Commercial General Liability Dispatch

Tressler’s experienced Insurance attorneys provide the latest commercial general liability news and insights.

By: Rosa Tumialán

The debate concerning the applicability of general liability policies to claims arising out of violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) has not gone all that well for insurers. The Illinois Supreme Court in West Bend Mut. Ins. Co. v. Krishna Schaumburg Tan, Inc., 2021 IL 125978, held that a BIPA violation satisfies the publication criterion of the advertising injury coverage grant. The Krishna court then proceeded to hold that the Recording and Distribution exclusion did not apply in part because the version of the exclusion at issue, in that case, did not prohibit the “collection” of data—the specific
Continue Reading The Debate About GL Converge for BIPA Claims is Not Over — It is Just Starting

By: Samantha Rothman

In West Bend Mutual Insurance Company
v. Community United School District 300,
2021 IL App (2d) 210108, the insurer sought a declaration
that it had no duty to defend an additional insured, a school district, in
connection with several lawsuits filed on behalf of minors. The minors were
allegedly sexually molested and/or abused during after-school programs run by
the named insured, a Boys and Girls Club, which had rented the district
premises. Among other things, the insurer sought a declaration that it owed no
duty to defend the district because it was not provided notice of the
Continue Reading Illinois Court Finds Notice Requirement Not Applicable to Additional Insured

Recently, the
Northern District of Texas found a commercial general liability policy did not
provide coverage for the death of a utility contractor who suffocated after he
was buried in a pit of gravel by another worker. 

The Tarrant Regional Water District hired IPL Partners to perform construction work on an integrated pipeline in Venus, Texas. IPL then subcontracted with Oscar Renda Contracting, Inc. to perform excavation and pipelaying. Nabor Machuca-Mercado, a laborer for Oscar Renda Contracting suffocated to death while working on the pipeline after he was buried by another worker in a trench of gravel. 

The children of Mr.
Continue Reading Northern District of Texas Finds Employee Exclusion Bars Coverage for Contractor’s Death Despite Restoration in Policy of Coverage for Accidents Involving Co-Employees

In AIX Specialty Ins. Co. v. BigLimo, Inc., No. 3:21-cv-08, 2021 WL 2708902 (S.D. Ohio June 30, 2021) the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio concluded an insured nightclub’s unauthorized use of the pictures of two models in Facebook advertisements potentially qualified as “implied defamation” and “personal and advertising injury.” The court held that an intellectual property exclusion barred coverage that could exist for the pled claims of invasion of privacy by appropriation and violations of the Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Lanham Act, but held that the unauthorized use of the plaintiffs’ pictures potentially constituted an
Continue Reading Ohio Court: Use of Actresses’ Images Potentially Alleges Implied Defamation Claim Covered As “Personal And Advertising Injury”

Thus far in 2020, there have been several reported insurance coverage cases addressing “abuse” exclusions. Dorchester Mutual Ins. Co. v. Krusell, 150 N.E.3d 731 (Mass. 2020); Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. Armory Studios, LLC, — Fed.Appx. —- (9th Cir. Aug. 13, 2020) (California law); National Liability & Fire Ins. Co. v. Brimar Transit, Inc., 433 F. Supp. 3d 747 (W.D. Pa. 2020); Allied World Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. Day Surgery LLC, 2020 WL 1545881, — F. Supp. 3d —- (S.D. W. Va. May 31, 2020). Exclusions for physical or sexual abuse or
Continue Reading Four 2020 Cases Address Abuse Exclusions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in Scottsdale Insurance Company v. Columbia Insurance Group, Inc., No. 19-3315 (7th Cir. Aug. 26 2020) (Illinois law), that the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois did not err in ruling that Scottsdale Insurance, as the liability insurer of a building owner, could shift the obligation to defend its insured from a personal injury lawsuit brought by an injured construction worker to the employer’s insurer.

While performing HVAC work at a construction site in Chicago, Eduardo Guzman fell approximately 22 feet through an unguarded
Continue Reading Holding: Employer’s Insurer Owes Duty to Defend Additional Insureds Despite That Employer Was Not Named as a Defendant in Original Complaint Under Illinois Law

Click here to download our new 50-State Survey: Application of Pollution Exclusion in First-Party Property Insurance Policies.

