Carbon monoxide detector

Washington Rejects Insurers’ Clever Attempts to Draft Around the Efficient Proximate Cause Rule

The Washington Supreme Court recently issued a new decision that restricts insurance companies with regard to their longstanding attempts to exclude pollution-related losses and draft around Washington’s “efficient proximate cause” rule. Xia v. Probuilders Specialty Ins. Co., et al. In Xia v. Probuilders Specialty Ins. Co., et al., plaintiff Xia became sick from carbon monoxide exposure almost immediately after purchasing … Continue reading »

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“Continuous or Progressive” Damage Exclusion under Commercial General Liability Policies Leads to Catch-22 for Builders and Developers

Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) Insurance policies generally cover an insured for costs the insured becomes obligated to pay due to “bodily injury” or “property damage.”  Thus, on their face, CGL policies appear to cover an insured for a host of potential costs.  However, as many insureds know, a number of exclusions work to limit this seemingly expansive coverage.  Two common … Continue reading »

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Insurer Can’t Unilaterally Limit Rates Payable to Defense Counsel

The Western District of Washington recently ruled that, absent a contrary term in the insurance policy, an insurer does not have the sole power to set the rates it will pay for defending its insured in a lawsuit.  The case, National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Coinstar, Inc., et al., arose after the insured, Redbox, was named as … Continue reading »

Insurer May Not Sue the Insured’s Attorney for Malpractice

A common issue in insurance coverage matters is the nature of the relationship between the attorney hired to represent the insured and the insurer who pays for the attorneys’ services.  A recent case decided by the Supreme Court of Washington held that an insurer who hires an attorney for their insured cannot later sue that attorney for malpractice. In Stewart … Continue reading »

Insurance Coverage: Stigma Damages vs. Diminished Value Damages

A recent Washington appellate case clarified the distinction between “stigma damages” and “diminished value damages” to a vehicle involved in a collision and addressed whether their recovery may be excluded from an automobile insurance policy.  In Ibrahim v. AIU Ins. Co., 177 Wn.App. 504, 312 P.3d 998 (2013), an insured’s vehicle was damaged by an at-fault driver, and the insured … Continue reading »