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Unprofessional Marketing: Illinois Appellate Court Denies Professional Liability Coverage for TCPA Violation

On November 26, 2014, an Illinois appellate court held that a professional liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify its insured for a class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because the insured’s robocalls did not constitute conduct of the insured’s business “in rendering services for others,” as required by … Continue Reading

Removal Evidence Need Not Be Perfect and Declaratory Relief Alone May Satisfy CAFA Amount-in-Controversy Requirement, says the Eleventh Circuit

Answering a question left undecided in other circuits, the Eleventh Circuit held in South Florida Wellness, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 14-10001 (Feb. 14, 2014) that a complaint seeking only declaratory relief “can be up to the task” of satisfying the Class Action Fairness Act’s $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement. In an alleged class action … Continue Reading

Those Blasted Exclusions! Court Rules that Notice of TCPA Exclusion in Renewal Policy was Valid

Last week, the Illinois Court of Appeals released an opinion ruling that Cincinnati Insurance Company has no obligation to contribute an additional $4 million to a settlement of a class action claim brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Windmill Nursing Pavilion Ltd. v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. et al., 2013 IL App (1st) 122431 … Continue Reading

Three, Two, One, Blast Off! Illinois Court Finds Coverage for Blast Fax TCPA Violations

Last year, the Illinois Supreme Court held statutory damages of $500 per occurrence for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) were not punitive in nature and reversed an Illinois appellate court decision precluding insurance coverage for TCPA class actions on that basis.  Standard Mutual Ins. Co. v. Lay, 2013 IL 114617 (2013).  The … Continue Reading

TCPA Class Action Settlements in Illinois—the Dispute Between Client and Insurer Rages On

On October 31, 2013, the Northern District of Illinois forced two insurers to cover a $6 million settlement of a TCPA class action despite claims that their insured, M&M Retail Center, Inc., settled for an inflated amount it knew it would never have to pay.  Maxum Indemnity Co. v. Eclipse Manufacturing Co., 1:06-cv-04946 (N.D. Ill. … Continue Reading

California Court Finds Advertising Injury Coverage is Triggered by Medical Information Data Breach

On October 7, 2013, a federal district court in California held that the Advertising Injury coverage in a comprehensive general liability policy issued by Hartford Casualty Insurance Company (Hartford) covered two class action lawsuits arising out of the disclosure of confidential health information.  Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. Corcino & Associates et al., CV 13-3728 … Continue Reading

Not Just Yet, Again…Class Action Plaintiff Fails in Second Bid to Access a TCPA Defendant’s Insurance Coverage

On October 7, 2013, a Missouri federal court judge held that a class action plaintiff that alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lacked standing to seek coverage under the defendant’s insurance policies.  Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Harris Medical Associates, LLC, No. 4:13-CV-7 CAS, United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri … Continue Reading

The Words Matter: No Insurance Coverage for Wage and Hour Class Action

Despite finding that the syntax in its Employment Benefits Liability (EBL) endorsement was “not the best,” a California court of appeal held that Mid-Century Insurance Company did not owe a defense or indemnity to eight car dealerships for class action wage and hour claims brought by auto mechanics.  Mid-Century Insurance Company v. Robert Zamora et … Continue Reading

Class Action Claim for Excessive Fees is Not Covered by Bank’s Liability Policy

A Georgia federal district court ruled on August 7th that a bank was not entitled to insurance coverage for class action claims based on its allegedly excessive overdraft fees.  Fidelity Bank v. Chartis Specialty Insurance Company, 1:12-CV-4259-RWS (US Dist. Ct. ND Ga, August 7, 2013). Customers filed a class action lawsuit against Fidelity Bank, claiming … Continue Reading

Defendants Must Keep Insurance Coverage Considerations in Mind When Settling Class Action Lawsuits

On July 18, 2013, a Pennsylvania appellate court held that class action defendant Cigna Corporation (Cigna) was not entitled to insurance coverage for any part of a settlement it paid to plaintiffs because Cigna did not allocate the settlement between covered and excluded claims. Executive Risk Indemnity Inc. v. Cigna Corp., case no. 1117 EDA … Continue Reading

Not Just Yet: Class Action Plaintiff Cannot Access Defendant’s Insurance Coverage

On July 10, 2013, the Eastern District of Missouri Federal District Court refused to allow a class action plaintiff to directly access the defendant’s insurance coverage for plaintiff’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims while the TCPA class action lawsuit remained pending.  Evanston Insurance Company v. Harris Medical Associates, LLC, and St. Louis Heart Center, … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Requires Complete Reimbursement of Class Action Defense Costs

On June 18, 2013, the Second Circuit affirmed that a liability insurer was obligated to reimburse Olin Corporation for 100% of the defense costs it incurred defending against environmental contamination class action claims.  Olin Corporation v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 11-4579-cv (2d Cir. 6/18/2013).  The court found that the duty to defend was triggered under … Continue Reading

Courts Are Liberally Construing Litigation Insurance Coverage for Class Action Defenses and So Should Defendants

Co-authored by: Zack Rosenberg Although the Supreme Court continues to set the bar for class certification higher and higher, plaintiffs’ attorneys continue to file class action lawsuits of questionable merit.  The litigation costs required to gain dismissal of even groundless lawsuits are not insubstantial, and a defendant’s inability to fund a vigorous defense can make … Continue Reading

20 Million Reasons Why Class Action Defendants Need to Read Their Insurance Policies Closely

As previously noted in a recent blog post, defendants should immediately evaluate their insurance coverage upon receipt of a class action complaint.  But as one defendant recently discovered the hard way, that evaluation must be undertaken with great care.  In UnitedHealth Group Inc. v. Columbia Casualty Company et al., an insurer was able to avoid responsibility for its … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Dismisses Statutory Standing Case

Contributing Author: Christina Marino On the last day of the 2011 Term, the Supreme Court dismissed First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards, No. 10-708, 2012 WL 2427807 (June 28, 2012), a case that raised the issue of whether plaintiffs have standing to sue for violations of federal statutes, even when the plaintiffs have suffered no … Continue Reading
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