Disclaimer: This survey is for general information only and is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon exclusively for legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. Past cases and decisions do not guarantee future results. The information contained in this survey may or may not reflect the most current legal standards or developments. © 2020

About the Author

Michael DiSantisPartner at Tressler LLPPittsburgh Office

Michael s a partner in the Insurance and Litigation practices. He focuses
Continue Reading New 50-State Survey: Application of Pollution Exclusion in First-Party Property Insurance Policies

In Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 2020 WL 1943212, — N.E.3d —- (2020), the Ohio Supreme Court addressed the certified question of “whether an insured is permitted to seek full and complete indemnity, under a single policy providing coverage for ‘those sums’ that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay because of property damage that takes place during the policy period, when the property damage occurred over multiple policy periods,” and answered in the negative. The court, which previously applied the “all sums” rule in Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v.
Continue Reading Ohio Supreme Court Declines To Apply “All Sums” Rule

While the Illinois COVID-19 stay-at-home order continues to keep everyone at home, the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court has been busy. The Court issued two decisions concerning the right to independent counsel and when there may be a conflict between an insurer and an insured in the defense of an underlying action.

In the first, Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of America, 2020 IL App (1st) 182491, issued on April 7, 2020, the court addressed issues raised by the Seventh Circuit’s decision in R. C. Wegman Construction Co. v. Admiral Ins.
Continue Reading The Illinois Appellate Court and the Right to Independent Counsel

In an unpublished opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an insurer had a duty to defend its insured for a putative class action alleging that the insured, Brighton Collectibles, LLC (“Brighton”), collected and sold Plaintiff’s and other customers’ personal information (full name, e-mail address, residence address and telephone number, along with the credit card information necessary to complete the sale) in violation of California’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (the “Credit Card Act”), Cal. Civ. Code § 1747.08. (See Brighton Collectibles, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds London, No. CV 18-1107-JFW(GJSX), 2018 WL 9782167, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 27, 2018), rev’d
Continue Reading “Publishing” Exclusion Did Not Preclude Duty To Defend Alleged “Publication” of Personal Information

In Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London et al. v. ConAgra Grocery Products Company, et al. San Francisco County Superior Court, Case No. CGC-14-53673, a San Francisco Superior Court recently ruled that ConAgra’s insurers are not required to pay its $102 million… Continue Reading →
The post California Court Finds Section 533 Applies to Preclude Coverage for Lead Paint Settlement appeared first on Commercial General Liability Dispatch.
Continue Reading California Court Finds Section 533 Applies to Preclude Coverage for Lead Paint Settlement

Last week, we wrote about the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision late last year, holding that insurance coverage for malicious prosecution was triggered when the insureds’ wrongful conduct occurred rather than when the underlying claimant was exonerated.  Earlier this year, the… Continue Reading →
The post Nebraska Supreme Court: Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Apply to Wrongful Conviction Claim appeared first on Commercial General Liability Dispatch.
Continue Reading Nebraska Supreme Court: Professional Services Exclusion Does Not Apply to Wrongful Conviction Claim

Commercial general liability insurance policies typically afford coverage for “personal injury” or “personal and advertising injury,” which is often defined to include “false imprisonment” and “malicious prosecution.” As a result, when local agencies and their employees are sued arising out of… Continue Reading →
The post Illinois Supreme Court Decides Trigger of Coverage for Malicious Prosecution Coverage Claims appeared first on Commercial General Liability Dispatch.
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Decides Trigger of Coverage for Malicious Prosecution Coverage Claims

In Dish Network Corp. v. Ace American Ins. Co., 2019 WL 7047341, — F.Supp.3d —- (S.D.N.Y. 2019), the court evaluated choice of law and a “media exclusion” to an insurance coverage dispute between Dish Network Corporation (“Dish”) and its insurer… Continue Reading →
The post New York Federal Court Applies Media Exclusion appeared first on Commercial General Liability Dispatch.
Continue Reading New York Federal Court Applies Media Exclusion

In Pennsylvania Nat’l Mut. Cas. Ins. Co. v. Jeffers, 2020 WL 502612, — A.3d —- (2020), the Maryland Special Court of Appeals evaluated and applied the continuous trigger and time on the risk allocation rules to a lead poisoning bodily… Continue Reading →
The post Maryland Court Addresses Time On The Risk Allocation For Lead Injury appeared first on Commercial General Liability Dispatch.
Continue Reading Maryland Court Addresses Time On The Risk Allocation For Lead Injury

This summer, two courts weighed in on two California choice of law principles: the “place of performance” of an insurance policy determines which state’s law governs the interpretation of the policy and a California court will not apply another state’s… Continue Reading →
The post Courts Explain California Choice Of Law Principles In Recent Cases appeared first on Commercial General Liability Dispatch.
Continue Reading Courts Explain California Choice Of Law Principles In Recent Cases