The Meaning of Broadcasting and Its Application to a Media Exclusion

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When is broadcasting broadcasting as opposed to transmission? And is there a difference? That was the question before the court on an appeal from a judgment that an insurer did not have to defend its insured in a copyright infringement suit. The question was pertinent because of a media exclusion in the policy.

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Weapons Exclusion Precludes Coverage


Courts are tough on exclusions but when an exclusion is clear it will preclude coverage. In a recent case, an exclusion for bodily injury arising out of weapons resulted in a coverage case being dismissed

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While the COVID-19 Dismissals Pile Up, the Allegations May Matter

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It’s been since September that I have blogged about business income and extra expense and civil authority order insurance coverage for COVID-19 closures and the multiple court cases addressing motions to dismiss. That’s because the cases have been coming down by the dozen, mostly, but not always, on the side of the insurance carrier.

In one of the recent cases, another motion to dismiss the complaint granted with prejudice in favor of the insurer, the court’s analysis was extremely thorough and persuasive. But what struck me most was the court’s commentary on the differences chosen by policyholder counsel in articulating the allegations in the complaint. Those differences are obvious and, although I have not done a statistical analysis, it appears those differences often account for the reasons why some courts have not dismissed these COVID-19 cases. What do you think?

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The Duty to Defend Is Hard to Avoid

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Everyone knows an insurer’s duty to defend is broader than its duty to indemnify. When an insurer disclaims on its duty to defend, the lack of coverage or the applicability of an exclusion has to be crystal clear. In a recent case, the Third Circuit affirmed an order requiring the insurer to defend an underlying case under a professional liability policy. I thought the analysis was interesting.

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No Direct Physical Loss, No Coverage

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COVID-19 business interruption claims have caused a groundswell of litigation, but courts continue to address business interruption claims in other contexts. The “direct physical loss” requirement remains at the heart of coverage disputes over whether business property policies are required to respond to claims.

Recently, the Eleventh Circuit addressed a business interruption coverage dispute that involved both an alleged downturn in revenue and expenses for cleaning up construction dust and debris.

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Unambiguous Intellectual Property Exclusion Means No Coverage

While there is a prevailing sentiment out there that insurance policies are filled with ambiguities, the truth is quite the opposite. Where a relevant insurance provision is unambiguous, courts will construe it as such. That’s just what happened in a recent case before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

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