Liability Insurance Posts
This Article examines contractual aspects of settlement in the liability insurance context, concentrating on the elements of offer and acceptance. It also addresses insurers’ ability to reject settlement offers that are intended to facilitate later bad faith litigation without incurring extracontractual liability.
These articles discuss cases on the topics of duty to defend and duties of good faith.
This article discusses the Montana Supreme Court’s consideration of an insurer’s duty to defend in National Indemnity Co. v. State, 499 P.3d 516 (Mont. 2021).
It is gratifying to see that the Restatement of Liability Insurance is proving useful to judges because it has been one of the ALI’s more contentious projects. Approved by the ALI membership in 2018 and published a year later, the Restatement of Liability Insurance has now been cited in over 50 cases by state and federal courts.
Infected Judgment: Problematic Rush to Conventional Wisdom and Insurance Coverage Denial in a Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic created not only a public health crisis but also an insurance coverage imbroglio, prompting near-immediate business interruption claims by policyholders impacted by government restrictions ordered in response to the pandemic. Insurers and their representatives “presponded” to the looming coverage claims by quickly moving to denigrate arguments for coverage, engaging in a pre-emptive strike that has largely worked to date, inducing too many courts to rush to judgment by declaring—as a matter of law—that policy terms such as “direct physical loss or damage” do not even arguably encompass the business shutdowns resulting from COVID-19.
ALI Restatements of the Law have traditionally exerted significant influence over court decisions and the development of the common law. During the past two decades, however, the ALI has seen an upsurge in interest group activity designed to shape or even thwart aspects of the Institute’s work.
On April 19, 2021, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued its opinion on the case in response to the Eleventh Circuit’s certifications. In its discussion of the background principles of law, the court cites Comment a of § 27, Remedies for Breach of the Duty to Make Reasonable Settlement Decisions, of Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance.
While the ALI’s Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance got off to a slow-start for the first three years, playing a substantive role in just a handful of several dozen decisions citing to it, do these four recent decisions, over three weeks, foretell a new story?
In its Decision and Order on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment (2021 WL 681119), the District Court of Maine was presented with the issue of when a duty to defend terminates. The court looked to Section 18 of Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance (Restatement) for guidance.
A Law360 article discusses a recent case in which a Minnesota dental office argued that “more courts across the country have rejected insurers’ bids to dismiss COVID-19 business interruption suits for policies without a virus exclusion.”