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Coverage Opinions
Effective Date: March 19, 2014
Vol. 3, Iss. 5
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Declarations: The Coverage Opinions Interview With Mark Geragos
His New Book; Celebrity Clients; Using The Media; Suing Insurance Companies; And Giving Him Fashion Advice

On Monday famed attorney Mark Geragos was scheduled to be in an L.A. courtroom representing his client, singer Chris Brown, who was arrested on Friday after allegedly being booted from a court-ordered drug rehab program. This stemmed from his 2009 plea to felony assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna. But on Saturday afternoon Geragos was busy with something else – jawing with Coverage Opinions about suing insurance companies and representing Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson And Insurance Coverage
My interview with Mark Geragos made me think of the article that I published in late 2009 in which I broke the story about a secret that Michael Jackson long kept – he had a burning desire to get into the insurance claims business. Check out the lyrics of “Beat It” that Michael had long-dreamed to sing.

Randy Spencer’s Open Mic: Appeals Court Interprets The “Coconut Exclusion”
[I Am Not Making This Up]

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all along comes a Louisiana Court of Appeals’s decision that addresses the applicability of the “Coconut Exclusion” in a commercial general liability policy.

Louisiana’s Doubloon-y Mardi Gras Statutes
Did you know that a statute is on the books in the Pelican State that grants immunity for injury caused by throwing “missiles” from a parade float? Louisiana court addresses the applicability of the statute to a blow-pop and cabbage tossed from a float.

Tapas: Small Dishes Of Insurance Coverage News And Notes
Court Sanctions Insurer Counsel For Exceeding Page Limit
The Biggest Insurance Coverage Case EVER

Four Leaf Cover: St. Patrick’s Day And Insurance Coverage
Over 50 years ago the Minnesota Supreme Court addressed coverage for a St. Patrick’s Day incident that is heartwarming.

Court Holds That “Medical Monitoring” Qualifies As “Bodily Injury”
The question whether so-called “medical monitoring” qualifies as “bodily injury,” for purposes of triggering coverage under a liability policy, is one that has long been asked. But despite the popularity of the question, there are very few cases, even nationally, that have answered it. The issue was recently addressed by a federal court in Kentucky.

Appeals Court: Is A Non-Profit “In The Business Of” Selling Or Serving Alcohol For Purposes Of The Liquor Liability Exclusion?
[Relevance To ISO’s New Liquor Liability Exclusion]

The Court of Appeals of Ohio recently addressed a novel issue concerning the applicability of a Liquor Liability Exclusion contained in a commercial general liability policy.

Glass Houses: Court Finds That Coverage Is Owed Despite Obvious Typo In Policy (Court’s Opinion Has Three Typos In It)
Insurance policies sometimes contain typographical errors. Usually it is a no harm—no foul situation. But see what happened when an Ohio trial court was confronted with a typographical error in a policy that altered its meaning -- but such altered meaning made no sense and the likely intended meaning was easy to see.

Insurer's Use Of “House Counsel” Need Not Be Stated In Its Policies
With a few exceptions, the practice by insurers, of using “house counsel” to defend their insureds, against third-party claims, is considered kosher. The Seventh Circuit addressed whether an insurer was now obligated to inform an insured, in its policy, that “house” counsel may be used.





Vol. 3, Iss. 5
March 19, 2014



If Mistrial, an insiders’ look at the criminal justice system, contained nothing but the six pages in which the authors skewer legal commentator Nancy Grace, the book would be well-worth the price. That being so, think of it as authors Mark Geragos and Pat Harris giving you 268 extra pages for free. Geragos and law partner Harris team-up in Mistrial to bring you their take – through the lenses of their long careers as criminal defense attorneys -- on an incalculable number of facets of criminal practice. But this is no Crim. Pro case book.

Of course, Geragos is easily one of the best-known lawyers in America. He has a long list of celebrity clients, including Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Winona Rider and Mike Tyson (and the list on his L.A. firm’s website goes on and on) as well as clients that became celebrities through their legal woes, such as Susan McDougal, Gary Condit and Scott Peterson. Geragos has himself achieved celebrity status on account of his frequent media appearances--especially cable news where he has long been a fixture providing commentary on the case du jour getting the media’s attention. He is currently in the midst of a test run in which he is co-hosting a new show on CNN – Making the Case (Mondays, 10:30 PM EDT). Here he and co-host Sunny Hostin (taking the prosecution side) debate current cases and legal issues.

Coincidentally, speaking of Geragos’s celebrity clients, as I was writing this it was announced that singer Chris Brown was arrested in L.A. after allegedly being booted from a court-ordered drug rehab program. Brown is on probation following a June 2009 plea to felony assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna. Geragos represented Brown in that case [after asking his seventeen year-old daughter who he was] and is now handling Brown’s latest run-in with the law. I was concerned that Chris Brown’s troubles could nix my call with Geragos that had been scheduled for the day after his arrest. I found myself following the story on TMZ to try to figure out if it could alter Coverage Opinions scheduling. [First time, and surely the last time, that Coverage Opinions and TMZ are mentioned in the same sentence.]

Geragos has plenty to say in Mistrial about his celebrity clients. He’d better. You don’t represent the granddaddy of all celebrities – Michael Jackson -- for eighteen months and then write a book without providing some behind the scenes stories. That would be like buying a lollipop and only getting the stick.

