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The following summaries are intended to provide quick summaries of some aspects of recent CT legal developments on accident and insurance issues.  Most of these matters were not handled by Jackson O'Keefe, LLP.  The summaries are provided as a news summary only.  The summaries are not comprehensive, and readers are referred to the primary sources for full details.  These summaries are not legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney with regard to your situation.

Category: Insurance

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court holds that homeowners policy does not provide coverage to vendor for claims arising out of crumbling foundation:

7/5/2017 | Kathryn M. Cunningham
kmcunningham@jacksonokeefe.com

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court holds that homeowners policy does not provide coverage to vendor for claims arising out of crumbling foundation: The plaintiffs in the underlying action brought suit alleging negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, and negligence against the ...

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court grants summary judgment pursuant to business pursuit exclusion:

7/5/2017 | Matthew J. O'Keefe
mjokeefe@jacksonokeefe.com

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court grants summary judgment pursuant to business pursuit exclusion: The underlying lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff was injured when he grasped the metal handle of the front door, and received an electric shock, throwing him backwards.  The underlying compla ...

INSURANCE LAW: Supreme Court holds that voluntary intoxication does not preclude a finding of intent on the part of the policyholder:

10/31/2016 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

In a declaratory judgment action, a homeowner’s insurer sought a declaration that it did not owe coverage pursuant to an intentional acts exclusion.  The underlying claim arose out of an allegation that the homeowner was under the influence of alcohol when he approached three minor females on a trail in F ...

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court holds that private cause of action does not exist for alleged insurer price fixing and market manipulation:

10/31/2016 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The plaintiff homeowners alleged that they sustained property damage as a result of a fallen tree.  They further alleged that the defendant insurer was insolvent as a result of claims resulting from storms Irene and Sandy, and that the insurance company used incompetent individuals to process their claim, faile ...

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court grants declaratory judgment pursuant to geographic limitation of general liability policy

7/28/2016 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The policy at issue stated that it would apply to bodily injury and property damage only if these were caused by an occurrence “that takes place on or within the perimeter of the premises, sites or locations scheduled above that are owned by, occupied by, or leased to any insured.” The claim at issue aro ...

INSURANCE LAW: Connecticut Appellate Court affirms that anti-subrogation rule did not apply to bar a claim against tenant who caused property damage

7/28/2016 | Peter K. O'Keefe
pkokeefe@jacksonokeefe.com

The lease in the case provided in relevant part that the tenants agreed to use all electric, cooling and other systems in the dwelling in a prudent manner, and that the tenant would hold the lessor harmless “from any loss or claim arising out of or in connection with your use and occupancy”. It was alleg ...

INSURANCE LAW: District Court grants summary judgment for insurer based upon assault and battery exclusion

6/23/2016 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The case arises from an assault that occurred on December 2, 2006, when the owner of a paving company instructed an employee to remain at the business office overnight to prepare for a job early the next morning.  The owner and another individual then came to the premises to obtain business information from the ...

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court holds that State has sovereign immunity with regard to insurer’s subrogation claim

6/23/2016 | Peter K. O'Keefe
pkokeefe@jacksonokeefe.com

Connecticut General Statutes §52-556 states in relevant part that any “person injured in person or property through the negligence of any state official or employee” when operating a motor vehicle “shall have a right of action against the State”.  The Superior Court construes the wo ...

INSURANCE LAW: Superior Court holds that insurance policy not cancelled due to 24-cent underpayment:

6/1/2016 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

In a declaratory judgment action, the defendant auto insurer claimed that there was no duty to defend or indemnify based upon a cancellation that occurred for lack of full payment.  On May 5, 2012, the insurer informed the insureds that they owed $62.24 on or before June 11 as a result of a substitution of vehi ...

INSURANCE DEFENSE LAW: Jackson O’Keefe obtains defendant’s verdict for owner on defective premises claim

6/1/2016 | Philip R. Dunn, Jr.
prdunn@jacksonokeefe.com

Jackson O’Keefe, LLP partner, Philip R. Dunn, Jr., obtained a defendant’s verdict on May 19, 2016, in the Hartford Superior Court.  Attorney Dunn represented a gentleman who purchased a single family home for his uncle so that his cousin  and her five children could reside in the house.  T ...

INSURANCE LAW – District Court denies summary judgment as to Unfair Insurance Practices Act claim brought by plaintiff against tortfeasor’s insurer

5/18/2016 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The plaintiff brought a coverage and Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act claim against her employer’s insurers.  The plaintiff previously obtained a $4 million judgment against her former employer as a result of an allegedly unlawful discharge.  The plaintiff then brought suit against her empl ...

