CM Report of Recent Decisions – 2020 Volume 1

April 14, 2020 / CM Reports

Using The Special Interrogatory In Illinois Civil Jury Trials—A Plan Of Action

The plaintiff ’s bar—especially the plaintiff’s personal injury bar—has been clamoring for years in Illinois to abolish the special interrogatory. Plaintiff’s lawyers don’t like the special interrogatory because it places a much needed check on a jury’s rendition of a general verdict. But now that Illinois has a Democratic Governor, plaintiffs’ lawyers got their wish to do away with the special interrogatory. But now that Illinois has a Democratic Governor, plaintiffs’ lawyers got their wish to do away with the special interrogatory.

Illinois Coronavirus Lawsuit Implicates Healthcare And Employment Practices Liability Concerns

As noted in the ongoing blitz of professional and news commentaries, the COVID-19 pandemic spans numerous legal practice areas, from force majeure clauses, to first-party property insurance claims, to premises and professional liability defense. Clausen Miller attorneys have been working around the clock to assist our clients in navigating emerging issues and claims, including the formation of key coronavirus task forces and monitoring of significant coronavirus litigation nationwide.

California Appellate Court Holds Employer Is Not Liable For Employee’s Negligence

Per The “Going-And-Coming” Rule In Bingener v. City of Los Angeles, 2019 Cal.App. LEXIS 1313, California’s Second Appellate District analyzed vicarious liability issues pertaining to negligence by an employee during the employee’s commute to work. In affirming summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer, the Court clarified the scope of the “going-and-coming” rule exempting employers from vicarious liability for employee negligence during commutes.

Clausen Miller’s First-Party Property COVID-19 Task Force

As COVID-19 continues to impact all corners of the globe, we are not simply throwing together blurbs for Twitter, but rather carefully listening to the needs of our clients who are already facing insurance claims arising out of the Coronavirus.

New Jersey Considers COVID-19 Legislation Compelling Insurers To Pay Business Interruption Coverage Due To Coronavirus

New Jersey recently introduced Assembly Bill 3844, which would require insurers to provide business interruption coverage to companies with less than 100 eligible employees, defined as those who work at least 25 hours a week, as a result of the coronavirus. After making payments, insurers could then apply for relief and reimbursement from the state’s Commissioner of Banking and Insurance.

Eighth Circuit Holds “Rubble Zone” Not Part Of “Building”; Dome-Outs Not Covered

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit holds that the “rubble zone” above a limestone slab forming the ceiling of an underground storage facility was not part of a “building” under the terms of a primary policy issued by Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance Company (“Westchester”). Accordingly, destabilization of the rubble zone did not constitute “building decay”, and claims involving several “dome-outs” of the storage facility’s ceiling caused by that rubble zone destabilization were not covered under the subject policy.

Failure To Adequately Investigate Liquor Liability Claim Subjects Insurer To Liability Under Massachusetts Unfair Claims Settlement Statute— Including Treble Damages

The First Circuit Court of Appeals holds that an insurer’s failure to adequately investigate a liquor liability claim against its insured, a nightclub, after one of its dancers was involved in a serious auto accident subjected it to liability under the Massachusetts General Laws c. 93A, section 9 and c. 176D, sections 3(9)(d) and 3(9)(f).

  • Chicago

    Illinois 60603

    10 South LaSalle Street

    Chicago, Illinois 60603

    T: 312.855.1010 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Dennis D. Fitzpatrick

  • New York

    New York 10005

    28 Liberty Street 39th Floor

    New York, New York 10005

    T: 212.805.3900 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 212.805.3939 Office Managing Partner: Tyler Jay Lory

  • Mission Viejo

    California 92691

    27285 Las Ramblas

    Suite 200

    Mission Viejo, California 92691

    T: 949.260.3100 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 949.260.3190 Office Managing Partner: Ian R. Feldman

  • Florham Park

    New Jersey 07932

    100 Campus Drive

    Florham Park, New Jersey 07932

    T: 973.410.4130 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 973.410.4169 Office Managing Partner: Carl M. Perri

  • Michigan City

    Indiana 46360

    200 Commerce Square

    Michigan City, Indiana 46360

    T: 219.262.6106 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partners: Paige M. Neel, Kimbley A. Kearney

  • Appleton

    Wisconsin 54914

    4650 W. Spencer Street

    Appleton, Wisconsin 54914

    T: 920.560.4658 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 920.968.4650 Office Managing Partner: Patrick L. Breen

  • Stamford

    Connecticut 06902

    68 Southfield Avenue

    2 Stamford Landing Suite 100

    Stamford, Connecticut 06902

    T: 203.921.0303 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 212.805.3939 Office Managing Partner: Matthew J. Van Dusen

  • Tampa

    Florida 33609

    4830 West Kennedy Boulevard, One Urban Center

    Suite 600

    Tampa, Florida 33609

    T: 813.509.2578 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 312.606.7777 Office Managing Partner: Anne E. Kevlin

  • San Francisco

    California 94111

    100 Pine Street

    Suite 1250

    San Francisco, California 94111

    T: 415.745.3598 TF: 800.826.3505 F: 949.260.3190 Office Managing Partner: Ian R. Feldman