HNRK Partner Josh Blosveren Argues Before the Delaware Supreme Court in Syngenta Insurance Coverage Appeal
HNRK partner Josh Blosveren argued before the Delaware Supreme Court on behalf of Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC in an insurance coverage appeal filed by Zurich American Insurance Company over whether an attorney’s presuit letter, which claimed Syngenta’s herbicide Paraquat caused his unnamed clients’ Parkinson’s disease, constituted a “claim for damages” that preceded the relevant policy period.
Josh urged the panel to uphold a trial court’s October 2020 and October 2022 summary judgment findings that the letter lacked “specificity regarding potential claimants or plaintiffs’” to constitute a claim for damages. Siding with Syngenta, the trial court found that a merely “unclear or amorphous threat of future litigation” was not enough to constitute a claim and thus Zurich had an obligation to defend Syngenta in the underlying Paraquat suits.
Josh argued to the Delaware Supreme Court that “no U.S. court in or out of Delaware has ever found a claim under a liability insurance policy based on an attorney letter referencing an unidentified and unidentifiable claimant…And no court has ever found a claim under a liability insurance policy based on an attorney letter that does not demand damages.”
Read Law360’s coverage of the oral arguments here.