In an opinion filed on the last day of 2019, the California Court of Appeal, Third District, reversed a trial court’s holding that an additional insured was not bound by an arbitration agreement in an insurance policy. In Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. SMG Holdings, Inc., Case No. C082841 (certified for publication on January 28, 2020), the court held that an arbitration agreement in a commercial general liability policy (“CGL”) issued by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company (“Philadelphia”) bound SMG Holdings, Inc. (“SMG”), a “third party beneficiary” under the policy that was also “equitably estopped” from avoiding the arbitration clause. The court reversed the trial court, vacated its order denying Philadelphia’s petition to compel arbitration, and directed the trial court to order arbitration of the coverage dispute. Continue reading California Court of Appeal: Third Party, Additional Insured Bound by Policy’s Arbitration Clause
In McMillin Companies, LLC v. American Safety Indemnity Co. (4th Dist. Div. 1, No. D063586, January 22, 2015 (published in relevant part)), the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District has provided some meaningful guidance on how a trial court should handle issues that regularly come up in cases where an alleged additional insured claims breach of the duty to defend by multiple insurers, including explaining the significance of an insurer’s unsuccessful attempt to obtain summary judgment on the duty to defend, the significance of other insurer settlements on claims against the remaining insurer, and the procedure for applying an offset to the policyholder’s claim for such settlements.