DEFENSE and INDEMNITY CONTRACTS – Superior Court holds that snow removal contractor had duty to defend, but that issue of fact exists with regard to duty to indemnify

5/5/2016 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

In a case arising out of the slip and fall on snow and ice, the plaintiff sued the lessor of the property and a snow plow contractor retained by the lessor.  The lessor then asserted a crossclaim against the snow plow contractor seeking defense and indemnification with regard to the plaintiff’s claims.&nb ...

INSURANCE LAW - Superior Court holds that restaurant not entitled to a defense with regard to assault on customer

2016-03-11 | Philip R. Dunn, Jr.
prdunn@jacksonokeefe.com

The general liability insurer filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that there was no duty to defend the insured restaurant with regard to an alleged failure to train, unsafe premises, service of alcohol to intoxicated and underage individuals, and negligent hiring.  A customer at the restau ...

INSURANCE LAW - Connecticut Supreme Court rejects insurer's claim that exclusion contained in body of policy rather than in endorsement should be enforceable:

2016-03-10 | Joseph M. Busher Jr.
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

INSURANCE LAW - Connecticut Supreme Court rejects insurer's claim that exclusion contained in body of policy rather than in endorsement should be enforceable: Connecticut General Statutes §38a-335(d) specifically requires that an exclusion of specific individuals from coverage be set forth in a separate endorse ...

CT INSURANCE LAW - Superior Court finds a breach of the duty to defend based upon "arising out of" language

2016-01-25 | Peter K. O'Keefe
pkokeefe@jacksonokeefe.com

The underlying lawsuit arose out of a 2012 fall while the plaintiff was on her way to a ladies room at a restaurant located at a public golf course owned by the City of Waterbury.  The plaintiff sued the restaurant and the City. 

...

CT INSURANCE LAW -- District Court Holds Insurer Required To Defend Insured Who Engaged In Fistfight

2016-01-21 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The insured allegedly acted in self-defense, but was sued by the other person involved in the fight.  The applicable homeowner’s insurer defended the insured pursuant to a reservation of rights and filed a declaratory judgment action in District Court to address the duty to defend and indemnify. 

...

CT INSURANCE LAW -- Appellate Court holds claim for posttraumatic stress disorder barred by exclusion for business pursuits

2016-01-21 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

Appellate Court holds claim for posttraumatic stress disorder barred by exclusion for business pursuits ...

CT Insurance Law Parking Idling Car in Garage was A Use of A Vehicle for Exclusion

2012-06-07 | Andrew J. O'Keefe
ajokeefe@jacksonokeefe.com

CT Insurance Law Parking Idling Car in Garage was A Use of A Vehicle for Exclusion Court:  Connecticut Supreme Court Doc. Nos.: SC 18758, 18759 Date:  Feb. 21, 2012 The act of parking does not fail to be an employment of a car for some purpose of the user merely because the user ...

CT Insurance Law: Claim Was Stated of Negligence in Advice On Car Insurance Limits

2012-08-14 | Kathryn M. Cunningham
kmcunningham@jacksonokeefe.com

CT Insurance Law: Claim Was Stated of Negligence in Advice On Car Insurance Limits CASE: Byrd v. Ortiz COURT:  Connecticut Appellate Court DOC. No.  AC 33470, COURT OPINION BY:  Dupont, J. DATE:  June, 12, 2012; PAGES 10 As a matter of law, the defendant insuran ...

CT Tort and Insurance Law Update -- Monthly Update

2013-04-03 | Kathryn M. Cunningham
kmcunningham@jacksonokeefe.com

Welcome to the Jackson O’Keefe monthly Tort and Insurance Law Update. We hope that this service will help keep you abreast of significant appellate and trial court level decisions in Connecticut on these issues. Please feel free to forward this email to your colleagues. We welcome requests to be added ...

Jackson O’Keefe Partners Obtain Favorable Judgment in Court Trial Regarding Insurance Coverage

2013-04-10 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

Attorneys Philip R. Dunn, Jr., of Farmington and Joseph M. Busher, Jr., of East Haddam recently obtained a favorable judgment in a court trial regarding insurance coverage issues, Connecticut Superior Court Docket No. MMX-CV-12-6007412-S. According to the amended complaint dated March 11, 2013, the case arose ...

Bad Faith Issues and Meaning Of “Occurrence” Regarding Construction Defect Claims

2013-07-12 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The Supreme Court holds that unintended construction defects may form the basis of an “occurrence” or “accident” under commercial general liability insurance policies.  In response to a certified question from the United States District Court for the District of Alabama, the Supreme Cour ...

Connecticut Supreme Court Holds That An Insurer Cannot Be Held Responsible Under The Unfair Trade Practices Act Without A Violation Of CUIPA Or Another Statute

2013-09-10 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

INSURANCE LAW – Supreme Court Holds That An Insurer Cannot Be Held Responsible Under The Unfair Trade Practices Act Without A Violation Of CUIPA Or Another Statute:  The Supreme Court reasons that because the Connecticut Unfair Insurance Practices Act (CUIPA) provides the exclusive and comprehensive sourc ...

