In a recent decision of a federal district court, frequent policyholder expert Robert Hughes’ opinions regarding the terms and conditions of a missing policy were flatly rejected as “bald speculation,” resulting in summary judgment for an insurer. (See, attached Canal Ins. Co. v. Montello, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148119.)
In an instructive case that has potentially broad application to a common issue in complex insurance coverage litigation–proof of the terms and conditions of a missing policy–the Court rejected as speculation Mr. Hughes’s opinions, notwithstanding his long C.V. reflecting 50 years of experience in the insurance industry. Continue reading A Missing Policy Must Be Proven By More Than “Unscientific Speculation Offered by a Genuine Scientist”
As you may be aware, the California Supreme Court heard argument in the State of California case on May 30th. (See Bill Baron’s May 4, 2012 posting to this site.) I’ve entered into a wager with my partner and insurance guru, Phil Matthews, on the outcome of State of California, which should decide two very important insurance coverage questions in California: (1) all sums; and (2) stacking of policy limits. I won’t reveal our respective wagers, and recognizing that predicting the outcome of an appellate court is not exactly a science, I invite you to email me with your prediction as to the outcome of this case. Continue reading Any Friendly Wagers on Outcome of State of California v. Continental Ins.?
It is becoming more common for courts to consider the nuts and bolts of an equitable allocation among insurers that cover the same risk. Along comes another such decision in the very heavily litigated coverage dispute that already has many lengthy trial court decisions. The latest decision in MGA Entertainment v. The Hartford, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55281 (C.D. Ca., April 18, 2012) involves the equitable sharing of many tens of millions of dollars in defense costs incurred by Bratz doll manufacturer, MGA, in an acrimonious lawsuit with Mattel involving copyright infringement and trade secret theft, among other issues.
Continue reading Court Considers Equitable Allocation Among Multiple Insurers, and Precludes Allocation to Insurer Absent From Coverage Action