Category - Insurance


Insurer Not Waive Defenses by Payment of Prior Claim, Says Supreme Court

The Louisiana Supreme Court recently held that an insurer’s waiver of its defenses in a prior claim does not waive the insurer’s defenses in a subsequent claim. Years ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that an insurer waives its right to assert coverage defenses by assuming and continuing its insured’s defense after the insurer has …


Policy Exclusion Cannot Be Raised in an Exception of No Right of Action

An insurer defendant cannot assert an exclusion of its insurance policy in an exception of no right of action, according to a recent decision by the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal. The court explained that an exclusion in an insurance policy generally is an affirmative defense, which the court determined cannot be raised in …


Economic Losses May Be Recovered As Property Damages Under CGL Policy, Says State Court

Damage to business reputation and “delay” damages may be recoverable as “property damage” under a commercial general liability insurance policy, ruled the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. This decision arose out of property damage to the Rice Mill Lofts Apartments in New Orleans. The apartments suffered water damage during heavy thunderstorms and during Tropical …


A “Tug” May Be a “Tow,” Says U.S. Fifth Circuit

A “tugboat” may be a “tow” if it receives extra motive power from another vessel, according to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit announced this rule in the context of interpreting an insurance policy, although the court actually determined that an assisting tug was not the tow of a lead tug. …


Indemnity Agreement Not Inferred in Oilfield Contract

Indemnity agreements will not be easily inferred in the absence of a written contract, the First Circuit Court of Appeal recently reminded. In Walton v. Guidry, 2017-0784 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1/4/18), responsibility for payment of benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act hinged on whether an indemnification agreement existed between the nominal …


Eye Infection Not an Accident Under Dismemberment Policy

A fungal infection that led to the loss of an eye is not compensable under an accidental death and dismemberment policy, according to the U.S. Fifth Circuit. In Ramirez v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 16-11660 (5th Cir. 10/6/17), the plaintiff traveled to west Texas for his employer, MS International, Inc. On one of …


Fourth Circuit Gives First Ever Louisiana Interpretation of Aviation Policy Endorsement

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal recently provided the first ever Louisiana interpretation of certain provisions of an aircraft liability policy.  In King v. Old Republic Ins. Co., 2016-0170 (La. App. 1 Cir. 9/7/16); 200 So. 3d 989, the plaintiff’s minor child was killed in the crash of a gyrocopter, an experimental amateur-built aircraft.  The …


Seepage of Water “Over a Period of Time” Exclusion is not Ambiguous

A provision in a homeowner’s policy excluding coverage for “continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water … which occurs over a period of time” is not ambiguous, according to a recent decision by a Louisiana appellate court. The state Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal interpreted this policy language in a May 26, 2016 decision, …


P&I Policy Requires a Vessel, the Fifth Circuit Reminds

A P&I policy generally requires a causal connection between a vessel and a resulting injury for coverage, according to a recent decision from the U.S. Fifth Circuit. On March 22, 2016, the Fifth Circuit handed down another decision in the Naquin v. Elevating Boats litigation, which arises out of an accident in 2009.  In 2014, …


Bobtail Policy Provides UM Coverage When Tractor Not Bobtailing

In the trucking industry, “Bobtailing” means that a tractor is being operated without a trailer attached.  According to the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal, a Bobtail liability policy provides the insured with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, even when the tractor is not bobtailing, that is, attached to a trailer. In Castille v. Blum, handed down …


Contract to Salvage a Platform Covered Under LOIA

A contract for salvaging a fixed oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico on the Outer Continental Shelf that supported a decommissioned well requires the application of the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Act (“LOIA”), according to a recent U.S. Fifth Circuit decision.  In the same decision, the Fifth Circuit found a maritime employment exclusion …


Property Loss Provision Interpretation Under Texas Law

The U.S. Fifth Circuit recently faced some atypical language in a homeowner’s policy written in Texas, providing guidance in interpreting property loss provisions under Texas law. In its January 28, 2016, opinion, the court first had to determine whether the insureds or the insurer bore the burden of proving depreciation to the property at issue. …


Ordinance or Law Provision Requires Renovations to Undamaged Building, according to Fifth Circuit

The U.S. Fifth Circuit recently interpreted an “Ordinance or Law” provision of an insurance policy under Louisiana law, holding that the provision required an insurer to pay for renovations to buildings at a property site that were not damaged in a fire in one of the other buildings at the site. Houston Specialty Insurance Company …


No Firm Settlement Offer Needed to Trigger Insurer’s Duty to Settle

An insurer in Louisiana potentially faces damages for bad faith failure to settle a claim, even if it does not receive a firm offer to settle the claim. Louisiana Revised Statute 22:1973(A) provides: “An insurer … owes to his insured a duty of good faith and fair dealing. The insurer has an affirmative duty to …


“Insured versus Insured” Exclusion Interpreted by Fifth Circuit

The U.S. Fifth Circuit recently interpreted an insurance policy exclusion prohibiting one insured from suing another party insured under the same policy.  In finding the exclusion inapplicable, the Fifth Circuit determined that a claim for indemnity differed from a claim for “property damage” as required by the language of the exclusion. In Kinsale Insurance Company …


Fifth Circuit Affirms Fraud Verdict Against Katrina Insurer

Ten years later, the courts are still handling cases related to Hurricane Katrina. The United State Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision arising from fraudulent classification of claims submitted by insurers. This decision issued by the Fifth Circuit on July 13, 2015 did not directly address insurance coverage questions, but involved other …