Geragos kindly agreed to give me some time to discuss Mistrial and a couple of important cases of his against insurance companies for coverage. His schedule is beyond frenetic -- as I saw over the course of a week trying to find a time to speak. He was able to do it on Saturday afternoon. His assistant told me on Friday that she would let me know what time after she finished arranging his Saturday schedule. The next time someone tells you how busy they are, ask them if they need an assistant to arrange their Saturday schedule.

Geragos was very gracious on the call, we shared some laughs, he answered all of my questions and was patient with me when I needed to stop for a second to finish taking notes – explaining to him that I’m not a journalist; just an insurance lawyer. I began with a Request for Admission: Admit that you owe all of your success to spending your formative years living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Geragos is a graduate of Haverford College. He admitted it, as well as that he owed his success to riding the “Paoli Local.” Coincidentally, this is the train line that I’ve taken to and from the office for the past seventeen years. It hasn’t been called the Paoli Local for years so I got a kick out of hearing Geragos use that long-ago name.

Mistrial – An Inside Look At How The Criminal Justice System Works… And Sometimes Doesn’t

Geragos states in the introduction that Mistrial is a behind the scenes look, as never before, of the criminal justice system. The idea is to give the reader a glimpse of the good, the bad and the ugly. Think of it this way. You watch a lifetime of baseball games. But despite how badly you want to, you never get to hear what gets said between the pitcher and catcher during a mound conference. Mistrial lets you in on the criminal justice system’s mound conferences.

The authors set out to achieve their objectives by generally focusing on several areas: (1) why the criminal justice system is becoming unfairly weighted toward the prosecution; (2) how defense attorneys, prosecutors, police officers, judges and juries act; (3) a look at some of their cases involving celebrity clients; (4) the role of the media in the criminal justice system; and (5) a discussion of various legal issues and aspects of the system. The authors close with ten suggestions on how to improve the system.

The book covers a lot of ground. But it has one theme: the criminal justice system is becoming unfairly weighted toward the prosecution. The authors set out a thorough explanation for holding this view, focusing on three events in the 1980s and 90s. Namely, the politicization of the justice system, i.e., political candidates cannot afford to be branded as soft on crime; the O.J. Simpson verdict serving as an “I told you so” moment – look, murderers are going free (the authors say that Simpson did it); and television commentators pandering to the O.J. crowd and ranting and raving that the court system is stacked against the victim and for the defense. In this category is Nancy Grace, who the authors call “the poster child for mass hysteria.”

The authors have more to say about Grace – “Every circus has to have a clown, which brings us to Nancy Grace.” I don’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’ll stop there. I asked Geragos if Grace had anything to say to him about the unflattering portrayal of her in Mistrial. He told me that he ran into her several months ago at CNN’s Hollywood studio and she yelled at him and then gave him a hug.

While the authors lament that the criminal justice system is becoming unfairly weighted toward the prosecution, I asked Geragos about prosecutors’ gripe that it is becoming more difficult to get a conviction because of the so-called “CSI Factor.” This is the argument that, despite a mountain of circumstantial evidence pointing toward guilt, jurors won’t convict unless they see forensic evidence along the lines of what is portrayed in shows like CSI, such as fingerprints, DNA or some carpet fiber from the murder scene found on the defendant’s jacket.

Geragos did not take well to this. He told me that the CSI Factor is “non-existent.” The percentage conviction rate in federal and state courts has been in the high 90s for the past 20 years. So where’s the CSI Factor, he ask me? He called the CSI Factor “sour grapes” and the last act of a desperate prosecutor looking for something to blame for a loss. Geragos also had this to say about prosecutors – It is the “easiest job in the world” and a monkey can do to as long as you can teach it to say “what happened next.”

Celebrity Clients

If you are looking for some juice about celebrity clients, Mistrial delivers—with the most words saved for Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson. I won’t say much about this here to avoid being a spoiler for these wonderful insider accounts. But I couldn’t have Geragos on the phone without having him say something about each case.

Geragos and Harris represented Michael Jackson for eighteen months after he was arrested for alleged sexual assault of a fourteen year boy. However, they did not get to try the case. Michael’s camp was uncomfortable with them representing Scott Peterson and Michael at the same time. Michael was acquitted. Geragos and Harris acknowledge that some of Michael’s behavior around children was odd. However, they are steadfast that he was “absolutely 100 percent innocent” of the charges. [Very clever boys. I got the O.J. plea reference.]

I asked Geragos what would be his first thought about Michael Jackson if one of his songs came on the radio right now. This was easy – watching him interact with his children at his home. Geragos described Jackson as a “fantastic father.”

Geragos and Harris represented Scott Peterson – who they describe as the most hated man in America. Peterson was accused of murdering his pregnant wife on whom he was cheating. He lied to his mistress about having a wife. In trying to describe why Peterson was so hated the authors point to one part of the equation – he “became a symbol for every wronged woman who wanted to see her ex rot in hell.” Peterson was found guilty and sentenced to death. Geragos is not his appellate counsel. Geragos says that if you give him ten minutes he can convince you of Peterson’s innocence or at the very least create a doubt in your mind.

Geragos told me that representing Peterson was a “no-win situation.” If you lost it was a disaster and if you won you were a pariah. He told me about a CNN poll after the verdict asking whether he would still have a career. He’s still around, Geragos pointed out to me.

