Coverage B Claims

Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group has a team of insurance coverage practitioners dedicated to counseling insurers on claims for which coverage is sought under Coverage B of the standard CGL policy. Our team stands ready to defend insurers in litigation, provide pre-suit analysis, counsel and assist with claim strategy, and prosecute affirmative declaratory judgment and contribution actions throughout the United States.

Coverage B encompasses a broad swath of subject matter, and our attorneys have decades of experience in these areas to draw upon. Our attorneys are armed with a robust understanding of the nuances of insurance relating to Coverage B claims. We bring that historical knowledge and deep experience to bear on every assignment with the goal of providing cost-effective, sophisticated advocacy.

In particular, our experience counseling insurers, conducting investigations, and litigating coverage involves the following subject matter:

  • Privacy class actions
  • Product disparagement
  • Defamation
  • Copyright infringement
  • Patent infringement
  • Trademark infringement
  • Trade dress infringement
  • False arrest
  • False imprisonment
  • Civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 et seq.
  • Wrongful eviction

In addition to our case work, our lawyers are nationally recognized authorities on Coverage B issues who frequently publish articles and present on this topic across the country. Our team has one of the editors in chief, plus the authors of one of the central chapters, for the Coverage B Compendium published by DRI, the largest international organization of defense lawyers.

Representative Matters

  • Litigated a copyright infringement case of first impression to the North Carolina Supreme Court where our attorneys successfully obtained a declaration for our client that there was no duty to defend because the claims only alleged false statements about the insured’s own products. The case involved important issues on the scope of an insurer’s duty to defend and to provide coverage under the advertising injury provisions of a CGL policy. It was recognized by Mealey’s Insurance as one of the Top 10 insurance coverage decisions in the country in 2010.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a national carrier in a coverage dispute involving a defamation action by one dentist against a competitor. We successfully persuaded both the federal district court and the Eighth Circuit that the claim involved uncovered malicious defamation.
  • Litigated on behalf of multiple insurers nearly two dozen declaratory judgment actions involving coverage disputes under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Most cases settled through mediation, but we obtained summary judgment for a major carrier in in one case venued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Litigated and settled favorably for a national insurer a declaratory judgment action involving a multimillion-dollar coverage dispute over counterfeit software.
  • Acted as coverage and trial counsel for a law enforcement/municipal liability insurer concerning civil rights violations/wrongful imprisonment claims throughout the United States.
  • Advised and counseled a national insurer regarding the extent to which claims in a lawsuit against a tavern alleging discrimination were potentially covered under Coverage B as defamation, where the lawsuit did not specifically assert a cause of action for defamation, but the allegations could be read to set forth a claim for slander. This advice involved a nationwide review of the treatment given by courts to similar claims, in which the pleaded allegations could be read to support a cause of action for defamation, although a claim for defamation is not specifically pleaded, and the extent to which those courts found coverage available for the claims under Coverage B.
  • Advised and counseled a national insurer regarding the extent to which illegal lockout claims were covered under Coverage B issued to an organization that owns and operates various quarries.  This assignment implicated five separate primary policies and five separate excess policies for a 24-count complaint and an eight-count third-party complaint, of which only a small portion of the claims were covered, including whether the insurer could offer to provide a defense for only the covered counts or could offer to contribute a portion of the defense costs representing the covered counts.