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WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY FINDS NO COVERAGE FOR WATER DAMAGE IN VACANT BUILDING UNDER ENDORSEMENT IN COMMERCIAL PROPERTY POLICY

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2016 On June 9, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously found that a commercial property insurer need not provide coverage for water damage in a vacant building when the policy specifically excluded coverage for such damage per endorsement. In Lui v. Essex Ins. Co., 2016 WL 3320769, the insured owned a...

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT ALLOWS DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ACTION AGAINST EXCESS INSURER TO CONTINUE DESPITE LACK OF EXHAUSTION OF UNDERLYING POLICY LIMIT

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2016 On May 27, 2016, Judge Robert S. Lasnik for the United States District Court for the Western District  Washington denied an excess insurer’s motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment action despite the fact that the underlying policy limits had not been exhausted. Please click here to read the full article. 

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT REFUSES TO EXTEND COVERAGE TO SPOUSE OF NAMED INSURED WHEN NOT QUALIFIED AS AN “INSURED” UNDER PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY POLICY

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2016 On May 19, 2016, Judge John C. Coughenour for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington granted a motion to dismiss a coverage lawsuit filed by an insured, finding the insurers did not have a duty to defend the insured’s spouse when the spouse was not a...

WASHINGTON COURT DISMISSES BAD FAITH AND IFCA CLAIMS WHEN INSURED DID NOT PROPERLY OR TIMELY DISCLOSE ALLEGED DAMAGES TO UIM INSURER

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2016 On May 11, 2016, Judge Richard A. Jones for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington rendered an important decision limiting an insurer’s potential liability for bad faith and violations of Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) arising from its handling of an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim....

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT DENIES INSURER’S ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE WASHINGTON COURTS, BUT FINDS THAT EXTRA-CONTRACTUAL CLAIMS ARE GOVERNED BY LAWS OF ANOTHER STATE

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2016 When dealing with a coverage lawsuit in Washington State, insurers often seek to transfer the case to another state or application of another state’s law. On April 14, 2016, Judge James L. Robart for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington denied an insurer’s attempt to transfer...

IT’S more OF A GUIDELINE THAN A CODE: WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT DISMISSES BAD FAITH CLAIMS AGAINST INSURER THAT ENFORCED ITS LITIGATION MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES AGAINST DEFENSE COUNSEL

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2016 On March 26, 2016, Judge Barbara J. Rothstein for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington entered summary judgment for an insurer on the insured’s claims of bad faith and violation of Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) and Consumer Protection Act (CPA). In Evanston Ins. Co....

IN A QUESTION OF FIRST IMPRESSION, ALASKA SUPREME COURT FINDS THAT INSURERS CANNOT SEEK REIMBURSEMENT OF DEFENSE COSTS EVEN WHEN POLICY ALLOWS IT AND INSURER RESERVED RIGHTS TO LATER SEEK REIMBURSEMENT

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2016 On March 25, 2016, the Alaska Supreme Court weighed in on whether insurers can seek reimbursement of defense costs from its insureds. On certified questions posed by the Ninth Circuit, the Court found that state law prohibits the enforcement of an insurance policy that requires an insured to reimburse its insurer...

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT OPENS DOOR FOR OTHERWISE TIME-BARRED BAD FAITH CLAIM UNDER WASHINGTON’S CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2016 On February 23, 2016, Judge Stanley A. Bastian for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington rendered a potentially important decision on how insurance bad faith claims that may otherwise be time barred by the three-year statute of limitations may survive under Washington’s four-year statute of limitations...

WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT FINDS THAT UIM POLICY COVERS INJURIES CAUSED BY DRIVE-BY SHOOTING CONSTITUTE “ACCIDENT ARISING OUT OF OWNERSHIP, USE OR OPERATION OF A MOTOR VEHICLE”

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2016 On January 14, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court rendered an important decision on when an injury “arises out of” the use of a vehicle for the purpose of uninsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage. Please click here to read the full article. 

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT CLARIFIES DISCOVERY OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN INSURERS AND COVERAGE COUNSEL UNDER CEDELL

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2016 Very few developments in Washington insurance law have received more attention over the past five years than the Washington Supreme Court’s ruling in Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co., 176 Wn.2d.686, 295 P.2d 239 (2013). On February 25, 2016, Judge Ronald B. Leighton in the Federal District Court for the Western District...

Construction Law Newsletter – Construction Requirements for Medical Marijuana Facilities

Cardholders under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program can obtain medical marijuana from registered facilities. Medical marijuana facilities are strictly regulated by the Oregon Health Authority. The regulations are found at OAR 333-008-0000 through 333-008-1400. Contractors performing tenant improvements or original construction work for such facilities would do well to familiarize themselves with the security requirements...