David E. Weiss

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California Supreme Court rules in favor of policyholders: what we learn from Yahoo! Inc. v. National Fire Insurance 

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court, in Yahoo Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Supreme Court of California No. S253593, ruled in favor of Yahoo, Inc. (Yahoo!), a policyholder seeking insurance coverage for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims. The case came to the California Supreme Court as a certified question … Continue Reading

Direct physical loss in COVID Coverage cases: Are policyholders seeing a litigation shift in favor of COVID-19 coverage?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented closures and losses for businesses throughout the United States. Naturally, policyholders have sought recovery for pandemic-related losses under their “all risk” commercial property policies. According to the University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law Covid Coverage Litigation Tracker, there have been approximately 2,300 of these COVID-19 coverage cases … Continue Reading

A policyholder win: Court finds coverage for COVID-19 related losses

Recently, a California federal court issued a favorable decision for policyholders seeking coverage for losses arising from COVID-19 who paid significant premiums to purchase substantial coverage limits including “coverage for business interruption losses from a virus.”  Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. v. Endurance Am. Spec. Ins. Co., Case No. SACV 20-02185 (C.D. Cal., June 15, 2022). … Continue Reading

Consistency not a concern for insurers fighting COVID-19 business loss claims, but policyholders can take advantage of divergent coverage positions

Under standard property policies, insurers are broadly claiming that the pollution exclusion applies to bar coverage for losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the insurer in Essentia Health v. ACE American Insurance Company, which involved a Premises Pollution Liability Portfolio Insurance Policy, made the precise opposite argument. Essentia alleged that COVID-19 was a covered … Continue Reading

Self-insured retentions are not a windfall for excess insurers looking to avoid coverage

In Deere & Co. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2019 WL 912151 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2019), a California Court of Appeal recently held that an insured’s self-insured retention (SIR)[1] was considered part of the underlying limit of liability such that it need not be satisfied again and again just to access excess insurance policies. … Continue Reading

Tangible property doesn’t have to be physically lost to find coverage

A California Court of Appeal recently held that the alleged loss of use of a premises as a nightclub qualified as “property damage” under a general liability insurance policy. Thee Sombrero, Inc. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 2018 WL 5292072 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 25, 2018). Thee Sombrero, Inc. (Sombrero) owned and operated a nightclub in … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court rules broadly in favor of insureds

On Monday, June 4, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled that an insurance company must provide liability coverage to its corporate insured against claims of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of its employee, who allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old child. The case is Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc., Case … Continue Reading

Massive DDoS Internet Attack Heightens the Focus on Cyberliability and Network Business Interruption Insurance Coverage

The October 21, 2016 DDoS attack on the internet’s domain name system infrastructure underscores the need to consider cyberliability insurance coverage as a critical component of your company’s security and privacy breach response plan, and if your company carries cyberliability insurance, to ensure that your coverage will respond to a network business interruption, security breach … Continue Reading

Insurers Beware: Respond Promptly or Lose the Right to Control the Defense

The tables may be turning. Insurers often seek to avoid their coverage obligations by invoking time limitations in their policies for providing claim notifications. On the other hand, these same insurers routinely take their sweet time in responding to claims, contending that they need time to “investigate” even before making a decision whether or not to … Continue Reading

Data Breaches Are Not Academic: Colleges and Universities Should Take Appropriate Steps To Avoid or at Least Minimize Their Exposure

Data breaches at colleges and universities are on the rise. These institutions are targets because their networks have access to a large amount of private information, including educational and medical records, as well as employees’ personal data. But in other instances, their systems are being attacked for malicious sport. In a recent Client Alert members … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Issues Sweeping Pro-Policyholder Decision on Environmental Liability Coverage Issues

This post was also written by Megan Demeter. On March 9, 2009, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in State of California v. Allstate Insurance Co., Case No. S149988. In this unanimous decision, the court resolved several issues in favor of the policyholder regarding the application of pollution exclusion provisions in the State’s comprehensive … Continue Reading
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