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HNRK Coverage Corner

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 ...

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 ...

Posted in CGL Policies

On February 13, 2024, the New York Appellate Division, First Department, issued a decision in Bay Plaza Mall, LLC v. Argonaut Ins. Co., holding that evidence regarding an insurer’s handling of “prior similar claims” was a relevant consideration in construing a CGL policy.

This coverage action arose from “two underlying personal injury actions brought by individuals who were injured while working on a project at premises owned by plaintiffs.” Affirming the motion court’s decision denying the insurers’ motion for summary judgment, the First Department noted that ...

In an article for Chambers’ 2024 Insurance and Reinsurance Global Practice Guide, insurance recovery partners Bradley Nash, Joshua Blosveren, and Dorothea Regal discuss some of the high-stakes insurance coverage disputes that came out of New York last year, and the resulting insurance litigation trends the industry should have an eye on, including:

  • The allocation of defense and indemnity coverage for long-tail claims;
  • An insured’s right to recover attorneys’ fees incurred in insurance coverage litigation;
  • The impact of the named insured’s bankruptcy on the ...

On January 8, 2024, Justice Frank of the New York County Supreme Court issued a decision in Endurance Am. Ins. Co. v. StoneX Commodity Solutions, LLC, Index No. 653234/2022, granting summary judgment as to liability to StoneX Commodity Solutions, a trader of physical commodities, in an insurance coverage dispute, arising from a loss of more than 500,000 bushels of soybeans as a result of a warehouse owner’s fraud.

The court held that StoneX established an actual loss during the relevant policy period, declaring there is insurance coverage to cover the loss of 502,315 bushels of ...

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