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Washington Federal Court Find Insurer Cannot Refuse to Cover Defense Costs Without Showing of “Actual Prejudice”

Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2019 Washington, like many states, requires an insurer to show that its rights have been prejudiced before it can refuse to cover costs incurred by the insured without the insurer’s consent.  Defining prejudice under the circumstances is an often debated (and litigated) topic. Recently, a Washington federal judge weighed in on this...

OREGON FEDERAL COURT FINDS HOA MEMBERS LACK STANDING TO BRING DIRECT ACTION AGAINST INSURER UNDER HOA’S INSURANCE POLICY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT QUALIFY AS INTENDED THIRD-PARTY BENEFICIARIES

Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2018 Recently, the U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Oregon had the opportunity to decide whether members of a Homeowners Association (“HOA”) qualify as intended third-party beneficiaries of the HOA’s insurance policy. In Stanton v. QBE Ins. Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185988 (Nov. 9, 2017), the Court held that...

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT FINDS THAT STATUTORY NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE “CLAIM” UNDER CLAIMS-MADE POLICY

Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2018 Liability insurance policies can provide coverage on a “claims-made” basis, meaning it generally only covers claims that are first made against the insured during the policy period. A common coverage issue that arises under these policies is when was the “claim” first made, and whether a pre-suit notice to the insured...

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT FINDS THAT SEXUAL ABUSE CLAIM NOT COVERED EVEN WHEN “NEGLIGENCE” CLAIM WAS ALLEGED

Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2018 In the wake of the clergy abuse scandals and the “me too” movement, Washington has seen an uptick in sexual abuse claims. These claims raise coverage issues if the policy provides “occurrence” coverage and/or contains intentional act and/or sexual abuse exclusions. Recently, a Washington federal district court judge weighed on this...