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“Swift Distribution as the California Supreme Court’s Commencement Speech: Is the Ruling the First Day of the Rest of the Disparagement Offense’s Life?” Mealey’s Emerging Insurance Disputes

August 7, 2014
Jonathan L. Schwartz

“The California Supreme Court had a rare and enviable opportunity to deliver the seminal ruling on coverage for implied disparagement claims under the Disparagement Offense,” writes Jonathan L. Schwartz, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group.

“Although the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. Swift Distribution, Inc., 59 Cal. 4th 277, 326 P.3d 253, 172 Cal. Rptr. 3d 653 (Jun. 12, 2014), was a step in the right direction and importantly corrected a radical misstep by the Court of Appeal in interpreting the Offense, it did not bring about the watershed moment insurers hoped for and did not so significantly limit the Disparagement Offense as policyholders feared it would.”

In this article written for Mealey’s Emerging Insurance Disputes, Jonathan concludes the in-depth analysis of the Swift Distribution case that he began with an extensive article in the Winter 2013 edition of Appleman’s Current Critical Issues Quarterly while the case was pending. That article, “Class Clown, Most Likely To Succeed, Biggest Flirt: How High School Yearbook Superlatives Can Influence Coverage for Implied Disparagement Claims,” is available through Lexis or upon request of the author.