Posts from April 2020.
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Much of the commentary on insurance issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis, including multiple posts on this blog, understandably has focused on recovery under first-party property policies providing business interruption coverage for losses incurred due to office closures, government orders, extra expenses, and other direct costs experienced by employers. There is a much broader range of possible claim scenarios arising from COVID-19 that may go to other kinds of coverages, however; most notably directors and officers liability, management liability, fiduciary ...
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A rare public dispute concerning coverage under a representations and warranties insurance policy is being litigated in New York’s Commercial Division. Although the case is only at the motion to dismiss stage, there are some preliminary takeaways that may help other practitioners in the space avoid similar disputes. Hunton insurance lawyers, Syed S. Ahmad, Patrick M. McDermott, and Kevin V. Small discuss those lessons in a recent Law360 article, available here.
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Masters and Levine submitted the following “letter to the editor” in the April 7th, 2020 edition of the Washington Post to tell the other side of the story.

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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP is proud to announce that associate Latosha Ellis is running for Secretary of the Women’s Bar Association of DC! We strongly support Latosha’s campaign and encourage you to vote for your favorite candidate via the email ballot circulated to all current members in good standing. If you did not receive a ballot or need to check your membership status, contact admin@wbadc.org. Polls close on April 10th so cast your votes today!

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The wave of COVID-19 litigation should cause courts to consider whether the plain meaning of a general liability insuring agreement triggers coverage for certain damages flowing from COVID-19 losses. Policies with insuring agreements providing coverage “because of” bodily injury or property damage are broader than those that apply coverage “for” bodily injury or property damage. Hunton Andrews Kurth insurance attorneys Syed S. Ahmad and Rachel E. Hudgins authored an article published by the Insurance Coverage Law Center analyzing this difference. The full article is available here.

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The California Supreme Court ruled that vertical exhaustion applied to determine how a policyholder could access its excess insurance policies. Montrose Chem. Corp. v. Superior Court, No. S244737 (Cal. Apr. 6, 2020). The case involved coverage for Montrose Chemical Corporation’s environmental liabilities at its Torrance facility under insurance policies issued from 1961 to 1985. Montrose and its insurers agreed that Montrose’s primary policies were exhausted but disputed the sequence in which Montrose could access the excess insurance policies.

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Louisiana joins a growing list of states, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, and New York that are considering legislation, here and here,  that would require insurance coverage for the business interruption losses caused by COVID-19.  We have discussed other legislative efforts here and here.  The Louisiana House and Senate have each put forth bills that would, like the other states’ measures, require insurers to cover business interruption losses due to COVID-19 despite policy language that an insurer might try to rely on to argue otherwise.  Unlike the other bills ...

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