East Coast CM Report of Recent Decisions – 2019 Volume 3

October 23, 2019 / CM Reports

Coverage For Mischief And Vandalism Applies Only To Human Conduct

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania held that acts of raccoons in causing damage to a dwelling cannot be considered “vandalism and mischief ” so as to fall within the coverage afforded under a specified perils dwelling policy.

A Pennsylvania Superior Court Narrows The “Business Pursuits” Exclusion To Injuries That Have A Causal Relationship To An Insured’s Duties At Work

A Philadelphia Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s order denying summary judgment to the insurer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (“Nationwide”), and found the “business pursuit” exclusion did not apply to an insured whose alleged injurious actions did not arise from his job at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”).

Pennsylvania Superior Court Declares That The Trial Court Erroneously Exceeded Its Authority Under The Unfair Trade Practice And Consumer Protection Law When It Awarded Plaintiffs Quadruple Damages Under The Unfair Trade Practice And Consumer Protection Law

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently reversed a ruling on appeal that awarded plaintiffs restitution damages in addition to treble damages under the Unfair Trade Practice and Consumer Protection Law (“UTPCPL”).

Connecticut Supreme Court Accepts The “Alternative Liability” Doctrine Shifting Burden Of Proof In Negligence Action To Defendants When Plaintiff Cannot Prove Which Caused The Harm But Each One Could Have

The Connecticut Supreme Court adopted the alternative liability doctrine in Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency v. Jackson. 2019 Conn. LEXIS 230 [Sep. 1, 2019, No. 19946]. The Connecticut Supreme Court then pulled the matter from the appellate court, as a case of first impression, after the trial court ruled against Plaintiff and granted summary judgment to Defendants, saying that adopting new theories of liability was the role of appellate courts.

New Jersey Appellate Division Upholds Subrogation Waiver Provisions In AIA Construction Contract

The New Jersey Appellate Division upheld a trial court decision construing the subrogation waiver provision in a form construction contract from the American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) against ACE American Insurance Company’s (“ACE”) right to subrogate. See ACE American Insurance Co. v. American Medical Plumbing, Inc., Docket No. A-5395-16T4 (App. Div. Apr. 4, 2019).

Third Department Addresses Retroactive Application Of Amendment To Workers’ Compensation Law Involving Permanent Partial Disability And Labor Market Attachment

In the Matter of the Claim of Theresa Scott v. Visiting Nurses Home Care, at al., 2019 NY Slip Op 04259 (App. Div., 3d Dept., May 30, 2019), the Third Department was asked to determine whether a claimant could reap the retroactive benefit of a 2017 amendment to Workers’ Compensation Law §15(3)(w) which allowed claimants to receive compensation in cases of partial disability without having to prove they are looking for work at time of disability classification.

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