Archives: Legal Developments – Oregon

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Ninth Circuit Hands Oregon Policyholders a Major Win on “Known Loss”

In a June 25, 2015, to-be-published decision in Kaady v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. the Ninth Circuit adopted a decidedly pro-policyholder interpretation of the oft-contested “known loss” provision that is standard in commercial general liability (CGL) policies, holding that an insured’s knowledge of damage to one part of a structure does not allow an insurer to deny coverage for … Continue Reading

Oregon Supreme Court Accepts Review of Two Important Insurance Disputes

The Oregon Supreme Court recently accepted for review two cases with potentially lasting implications for insurance coverage disputes in the state. The first case is a mandamus ruling – the court decided to accept for review a trial court’s ruling in Liberty Surplus Insurance v. Seabold Construction on a hot evidence issue important to bad-faith coverage … Continue Reading

Likely Changes to Oregon Data Breach Law Should Prompt Review of Cyber Coverage

This excellent post by my colleague Brian Sniffen in our firm’s IP Law Trends blog reports on the efforts by Oregon’s attorney to strengthen the state’s data breach notification laws.   The proposed amendments to the Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act (ORS 646A.602 et seq.) are part of Senate Bill 601, which is making … Continue Reading

Ore. Appeals Court Important Holding on Construction Indemnity Agreements

Just as the ball began to fall in New York to herald the New Year Oregon’s Court of Appeals issued an important ruling on contractual indemnity agreements in construction contracts.  The decision isn’t directly on insurance coverage, but is important because of the overlap between additional insured issues, contractual indemnity, and Oregon’s “anti-indemnity” statute (ORS … Continue Reading

Oregon Environmental Coverage Mediation Program Launched

In 2013 the Oregon Legislature passed SB 814, which amends the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act, a unique law regulating environmental coverage disputes.  Part of SB 814 required the State to set up a mediation program for such claims (and made a carrier’s refusal to participate in mediation a prohibited claims practice).  That mediation program … Continue Reading

Or. Fed Court Rejects “Hail Mary” Insurer Argument Against Attorney Fees

The dispute between Schnitzer Steel and its carriers over defense at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site has been addressed many times in this blog, because it has raised many novel and fascinating (to me, anyway!) issues.  Here is the latest: on November 12, 2014 Judge Mosman ruled on Schnitzer’s motion for attorney fees after Schnitzer … Continue Reading

Ore. Fed. Ct. Considers Meaning of “Occurrence” for Developer Liability

In a decision handed down earlier this week in litigation between a primary-layer carrier and an umbrella carrier an Oregon federal court held that when a plaintiff brings a claim against a developer for negligence, the term “occurrence” in the developer’s policies means the negligent development, globally: in other words, the developer’s negligent work is one … Continue Reading

Oregon Federal Court Affirms Breadth of Duty to Defend

An Oregon federal judge recently reaffirmed a broad approach to the duty to defend in a carrier-on-carrier dispute.  The case is Seneca Insurance v. James River Insurance.  As with many such cases in Oregon, the dispute centered around defective construction, this time on the coast.  Plaintiff insurer, Seneca, agreed to defend its insured, a contractor.  Seneca … Continue Reading

Oregon Class Action Filed Against Regence BCBS Over Non-Profit Status

In a follow-on to a much larger class action filed earlier this spring in Illinois against another Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurer group, the same Chicago law firm (along with an East Coast personal-injury firm) has turned its sights on Oregon’s Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield, accusing Regence of violating its own charter and Oregon law by funneling profits … Continue Reading

Oregon Federal Court Confirms Availability of Prejudgment Interest on Disputed Defense Costs

In an as-yet-unpublished decision in the long-running Ash Grove v. Liberty Mutual case the court recently granted the policyholder’s request for prejudgment interest on defense costs recovered at trial.  Ash Grove (Case No. 09-239-HZ) involves reimbursement of legal fees and costs incurred in defense of claims associated with the Portland Harbor Superfund Site.  After pretrial rulings … Continue Reading

Oregon Bill That Would Assist Insurers In “Lost-Policy” Battles Dies

Those of us in the coverage game who deal with “long-tail” claims — that is, claims under older occurrence-based policies — routinely have to deal with a common problem: the policies are gone.  Businesses destroy old records, change hands, have a flood, etc., and the old insurance policies are gone.  Professional records managers are now … Continue Reading