Justia Insurance Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Entertainment & Sports Law
USA Gymnastics v. Liberty Insurance Underwriter, Inc.
Larry Nassar sexually assaulted hundreds of girls and young women during his involvement with USA Gymnastics (USAG), the non-profit organization which governs the sport in the United States. As a result of Nassar’s abuse, USAG has been sued several times and investigated by Congress and federal and state authorities. USAG sought financial help with its defense from insurers, including Liberty, with which USAG had a claims-made, directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance policy. An insurance-coverage lawsuit in Indiana state court was removed to federal court.The Nassar-related litigation and investigations forced USAG into bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court issued proposed findings and conclusions, including that the Nassar-related claims were timely made and that a wrongful-conduct exclusion applied to only those claims for which Nassar was criminally convicted. The district court agreed.The Seventh Circuit remanded, first holding that it had jurisdiction because the ruling had the “practical effect” of an injunction under 28 U.S.C. 1292(a)(1). USAG’s claims were timely made during the policy period. The wrongful conduct exclusion, which the court found ambiguous as applied to this case, applies to 10 instances of Nassar’s sexual abuse, but not to claims related to his abuse that were not finally adjudicated. A bodily injury exclusion in the policy does not preclude coverage; coverage is proper for various government investigations and other matters. View "USA Gymnastics v. Liberty Insurance Underwriter, Inc." on Justia Law
Miller v. AXA Winterthur Ins. Co.
In 2000 an “incident” occurred on the ice of a professional hockey game in Switzerland between Miller and McKim. McKim was injured. Swiss courts filed criminal charges against Miller. McKim’s insurer and hockey club filed suit against Miller, and two civil judgments were entered against Miller. Miller left Switzerland before the judgments were finalized and informed his hockey team and its insurer (Winterthur) that he no longer had the financial means to defend the litigation. In 2005, a document was submitted to Miller in Michigan from Winterthur that acknowledged its responsibility for the costs of criminal and civil judgments and proceedings pending in Zurich and previous attorneys’ fees. In 2010, McKim’s team and insurer submitted demands for payment to Miller from the Swiss judgment. Miller, claiming reliance, submitted the demands to Winterthur, which declined to pay the judgments in full. Miller brought suit in Michigan, seeking contractual damages and enforcement of the terms of the 2005 document. The district court granted Winterthur’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. Miller had established a basis for personal jurisdiction under Michigan’s long-arm statute, but the requirements of constitutional due process were not met. View "Miller v. AXA Winterthur Ins. Co." on Justia Law