Posts from March 2017.
Time 1 Minute Read
While there’s no simple formula for determining what, and how much, cyber liability insurance is necessary for a given company, a few simple inquiries can make a big difference.  My colleague Syed Ahmad, along with Eileen Garczynski (senior vice president and partner at insurance brokerage Ames & Gough), recently published an article for Mealey’s Data Privacy Law Report on critical questions for companies seeking to protect company assets through cyber insurance.  Their article is available here
Time 3 Minute Read

The Ninth Circuit in Teleflex Medical Incorporated v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA, No. 14-56366 (9th Cir. Mar. 21, 2017) affirmed a jury verdict finding that AIG must pay $3.75 million in damages plus attorneys' fees to cover LMA North America, Inc.'s ("LMA's") settlement with its competitor over allegedly disparaging advertisements that characterized a competitor's products as unsafe.

Time 4 Minute Read

In a March 17, 2017 opinion, a Minnesota federal court rejected a financial institution bond carrier’s attempt to rescind the bond it issued to a credit union despite the credit union’s manager making a false statement in the bond application that she had no knowledge of any act which might give rise to a claim, after she had embezzled $3 million. See National Credit Union Administration Board v. CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc., No. 16-139, 2017 WL 1047256 (D. Minn. Mar. 17, 2017).  The court refused to attribute the embezzler’s misrepresentation to her employer because, in embezzling the credit union’s money, she was working solely for her own benefit.

Time 4 Minute Read

A panel of the California Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion (Stein v. Axis Ins. Co., (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 8, 2017, No. B265069) 2017 WL 914623), issued March 8, 2017, held that a policy exclusion requiring "final adjudication" did not support a refusal to pay the policyholder's defense costs by Houston Casualty Company (HCC) following a trial court's entry of judgment where the policyholder still could pursue appeal.

Time 4 Minute Read

A panel of the California Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion (Stein v. Axis Ins. Co., (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 8, 2017, No. B265069) 2017 WL 914623), issued March 8, 2017, held that a policy exclusion requiring "final adjudication" did not support a refusal to pay the policyholder's defense costs by Houston Casualty Company (HCC) following a trial court's entry of judgment where the policyholder still could pursue appeal.

Time 2 Minute Read

Policyholders are often surprised to hear that their policies cover more than the run-of-the-mill claim. For example, a general liability policy may cover a cyber-related loss. See our prior post. As a more recent example, a federal court in South Carolina found that a parent’s homeowners’ policy obligated an insurer to defend a college student against hazing allegations. Allstate Ins. Co. v. Ingraham, No. 7:15-cv-3212 (D.S.C. Mar. 14, 2017).

Time 1 Minute Read
A federal district court judge in Connecticut recently agreed that an insurer did not owe coverage under a “claims-made” D&O liability insurance policy where the policyholder failed to give timely notice of a suit arising from a loan default.  Although the ruling killed the claim, the decision also offered guidance on two critical – and commonly cited – exclusions: the “related claim” and “pending or prior claim” exclusions.  The court held that neither exclusion applied under the factual nexus test used by the court, reminding policyholders and insurers alike that ...
Time 1 Minute Read

Cyber and crime insurance policies have been heavily recommended to address the growing prevalence and types of cyber risks.  Walter Andrews and Jennifer White recently authored an article appearing in Risk Management discussing how the purchase of cyber and crime insurance policies alone is not enough to successfully manage these risks. These policies must be carefully evaluated and tailored to the particulars of each organization. The full article is available here. In the article, Andrews and White identify four key questions that every organization must ask when purchasing ...

Time 1 Minute Read

Attorneys Syed Ahmad and Jennifer White contributed to the Hunton Retail Law Resource’s “Recall Roundup” for the month of February with a discussion of Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company’s suit against CRF Frozen Foods, LLC.  Starr seeks to rescind the a product contamination policy based on allegations that, during the insurance application process, CRF failed to disclose “violations” identified by Washington State and federal inspectors which, Starr claims, were likely to give rise to CRF’s 2016 recall of frozen vegetables.  See Starr Surplus Lines Ins. Co. v. CRF Frozen Foods, LLC, No. 1:17-cv-01030 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 10, 2017). Starr’s suit comes on the heels of its success before the Third Circuit earlier this year, when the court affirmed Starr’s rescission of the accidental contamination policy issued to Heinz.  Read more about the case.

Time 1 Minute Read

As posted earlier today on Hunton & Williams' Retail and Privacy blogs, and as reported in Law360, Hunton & Williams announces the formation of a cross-disciplinary legal team dedicated to guiding companies through the minefield of regulatory and cyber-related risks associated with high-stakes corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Time 1 Minute Read

As posted earlier today on Hunton & Williams' Retail and Privacy blogs, and as reported in Law360, Hunton & Williams announces the formation of a cross-disciplinary legal team dedicated to guiding companies through the minefield of regulatory and cyber-related risks associated with high-stakes corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Time 2 Minute Read

The ABA announced last week that it would supplement its insurance coverage offerings to include cyber insurance. Chubb Limited will underwrite the insurance, which the ABA said “includes cyber coverage for a firm’s own expenses, such as network extortion, income loss and forensics, associated with a cyber-incident as well as for liability protection and defense costs.”

In its press release, the ABA referenced the revelations late last year that Chinese citizens had hacked two law firms to obtain information regarding mergers. The hackers then used that insider ...

Time 1 Minute Read

Earlier today, Hunton & Williams LLP insurance coverage lawyer Andrea DeFIeld was named “Rookie of the Year” by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce in their annual HYPE Awards ceremony.  The awards recognize Miami-Dade County’s brightest young professionals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their professions.  Andi certainly has done that, and much more, said Hunton’s Insurance Coverage practice leader, Walter Andrews, who attended the awards ceremony with Andi.  Andrews added, “Andi is an integral part of our practice and a leader among young ...

Time 3 Minute Read

With the passing of Bill Paxton coming on the heels of the deaths of several other lauded talents—including Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Mary Tyler Moore—fans continue to mourn the losses of their beloved artists, as well as the lost opportunities to see them in their upcoming roles.  And those losses reverberate across entertainment industries.  Disney must now grapple with pushing forward with its Star Wars film saga and related advertising campaigns without its leading princess.  It is a challenge that The Hunger Games filmmakers likewise faced with the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, which involved cast mourning periods and script rewrites.  Similarly, Fast & Furious 7 filmmakers reportedly spent an extra $50 million to complete the film following the death of Paul Walker.  The risk of an unfortunate passing looms over projects in other contexts, as well.  In television, John Ritter, John Spencer, and Cory Monteith passed away in the midst of successful runs of 8 Simple Rules, The West Wing, and Glee, respectively.  And entertainers David Bowie, Whitney Houston, and Prince, all likely had pending performance contracts at the times of their deaths.  This creates the risk of broken deals, unrealized projects, and even downstream litigation.

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