CM Report of Recent Decisions (2008v1)
2008 Volume 1
A summary of significant recent developments in the law focusing on substantive issues of litigation and featuring analysis and commentary on special points of interest.
Articles in this report
Clausen Miller Helps Excess Insurers Reverse $155 Million Judgment -- No Advertising Or Personal Injury Coverage For Alleged Defamation Or Disparagement Of Third Parties Not Plaintiffs In Underlying Lawsuits
In BASF AG v. Great American Assurance Co., et al., the Seventh Circuit held that excess/umbrella insurance carriers had no duty to defend a pharmaceutical company with respect to lawsuits brought by consumers and health insurers seeking economic damages for claims of monopolization, racketeering, fraud, and deceptive business practices, reversing a $155 million-plus judgment entered against the insurers by the district court.
Failure To Provide Immediate Notice Of An Occurrence Dooms First-Party Asbestos Claim
In District 211, a school district sought more than $20 million in damages from its property insurer for the removal of asbestos and asbestos containing materials in a series of high school buildings. The Illinois Appellate Court decision reaffirms a sophisticated insured’s obligation to comply with important conditions precedent; in this instance, a notice provision.
Fifth Circuit Reiterates Well-Established Rule That Ship Owner Has Burden Of Proving Validity Of A Seaman's Release
In Transocean, the Fifth Circuit emphasized the elevated level of scrutiny applicable when evaluating the validity of any release or settlement involving a seaman’s rights, and indicated that a ship owner has the burden of demonstrating that a release was executed freely, without deception or coercion, and that it was made by the seaman with full understanding of his rights.