The Role Of The Media

The authors have a lot to say about the media – how to use it, when to and when not to, along with many real life examples from their cases of how these different strategies played out. E.g., not involving the media in the Chris Brown – Rihanna case was key to the success of the plea agreement reached. It is hard to imagine anyone more qualified to discuss this issue than these two. The authors can’t stress enough that the media can play a role in the outcome of trials and that is not going away. They are blunt: “Sometimes using the media can help a client’s case a great deal, and we are certainly not above manipulating the media in our favor.” If you are a trial lawyer, the authors say, dealing with the media is now part of your job.

This sums up Geragos’s view of the media as stated in Mistrial: “The bottom line for me is that you can’t have media coverage of a case that considers “balance” to be a rabid prosecution view versus a milder prosecution view. I don’t ask people to believe what the defense is saying; I just want to make sure that they hear what the defense is saying. I don’t like the yelling and the silliness and the absurdist comments that go along with tabloid media, but it is important to at least try to stop it from being a complete railroading of every person even suspected of a crime. Especially since much of the televised vitriol is now leaking into the courtroom and the cases themselves.”

It is easy for me to imagine a young lawyer taking a case, pro bono, because he or she believes that it has the potential to obtain media attention. The lawyer’s idea may be to work for free, in exchange for the media exposure, in hopes that doing so will get him or her paid work down the road. I asked Geragos about this “business model.” He did not endorse it. Not even close. He said that there are lawyers that have tried it and gone on to become “one hit wonders.” This is not a path to success, he told me. He recommended a different one -- work hard for your clients.

With Geragos now co-hosting a new legal commentary show on CNN, I had to ask the obvious question – Is this the beginning of getting away from the day to day practice of law in favor of a greater focus on media work? His answer – an unambiguous no. He told that he is “totally addicted to the practice of law” and described himself as a “bear” in the office if he is not in court for a day or two.

Suing Insurance Companies

Since Coverage Opinions is all about insurance I needed an angle for that. Geragos didn’t disappoint. Despite all of his front page celebrity cases, he told me that the two most satisfying of his career involved coverage.

Geragos – who is Armenian and devoted to his heritage -- has for years been involved in cases with AXA and New York Life Insurance Company over benefits owed under life insurance policies issued to Armenians in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Armenians say that 1.5 million of their people were killed between 1915 and 1923 under Ottoman Turkish rule. The chaos following the killings prevented many from obtaining their insurance proceeds. The New York Life settlement (2004) was for $20 million and the AXA settlement (2005) was for $17 million. The settlement funds were earmarked for heirs of policyholders and Armenian-related charities. Succeeding in these cases was no easy task. It involved pursuing insurance records from 90 years ago, undertaking worldwide class action notice requirements of staggering complexity and administration that, based on my review of one PACER docket, remains active today.

The other most satisfying case of Geragos’s career involved a 2012 trial in which Geragos and co-counsel won an $8 million verdict against an insurer, for its bad faith handling of a homeowner’s claim, arising out of a truck that crashed into a home and ignited a fire that briefly trapped the homeowners. Geragos told me that the insurer refused to pay $24,000 to a 90 year old World War II veteran. According to a Los Angeles Times story, the jury concluded that the insurer acted with malice and fraud in failing to pay the claim. The Times also reported that one aspect of the case was that the insurer’s conduct was directed at a senior citizen -- who is considered, under California law, to be more vulnerable than other members of the population. Geragos made a point to me about the importance of the “elder abuse” aspect of the case and the role that it played in securing the $8 million verdict (which was a combination of compensatory and punitive damages). There was no appeal.

There is no doubt that, based on the tone in Geragos’s voice when discussing the Armenian Genocide and this bad faith case, these insurance victories are very special to him – and not about whatever checks he may have cashed from them. If you don’t believe that, consider that his firm website states that the firm has won over $1 billion for its clients. So it seems that he doesn’t need all of his cases to be about the money. Speaking of which, Geragos described his firm as a “Robin Hood practice” – those that pay the rack rate support the firm’s pro bono efforts.

Fashion Advice

As my call with Geragos was coming to an end I decided to give him some advice – because advice from me is just what he needs. Geragos’s co-host on CNN’s Making the Case, Sunny Hostin, is, well, how should I put this diplomatically, more photogenic than him. I tactfully told him that there was nothing he could do to get more people to look at him than Sunny. He quickly agreed. I told him that, while it certainly wouldn’t solve the problem, he should add a pocket square to his suit jacket. A little more color on his suit would help him stand out I explained. It turns out that he did wear a pocket square on the show but was told to take it out. For some reason he didn’t want to tell me why and said he would leave it to me to figure that out. I give up. In any event Mark, even if CNN put the kibosh on the pocket square, keep it handy anyway. In case you run into Nancy Grace you may want to use it to muffle her words.



Vol. 3, Iss.5
March 19, 2014


Michael Jackson
And Insurance Coverage

My interview with Mark Geragos made me think of the article that I published in late 2009 in which I broke the story about a secret that Michael Jackson kept. The article is reprinted below.

Not many people know this, but in the early 1980s Michael Jackson had grown tired of a lifetime in the music industry and was looking for a new challenge. His was a career into which he had been born. And because of that he had always wanted to chart his own course. A fire had long been burning in Michael’s belly to get into the insurance claims business. By 1982 it was an inferno that he could no longer control. The time had come for him to pursue his dream. Michael broke the news to Quincy Jones that the recording sessions for Thriller were off. Jones, who had just had a homeowner’s claim denied, and was in a foul mood toward insurance companies, convinced Michael that the insurance industry was no place for someone so sensitive.

