The Road to Insurance Recovery
When facing a lawsuit, most policyholders would understandably rather use familiar, trusted defense counsel instead of attorneys chosen by their insurer.
Policyholders should be reviewing their coverage programs now to identify what claims they will want to submit before major claim-filing deadlines hit in August and December this year.
Mass protests have erupted across the United States – from Los Angeles to New York. Though many of these protests are peaceful and benign, some have led to significant property loss by arson and vandalism, as well as theft, in addition to business interruption damages due to necessary closure of impacted stores and offices. Businesses of all sizes are left wondering whether and how they can recover from these events. First on the list should be to review all potential insurance coverage and promptly submit claims to relevant insurance carriers.
The answer is maybe; but you will not know without a thorough review of all potentially applicable policies.
Lathrop GPM Insurance Recovery attorneys are busy advising clients on insurance coverage issues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also been tapped to share insights with various media outlets on the topic. Below please find a sampling of articles and media clips:
Interviewed by Alana McMullin and David Scheidemantle of Lathrop Gage’s Insurance Recovery & Counseling Group.
In a recent decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit considered whether a “criminal acts” exclusion in a first-party commercial insurance policy barred coverage for damage to leased property caused by the insured’s tenant in the operation of a marijuana cultivation business. K.V.G. Properties, Inc. v. Westfield Insurance Co., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 232296, 2018 FED App. 0178P, 2018 WL 3978211 (6th Cir. Aug. 21, 2018). Marijuana remains illegal as a Schedule 1 drug under federal law but is protected in certain circumstances under the law of Michigan, where the insured property was located. Fatal to the insured’s case, it had pleaded in an eviction proceeding that the tenant’s activities were illegal, which the Sixth Circuit took as an admission that the tenant’s conduct was illegal under Michigan as well as federal law, landing the claim within the confines of the criminal acts exclusion. While paying lip service to black letter law that the insurer bears the burden of establishing the applicability of an exclusion, the court nevertheless ruled against the insured because it had provided no evidence that the tenant had complied with Michigan’s marijuana laws. The court left open whether the exclusion still would have applied had the insured made such a showing (and hinted the outcome might have been different had the insured done so).
About this Blog
Lathrop GPM is one of the largest law firms in the United States representing policyholders, providing policyholders with the necessary guidance and legal counsel to handle everything from negotiating coverage and managing risk to litigating insurance disputes and recovery. The Road to Insurance Recovery blog is dedicated to helping readers better understand and manage the complexities of the modern business insurance policy.