General liability insurance protects policyholders against certain liability arising out of the insured’s activities in operating its business or organization.
Lugenbuhl is a leader in advising insurance companies on defense and indemnity issues involving general liability policies. These policies are typically subject to a number of limitations and exclusions. The attorneys in our general liability practice group are well-versed in Louisiana and Texas case law, and can interpret the contours of general liability coverage and applicable exclusions, limitations, and endorsements.
We evaluate and provide advice to our insurance industry clients regarding:
- The insurer’s duty to defend
- Identifying who is an insured and/or additional-insured under the general liability policy
- Trigger of “occurrence” coverage by an injury or damage during the general liability policy period
- Applicability of claims-made coverage, including interpretation of extended-reporting periods
- Exclusions for losses known to the insured or in progress at the time the policy goes into effect
- Exclusions for intentional torts or activities expected or intended to cause injury
- Exclusions for injury to employees of the insured arising out of that employment, and injury covered by workers’ compensation and other laws
- Exclusions for pollution events and pollution-cleanup costs
- Exclusions for damage to property owned, rented, or occupied by the insured
- Exclusions for contractual liability assumed by the insured
- Exclusions for damage to the insured’s own work or product
- Exclusions for injury arising out of the sale or furnishing of liquor
- Exclusions for injury or damage arising out of the use of auto and watercraft
- Exclusions for injury arising out of asbestos, silica dust, mold, and other toxic substances
- Exclusions for the insured’s completed operations
- Exclusions for damage or injury resulting from insured’s professional liability
- Coverage under excess-liability insurance issues
We have experience defending third-party claims and pursuing declaratory-judgment actions relating to general liability insurance. We are familiar with and have represented insurers in litigation involving:
- Disputes over trigger of coverage in long-tail bodily injury and property-damage cases, including issues of trigger
- Disputes over coverage afforded by claims-made policies, when either a claim is untimely made or reported
- Disputes over exhaustion of limits
- Interpretation of exclusions for bodily injury and property damage arising out of assault and battery, pollution, owned property, and professional services
- Applicability of exclusions for personal-and-advertising injury arising out of the knowing violation of the rights of another, material published with knowledge of falsity, criminal acts, breach of contract, and copyright or trademark infringement
- Environmental damage from oil-and-gas activities including disposal of oilfield and other wastes, oilfield pipe cleaning, and oilfield legacy cases involving contamination from continued presence of wells, pits, canals, etc.
- Bodily injury and property damage arising out of the presence of mold, mildew, bacteria, and other organic pathogens in homes, offices, and other locations
- Property damage to the insured’s own work or product, including disputes regarding coverage for damage to property incorporating the insured’s work or product
- Disputes regarding coverage and duty-to-defend claims for injunctive and equitable relief
- Litigation involving scope of coverage under endorsements limiting coverage to designated premises and operations
- Controversies arising from misrepresentations in insurance applications, fraud, intentional burning, mutual mistake, and rescission claims
- Issues relating to coverage for bankrupt and insolvent insureds, and payment of insurance proceeds on behalf of such entities.