearly within a general liability policy’s pollution exclusion, and thus the exclusion did not preclude the insurer’s duty to defend the insured against the company’s state-court litigation alleging that the insured breached a contractual obligation to indemnify the company from environmental damage claims brought by owners of land subject to oil and gas interests that the insured acquired from the company. The pollution exclusion applied to property damage caused by solid, liquid, gaseous, or thermal irritant, contaminant, or waste, and the “environmental damage” alleged by the company potentially encompassed, for example, negligent construction that caused soil erosion, which would not be within the pollution exclusion. 2016 WL 4978361 (The full-text of the rest of the Topical Highlights is available within Thomson Reuters Westlaw, subscription required).       

Liability: Liability insurer did not waive late-notice defense in insured’s breach of contract suit by failing to identify that defense in disclaimers.  Estee Lauder Inc. v. OneBeacon Insurance Group, LLC 2016 WL 4792170 (N.Y.)

Duty to Defend: Under California law, CGL policy provision barring coverage for any suit alleging damage arising out of alleged existence of mold was unenforceable.  Saarman Construction, Ltd v. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company 2016 WL 4411814 (N.D.Cal.)

Health: Under Illinois law, provider’s unreasonable reliance on insurer’s coverage promises while flagged for fee forgiveness precluded promissory estoppel.  Connecticut General Life Insurance Company v. Grand Avenue Surgical Center, Ltd. 2015 WL 1868587 (N.D.Ill.)

Liability: Written agreement between named insured and organization seeking coverage was required for organization to be added as additional insured.  Gilbane Bldg. Co./TDX Const. Corp. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co. 2016 WL 4837454 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept.)

Liability: Aviation policy endorsement did not extend coverage to use of gyrocopter on sole ground that it was not listed on declarations page.  King v. Old Republic Ins. Co. 2016 WL 4698248 (La.App. 4 Cir.)

Automobile: Liability insurers’ payments of $100,000 and $295,000 did not entitle underinsured motorist carrier to $395,000 setoff against $500,000 limit.  Illinois Emcasco Ins. Co. v. Tufano 2016 WL 4722160 (Ill.App. 1 Dist.)