Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Insurance Company owes No Duty to Defend where Policy includes Enforceable Pollution Exclusion

Back in the 2000s, Al Phillips the Cleaner, a Las Vegas dry cleaner, had a location in the Maryland Square Shopping Center near the Boulevard Mall.  A Ted Wiens Auto Service Center was just across the street. Residents of the Maryland Square area complained that they had been injured by the release of perchloroethylene, sometimes called PEC or PERC.  PEC is used in dry cleaning and as an industrial degreaser and spot remover. Of the PEC release, a local newspaper wrote: The chemical bled … [Read more...]

A Tale of Two Lawsuits.

It was the best of times for Nevada Direct Insurance Company. It was the worst of times for injured parties Michael and Sharon Smith. You see, the Smiths were hurt in an auto accident with a Nevada Direct policyholder Kuperman. Nevada Direct tried unsuccessfully to enlist Kuperman's cooperation in dealing with the Smiths’ claim. When Kuperman failed to cooperate, Nevada Direct filed a declaratory relief action against Kuperman, the Smiths and another injured party, Ms. Fields claiming the … [Read more...]

Once An Insured Proves Coverage, The Burden Shifts To the Insurer To Prove An Exception Or Exclusion

In Nevada Insurance Coverage lore, Victor Havas is legend. Cases involving Mr. Havas answer so many insurance coverage questions.  What duty does an insurance agent owe to a customer? Havas v. Carter, 515 P.2d 397, 89 Nev. 497 (1973). For more information, see here.  When is replacement value the appropriate measure of damages rather than actual case value? Havas v. Atlantic Ins. Co., 95 Nev. 415, 596 P.2d, 246 (1979). here.  How can an insurance company avoid a waiver when it investigates a … [Read more...]

Is Your Company’s Intra-Family Auto Liability Exclusion Enforceable?

Nevada law authorizes insurance companies to enforce exclusions that limit or eliminate intra-family liability for bodily injuries. NRS 687B.147. Or so said the Nevada Supreme Court in Progressive Gulf Ins. Co. v. Faehnrich, 130 Nev. Adv. Op. 19, 327 P.3d 1061 (2014). However, as we mentioned in our explanation of Faehnrich, the Court made only a passing reference to NRS 687B.147, the law that allows such a limitation or exclusion. The court did not provide any sort of analysis of the law. And … [Read more...]

Nevada Supreme Court Enforces Choice Of Law Provision In Mississippi Auto Insurance Policy

Randall and Toni Faehnrich lived with their two sons in Mississippi.  The Faehnrich’s owned a Jeep.  Mr. and Mrs. Faehnrich divorced and Mrs. Faehnrich decided to move to Las Vegas.  After moving to Nevada but before changing the plates, registration and insurance, Toni Faehnrich crashed the Jeep.  The Faehnrich boys were hurt in the accident. Randall brought suit against his wife Toni in behalf of their injured sons.  In Nevada, it had been against public policy for a Nevada Auto Insurance … [Read more...]