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From the Ground Up

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In Extraordinary Ruling, Washington Supreme Court Applies “Efficient Proximate Cause” Rule to Liability Coverage Dispute
On April 27, the Washington Supreme Court created a significant new wrinkle in how courts will approach liability insurance disputes involving policy exclusions. In Xia v. ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co. RRG, the Court applied the “efficient prox...
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If You Purchase Contaminated Property, Is It Covered?
Can a policyholder that knowingly purchases contaminated property be covered for the costs of cleaning up that property under policies of insurance issued before the purchase? Yes, according to a new unpublished decision from the Washington Court o...
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Different Approaches to the Duty to Defend in Oregon and Washington
Oregon and Washington are often viewed as sister states, similar in their climates, policies and attitudes. Yet, while the two states share a border and a uniquely Pacific Northwest culture, their approaches to insurance law differ greatly. In pa...
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In Washington, Coverage for Sole Proprietorship Must Include Broad Definition of "Insured"
I ran across a cautionary tale recently in a new Washington federal-court decision in Staheli v. Chicago Insurance Company. The lesson: in Washington, or any other community-property state, a liability policy covering a sole proprietorship must...
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Insurer Sues to Terminate Defense of Premera Cyber Breach
On December 8, 2015 an insurer for Premera Blue Cross sued to terminate its defense obligation (and any indemnity obligation) in a class-action lawsuit involving the theft of 11 million medical records. We have previously reported on the massive...
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Washington Federal Court Goes Where None Have Gone Before on Excess Carrier Bad Faith
Late last month, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington faced an issue that appears never to have been addressed in Washington or any other state: Whether a policyholder may pursue a bad faith claim against its exce...
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