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Posts in Policy Exclusions.

On March 21, 2024, the Fifth Circuit issued a decision in SXSW, L.L.C. v. Federal Ins. Co., Case No. 22-50933, holding that a liability policy’s contract and professional services exclusions did not bar defense coverage for a class action lawsuit on behalf of ticket holders seeking refunds for a festival canceled in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the class action, SXSW, which hosts a yearly festival in Austin, Texas, faced ticket holder claims for breach of contract, as well as unjust enrichment and conversion, arising from its refusal to give refunds (as opposed to ...

On February 6, 2023, Justice Louis L. Nock of the New York County Supreme Court issued a decision in Wesco Ins. Co. v. Nunez Dental Servs., P.C., 2023 NY Slip Op 30373(U), holding that a criminal acts exclusion barred coverage for a lawsuit alleging violations of the rights of privacy and publicity under the N.Y. Civil Rights Law, despite the fact that the insured was never convicted, or even charged with, a crime.

The underlying lawsuit alleged that the insured, Nunez Dental, misappropriated the image of the plaintiff’s image to advertise Nunez’s dental services.  Among other ...

On April 22, 2022, the New York Appellate Division, First Department issued a decision in Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, Inc. v. Atlantic Specialty Ins. Co., 2022 NY Slip Op 02625, holding that a sexual abuse exclusion applied to claims for negligent supervision.

This coverage action arose out of a lawsuit by former members of the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club, who alleged that they were sexually abused as children by a former volunteer and former coach for the organization.  Madison Square sought coverage under a claims-made liability policy for the lawsuit, which asserted ...

On April 9, 2021, the Second Circuit issued a decision in Fabrique Innovations, Inc. v. Federal Insurance Company, 20-1396-cv, holding that a policy’s “willful acts” exclusions were not triggered by a “simple breach of contract.” (N.B. HRNK insurance recovery partner Joshua Blosveren successfully represented the Appellee in this appeal.) The insured (“Fabrique”) made a claim under a cargo insurance policy that covered damage to fabric and plush merchandise temporarily in storage at specified locations.  The goods at issue were lost “after Hancock Fabrics ...

On November 27, 2020, Justice Masley of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Alvarez v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., 2020 NY Slip Op 33917(U), holding that a lawsuit against the insureds was not wholly excluded from coverage under a D&O policy where only one part of the lawsuit involved “Wrongful Acts” at issue in an earlier lawsuit that was covered under a prior policy period.

The underlying lawsuit in Alvarez was an action by the Creditors’ Committee of Sears Holdings Corp. against former officers and directors, alleging 35 causes of action, arising from three ...

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