So with a heavy heart Michael went into the studio and recorded Thriller. And as everyone knows, it went on to become the number one selling album of all time. But despite Thriller providing Michael with unimaginable wealth and fame, he was never able to stop thinking about the career in claims that never was. All agree that Michael was a tortured soul. And there has been much speculation why. This is it.

As Michael lay awake at night during that post-Thriller period, thinking about concurrent causation and the pollution exclusion, it was inevitable that “Beat It,” his new and wildly successful song, would come on the bedside clock radio. And as he listened to himself telling a wanna-be tough guy to avoid a fight he can’t win, a different set of lyrics ran through his head. But he kept them bottled-up inside. It was only after his untimely and tragic death, when his Neverland Ranch was being cleaned out, that a folded up piece of loose leaf paper was discovered deep in the back of a desk drawer. On it were scribbled the lyrics of “Beat It” that Michael had long dreamed to sing:

We told you don’t you ever make a claim around here
Don’t wanna see your loss, you better not mess up our fiscal year
There’s disclaimer in our eyes and our letter’s very clear
So beat it, just beat it

You better file somewhere else, better do what you can
You ain’t gonna see no money, in your lifespan
You wanna push back, but we’re the size of Hoover Dam
We tell you beat it, but you seem to have no attention span

Just beat it, beat it, don’t get on our balance sheet-it
Our bank account will not be depleted
Showin’ how funky and strong is our fight
It doesn’t matter if we’re not exactly right
We still won’t pay for your dog bite
Just beat it, beat it
Our money’s so well secreted

We’re out to get you, better get another quote while you can
Don’t wanna be uninsured, for your mini van
You wanna stay covered, and not end up as broke as Ed McMahon
So beat it, just beat it

We’re here to show you that we’re really not scared
If you get water in your basement that ain’t no time to be unprepared
And if we finally pay your claim you’ll have an uninsured share
So beat it, we need to stay a billionaire

Just beat it, beat it
We will not be defeated
We’ll keep you off our balance sheet-it
Don’t make us have to repeat it
Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it


Vol. 3, Iss. 5
March 19, 2014


Randy Spencer’s Open Mic:
Appeals Court Interprets The “Coconut Exclusion” [I Am Not Making This Up]

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all along comes Brooks v. Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, No. 2012CA1307 (La. Ct. App. Mar. 6, 2013). At issue was the applicability of the “Coconut Exclusion” in a commercial general liability policy. [I thought my “Key Issues” coverage book was pretty comprehensive. Apparently not so much.]

Faith Brooks sustained injuries (at least a broken nose) when a coconut thrown by a rider in the Zulu parade hit her in the face. She and her family filed suit against the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, alleging that her injuries were caused by: The deliberate and wanton act or gross negligence of the Zulu Krewe and organization, its officers, directors and members, in several non-exclusive ways, including: throwing a coconut from the float directly at Faith Brooks, striking her in the face; failing to enforce the mandatory rules and regulations adopted by the Zulu Krewe and organization, the Mardi Gras Association and the City of New Orleans barring any member or float rider from throwing a coconut or other inherently dangerous hard object from the float at the spectators; and throwing a coconut when Zulu, its members and float riders, knew or certainly should have known, that injury to one or more spectators was substantially certain, if not inevitable. Lloyd’s was named as a defendant in plaintiffs’ first amended petition.

Lloyd’s issued a policy (presumably commercial general liability) to Zulu. Lloyd’s undertook Zulu’s defense under a reservation of rights. The Lloyd’s policy contained, by way of a General Change Endorsement, the oooold “Coconut Exclusion,” which provided: “[i]t is hereby agreed and understood that there will be no coverage for any coconut thrown in any fashion from anywhere on the float. Coconuts may be handed from the first layer of the float only.”

Seems simple enough. This isn’t exactly some manuscript antitrust endorsement in a D&O policy we’re talking about here. Lloyd’s, not milking the case, filed an answer and motion for summary judgment on the same day. The trial court granted Lloyd’s motion.

Zulu went to the Court of Appeal of Louisiana and argued that summary judgment was inappropriate because the petition stated that the claims presented were “non-exclusive.” This, Zulu argued, created the possibility of liability pending further, adequate discovery. In other words, Zulu maintained that it was “impossible to say that the Lloyd’s policy excluded coverage pending adequate discovery.” The appeals court concluded that Zulu’s argument had merit. The court was quick to point out that, in reaching its decision, it was not meaning to suggest or imply that Lloyd’s appointed counsel rendered anything less than adequate representation to Zulu. “Instead, it merely appears from the record that no discovery was conducted on Zulu’s behalf during the time that it was represented by Lloyd’s appointed counsel.” Under these circumstances, the court held that the trial court “abused its discretion in ruling on the motion for summary judgment before allowing Zulu a meaningful opportunity to conduct discovery. Because there is the possibility that additional discovery could reveal a material issue of fact, the granting of summary judgment at this stage of the case was premature.”

While the court held that summary judgment for Lloyd’s was premature, it seems inevitable that that’s where the case is going. I’ve looked at the Coconut Exclusion six ways from Sunday and I just can’t see any way a policyholder can crack this nut.


Vol. 3, Iss. 5
March 19, 2014

Louisiana’s Doubloon-y Mardi Gras Statutes

Mardi Gras was March 4th. The last issue of Coverage Opinions was March 5th. So, yes, this article is a little late. Why it was not in the last issue is a long story. Mardi Gras is, needless to say, a big part of life in New Orleans. So it should come as no surprise that the Louisiana legislature has an interest in keeping it going. One way to do that is to enact statutes to protect the sponsors of Mardi Gras parades from being sued out of business if something goes wrong during a parade that causes injury. [Coincidentally, see this issue’s “Randy Spencer’s Open Mic” column for the insurance aspect of this issue.]

