A Recent California Supreme Court Decision Clarifies when an Intentional Act with Unforeseen Results is an Accident under a Liability Policy

Posted in: Duty to Defend, General Liablity, Insurance Litigation Blog, Negligence June 29, 2018

Generally, an insured will not receive coverage under a liability policy when they intentionally cause the loss or injury for which they are seeking coverage.  As expected, insurers regularly deny claims when they are able to characterize an insured’s conduct as intentional, even when the damage or injury caused was accidental or not intended by the insured.  In recent years, insurers in California have been able to successfully defend their denial of insurance claims involving an intentional act before California courts. The success experienced by these insurers has largely been the result of a California Supreme Court decision in 2009 holding that “an injury-producing event is not an ‘accident’ within the policy’s coverage language when all of the acts, the

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New liability for claims adjusters the right move. Daily Journal Publishes McKennon Law Group PC Article.

Posted in: Case Updates, Negligence, Property & Casualty Insurance April 22, 2014

The April 21, 2014 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal featured Robert McKennon’s article entitled:  “New Liability for claim adjusters the right move.”  In it, Mr. McKennon discusses a new case which exposes insurance adjustors to negligent misrepresentation and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims by policyholders.  The article is posted below with the permission of the Daily Journal.…

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An Insurance Company Cannot Shield Itself from Negligence Liability by Filing an Interpleader

Posted in: Breach of Contract, Case Updates, Insurance Bad Faith, Interpleader, Negligence August 20, 2012

In Lee v. West Coast Life Insurance Company, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 15768 (9th Cir. July 31, 2012), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a stakeholder insurance company cannot use an interpleader filing to shield itself from tort liability for its negligent actions.  With this holding, the Court of Appeals confirmed that “where the stakeholder may be independently liable to one or more claimants, [an] interpleader does not shield the stakeholder from tort liability, nor from liability in excess of the stake.”

In 1998, West Coast Life Insurance Company issued a policy on the life of Steve Lee, Sr.  Over the next ten years, West Coast received numerous change of ownership and change of beneficiary forms from …

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