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Posts in Duty to Defend.

On November 24, 2020, the First Department issued a decision in Wesco Ins. Co. v. Hellas Glass Works Corp., 2020 NY Slip Op 06975, holding that consideration of facts outside the complaint established an insurer’s duty to defend a personal injury action.

Affirming the motion court’s decision, which was previously discussed on this blog, the First Department explained:

Although the duty to defend is primarily determined by the complaint, wooden application of the “four corners of the complaint” rule would render the duty to defend narrower than the duty to indemnify.  Based ...

On August 20, 2020, the Fourth Department issued a decision in Scalzo v. Central Co-op. Ins. Co., 2020 NY Slip Op 04639, holding that an intentional assault was excluded from coverage under a liability policy, despite conclusory language in the complaint asserting a negligence claim in the alternative.

The plaintiff in the underlying personal injury lawsuit asserted two causes of action:  the first alleged that the insured (Scalzo) assaulted the plaintiff “by seizing him, striking him and punching him in the face” and that those actions were “willful, intentional ...

On September 16, 2020, Judge Failla of the SDNY issued a decision in Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Streb, Inc., Case No. 19-CV-366 (KFP), ruling that a CGL carrier had no duty to defend a personal injury action because undisputed “extrinsic evidence” (i.e., facts not alleged in the complaint) conclusively established that an exclusion applied.

The insured (Streb, Inc.), a not-for-profit dance and performance company, was a defendant in a personal injury action brought by a participant in an aerobics class who was severely injured on a trampoline.  Streb’s CGL policy ...

On November 20, 2019, Judge Briccetti of the SDNY issued a decision in Metropolitan Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Comley, Case No. 18-cv-9259 (VB), holding that a liability insurer properly denied defense coverage, under an exclusion for “intentional and criminal acts”, for a lawsuit alleging “negligent supervision” of the insureds’ minor son, who committed a sexual assault. The policy at issue—a homeowners’ policy—covered both the parents and their “relatives”, who are “resident[s] of the same household.” The policy’s “intentional and criminal ...

On October 28, 2019, Justice Borrok of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. v. ICCO Cheese Co., Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 33224(U), holding that a CGL carrier had no duty to defend consumer fraud class actions against Walmart because the complaints did not allege claims for “bodily injury” or “property damage.”

Walmart was sued in class actions across the country (consolidated in an MDL proceeding) for allegedly mislabeling parmesan cheese sold under its Great Value brand as “100% grated Parmesan cheese when, in reality, it ...

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