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BT Policyholder Protection Blog
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28 Jan 2015 2014 Year in Review

On Tuesday, Jan. 27, Barnes & Thornburg insurance recovery attorneys presented on 2014’s major legal developments and trends in insurance coverage and recovery. Approximately 145 people joined the webinar and learned more about how past events affected:   Directors and Officers (D&O) coverage Excess umbrella liability coverage Coverage for business torts and consumer false advertising claims Coverage for environmental contamination claims Cyber liability and data breach   Charlie Edwards opened the discussions with comments about directors and officers liability insurance coverage, what D&O coverage decisions were issued in 2014, what key terms insureds should consider when looking at D&O coverage, and what insureds should expect in the marketplace for 2015. Chris Lynch then discussed developments in excess and umbrella liability insurance cases in 2014. He…

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13 Jan 2015 Your Liability Insurer Agreed to Defend? Don’t Relax Yet.

You tendered a lawsuit to your liability insurer. You cooperated with its investigation of the claim, and maybe you had to challenge an initial denial. Now, you have a hard-earned letter from your insurer agreeing to defend the suit. This is a significant milestone in managing your risk for the liability, but the need for vigilance to maximize your insurance benefits and protect your rights is far from over. Whether there are thousands or millions at stake, policyholders must remain vigilant and active, to ensure they are receiving maximum benefit from their coverage.   Even after your insurer agrees to defend, numerous disputes may still arise that can affect whether you maintain control over decisionmaking, whether the insurer pays everything it owes under the policies,…

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06 Jan 2015 Scott Godes quoted in, “Insurers cover fraction of costs in Catholic dioceses’ clergy abuse cases”

Scott Godes, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, was quoted in Business Insurance’s article, “Insurers cover fraction of costs in Catholic dioceses’ clergy abuse cases.”   The article discusses the role of insurance coverage in the context of clergy abuse cases.  The author posits that liability insurers have paid only a fraction of the U.S. Catholic dioceses’ costs in clergy abuse cases. Nonetheless, insurance companies have paid, or been ordered to pay, millions of dollars for those claims.  Legal wrangles have arisen, among other issues, over the number of occurrences in clergy abuse cases and the allocation of losses among the decades of policies potentially involved.   Godes, who has worked on multiple cases involving insurance for clergy abuse cases, is quoted saying, “There’s a…

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18 Dec 2014 COVERAGE FOR “DISPARAGEMENT”: A POWERFUL TOOL FOR TRIGGERING THE DUTY TO DEFEND IN BUSINESS DISPUTES

By the time a business dispute has evolved into litigation, the relationship between the parties has often become acrimonious. In addition to a claim for breach of contract, interference with economic relations or unfair competition, the plaintiff may also allege that the defendant made false or disparaging statements to third parties—customers, competitors, financiers—that harmed the reputation or business of the plaintiff. The existence of even a single allegation of such disparagement within a complaint is often sufficient to trigger a duty to defend by the insurer of the defendant business. If your business is on the receiving end of a lawsuit, it is critical to examine the lawsuit for such allegations of disparagement and to consider tendering the lawsuit to your general liability insurer to…

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