To those of you not in Louisiana -- Did you know that the following statute is on the books in the Pelican State that grants immunity from throwing “missiles?”:

Any person who is attending or participating in one of the organized parades of floats or persons listed in Subsection A of this Section, when the parade begins and ends between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight of the same day, assumes the risk of being struck by any missile whatsoever which has been traditionally thrown, tossed, or hurled by members of the krewe or organization in such parades held prior to the effective date of this Section. The items shall include but are not limited to beads, cups, coconuts, and doubloons unless said loss or damage was caused by the deliberate and wanton act or gross negligence of said krewe or organization.

LSA-R.S. 9:2796

Schell v. K&K Insurance Group, 756 So. 2d 546 (La. Ct. App. 2000) provides an example of parade immunity under a closely related statute. Vincent Schell filed suit against the Louisiana Irish–Italian Association, its insurer K & K Insurance Group, and Jane Doe for damages allegedly suffered when he was watching a parade and “suddenly and without warning” was struck in the face. First by a blow-pop which hit his upper lip and front tooth. Then, while he was tending to his lip, he was struck by a large cabbage that severely cut his lip and damaged his front teeth. Schell alleged that “Jane Doe”, the anonymous float rider who threw the “offending missiles,” was negligent for failing to see what she should have seen and failing to act as a reasonable person. Schell alleged that the Association was grossly negligent for allowing its members to throw objects which it knew or should have known were likely to cause injury, failing to properly instruct its members in throwing objects and allowing an inexperienced member to ride on its floats.

The court held: “After reviewing the record in this matter, we conclude that the Association bore its burden of proving immunity under the statute for purposes of summary judgment. Under the statute, a plaintiff must prove gross negligence by the organization. Such negligence by a member does not in itself impose liability upon the organization. An individual member can still be held liable under the statute for individual acts of negligence. The record contains no facts to support an allegation of gross negligence on the part of the Association.” (emphasis added).


Vol. 3, Iss. 5
March 19, 2014

Well the inaugural edition of the Tapas column – where small dishes of insurance coverage news and notes are served – wasn’t a bust. To the contrary, I think it worked and it received good feedback.

In case you missed it last issue, when putting together Coverage Opinions I often come across interesting cases, articles or general news items that are worthy of note, but not long enough to justify a stand-alone article. So these items usually go by the wayside. Now, to prevent these nuggets from getting lost, they will be featured in the Tapas column – a collection of brief insurance news and notes and odds and ends.

Court Sanctions Insurer Counsel For Exceeding Page Limit

I’ve never seen a ruling such as this in a coverage case:

“Page limits Sanctions
Arrowood’s Counsel Sedgwick, LLP’s Reply to Bel Air’s Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgment, failed to comply with the Court’s Order on Page Limits. Sedgwick, on behalf of Arrowood, filed an untimely ex parte motion for permission to submit a reply brief in excess of 10 pages. However, a request to file a brief exceeding the page limit must be filed before the brief at issue is filed. Accordingly, Sedgwick is ordered to pay a sanction in the amount of $200.00 ($50.00 per page for the four pages over the page limit) within ten (10) days of the date of this order.” Arrowood Indem. Co. v. Bel Air Mart, No. 11–00976 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 4, 2014).

If courts want to limit the number of pages in briefs the answer is not to set a fixed number. The better, and simpler, approach is to impose a $50.00 sanction for each impertinent page.

The Biggest Insurance Coverage Case EVER

All I can say is that Allstate’s Board of Directors must be breathing a mighty big sigh of relief that it came out on top in Nelson v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 681 MDA 21013 (Pa. Super. Ct. Mar. 12, 2014). Allstate denied Purnell Nelson’s claim, under a renter’s insurance policy, for the theft of 1,000 poems that he authored. Nelson sued Allstate. His complaint, in pencil and scrawled in barely legible longhand, touted his authorial prowess and the unfortunate events by which he came to lose the poems. The trial court dismissed the complaint as frivolous – presumably finding no rhyme or reason to the allegations.

Nelson’s second stanza - the Pennsylvania Superior Court – where he filed a brief that was hand-written and barely legible. At the conclusion of the brief Nelson asserted a right to compensatory damages in the amount of “$1 Google.” The court took this to mean “one googol,” which it then concluded meant that Nelson was seeking damages in the amount of $10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I always thought that the biggest number possible was a trillion gazillion. But that’s why I’m not a mathematician. [Googol is the namesake of Google. You can learn more about this really big number at Wikipedia.]

The Superior Court concluded that Nelson’s brief did not contain any coherent argument. No, really. It did. The court quashed the appeal, no doubt leaving Nelson onomato-p.o.-ed.


Vol. 3, Iss.5
March 19, 2014


Four Leaf Cover: St. Patrick’s Day And Insurance Coverage

There are only a handful of coverage cases related to St. Patrick’s Day. And as you can imagine, given how some celebrate the holiday, they are on the unpleasant side. But over 50 years ago, in St. Paul Mercury Indemnity Co. v. Knoph, 87 N.W.2d 636 (Minn. 1958), the Minnesota Supreme Court addressed coverage for a St. Patrick’s Day incident that is heartwarming.

