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On December 12, 2013, Jose Luis Estrada-Martinez died from carbon monoxide poisoning while repairing a customer’s tire inside his truck on a winter evening.  Estrada-Martinez was self-employed providing vehicle repair services for customers, which he often performed in the rear cargo bay of his truck.  In Castillo v. American Standard Insurance Co., Case No. A16-1002,… Read more »

Insurance Coverage: Eighth Circuit finds Bank is entitled to Bond Coverage for Cyber Theft of $485,000 despite Employees Failure to Follow Security Procedures.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reached an important decision regarding insurance coverage for cyber thefts from banks.  The key takeaways from the case, State Bank of Bellingham v. BancInsure, Inc., — F.3d —, No. 14-3432 (8th Cir. May 20, 2016), are: Failure by a bank’s employees to follow established security measures may negate coverage… Read more »

Insurance Coverage: Eighth Circuit Holds Miller-Shugart Agreement after Drake-Ryan Settlement Violates Umbrella Policy’s Cooperation Clause.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Minnesota law, recently held that entering a Miller-Shugart agreement after entering a Drake-Ryan agreement breaches the cooperation clause of the umbrella policy voiding coverage under the policy.  The facts in American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Donaldson, — F.3d —, No. 15-1465, (8th Cir. Apr. 26, 2016), make… Read more »

Insurance Coverage & Data Privacy: Fourth Circuit finds duty to defend; posting of patient medical information is a “publication” under a CGL policy.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that posting of confidential patient information constitutes “publication” under a standard CGL policy.  Travelers Indem. Co. of Am. v. Portal Healthcare Sols., LLC affirms a lower court’s ruling that posting confidential medical records online qualifies as a “publication” under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy, triggering the… Read more »

No-Fault Act Update: Court of Appeals Upholds Anti-Assignment Clause

The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently held that a patient’s assignment of a no-fault insurance claim to a medical provider is invalid and unenforceable if the applicable automobile insurance policy forbids such an assignment and if the patient makes the assignment before the medical provider bills the patient for medical services.  That case, Stand Up… Read more »

Insurance Coverage: Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Reasonable Expectations Argument, Applies Criminal Acts Exclusion.

Applying Minnesota law, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an attempt to circumvent a “criminal acts” exclusion in a homeowner’s insurance policy through the “reasonable expectations” doctrine. In Country Mutual Insurance Company v. Orloske, — F.3d —, No. 15-1097 (8th Cir. Apr. 11, 2016), the Court refused to allow the reasonable expectations doctrine… Read more »