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In several states, an insured that prevails in a coverage dispute against its insurer is entitled to statutory “penalty interest” added to the amount owed by the insurer.  A June 8, 2022 decision from the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan illustrates the importance of meeting the “proof of loss” requirements of such statutes.

In Alticor Global Holdings, Inc. v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., an insured filed an action against its insurer after the insurer refused to reimburse the costs of defending and ultimately settling copyright infringement claims asserted against the insured.  The District Court found that the insured was entitled to coverage under an Internet and Network Security Insurance Policy for $24 million in costs incurred in the underlying lawsuit and then considered the amount of interest that should be paid by the insurer on top of the breach of contract damages awarded to the insured.

Continue Reading Recent Michigan Court Ruling Reinforces Importance of Providing Prompt “Proof of Loss”

On March 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for writ of certiorari in Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC, a decision that will likely resolve a circuit split over the power of an arbitrator to issue third-party discovery subpoenas to obtain document discovery in foreign arbitrations.

The issue involves Title 28, Section 1782(a) of the United States Code, which governs a district court’s authority to provide discovery assistance in litigation in “foreign and international tribunals.” The interpretation of “tribunal” has caused confusion among courts.

Continue Reading High Court’s Upcoming Decision May Have Major Impact on Foreign Arbitrations

On Jan. 15, 2021, a New York state court judge issued an opinion denying an insurer’s motion to dismiss a claim for coverage under a representations and warranties insurance (RWI) policy in WPP Group USA, Inc. v. RB/TDM Investors, LLC et al. More specifically, the court rejected the insurer’s argument that the claim was subject to certain exclusions under the policy and ordered the parties to proceed with discovery.

The court’s decision is interesting in several respects — not the least of which is that judicial opinions relating to RWI policies are quite rare. RWI policies are generally purchased by transactional buyers seeking to guard against misrepresentations made by sellers during the acquisition process without having to seek recourse against the sellers themselves for any potential losses. Typically, these policies provide that any disputes concerning an insurer’s coverage or payment obligations are to be resolved in confidential arbitration proceedings that do not generate public opinions. The RWI policy at issue in WPP Group, however, provided the insured with the option of bringing claims regarding the policy in either confidential arbitration or in New York state or federal courts.

Continue Reading Arbitration vs. Litigation: More Than Just a Preference for RWI Policyholders