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In a unanimous decision, the Ohio Supreme Court found that appellee EMOI Services, LLC’s (“EMOI”) businessowners insurance policy does not cover losses resulting from a ransomware attack on EMOI’s computer software systems.

Continue Reading Ohio Supreme Court Holds that Insurance Policy Does Not Cover Ransomware Attack on Software

When seeking insurance coverage for “long-tail” mass tort and environmental claims that involve alleged exposures and injuries spanning multiple years, businesses often look to their occurrence-based commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies.   These policies are designed to provide broad coverage for defense costs, settlements, and potentially adverse judgements.  However, CGL policies generally cover “occurrences” during one-year policy periods and renew on an annual basis, which can complicate efforts to seek coverage for claims involving alleged injuries or property damage spanning decades.  Moreover, for severe claims, businesses may need to obtain access to one or more of their excess CGL policies.  Therefore, determining which policies to pursue, whether policies in multiple policy periods will respond, and how to access valuable excess coverage are factors that should always be considered with coverage counsel when facing long-tail exposures.  Courts across the country are divided on how these questions should be answered.  A recent decision issued by the Supreme Court of North Carolina in Radiator Specialty Co. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., provides guidance to North Carolina policyholders attempting to maximize coverage for long-tail claims.

Continue Reading North Carolina Supreme Court Provides Guidance to Policyholders Attempting to Maximize Insurance Coverage for Long-Tail Claims

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions Western countries have imposed on Russia have already caused potentially catastrophic losses for businesses with assets and investments in Ukraine, Russia and neighboring countries impacted by the attack. These losses could accelerate, based on a March 9, 2022, announcement by Russia’s ruling party.

According to that announcement, a Russian government commission has begun the approval process toward Russia nationalizing the assets of foreign businesses that leave Russia in light of the economic sanctions. This could create dire economic consequences for foreign businesses that leave Russia.

Continue Reading Russia and the Insurance Angle — Tapping Political Risk and Other Insurance Coverages

In two recent decisions, the Texas Supreme Court defined the limited parameters in which Texas courts can look beyond the “four corners” of the complaint against the policyholder and the “four corners” of the insurance policy (i.e., the “eight-corners rule”) when determining whether an insurer’s “duty to defend” is triggered.

Permitting exceptions to the “eight-corners rule” and, in limited instances, allowing the use of extrinsic evidence to determine whether the duty to defend applies, requires policyholders to pay extra care to whether their insurers are properly accepting or denying defense of a suit. Application of fact-intensive tests like the Texas Supreme Court just announced varies from state to state.

Continue Reading Beyond the Eight Corners: Determining Whether a Liability Insurer’s Duty to Defend Is Triggered