News

Dan Webb, Webb Sanders & Williams member, has been accepted as a member of the American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC) and was selected to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators this last month. The firm congratulates Dan on adding these distinguished honors to his career.
Refusal of an insured to submit to an examination under oath (EUO) by their insurance company after filing a claim invalidates their coverage if their policy requires an EUO. Before requiring an EUO, insurance companies should review who is required to submit to an EUO and how transcriptions of that interview may be used in court.
It’s not been uncommon over the last year for families to sue businesses alleging that unsafe working conditions during the pandemic caused a worker’s illness. For the first time, however, a woman in California is suing her husband’s employer for spreading the virus to their household when she contracted the virus from her husband. The husband’s illness was covered by worker’s compensation so he is not able to sue the company directly.
We are watching several COVID-19 business interruption lawsuits. How these suits play out could change the insurance litigation landscape. One of the major suits we’re monitoring is in the U.S. District Court in Illinois. Multiple hospitality industry businesses across several districts filed suit against their common insurer, Society Insurance. Three bellwether cases were selected by the court: Big Onion Tavern Group, LLC, et al. v. Society Insurance, No. 1:20-cv-02005; Valley Lodge Corp. v.
For twenty-four years Christin D’Onfrio, who is deaf, worked for Costco with no problems communicating with her managers. When the Costco in South Florida where she worked hired a manager who mumbled, D’Onfrio requested an interpreter or to have communications written down. The store provided her a video phone with online interpretation services. She was written up for yelling into the phone then suspended and later terminated.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Fourth Circuit in agreeing the “Fair Labor Standards Act preempts redundant state law tort claims for unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation when the state’s law does not provide for minimum wages and overtime compensation.” The case at hand involves 890 current and former employees of the Mississippi Department of Corrections who sued the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the State of Mississippi, the Department of Corrections Commissioner, and the Governor of
A case in the Southern District of New York may provide support of reading COVID-19 into force majeure provisions that do not expressly list “pandemic” as a basis for contract termination. In this case, Phillips Auctioneers LLC contracted with JN Contemporary to present a painting at auction in May 2020 with a guaranteed minimum of $5 million from the sale. While the contract’s force majeure did not include the word “pandemic” the court agreed that the pandemic fell under the common meaning of “natural disaster” which was included.
Nearly a year after stay-at-home orders shuttered many businesses due to COVID-19, insurance cases continue to roll through the courts. At issue in most cases is the specific language of an insured’s policy. In Ohio, three different cases each present different interpretations of the policy language.
In February 2017, Michael Harrington opened a liquor store in Harrisburg, Mississippi, using the name “Midtown Wine & Spirits.” His certificate of formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State lists the official company name as T.M.T., LLC. He registered the company’s service mark of Midtown Wine and Spirits with the Mississippi Secretary of State more than a year later in September 2018.
Robyn Turner, pharmacist-in-charge at Town Pharmacy and Gifts in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, had a contentious relationship with her employers, Tommy Turfitt and his mother Laurie, from the beginning. The difficulties came to a head five months after the pharmacy opened. Turner alleged the relief pharmacist, Jerry Segura, illegally dispensed a schedule IV medication for a patient without a prescription. She did not, however, ask Segura about the incident even after Tommy told her to.
In one of the largest publically-announced, single-plaintiff gender discrimination settlements ever, Pinterest agreed to pay Francoise Brougher $22.5 million in response to her allegations of gender discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination. Brougher rose through the ranks at the tech company to become Pinterest’s COO and helped take the company public.
Blank sections of a Liberty Mutual Insurance Policy Deductible Endorsement left three insureds and the insurance company with questions about who was responsible for the $1 million policy deductible following an automobile accident. The automobile accident in question occurred in May 2018 between an employee of Big Binder, L.L.C., and another vehicle. The employee, Raymond Goodlin was driving a tractor leased to Big Binder and was pulling a trailer owned by Darling Ingredients, Inc.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the district court that Robert Moody, Jr. was not an employee of American National Insurance Company (ANICO) when the company ended its contract with Moody Insurance Group (MIG). Moody was an employee of MIG, the company he owned, when he charged ANICO’s officers and board members with violating SEC regulations. ANICO then ended its contract with MIG. Moody filed a whistleblower complaint against ANICO.
The International Association of Arson Investigators has extended the early bird registration deadline for ITC 2021. The conference is to be held April 18-23, 2021, at Harrah's Resort Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and will adhere to the current CDC, New Jersey, and Atlantic City guidelines.
The Connecticut Supreme Court decision in Nash St. LLC v. Main Street America Assurance Company, No. SC20389 (Conn. Sept. 9, 2020) increased the pressure on insurance carriers in that state when determining whether they have a duty to defend an insured.

Pages