Commercial / Personal

Denise Doherty sued Lundgren Management Group, Inc., a building management company, alleging negligence and other claims stemming from water infiltration into her condominium unit beginning in 2004 in a building managed by Lundgren.  She alleged that Lundgren did not make timely or appropriate repairs. Lundgren was insured by Clarendon National Insurance Company from June 24, 2004 to June 24, 2005.  It was insured by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company from September 1, 2007 to September 1, 2008. Philadelphia denied coverage in part on the ground that there were no occurrences during its policy period.  Clarendon defended Lundgren.  After the underlying case…
Filling claims for riot / civil commotion: We’ve been getting a lot of questions from clients and colleagues about whether coverage is provided to business owners whose establishments were damaged or looted by the recent protesting / rioting. In most insurance policies, coverage is provided for riot / civil commotion, but for business owners affected, there is a recommended approach they may want to take in filing a claim. I share that in my new podcast, “How Insurance Works,” recommendation courtesy of The Greenspan Co. Adjusters International.…
Four related companies known as Cold Storage Solutions operated cold storage warehouses. They hired Eastern Insurance Group to obtain warehouse liability insurance for them.  Eastern informed them that it had done so, but in fact it had failed to obtain insurance for one of the entities, CSS III. On October 9, 2011, a forklift operator drove into a racking system in a freezer at the CSS III warehouse, causing racks holding millions of pounds of frozen food to collapse. Whitecap International Seafood Exporters stored snow crab at the warehouse. Some crab was undamaged in the accident but had to be…
I am aware of two Massachusetts cases to date against insurers alleging wrongful denials of claims for business interruption losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  Both have been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. In the amended complaint in the first lawsuit, Legal Sea Foods, LLC v. Strathmore Ins. Co., restaurant chain Legal Sea Foods alleges that its policy issued by Strathmore Insurance Company did not have a virus exclusion — putting Legal’s a step ahead of most policyholders. Legal’s alleges that the coronavirus caused direct physical loss or damage to its…
One of the results of the current protests over racial injustice in this country is that business communities are revisiting the perennial topic of the barriers to advancement for people of color in the corporate and legal world.  So I would like to put this out there, especially to attorneys of color:  I love to talk to lawyers of all levels of experience about insurance coverage and bad faith issues. If this is an area that you practice in or that you’re interested in or that you have an orphan case in or that you just want to know more…
I’m always excited when I see a title insurance case, because they are so few and far between.  When such a dispute does arise it is not unusual to cite case law from a century ago. In 2003, Shane Kelly took out a first mortgage with Chevy Chase Bank for a property he owned in Boston.  In 2007, Kelly took out a second mortgage on the property with JPMorgan. JPMorgan retained Attorney Roseann Conti to conduct the closing.  Conti had also conducted the closing on the first mortgage.  Although Conti had knowledge of the first mortgage, which was recorded at…
As I discussed here, most businesses do not have insurance coverage for business interruption as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  There are some attempts at legislation to retroactively change that, and some class action lawsuits challenging the exclusions that prevent the coverage.  Now, just as businesses are starting to reopen, many of them have been vandalized in riots.  Some are afraid to open because of the fear of additional violence.  Others may be unable to open as a result of curfews. The good news is that most business property policies do provide coverage for property damage and business interruption…
A class action lawsuit against a travel insurance company was filed yesterday in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, seeking reimbursement for money paid for a school trip canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Corrigan v. EF Education Tours, Inc., et al, Amy Corrigan alleges that in October 2019 she enrolled her daughter, an 8th grader, in a school trip to Spain that was scheduled for April 2020.  She paid in full over $4,000 for the trip, which was coordinated by EF Education Tours and related organizations. In November 2019, Corrigan purchased travel insurance marketed…
The definition of the word chutzpah is when a man kills both his parents and then begs for the court’s mercy because he is an orphan. Typically I would not apply a Yiddish word to a church dispute.  And yet . . . In January, 2017, members of the Newton Presbyterian Church (NPC) voted to withdraw from the national Presbyterian organization.  The withdrawing members called themselves the Newton Covenant Church (NCC).  The schism arose because the withdrawing members disagreed with the progressive stance of the national organization with respect to same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and…