Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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All-Risk Insurance Coverage Doesn’t Cover All Risks from COVID-19

The Eleventh Circuit has answered an important and timely question about insurance coverage for business losses due to COVID-19. Under Florida law, an “all-risk” insurance policy covering direct physical loss or damage does not insure against losses and expenses incurred by businesses as a result of COVID-19. In SA Palm Beach, LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, 2022 U.S....

Interlocutory Appeal Properly Taken from Declaratory Judgment on Insurer’s Duty to Defend; Ambiguous Exclusion Construed in Favor of Coverage

When a liability insurer seeks a declaratory judgment on whether it has a duty to defend and indemnify an insured, and the district court enters an order finding a duty to defend but putting off a decision on the duty to indemnify, is that nonfinal order subject to interlocutory appeal? In James River Insurance Co. v. Ultratec Special Effects Inc., 22 F.4th 1246 (11th Cir. Jan. 13,...

No Direct Physical Loss or Damage, No Coverage: All-Risk Policy Does Not Cover Lost Profits Due to COVID-19 Government Restrictions

The Eleventh Circuit held that an insured’s policy did not cover the lost profits it suffered as a result of government restrictions implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic because the policy only covered “direct physical loss or damage.” Ascent Hospitality Management Co. v. Employers Insurance Co. of Wasau, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 1161 (11th Cir. Jan. 14, 2022), follows just a...

Dismissal of Complaint Against Universal Life Insurer Affirmed Under Georgia Law

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s order in the defendant insurer’s favor, dismissing the complaint and rejecting a claim that the plaintiff’s universal life policy was ambiguous and thus had to be construed against the insurer, in Anderson v. Wilco Life Insurance Co., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 33846 (11th Cir. Nov. 15, 2021). Vanessa Anderson brought a putative class action...

Settlement Release Negotiations and Actions of Third-Party Claimants Are Both Relevant in Bad Faith Actions

In Pelaez v. Government Employees Insurance Co., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 28312 (11th Cir. Sept. 20, 2021), the Eleventh Circuit upheld summary judgment for GEICO in a Florida bad faith case. Merely offering an overbroad release to a third-party claimant was insufficient to establish bad faith in the totality of the circumstances, which included GEICO’s repeated invitations to the...

STOLI Invalidation Upheld, Issues Certified to Delaware Supreme Court

STOLI – Stranger-Originated Life Insurance – was the subject of the court’s decision in Estate of Malkin v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA, 2021 Westlaw 2149344  (11th Cir. May 27, 2021). Judge Beverly Martin authored the court’s opinion, which affirmed a Florida district court’s invalidation of the life insurance policy at issue but certified questions relating to defenses and a counterclaim to...

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