East Coast CM Report of Recent Decisions – 2015 Volume 3

July 1, 2015 / CM Reports

Articles in this report

Acceptance Of A Check In Full Settlement Of A Claim Only Operates As An Accord And Satisfaction When The Person Receiving … Has Been Clearly Informed Of Same
In reversing an order from the trial court denying the insurer defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the Appellate Division, Second Department, held that acceptance of a check in full settlement of a disputed liquidated claim operates as an accord and satisfaction discharging the claim only when the person receiving the check has been clearly informed that acceptance of the amount offered will settle or discharge the claim.

Additional Insured Coverage Must Be Provided For Losses Causally Related To Acts Of A Named Insured, Even If Named Insured Is Not Negligent
In Burlington Ins. Co. v. NYC Tr. Auth., 2015 NY Slip Op 06481 (1st Dep’t, Aug. 11, 2015), the Appellate Court held that Defendants, NYC Transit Authority and Metropolitan Transit Authority, were entitled to coverage for an injured worker’s underlying lawsuit as additional insureds under Plaintiff Burlington Insurance Co.’s commercial general liability policy issued to the named insured/excavation contractor, reversing the lower court’s decision.

Appellate Division Holds That Acquiring Insurance From Same Broker For Twenty Years Does Not Create A “Special Relationship” Requiring Broker To Advise, Guide Or Direct Its Client’s Insurance Purchases
In Kaufman v. BWD Group LLC, 127 A.D.3d 433, 9 N.Y.S.3d 179 (1st Dep’t 2015), the Appellate Division, First Department held that there was no “special relationship” between a homeowner/insured and her insurance broker, notwithstanding that Plaintiff had been purchasing insurance from Defendant/broker for more than twenty years.

Indiana School Law: School Corporations Are Not Required To Provide Transportation For Students
The Indiana Supreme Court holds that the Education Clause of the Indiana Constitution does not require school corporations to provide transportation to and from school. Hoagland v. Franklin Twp. Cmty. Sch. Corp., 27 N.E.3d 737.

Indiana Supreme Court Resolves Ambiguity In General Wrongful Death Statute Holding That Attorneys’ Fees Are Not Recoverable By Surviving Spouses And/Or Dependents
In SCI Propane, LLC v. Frederick, 2015 Ind. LEXIS 716 (October 15, 2015), the Supreme Court of Indiana resolved a matter of first impression under the State’s fifty-year old General Wrongful Death Statute (“GWDS”), Indiana Code section 34-23-1-1.

Massachusetts Appellate Court Decides Other Insurance Language In A Property Policy Is Proper Grounds On Which To Deny Coverage
A recent decision by the Appeals Court of Massachusetts illustrates an insurer’s right to place conditions on its duty to provide coverage to its insured, based on the presence of other insurance policies.

Statutory Duty Versus Common Law Duty On Summary Judgment—Current Trends In Premises Liability Litigation
New York’s Appellate Division, Third Department, affirmed the denial of Defendant’s motion for summary judgment by holding that Defendant failed to satisfy its initial burden of establishing prima facie entitlement to summary judgment on a premises liability matter. The case law in premises liability matters should be familiar to most.

Thou Shalt Not Profit From Insurance Fraud
It has been the law in the State of New York that the perpetrator of an illegal act should not profit from his or her wrongdoing, since the Court of Appeals of New York dismissed the case commenced by the 15-year-old plaintiff, who constructed a pipe bomb out of gunpowder that he extracted from the firecrackers sold to him by the 9-year-old defendant, on the grounds that the plaintiff should not recover for injuries that he sustained while engaged in wrongful or illegal conduct.

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