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Tag: Texas


Texas Supreme Court to Determine Scope of Statutory Bad FaithSep 08, 2016

Over the past decade, a barrage of severe storms in Texas resulted in significant property damage, giving rise to thousands of lawsuits by policyholders for breach of contract and bad faith claims against their insurers. Now, the Texas Supreme Court is poised to determine the scope of the state’s bad faith statute. Last week, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to review a case concerning insurance coverage for damage caused by…

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Texas Case Shows Why Contractors Should Require Insurance Coverage from their SuppliersAug 04, 2016

A recent Supreme Court of Texas case highlights the need for contractors to require contractual indemnity when engaging suppliers.  When faced with product liability stemming from defective products, contractors in Texas may have relied on the manufacturer’s indemnity mandated by the Texas Product Liability Act.  But according to this new decision, the statutory indemnity is not universally available to general contractors. The court determined that a general contractor cannot expect…

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Texas Court Rules EPA Proceedings Trigger Duty to DefendFeb 04, 2016

In a significant win for policyholders, the Texas Supreme Court refused to revisit its 5-4 decision that a Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a “suit” within the meaning of the Commercial General Liability policy.  The decision entitles policyholders to a defense under the policy. The decision came in McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co. et. al. and solidified the court’s…

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Texas Rules Incorporation of Defective Products Is Not Physical Injury, But “Rip and Tear” Damages are CoveredJan 12, 2016

In a recent landmark decision, the Texas Supreme Court held that mere incorporation of defective products into a structure without additional property damage is not covered under a commercial general liability policy. However, “rip and tear” or “get to” damages are covered. In United States Metals, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Group, Inc., the damages reported were not caused by the installation of a defective product, but by its removal and…

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Why Choice of Law MattersJan 06, 2016

In our newest Case Alert, attorneys Dave Jordan and Phil Brown-Wilusz discuss the importance of choice of law assessment when it comes to insurance coverage litigation. Just as parties to an insurance contract have varying opinions of the coverage afforded, the courts themselves are often divided on their legal interpretations of policy language. A policy exclusion that is broadly construed in one state may be narrowly applied in another. Choice…

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Catching Up on SDV Case AlertsMay 27, 2015

In the past two months, we’ve released three new Case Alerts for your review. Click the titles to read the entire alert. Court Broadly Interprets Pollution Exclusion to Bar Coverage for Nontraditional Pollution Under CGL There is a tremendous division, and no clear consensus, among courts regarding whether the pollution exclusion applies only to losses arising from traditional environmental pollution. For example, New York and Nevada have held that the…

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Recent SDV Victory Highlights Importance of Litigation Strategy in Obtaining DefenseMay 21, 2015

SDV recently obtained a favorable ruling in a Texas state appellate court which highlights how savvy litigation strategy can lead to positive results. The case involved a dispute between a charter airline and its insurers concerning coverage for an employee’s suit. The trial court denied the CGL insurer’s motion for summary judgment on the duty to defend, and the insurer appealed. Following extensive briefing, the appellate court denied the appeal…

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Texas Supreme Court Rocks Policyholders Like a HurricaneMay 05, 2015

Texas policyholders should be aware of the recent decision in JAW The Pointe, LLC v. Lexington Insurance Company. In a case of first impression, the Texas Supreme Court held that anti-concurrent causation clauses – provisions which bar coverage for a loss caused by both a covered and excluded event – are enforceable in commercial property policies. The decision highlights the importance of policyholders: 1) recognizing the presence of such provisions,…

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