Maurice Knoph was a partner in a taxicab business. On the evening of March 17 he received a call for a cab at the company office from Mr. and Mrs. O’Rourke. A driver, who had his cab with him at home, was dispatched to pick up the O’Rourkes. However, the driver never reached the O’Rourke’s home because of a flat tire. Knoph was immediately notified. Since none of the other cabs were available, and since Knoph was about to leave for home anyway, he decided to transport the O’Rourkes himself. He used his own personal car, a 1954 Mercury, which was insured by St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. When Knoph arrived at the O’Rourke home he pulled into the driveway and the O’Rourkes, believing this to be the cab they ordered, came outside, got in and proceeded toward their destination. During the trip Knoph explained to the O’Rourkes the circumstances that led to him being their driver.

A collision occurred. Knoph was sued and he looked to St. Paul to defend him. The insurer denied that it owed coverage because of an exclusion in the policy for use of a vehicle as a public or livery conveyance. St. Paul argued that Knoph merely substituted his personal car for one of the company taxicabs and that he intended to charge a fare. Thus, as the insurer saw it, he was using his automobile as a public or livery conveyance. Knoph, on the other hand, argued that he was “merely rendering a service to an ‘Irishman’ by taking him to a St. Patrick’s day party,” that he was on his way home anyway and he did not intend to charge the O’Rourkes. Thus, he argued that he did not violate the terms of his policy. Knoph also argued that to use his car as a taxicab, when it was not so licensed or equipped, or to act as a cab driver when he had no chauffeur’s license, would have violated state law. And this he never intended to do.

Following a review of several cases nationally, the court held: “When the dispatched cab became disabled, [Knoph] was not bound to substitute his automobile for it. Whether or not he intended to charge a fare is immaterial. What is important is that in one isolated instance he transported a couple who were in a special predicament. We cannot say that he thereby converted his car into a public or livery conveyance. Therefore we conclude that on the facts as presented, defendant’s coverage under the policy was not suspended during the time he was transporting the O’Rourkes.” [The court went on to address some other issues that ultimately resulted in the court granting a new trial.]

Postscript: Counsel for St. Paul in Knoph was David Nord and O.C. Adamson II of Meagher, Geer, Markham & Anderson. I reached out to my friend and Best Lawyer’s 2014 Minnesota Insurance Law Lawyer of the Year, Chuck Spevacek of Meagher & Geer, to let him know I was writing about an old case from his firm. He shared with me that Ockie Adamson was one of the great appellate lawyers in Minnesota history and the long-time co-author of Minnesota Practice. He is one of the rare insurance defense lawyers to argue a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Rush v. Savchuk, 444 U.S. 320 (1980) was a personal jurisdiction case that answered, in the negative, whether the fact the defendant’s insurance company did business in Minnesota was enough to confer personal jurisdiction over the insured defendant, a non-Minnesota resident with no other ties to the state.


Vol. 3, Iss.5
March 19, 2014


Court Holds That “Medical Monitoring” Qualifies As “Bodily Injury”

The question whether so-called “medical monitoring” qualifies as “bodily injury,” for purposes of triggering coverage under a liability policy, is one that has long been asked. But despite the popularity of the question, there are very few cases, even nationally, that have answered it. What’s more, the few decisions on the issue are generally fact-driven and not always accompanied by a detailed rationale. This combination of factors can make for a challenging time, for policyholders and insurers, and their counsel, when confronted with the medical monitoring question.

As for what is medical monitoring in the first place, given that the cases are fact sensitive, that is best demonstrated by way of the examples provided in some of the few cases that have addressed whether such monitoring is “bodily injury.” But, in general, it is the establishment of a fund to pay for future testing of individuals to determine if they have sustained a certain type of injury on account of a prior incident.

Whether medical monitoring qualifies as “bodily injury” recently arose in Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Richie Enterprises, LLC, No. 12-186 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 4, 2014). As an unreported decision, from a District Court in Kentucky, Ritchie is not some sort of wide-spread pronouncement of whether “medical monitoring” qualifies as “bodily injury.” But when an issue has not been the subject of many decisions, even nationally, unreported decisions from District Courts in Kentucky can take on more importance nationally than they might otherwise.

At issue in Richie was coverage for Ritchie Enterprises, LLC, a pharmaceutical drug distributor. The West Virginia Attorney General sued Richie and twelve other pharmaceutical drug distributors, alleging that “they illegally distributed controlled substances by supplying physicians and drugstores with drug quantities in excess of legitimate medical need. According to the AG, Richie and the other drug distribution companies became an integral part of the ‘pill mills’ in West Virginia.” The AG asserted numerous causes of action against Richie and the other drug distributors. In general, the AG alleged violations of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act by Ritchie failing to diligently respond to suspicious orders and filling them. The AG also alleged that Ritchie “willfully turned a blind eye towards the actual facts by regularly distributing large quantities of controlled substances to customers.” In addition to these causes of action, others asserted by the AG were for violation of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act, anti-trust violations, public nuisance and negligence.

Turning to the relevant portion for discussion here, in Count VII, the AG sought a court-approved medical monitoring program for prescription drug users in West Virginia to aid in diagnosis, treatment, and research.

