The Seattle lawyers at Williams Kastner Law Firm use the Northwest Insurance Law Blog as a resource for insurance-related matters impacting folks in the Pacific Northwest. The three main authors for this blog – Dana Ferestien, Mary Re Knack and Jerry Edmonds – are all based in the firm’s Seattle office and specialize in various realms of insurance law.
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Nautilus Survives Motion to Dismiss Property Claim for Business Losses Caused by Rogue Employee in China
In late 2008, Nautilus attempted to terminate the manager of its Shanghai subsidiary, Xu Xiaobin. But Mr. Xu refused to cooperate or turn over key items including the subsidiary's business license and "chop" (carved ink notary stamp), both of which are needed in order to conduct business...
The Oregon federal district court recently addressed the legal effect of an insured's breach of a document production or similar duty after loss provision in a first party property policy. In Schoning v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31371 (D. Or. March 8, 2012), the...
Several months after a restaurant customer killed two people in a drunk driving accident, the insured restaurant sought and received an increase in their liquor liability limits from $1 to $3 million. The insurer issued an endorsement to make this change, and the endorsement stated that the change...
Earlier this week, Judge Marsha Pechman granted summary judgment in favor of an insurance broker on a claim that it had failed to obtain adequate insurance for its customer. The case – SMS Services LLC v. HUB Int’l. NW, LLC (2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29824) (March 5, 2012) –...
Earlier this week, two Washington courts rejected extra-contractual claims against first party property insurers that had paid out benefits and followed the appraisal provisions in their policies. In Pinney v. American Fam. Mut. Ins. Co. 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22328 (Feb. 22, 2012), United...
"Equitable Sharing Rule" Requires PIP Insurer to Pay Pro Rata Fees Even When it Also Insures and Pays Settlement on Behalf of the Tortfeasor
In a 7-1 decision in Matsuyak v State Farm & Casualty Co., handed down on February 9, 2012, the Washington Supreme Court extended the common fund rule adopted in Mahler v. Szucs, 135 Wn.2d 398 (1998) to circumstances where an automobile insurer pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits to...
When a business applies for insurance, it is important to pay attention to details. Among other things, an insured needs to list all of the entities for which the business needs coverage. The Court of Appeals' recent decision in West Coast Pizza Co., Inc. v. United Nat. Ins. Co....
Washington law has long provided that "[a]n insured may not avoid an exclusion merely by affixing a specific label or characterization to the act or event causing the loss." Thomas V. Harris, Washington Insurance Law, § 6.10, fn. 179. That rule was recently put to the test before...
Construction defect plaintiffs in Washington continue to use covenant judgments in an effort to force large settlements with developers' insurers. If the developer's insurer is unwilling to fund a settlement, the plaintiff and defendant developer stipulate to entry of a monetary judgment and the...
Washington Federal District Court Rejects Technical Claims Handling Violations as Basis for Extra-Contractual Claims Against Liability Insurer
Washington's claims handling regulations include short deadlines for responding to an insured's tender of a claim for defense and indemnity: 10 working days to acknowledge a tender (WAC 284-30-360(1)), and 30 days to complete its investigation of a claim unless the investigation cannot reasonably...