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Insurance Defense Archives

Travelers Avoids the Burn Following "Arising Out of Asbestos" Construction

On April 21, 2017, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, finding the meaning of the phrase "arising out of asbestos" found within a policy exclusion to be unambiguous and overturning a more than $36 million dollar judgment against Travelers Insurance.

Staffing Agency Nurse Deemed Hospital Employee for Professional Liability Coverage Despite Contract Provisions

Many hospitals address staffing shortages (nurses and physicians) through staffing agencies. Standard staffing contracts provide that the nurses and/or physicians (locum tenens) are employees of the staffing agency and not the hospital. The staffing agency agrees that the nurses or physicians provided shall abide by the hospital's policies and bylaws. The hospital determines the work schedules and provides all necessary equipment and supplies. The hospital and staffing agency agree to purchase professional liability insurance and agree to terms of indemnification for the acts or omissions of their respective employees. All's well and good in the liability shifting arrangement, right? Not necessarily.

House Bill 4286 - Claims Adjuster Liability

Individuals in West Virginia have long been able to bring private causes of action against insurers for violations of the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act ("UTPA"). In 2003, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that insurance claims adjusters, in addition to insurers, may be held personally liable for UTPA violations. Accordingly, individual claims adjusters found themselves exposed to liability for violations that occurred within the scope of their employment. House Bill 4286, if enacted, would reverse this case law and protect claims adjusters from liability under the UTPA.