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The shocking and tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge over Baltimore Harbor on Tuesday is already having significant impacts on trade and transportation throughout the East Coast region, with ship traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore suspended until further notice. As a result, businesses that depend on the Port of Baltimore and its supporting infrastructure for shipment and distribution of cargo are facing significant financial losses in the coming weeks and months. Similarly, as the issues surrounding liability related to the collapse become more clear in the coming weeks and months, companies may find themselves at the center of legal liability claims arising from various aspects of the disaster.   Continue Reading Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse implicates several insurances types

In addition to insurance companies’ broad duty to defend all claims arising from complaints seeking damages potentially covered by their policies, Pennsylvania law provides an opportunity for policyholders to have their insurance companies pay for litigation costs associated with claims and/or suits that overlap or are intertwined with a suit the insurance company is already defending.  

The magic words are “inextricably intertwined”

Policyholders may seek defense costs for related litigation if those claims are made as: (1) counterclaims in suits the insurance company is already defending, or (2) separate, independent lawsuits with facts or defense work that overlap with a suit the insurance company is defending. The insurance company’s duty to defend such related claims is not automatic, however. Pennsylvania courts make it clear that in both instances, the cases or claims must be “inextricably intertwined” in order to trigger the insurance company’s obligation to pay litigation costs.Continue Reading Insurers must foot the bill for “inextricably intertwined” counterclaims in Pennsylvania