INSURANCE LAW BLOG

Between the Lines


 

A Blow to the Face Arises From Assault and Battery for Purposes of Determining an Insurer’s Duty to Defend, Even if the Complaint Alleges Negligence.

by Harvey Nosowitz

The Court Also Holds That an Employee is an “Insured,” But Not the “Named Insured,” and Therefore is Not Entitled to Assault and Battery Coverage Applicable to Only the Named Insured. In the world of insurance coverage litigation, a lot can depend on a single word.  A… READ MORE

Appeals Court Untangles Dispute Over Insurance for Home Heating Oil Spill

by Harvey Nosowitz

Decision Addresses Nature and Purpose of Collateral Source Rule. Happily, in this case there was plenty of insurance coverage for the remediation of a home heating oil spill.  But it took two lawsuits and an appeal to figure out who would pay, and how much. The homeowner’s insurer paid… READ MORE

In the Event of a First Party Payment After a Loss, the “Collateral Source” Rule Works Most of the Time to Permit the Subrogated Insurer to Sue for the Full Amount of the Loss – But Not Always.

by Steven L. Schreckinger

The collateral source rule applies so that if a plaintiff has recovered for a loss from his or her own insurer, that recovery is a “collateral source,” and does not let the tortfeasor off the hook.  A defendant cannot offset his or her liability by the amount… READ MORE

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s an “Aircraft” — Coverage For Injury Caused By A Drone Is Barred By Aircraft Exclusion

by Tamara S. Wolfson

A California federal judge has recently held that a drone is an “aircraft.”  Therefore, the liability insurer for a drone operator was not required to defend or indemnify the insured in a law suit for an injury caused by an errant drone where the policy excluded coverage… READ MORE

Professional Liability Insurer has Duty to Defend Suit Over Law Firm Split Where the Allegations Encompass Professional Obligations as well as Business Decisions.

by Harvey Nosowitz

image credit: moolanomy Professional liability coverage disputes often turn on the question whether the alleged conduct constitutes “professional services,” or business activities of a non-professional nature.  So, for example, filing a client’s complaint within the statutory limitations period is clearly a “professional service” under a lawyer’s professional liability policy.  On… READ MORE

Broker Liability in the Forefront

by Steven L. Schreckinger

image credit: PublicDomainPictures When an insurer refuses to pay, the next place an insured frequently looks to cover a loss is to its broker. The Massachusetts courts have recently opined on when this will and will not work. In Perrault v. AIS Affinity Insurance Agency of New England, Inc.,… READ MORE

Contractual Limitations Period in Life Insurance Policy Bars Contract-Based Claims, But Not Tort-Based Claims

by Harvey Nosowitz

Creative Commons Photo Credit: Source Court Holds That Deceit, Negligence and Tort-Based Consumer Protection Claims Are Not Time-Barred  Among the many reasons to read your insurance policy carefully is that it, like other contracts, may contain a contractual limitations period for bringing a suit against the insurer that is… READ MORE

Interstate Water Dispute Nears Decision by Supreme Court

by Austin P. Anderson

As our changing climate threatens to exacerbate drought conditions in parts of the country, disputes between states over rights to water are likely to become far more common, and to have far higher stakes.  Early this year, the Court heard arguments in two separate water apportionment cases—one involving a dispute… READ MORE

Agencies Gearing Up to Address Risks Posed by PFAS Contamination

by David B. Lyons

image credit: Ineke Huizing PFAS—a class of chemical substances commonly used in a wide range of products—are drawing increased scrutiny from regulators.  Businesses and municipalities should closely follow these developments, as they create both new risks of liability for substantial response costs and opportunities to make… READ MORE

MassDEP Finally Tackles Greenhouse Gas Emissions Under the Global Warming Solutions Act

by Arthur P. Kreiger

image credit: Steve Johnson In January 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court issued a strong climate change decision under Massachusetts’ 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act.  The GWSA required the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to adopt regulations reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by… READ MORE