The court turned to the question whether a defense was owed under Ritchie’s commercial general liability policy. To do so required an examination of such issues as whether the complaint alleged an “occurrence” (accident) and potential applicability of the policy’s intentional and criminal act exclusion. For various reasons, the court held that, at least for duty to defend purposes, the complaint alleged an “occurrence” – yes, the complaint contained allegations of intentional conduct, but it also contained allegations that Ritchie’s conduct was negligent. As for the intentional and criminal act exclusion, the court concluded that it did not preclude a defense: “[T]he conduct of distributing prescription drugs based upon orders placed by pharmacies is not, in and of itself, illegal and the violation of laws cannot be reasonably anticipated. Further, the underlying complaint contains allegations that fall within the insurance policy’s language, as there are allegations that the prescription drug abuse epidemic was ‘fortuitous,’ an ‘accident,’ and an ‘occurrence.’”

But what about the CGL policy’s requirement that the complaint allege “bodily injury?” The insurer argued that West Virginia is not seeking damages for “bodily injury.” Instead, as the insurer saw it, the state was seeking “damages for its economic losses -- namely, the money it has been required to spend because of the prescription drug abuse epidemic in West Virginia.”

The Ritchie court concluded that the complaint sought damages that went beyond economic harm and included allegations seeking damages for “bodily injury.” For this the court pointed to the AG’s claim for a “medical monitoring” program: “The AG alleges that the ‘increased susceptibility to death, injuries and irreparable harm to the health of abusers and dependent users resulting from their exposure to prescription drugs can only be mitigated or addressed by the creation of a Court-supervised fund, financed by the Defendants, that will fund a comprehensive medical monitoring program....’ The AG also alleges that ‘[p]rescription drug users in West Virginia have no adequate remedy at law in that monetary damages alone do not compensate for the continuing nature of the harm to them....’ Further, the AG alleges that ‘[w]ithout a court-approved medical treatment monitoring program, the relevant product users will not receive prompt medical care which could detect and prolong their productive lives, increase prospects for improvement and minimize disability.’”

The court held that such allegations “show that in addition to seeking damages for economic harm, the State of West Virginia is seeking to recover damages on behalf of its citizens for ‘bodily injury.’”

Unfortunately, the Ritchie court provided no real discussion of how it reached this conclusion. It’s decision seemed to have been along the lines of – this involves health and medical care so that makes it “bodily injury.” The court cited Baughman v. U.S. Liability Ins. Co., 662 F. Supp. 2d. 386 (D.N.J. 2009) in support of its decision – which also concluded that medical monitoring qualified as “bodily injury” because, in that case: “The underlying plaintiffs have brought suit to procure, among other things, the costs of medical monitoring ‘as damages' for the ‘bodily injury’ they allegedly suffered due to exposure to dangerous levels of mercury and so the underlying suit falls within the general coverage of the CGL policy.”

Ritchie is one more case to add to the short list addressing whether medical monitoring qualifies as “bodily injury.” But like the others, it is fact driven and the court failed to explain the rationale for its decision.

[FYI – The Baughman court made an effort to synthesize some of the medical monitoring cases to determine when such monitoring is “bodily injury” and when it is not.]


Vol. 3, Iss. 5
March 19, 2014

Appeals Court: Is A Non-Profit “In The Business Of” Selling Or Serving Alcohol For Purposes Of The Liquor Liability Exclusion?
[Relevance To ISO’s New Liquor Liability Exclusion]


There are umpteen decisions addressing coverage under liability policies for incidents involving alcohol. They vary in what they are about and include such things as the scope of a liquor liability exclusion in a commercial general liability policy, e.g., whether it includes “failure to prevent”-type claims; the interplay between a CGL policy that excludes the furnishing of alcohol and a policy that provides coverage for the furnishing of alcohol; and the impact of assault and battery exclusions and sub-limits in these policies given the frequency in which liquor and fisticuffs somehow seem to mix.

The Court of Appeals of Ohio recently addressed a more novel issue concerning the applicability of a liquor liability exclusion contained in a commercial general liability policy. In Amanda Mustard v. Owners Ins. Co., No. 13CA3362 (Ohio Ct. App. Mar. 5, 2014), the court confronted a coverage issue under the following circumstances.

Michael Hiles’s vehicle crossed a center lane on U.S. Route 50 in Ross County, Ohio, striking a vehicle head on that was occupied by the Whitley family. Prior to the accident, Hiles had been drinking alcohol at the Luther Giffin Post No. 14, American Legion, Inc. and was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

The Whitleys filed suit against the Post, Hiles and others for injuries they sustained. The Whitleys and the Post stipulated that the Post was liable under Ohio’s dram shop statute and common law negligence for serving alcohol to Hiles while he was noticeably intoxicated. They stipulated to a $500,000 judgment and the Whitleys agreed not to execute their judgment against the Post, but, instead, seek satisfaction against the Post’s insurer, Owners.

The Whitleys filed an action against Owners, seeking satisfaction of the stipulated judgment. Owners filed a motion for summary judgment -- asserting that the policy issued to the Post excluded liability because the Post was “in the business of” selling alcohol—as described in the CGL policy’s Liquor Liability Exclusion. The Whitleys responded that the Liquor Liability Exclusion did not apply because the Post, being a non-profit entity, was not “in the business of” selling alcohol as required by the exclusion. The trial court granted summary judgment for the insurer, holding that, although the Post is a non-profit organization, it was engaged in ongoing commercial alcohol sales and, therefore, was “in the business of” selling alcohol.

The Whitleys took a second shot with the Ohio Court of Appeals but did not fare any better there. The appeals court noted that both it and the parties failed to locate any Ohio case law addressing whether an insurance policy, excluding coverage to organizations “in the business of” serving alcohol is ambiguous, when applied to a non-profit organization, such as the Post. Without the benefit of Ohio case law the parties and the court looked to case law from other jurisdictions. There was some -- and it went both ways on the issue.

