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02 Jun 2016 When is “Wrongful” Eviction Intentional and Therefore Not Covered?

On May 23, the Minnesota Court of Appeals issued an unpublished decision addressing what actions by a rental home owner would be considered an “occurrence” triggering coverage and whether the actions would constitute an intentional act to exclude coverage.   In State Farm Fire & Cas, Co. v. Otten, No. A15-1574, 2016 WL 2946110 (Minn. Ct. App. May 23, 2016), the court focused on whether an insurance policy covered or excluded the personal injury resulting from the rental home owners’ wrongful eviction of their tenant. The rental home was insured by State Farm’s Rental Dwelling Policy. This policy allowed coverage for personal injury resulting from an “occurrence,” which specifically included wrongful evictions, but excluded coverage for personal injury resulting from intentional acts. The Minnesota Supreme…

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15 Jul 2015 Five Tips: Insurance Fundamentals for In-House Counsel

Many of our posts address specific issues for risk managers and in-house attorneys with insurance coverage experience. Recognizing that some in-house lawyers are relatively new to the insurance world, we thought some may appreciate a summary of some of the fundamental issues in insurance coverage. Today, we offer five sets of distinctions between related concepts at the heart of many insurance matters:   First-Party vs. Third-Party Coverage   First-party coverage pays you for loss or damage to your own property. For example, if your plant suffers a fire, you may want to make a claim under the property policy for damage to the building, equipment and machinery. The same policy may include business interruption coverage that can replace some of the profits lost while the…

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12 May 2014 Clifford Shapiro presents “The Next Wave of ‘Occurrence’ Disputes”

On May 7, Clifford Shapiro spoke before more than one hundred attendees at the second annual meeting of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC) held in Chicago.  Tom Mielenhausen is also a member of the ACCEC, and he also attended the conference. Clifford’s topic was insurance coverage for construction defect claims.  Among other things, he presented an update on the 50 state survey of the “occurrence” issue, and a summary of recent state statues that have been enacted to attempt to resolve this thorny issue.  The ACCEC’s brochure summarized the presentation: This presentation will discuss the history and analysis of the “occurrence” issue in the construction defect claim context. This issue has divided the courts across the country. The presentation will also include…

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29 Apr 2014 NEWS ALERT: Alabama Supreme Court Withdraws and Re-Issues Decision to Find “Occurrence” for Construction Defect Claim

Last September, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a decision that denied insurance coverage to a homebuilder on the ground that there can be no “occurrence” where construction defect claims do not allege property damage to something other than the home the policyholder built. Owners Insurance Co. v. Jim Carr Homebuilder LLC, 2013 Ala. LEXIS 122, 2013 WL 5298575 (Ala. Sept. 20, 2013). In that decision, the court did not analyze the policy language to distinguish between damage to the insured’s project (which it held did not constitute an “occurrence”) and damage to other property or other parts of the structure (which it held could constitute an “occurrence”).   On March 28, 2014, the Alabama Supreme Court withdrew its earlier decision and issued a new decision…

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