Insurance Law Updates

Washington plaintiff sued Oregon corporation for accident in California. What state's law applies?

Plaintiff can recover lost profits from cannabis business.

William Tarr v. USF Reddaway, Inc., US Dist. Court, Oregon, February 2, 2018

(1) A Washington plaintiff sues an Oregon corporation for an accident that occurred in California. If defendant’s employee, who is not a party to the lawsuit, is a California resident, California law will apply. (2) Plaintiff may recover lost profits from his wholesale cannabis business despite the fact that cannabis is illegal under federal law.

Download the Complete Update

Contents Inventory Prepared by Public Adjusters Ruled Inadmissible

Jerry Morgan v. Valley Property and Casualty, 289 Or.App. 454 (Dec. 28, 2017)

A contents inventory may be stricken, in its entirety, if it is not based upon reliable information. Where a property inventory is not prepared by the insured but instead prepared by public adjusters based upon price information obtained from 3rd parties it may be inadmissible hearsay.

Download the Complete Update

Coverage For Pollutants: The efficient proximate cause rule invalidates the absolute pollution exclusion.

Zhaoyun Xia, et al. v. ProBuilders Specialty Ins. Co., 188 Wash.2d 171, 393 P.3d 748 (2017)

Pollution damage caused by a covered event, such as negligence of the insured, is a covered loss notwithstanding an absolute pollution exclusion or anti-concurrent causation provision. The court will examine and apply the efficient proximate cause rule to determine if the initiating event is a covered cause of loss.

Download the Complete Update

Third Party Administrators: A TPA or independent adjuster may be liable to the insured for violating claim handling regulations.

Merriman v. Am. Guarantee, 198 Wash.App. 594 (2017)

(1) A loss payee under an insurance policy can be a first party claimant; (2) A public adjuster can contractually assume liability to the insured for violating claim handling guidelines, and (3) Under certain circumstances, an insured can assert claims for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, bad faith and non per se Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claims against an independent adjuster.

Download the Complete Update