Ford in The Recorder on Opioid Litigation Insurance Coverage Dispute


The Recorder quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Counsel Caroline Ford on continuing litigation over insurance coverage for a drug company sued over claims related to the opioid epidemic.

The California Supreme Court on Feb. 21 said it would review a lower-court ruling in Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Actavis that said the insurer didn’t have to pay for the drug company’s defense, The Recorder reported

The Fourth District Court of Appeal held late last year in Travelers v. Actavis that Hartford, Connecticut-based Travelers didn’t have a duty to defend or indemnify Watson Pharmaceuticals in lawsuits filed by two California counties and the city of Chicago, The Recorder reported.

“This decision is really important because it’s really going to the fundamental question of what is an ‘occurrence’ under a [commercial general liability] policy,” said Caroline Ford, an insurance coverage lawyer in the Orange County office of Haynes and Boone who represents insureds.

Ford, who isn’t involved in the Travelers case, said that for insurance purposes, an occurrence has “traditionally been looked at as fortuity — an accident, something that happened.” Ford said the question the court seems to be grappling with in this case and Liberty Surplus Insurance v. Ledesma and Meyer Construction — another related case referred to the court in 2016 by the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals — is whether an intentional act with unintended consequences triggers coverage. …

Excerpted from The Recorder. To read the full article, click here. (Subscription required)

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