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HNRK Coverage Corner

Posts in Damages.

HNRK secured a significant and precedential win for Syngenta Crop Protection LLC this week, when the Delaware Supreme Court upheld a trial court’s two summary judgment rulings that its primary and umbrella insurers could not avoid their coverage obligations on the basis of an attorney’s presuit letter claiming Syngenta’s herbicide Paraquat caused his unnamed clients’ alleged injuries. The court rejected the insurers’ argument that the letter constituted a “claim for damages” first made prior to the period covered by the policies and, in so doing, clarified the ...

On December 30, 2019, Judge Briccetti of the SDNY issued a decision in Ruiz v. Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 19 CV 4399 (VB), denying an insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, but ruling (contrary to recent First Department case law) that the insured could not recover attorneys’ fees as consequential damages.

This case involves a claim under a homeowners insurance policy for damages sustained to a residence from burst water pipes.  The complaint contained a single cause of action for “breach of contract and implied ...

On December 5, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s v. BioEnergy Development Group, LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 08779, reversing a trial court’s dismissal of a claim based on the insurer’s bad faith delay in providing business interruption coverage, explaining:

The breach of the implied duty part of the counterclaim is based on allegations that plaintiffs refused to advance more than $6,806,725 in business interruption coverage until an appraisal panel awarded more than double that amount, and refused to pay the full amount of the property ...

On January 17, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in D.K. Prop., Inc. v National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., 2019 NY Slip Op 00347, holding that an insured need not satisfy a “heightened pleading standard” in alleging consequential damages arising from an insurer’s bad faith claim handling.

 (N.B. HNRK represents the insured in this matter.)

This case involved a claim under a commercial insurance policy for damage to the plaintiff’s office building caused by construction work at an adjoining building. The plaintiff alleged that “rather than pay the ...

On December 11, 2018, Judge Garaufis of the EDNY issued a decision in Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Saco, 12-cv-5633 (NGG), holding that a plaintiff in a bad faith action against a third-party insurer was entitled to collect the amount of a judgment in excess of the policy limits, even if the insured was not actually liable for the full amount of that judgment.

Saco arose from a personal injury case following a car accident.  The defendant in the injury lawsuit (Kusulas) was insured by GEICO.  After GEICO failed to tender the full policy limits to settle the case, a trial ensued, after which ...

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