Los Angeles principal Michael Miguel was extensively quoted discussing the most significant insurance coverage rulings of the year to date. Of Chubb’s Delaware Supreme Court victory in an opioid case brought by Rite Aid, he said, “Unfortunately, Delaware carries a pretty big drink of water with other jurisdictions because so many entities, no matter where they're located, are Delaware corporations. Opioid insurers are going to be looking very favorably about trying to find a way to get Delaware for that decision.”
Commenting on the Texas Supreme Court’s recent ruling which included guidelines for what triggers insurer liability – the so-called “eight corners” – Miguel observed, “Entitling the insurance company to look beyond the eight corners, even under the auspices of just determining coverage and not the merits of the case is a significant erosion to the protections of the duty to defend. The entire purpose of the duty to defend is immediate protection. Texas is now going to allow insurers to shirk this responsibility in favor of upfront litigation on limited records to try and prove by extrinsic evidence that there's no possibility of coverage.”
Regarding a case recently tried to a plaintiff verdict in New York state by a NorthernGrid subsidiary against Chubb and the obstacles in trying contamination cases involving decades-old wastewater discharges, Miguel said, “One challenge is first trying to find someone that has some personal knowledge. The second one is having an expert that will survey the progression of environmental laws.” Read the article here.