CONNECTICUT INSURANCE LAW – Homeowners policy found ambiguous and may provide coverage for collapsing basement due to defective materials

2014-09-16 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The District Court holds that a homeowners policy is ambiguous in that it purports to cover loss to the house caused by hidden decay and defective materials and construction, yet purports to exclude coverage for loss to a foundation or retaining wall unless the result of a building collapse.  The court finds th ...

CONNECTICUT INSURANCE LAW – Superior Court refuses to reduce $1.5 million award for insurer’s failure to pay claim

2014-11-03 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

Following a house fire, the insurer denied the claim, concluding the fire was arson, and urged the fire marshal to change the his conclusion as to the cause of accident from accidental to arson.  In the insured’s claim against the insurer, the jury awards $504,346 for breach of contract and $1 million for ...

INSURANCE LAW – CT Supreme Court reaffirms that UM insurer entitled to full credit for amounts received by insured, without apportionment:

2015-02-10 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The insured received $245,000 from two tortfeasors.  The insured had a $100,000 UM limit.  Rejecting the claim that a fact finder must apportion fault and damages before applying offsets, the Supreme Court affirms summary judgment for the insurer.  Guarino v. Allstate Property and Casualty Ins. Co., ( ...

INSURANCE LAW – Superior Court awards attorneys fees to insurer where insured engaged in bad faith

2015-02-10 | Philip R. Dunn
prdunn@jacksonokeefe.com

The insured’s residence was involved in a fire loss caused by a special needs resident.  The insurer paid for the property damage and for alleged loss of rental income from the Mental Health Association for the special needs residents.  The Association, however, in fact continued to pay rent.  T ...

CONGRATULATIONS to Attorneys Andrew J. O’Keefe and Joseph M. Busher on a Connecticut Supreme Court win – INSURANCE LAW: Reversing a dismissal by the Superior Court, the Supreme Court holds that no further administrative remedies existed to be exhausted prior to the plaintiff insurance producers commencing a declaratory judgment action against the Connecticut Insurance Department:

2015-02-10 | Kathryn M. Cunningham
kmcunningham@jacksonokeefe.com

In this matter, the plaintiff insurance producers brought action against the Insurance Commissioner for declaratory and injunctive relief with regard to statements by the Insurance Department regarding the sale of life insurance policies to military personnel.  General statutes § 4-175 allows declaratory j ...

INSURANCE LAW – Superior Court enforces one-year contractual time limitation regarding property damage claim

2015-05-11 | Philip R. Dunn
prdunn@jacksonokeefe.com

In a first party claim, the court enforces a one-year contractual time limit in an all-risk homeowners policy.  The court rejected the plaintiff’s claim that an 18 month limit provided in the statutes for fire policies should apply.  Summary judgement was granted to the insurer that had denied the cl ...

INSURANCE LAW – Connecticut Superior Court allows bad faith claim but strikes CUIPA and CUTPA

2015-06-03 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

Based upon unproven allegations while considering a motion to strike, the Court allows a bad faith claim to proceed where it was alleged that an insurer misled a claimant to believe that a claim for water damage would be timely paid, but then undervalued the claim and refused to pay the full amount of the loss.  ...

CONNECTICUT INSURANCE LAW – Supreme Court holds that IBM computer tape loss was not personal injury under liability policies

2015-06-03 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

Recall Total Information Management, Inc., contracted with IBM to store and transport computer tapes containing IBM employee personal information.  Recall subcontracted the transportation to another company, and the tapes fell from a truck and were lost. The transportation company named IBM and Recall as additi ...

INSURANCE LAW -- Connecticut Supreme Court overturns $35 million class action verdict brought by auto repair shops alleging price-fixing/steering

2015-07-29 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The Supreme Court holds that insurance companies in Connecticut have the right to negotiate the hourly labor rate that they are willing to pay for auto body repairs and have the right to refuse to give their business to a repair shop with which they cannot agree on a rate. The Court further states that insurance com ...

CONNECTICUT INSURANCE LAW – Superior Court enforces one year contractual time limit in homeowners’ policy

2015-09-10 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

The Connecticut Superior Court enforces a one year contractual time limit in a homeowners’ policy. The plaintiff homeowner negotiated with the insurer regarding a property damage claim, and believed that the case would settle.  The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that he could not file an af ...

CT INSURANCE LAW -- Homeowners policy held not to cover alleged misrepresentation in property disclosure statement

2015-11-15 | Joseph M. Busher
jmbusher@jacksonokeefe.com

In a declaratory judgment action, the homeowners insurer sought a declaration that it had no duty to defend its insured.  The insured had been named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging that the insured represented on a property disclosure report that he lacked knowledge about basement water seepage, water dama ...


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