On January 11, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release announcing “key steps” it is taking to “protect groundwater from coal ash contamination.” Pillsbury attorney Matthew Jeweler recently authored the post, “EPA Announces Increased Efforts to Require Cleanup of Coal Ash – Insurance Should Be a Component of Companies’ Response,” discussing the insurance implications resulting from the Biden Administration’s new regulatory priorities. Continue Reading ›
The legal cannabis industry in the U.S. is growing at an unprecedented rate and is projected to reach $73.6 billion by 2027. While federal law still classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, many states have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. As state restrictions ease, new business opportunities continue to emerge. On the Policyholder Pulse blog, colleague Ashley Cowgill provided a thorough exploration of insurance options, including one of particular relevance for readers of G2G:
Property insurance generally protects a business in the event the business’s property, including, equipment, storage facilities, or signage is damaged or stolen. Property insurance does not, however, typically cover property in transit, or property belonging to another person. Thus, once the product is out for delivery, a property policy will generally not provide coverage if the product is lost or damaged.
For the full list of insurance coverages options that cannabis delivery services may want to consider, click here.
Join us on November 12, 2020, for a 45-minute conversation, where Mona and Paul discuss the power sector’s role in the energy transition, the growing prominence of hydrogen and energy storage, collaborating with customers and stakeholders and setting a path toward a decarbonization of the power grid.
To attend this exclusive fireside chat, register here.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) offered guidance on the unemployment insurance (UI) provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act). This builds upon actions previously taken by Congress such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to extend UI coverage to individuals affected by COVID-19. In “Understanding the Unemployment Insurance Provisions in the CARES Act,” colleagues Laura K. Latham and Andrea R. Milano discuss the guidance issued by the The Department of Labor regarding federally funded initiatives to increase individuals’ unemployment insurance entitlement under the CARES Act.
The insurance industry responded to the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic with preemptive press statements that property insurance policies would provide no coverage—even before policyholders submitted any claims. In “Many Commercial Property Insurance Policies Provide Coverage for COVID-19 Exposures,” colleagues Robert L. Wallan, David F. Klein and Tamara D. Bruno discuss that the insurance industry’s generic arguments that there is no coverage for the COVID-19 pandemic should not be accepted at face value, as coverage may be available depending on specific policy terms and individualized facts.
Federal Courts of Appeal
Dam Claims Collapse
On May 7, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decided the case of Navelski, et al. v. International Paper Company. After a major storm, a dam constructed by International Paper to serve the operations of its local paper mill, was breached, releasing millions of gallons of water into a nearby creek resulting in the flooding of many homes located downstream from the creek. IP was sued by the homeowners in a class action, alleging negligence and strict liability for conducting an abnormally dangerous activity. The trial court dismissed the strict liability claim, and the jury found IP was not negligent in the operation of the dam. On appeal, the court upheld the jury verdict, agreeing that the verdict was supported by the evidence heard by the jury. The appeals court also agreed that the strict liability claim was properly dismissed as a matter of law because the operation of this dam was not an abnormally dangerous activity under Florida law. The plaintiffs had also argued that the jury should not have been advised that the home county, Escambia County, has applied for a FEMA grant which apparently made the case that some of the downstream homes were naturally prone to flooding. A redacted version of the application was allowed to be shown to the jury, but the appeals court held that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated that the court ruling was prejudicial.
On January 25, the Texas Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in the case of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Anadarko E&P Co. v. Houston Cas. Co., et al., characterized as an “interlocutory permissive appeal,” reversing the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting in Beaumont, TX, regarding Anadarko’s insurers’ obligation to pay a significant amount of Anadarko’s legal defense costs that resulted from its liability in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“[W]e hold that the Joint Venture Provision does not limit the Underwriters’ liability for Anadarko’s defense expenses insured under section III.”
There were 442 bills passed by the 115th Congress and signed by the President. Most of these new laws have attracted very little attention, so it may be helpful to review a few of them. The list below provides a glimpse into the myriad issues that face each Congress, and the implementation issues that will be the responsibility of the federal agencies:
• PL 115-265, the Save our Seas Act of 2018. The law reauthorizes and amends the Marine Debris Act, located at 33 U.S.C. § 1952, to “promote international action to remove marine debris”. The law requires the Department of State and other federal agencies to develop outreach and educational strategies to address the source of marine debris and provide technical assistance reduce the incidence of marine debris and provide technical assistance to expand waste management systems on an international basis. In case of a “severe marine debris” event, to assist in the cleanup. It is also the sense of Congress that the President should support research and development on systems that result in the reduction of derelict fishing gear and land-based sources of debris that enters the marine environment. The law addresses the membership of an Interagency Marine Debris Coordination Committee. The enormous amount of plastic waste deposited in the ocean must have been a concern to the legislators. Continue Reading ›
In Ohio Supreme Court Finds Subcontractor’s Faulty Workmanship Causing Damage to the Work Itself Not Covered under CGL Policy, my colleague Matt Stockwell discusses a decision last week by the Ohio Supreme Court, in Ohio Northern University v. Charles Construction Services, Inc., that unfortunately narrowed the scope of insurance coverage for a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship. The Court held that a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship in a construction defect case is not an “occurrence” under standard-form commercial general liability (CGL) policies in Ohio.