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JP Morgan is the latest legal instalment concerning the plain and ordinary meaning of the exhaustion requirement contained in an excess insurance policy. While recent case law has served to crystallise the issues concerning the interpretation of underlying exhaustion requirements, the burdens that may be placed on the insured and its underlying insurers have also become more certain.
Directors' and officers' and other liability insurers are concerned about US litigation. Even those insurers focusing on non-US companies must bear in mind the possible extraterritorial reach of US laws. The scope of one such law will soon be addressed by the Supreme Court, whose decision could confirm or remove liability exposure affecting directors, officers and employees of both US and non-US corporations
Some dramatic changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have been proposed. The most immediate change will likely be to the obligations of parties to preserve documents and electronically stored information, plus the penalties imposed should parties fail to do so. The second area of change relates to subpoenas.
In recent years Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(5) has proven to be complex, particularly when considering one of the most fundamental privileges in the legal field – attorney-client privilege – and one of the most basic components of the ever-expanding world of technology – the email. The expansion of technology has given rise to the problem of interpreting and implementing old world rules within new boundaries.
A district court decision holding the US Army Corps of Engineers liable for certain damages caused by Hurricane Katrina because of its grossly negligent maintenance and operation of a manmade shipping channel is now under appeal. If the government's liability is upheld, insurers who paid claims to their insureds for Hurricane Katrina damages may be able to take action against the government for recovery of the payment.
A New York district court has ruled that a comprehensive general liability policy issued clearly excluded coverage for the claims against the insured. The court concluded that the plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed for failing to state a claim upon which relief could be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
New York's reputation as a stable insurance market for over 40 years has served to discourage litigation for allegations of bad-faith claims handling by insurers. However, two recent decisions of the New York Court of Appeals mark a decisive change in this landscape and have given insurers cause to take notice.
Many employment practices liability and directors' and officers' liability policies contain Fair Labour Standards Act exclusions that eliminate coverage under the act and a variety of other federal statutes. However, the specific wording of the exclusion in a particular policy is integral in determining whether the exclusion purports to exclude similar and/or related state laws.