Tag Archives: Oregon

Miller Nash Graham & Dunn Represents United Policyholders on Pollution Exclusion in Ninth Circuit

We are honored to represent United Policyholders (a non-profit advocacy organization for policyholders) on an issue of great concern to many of our commercial clients, and in particular those in the construction industry: the scope of the so-called “absolute pollution exclusion.” Our amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit for UP on the issue was filed on … Continue Reading

Additional Insured Promises Mean Companies May Pay Twice for Employee Injuries

Most business owners understand that in exchange for paying premiums for workers compensation insurance, they get immunity from suit from their own injured employees.  This is usually referred to as the workers compensation “exclusive remedy”: if an employee accepts workers compensation insurance benefits, the employee may not sue the employer (subject to certain exceptions for … Continue Reading

Oregon Employer Liability Ruling Highlights Importance of Additional Insured Status

Earlier this year the Oregon Supreme Court expanded the potential liability of contractors and others for injury to employees of others on a job site, making it more critical than ever for contractors to ensure that they have additional insured protection. In Yeatts v. Polygon Northwest, an employee of a framing subcontractor on a building project … Continue Reading

From the UP Blog: Portland Harbor Superfund Litigation Has “Super” Implications For Policyholders

I was privileged enough to be invited to write the following guest blog post on May 2, 2016 for the blog of United Policyholders, an advocacy organization for commercial and personal-lines policyholders.  Our firm has had the privilege of writing several amicus briefs for UP over the years, including one discussed below.  UP is a … Continue Reading

The Other Shoe Just Dropped: Cyber Insurer Sues in Oregon to Avoid First Party Benefits for Malware Event

Those who follow the fast-moving growth of cyber-insurance as a product have been waiting for the other shoe to drop: coverage litigation, particularly about the many loopholes and limitations in first-party coverage for data breaches and similar events.  One such shoe has now dropped, in the form of a federal-court complaint filed in Oregon, by Travelers, … Continue Reading

Allianz Trial on Pollution Exclusion Issues Highlights Importance of Jury Instructions

One of the most common pollution exclusions in older general liability policies is the standard-form 1973 “qualified” pollution exclusion (often called the “1973 Exclusion”).[1] The 1973 Exclusion excludes pollution coverage unless the “occurrence” that caused the damage was “sudden and accidental.”  In Oregon, this exclusion will not apply if the pollution results from “discharges, dispersals, … Continue Reading

New Oregon Decision Impacts Umbrella Coverage and Additional Insured Status

A new decision from the Oregon Supreme Court on indemnity agreements may impact one of the most headache-inducing negotiating points in indemnity contracts: “additional insured” coverage under umbrella policies.  Common assumptions about what to require as “additional insurance” may need to be re-examined as a result. General contractors usually demand that subcontractors procure primary-layer liability … Continue Reading

Neiman Marcus Data Breach Decision Portends Greater Risk for NW Companies, Need for Cyber Coverage

Earlier this week the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in Illinois, issued a momentous decision for those of us who keep tabs on data breach litigation nationwide.  The decision in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus reinstated class action claims by thousands of shoppers who had their credit card data stolen.  Reversing a trend in the case law driven by … Continue Reading

Oregon Duty to Defend is Very Broad, as Shown in Two New Cases

Two new decisions from federal courts in Oregon demonstrate just how broad an insurance company’s contractual duty to defend its insured truly is.  These decisions should be helpful to policyholders in fighting back against denials of coverage.  Wrongful denials of defense are unfortunately common in Oregon, due to the absence of a meaningful bad faith … Continue Reading

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

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. 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
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