East Coast CM Report of Recent Decisions – 2020 Volume 3

November 3, 2020 / CM Reports

New York Appellate Court Affirmed Jury Verdict For Plaintiff In Car Accident Case Where Defendant Had Right-Of-Way

Recently, the New York Supreme Court, Second Department affirmed a jury verdict in favor of a plaintiff in a car accident case where the defendant had the right-of-way.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Interprets The Term “Physical Abuse” Narrowly When Addressing A Homeowners’ Policy Coverage For A Sidewalk Scuffle

In Dorchester Mutual Insurance Company v. Krusell, 485 Mass. 431 (2020), Dorchester Mutual Insurance Company (“Dorchester Mutual”) sought a declaratory judgment that it had no duty to indemnify Defendants under the terms of their homeowners’ insurance policy for personal injury claims arising from a push on a public sidewalk.

Connecticut Supreme Court Holds That Exclusionary Language Did Not Relieve The Insurer Of Its Duty To Defend, Where There Was A Possibility Of Coverage Based On The Allegations In The Complaint

The Supreme Court of Connecticut recently reversed a ruling on appeal which determined that an insurer did not have a duty to defend its insured,
based on two exclusionary provisions contained in the policy.

A New Jersey Appellate Court Finds Insurer Owes New Jersey Bar No Coverage For Patron’s Fatal Shooting Based On The Assault Or Battery Exclusion

The Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the insurer, Northfield Insurance Company (“Northfield”), finding the policy language which excluded injuries caused by assault or battery clearly and unambiguously barred the insured’s indemnification claim.

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds That Contract Provisions Can Control Made-Whole Doctrine’s Application To Deductibles And Self-Insured Retentions

In City of Asbury Park v. Star Ins. Co., the New Jersey Supreme Court was asked by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals whether under New Jersey’s made-whole doctrine, does an insured recover its “first-dollar risk”—a self insured retention or deductible—before a carrier recovers any of its losses.

Third Department Permits Compensability For 9/11 Claim Based Upon Occupational Disease And Nature Of Work

In the Matter of the Claim of David M. Renko v. New York State Police, Workers’ Compensation Board, 2020 NY Slip Op 03839 (App. Div., 3d Dept., July 9, 2020), the Third Department allowed a Workers’ Compensation claimant to recover for injuries under the occupational disease requirement, finding that the nature of claimant’s work itself renders his claim eligible for compensation under Workers’ Compensation Law Article 8-A (World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery and Clean-up Operations).

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