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HNRK Coverage Corner

Posts from September 2018.

On September 21, 2018, the Second Circuit issued a decision in SPARTA Ins. Co. v. Technology Ins. Co., Inc., Case No. 17‐3441, holding that a liability insurer that assumed the defense of a claim was estopped from disclaiming coverage based on a nine-month delay in asserting coverage defenses and resulting prejudice to the insured. In SPARTA Ins. Co., a subcontractor’s liability carrier (SPARTA) assumed the defense of a property owner and general contractor in an injury lawsuit brought by the subcontractor’s employee, without a reservation of rights.  In later ...

On September 18, 2018, Justice Hagler of the New York County Supreme Court issued a decision in Aspen Specialty Ins. Co. v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 2018 NY Slip Op 32328(U), holding that property owners and their construction manager were not entitled to defense coverage under a CGL policy based on a stop work order issued by the New York City Department of Buildings.

The standard CGL policy at issue in Aspen Specialtyrequired the insurer to defend a “suit,” defined as “a civil proceeding in which damages because of . . . ‘property damage’ . . . to which this insurance applies [is ...

On September 10, 2018, Justice Sherwood of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Freedom Specialty Ins. Co. v. Platinum Mgt. (NY), LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 32233(U), denying a D&O insurers’ motion for summary judgment based on a prior and pending litigation exclusion (the “PPL Exclusion”). Freedom Specialty is a D&O coverage litigation arising from a criminal securities fraud prosecution in the EDNY against officers of Platinum Partners, a New York hedge fund.

Last December, Justice Sherwood issued a preliminary injunction directing three excess D&O ...

On August 22, 2018, the Second Department issued a decision in Tiffany Tower Condominium, LLC v. Insurance Co. of the Greater N.Y., 2018 NY Slip Op 05886, holding that insureds stated a cause of action against a property insurer for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing based on the failure to pay a claim arising from damage suffered during Hurricane Sandy.

Unlike other states, New York does not recognize a separate cause of action against an insurance company for bad faith claims handling.  Section 2601 of the Insurance Law forbids certain specified “unfair claim ...

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