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Appeals Court: No Bad Faith For An Insurer’s Legitimate Exercise Of A Contractual Right Or Its Settlement Within The Policy Limit Without The Insured’s Consent

In a Rule 1:28 decision applying New Hampshire law, the Appeals Court affirmed the entry of summary judgment dismissing a doctor’s suit accusing her professional liability insurer of improper settlement of a claim without her consent. Johnson v. Proselect Ins. Co., 17-P-109. The underlying trial had resulted in a $5 million judgment against the doctor … Continue Reading

The Scope of an Insurer’s Right to Control the Defense – OneBeacon America Ins. Co. v. Celanese Corp.

The scope of an insurer’s right to control the defense of an insured is an underdeveloped issue in Massachusetts case law, which the Appeals Court recently addressed in OneBeacon America Ins. Co. v. Celanese Corp., No. 16-P-203 (Oct. 16, 2017). The decision helps clarify the rights of an insurer when it has offered to provide … Continue Reading

Intent to Injure Can Be Inferred as a Matter of Law Barring Coverage Under a Homeowner’s Policy for Bodily Injury Expected or Intended by an Insured

On November 7, 2016, the Appeals Court heard oral argument for Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Ryan Casey & Another (16-P-32).  Defendants Ryan Casey and Evan Williams appealed a Superior Court’s summary judgment decision in favor of Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company (“Liberty Mutual”) that concluded that the insured, Casey, expected or intended to cause … Continue Reading

Chapter 93A Damages Do Not Include Post-Judgment Interest Accrued on an Underlying Judgment

Addressing an issue of first impression, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) announced last week that an insurer’s liability for multiple damages under Chapter 93A for unfair claim settlement practices committed in violation of Chapter 176D does not include the post-judgment interest accrued on an underlying judgment. Anderson v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh … Continue Reading

First Circuit Clarifies Scope of Duty to Defend and Indemnify Under a Standard Form Homeowner’s Policy

In a recent, precedent-setting opinion, the First Circuit Court of Appeals addressed several significant issues involving liability insurance coverage. Sanders v. Phoenix Ins. Co., 843 F.3d 37 (1st Cir. 2016).[1] As characterized by Judge Selya, the facts of the case begin with “a tragic tale of unrequited love and morph into a series of imaginative questions … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Holds That An Employer’s Failure To Maintain Workers’ Compensation Insurance Results In An Automatic Three-Year Debarment

Addressing an issue of first impression, the Appeals Court recently held that an employer who fails to maintain a workers’ compensation policy in violation of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act, G.L. c. 152, et seq., is automatically debarred from bidding or participating in any state or municipal funded contract for three years. New England Survey … Continue Reading

Selective Tender Exception to Equitable Contribution Doctrine in Massachusetts Addressed By Supreme Judicial Court

Employers sometimes have more than one workers’ compensation policy that provides coverage for the same loss. When more than one policy covers a loss, the employer may have an incentive to intentionally tender the claim to one insurer and not the other. This is called selective tender. When the insured makes a selective tender, can … Continue Reading
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