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BT Policyholder Protection Blog
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24 Apr 2017 Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer: Assigning Your Bad Faith Claim in Bet the Company Litigation

  Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policies are popular in the marketplace, as they protect policyholders of every stripe from the ever-present risk of liability for bodily injury and property damage. Of at least equal importance is the insurance company’s duty to defend the policyholder, a clause for which is found in nearly every CGL policy. That is, the insurance company is obligated to supply and pay for the policyholder’s defense against lawsuits alleging such liability – at the insurance company’s sole expense outside of policy limits. In essence, the insurer’s duty to defend amounts to litigation insurance, in addition to liability insurance.   Without the resources of an insurance company to control the litigation and pay the defense bills, many policyholders would be unable…

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06 Mar 2017 Overcoming That Sinking Feeling Beating Earth Movement Exclusions in CGL Policies

  Co-authored by John Corbett and Andy Detherage.   The recent rainstorms in California rightly have been hailed as the end of a lengthy drought.  The inches of rain which fell in the span of a week have filled reservoirs and raised the water table in the parched ground.  Such a large volume of water, however, increases the danger of landslides in California’s notoriously unconsolidated hillsides and bluffs, and with it, the possibility of disputes over whether particular ground movement claims are covered by their liability policies.   Let’s look at a hypothetical example.  XYZ Construction is laying pipes under an existing street at the top of a bluff.  In the course of digging trenches to hold the pipes, one of XYZ’s diggers accidentally breaks…

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12 May 2016 Georgia Supreme Court Expands Scope of Absolute Pollution Exclusion

The Georgia Supreme Court recently addressed and reversed the Georgia Court of Appeals on the question of whether lead paint is a “pollutant” for purposes of an exclusion within a commercial general liability.   In a recent case, Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company v. Smith, a tenant sued her landlord for personal injury after her daughter ingested lead-based paint found in the home.  The landlord’s commercial general liability insurer brought a declaratory judgment action to determine whether the personal injury claim was excluded under the policy’s absolute pollution exclusion.  See 2016 WL 1085397 (Ga. Mar. 21, 2016).   The policy defined “pollutant” as “any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals and waste.”  Id. at…

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