Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Does An Insurer Have A Duty To Defend When Other Insurers Have Already Taken Up The Defense?

The Nevada Supreme Court has not decided whether an insurance company is obliged to defend when other insurers, who also owe a duty to defend the same insured, have already taken up the defense..  The cases of Commercial Standard Ins. Co. v. Tab Constr., Inc., 94 Nev. 536, 539, 583 P.2d 449, 451 (1978) and Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 720 F. Supp. 2d 1223, 1234 n. 11 (2010) remind us that where Nevada law is silent, Nevada often looks to California law for direction.California law provides that even … [Read more...]

The Immense Sacrifice Of Our Fallen Heroes Must Always Be Remembered . . .

“Was it worth it?”This is a question, sometimes politically-loaded, that is often asked of family members and war buddies of our Fallen Heroes.Marine Corps General John Kelly recently offered a unique perspective. A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan himself, General Kelly lost his youngest son, First Lieutenant Robert Kelly, while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province in 2010.General Kelly was asked if the loss was worth it by a reporter with National Public Radio. He said, … [Read more...]

Where An Insurance Company Breaches Its Duty To Defend, It Can Be Liable For An Excess Verdict Even If The Company Did Not Act In Bad Faith

Ryan Pretner suffered critical injuries when he was hit by a truck driven by Michael Vasquez.  Mr. Vasquez’s truck was covered by two auto policies, his personal policy, and his business auto policy.  His personal insurance with Progressive had a limit of $100,000 per person.  His commercial auto policy with Century Surety Company had a $1,000,000 limit.Century Surety conducted an investigation and determined that Mr. Vasquez was not in the course and scope of his business as an auto … [Read more...]

The Duty To Defend Continues Through The Entire Litigation

Once the duty to defend arises, the insurer's duty continues throughout the entire litigation.  United Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Frontier Ins. Co., 120 Nev. 678, 687, 99 P.3d 1153, 1158 (Nev. 2004).  The duty to defend continues until final resolution of the claim.  Allstate Ins. Co. v. Miller, 125 Nev. 300, 309, 212 P.3d 318, 325 (2009).  An insurance company may not terminate its duty to defend by depositing the insurance proceeds with the court when the policy terms are ambiguous as to whether the … [Read more...]

An Insured Can Seek A Broad Range Of Damages If An Insurer Wrongfully Fails To Defend

In Nevada, if an insurance company breaches its duty to defend, it can expect to face a wide array of possible damagesIf the insured takes up its own defense, the insurer can expect to pay the reasonable costs incurred by the insurer in the defense of the underlying action.  Jaynes Corp. v. Am. Safety Indem. Co., 925 F. Supp. 2d 1095, 1111 (D. Nev. 2012) vacated due to settlement, No. 2:10-CV-00764-MMD, 2014 WL 8735102 (D. Nev. Dec. 3, 2014); see also Reyburn Lawn & Landscape Designers … [Read more...]