The court chose to follow the majority view and held that “to determine whether the liquor liability exclusion applies, the focus should be on the activities of the insured, rather than on its corporate status.” The court explained that “nonprofits engage in various profitable business activities to accomplish their permitted purposes; their corporate status does not act as an ipso facto declaration that the nonprofit cannot be ‘in the business of’ a specified profit oriented activity.”

Here, the “Post was licensed to sell alcohol under Ohio law and did so on a daily basis. The Post employed four full-time bartenders, whose wages were subject to federal and state withholdings. It routinely provided alcohol to its members and their guests for a charge and derived profits from these sales. Although the income was used to meet the Post’s operating expenses and to accomplish its civil [sic] goals, this does not mean that the Post sold alcoholic beverages without a profit motive. To the contrary, the Post admits that the profits realized from the sale of alcoholic beverages funded its other activities. In fact, in 2009 the Post realized $195,110 in gross profits from the sale of beer and liquor. All of these facts support a finding that the Post was in the business of selling or serving alcoholic beverages, even under the definition argued for by the appellants, regardless of how the profits were used by the Post.” Thus, the court held that, in the relevant context, the phrase “in the business of” was not susceptible to more than one interpretation. It “plainly excludes coverage for liability arising out of the activity of regularly selling alcoholic beverages for profit.”

What does this decision have to do with ISO’s recently amended Liquor Liability Exclusion in its standard commercial general liability policy? Perhaps nothing. But a brief comment is worthwhile. One of the new amendments to the Liquor Liability Exclusion (the less significant of the two) is the addition of a provision stating: “For the purposes of his exclusion, permitting a person to bring alcoholic beverages on your premises, for consumption on your premises, whether or not a fee is charged or a license is required for such activity, is not by itself considered the business of selling, serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages.”

Essentially, by this amendment, the Liquor Liability Exclusion expressly states that it does not apply to a BYOB. However, based on the reasoning of Mustard v. Owners Ins. Co., a BYOB could be considered to be in the business of selling, serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages. As the court stated in Mustard, “to determine whether the liquor liability exclusion applies, the focus should be on the activities of the insured, rather than on its corporate status.”

Even though a BYOB does not formally sell alcoholic beverages, it could, based on the nature of its activities, and not simply its BYOB “status” – i.e., the Mustard test -- qualify as being in the business of selling, serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages. A BYOB may charge a corkage fee, a nominal convenience fee to open a bottle of wine. This could be considered commercial for purposes of qualifying as “selling.” In addition, the BYOB option is likely offered as an inducement to prospective restaurant patrons – enjoy dinner without the need to pay restaurant prices for a bottle of wine. Again, this could be seen as using alcohol for a commercial purpose. Further, by providing glasses, and wait staff that pours wine, the restaurant could be considered to be serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages.

Given that arguments can be made, based on Mustard, that a BYOB qualifies as being in the business of selling, serving or furnishing alcoholic beverages, the case has relevance to ISO’s new Liquor Liability Exclusion, that states exactly the opposite.




Vol. 3, Iss. 5
March 19, 2014

Glass Houses: Court Finds That Coverage Is Owed Despite Obvious Typo In Policy (Court’s Opinion Has Three Typos In It)

Despite the best efforts of everyone involved in the drafting process, insurance policies sometimes contain typographical errors. Usually it is a no harm—no foul situation. Perhaps the provision in the policy never becomes relevant in a claim. Or it may be that, while the typo appears in a provision at issue, it is overlooked because there is no basis for any alternative meaning. But in Bluemile, Inc. v. Atlas Industrial Contractors, Ltd., No. 12CV5597 (Ct. Comm. Pl. Ohio Feb. 25, 2014) the court was confronted with a typographical error in a policy that altered its meaning -- but such altered meaning made no sense and the likely intended meaning was easy to see.

Bluemile, Inc. provides cloud, network, data hosting and phone services. On February 10, 2011, Bluemile suffered an outage that caused a disruption in services from 7:36 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Bluemile alleged that it suffered damages in excess of $7,000,000. Bluemile was insured under a policy with Hartford that provided Business Income and Extended Business Income (“EBI”) coverage. Hartford paid Bluemile $514,898 toward its claim for Business Income coverage. However, the parties disputed the length of time for EBI Coverage.

The EBI language in Bluemile’s policy stated:

Extended Business Income

We will pay for the actual loss of Business Income you
incur during the period that:

(1) Begins on the date property is actually repaired, rebuilt
or replaced and “operations” are (sic) resume; and

(2) Ends on the earlier of:

a. The date you could restore your “operations”
with reasonable speed, to the condition that
would have existed if no direct physical loss or
physical damage occurred; or

b. 90 consecutive days after the date determined in
(a) above.

Bluemile and Hartford disputed the language in subsection 2(b). Bluemile argued that subsection 2(a) governed the length of EBI coverage, while Hartford maintained that there was a typographical error in subsection 2(b) and the length of time is 90 days from the date of repair.

Despite the fact that Bluemile’s interpretation made no sense compared to Hartford’s, the court applied the altered meaning of the policy – one that favored the insured. The court does not do a great job of explaining how the typographical error altered the specifics of the claim from a monetary perspective, but it does explain how it reached its decision.

Hartford conceded that there was no ambiguity in Bluemile’s insurance policy, but nevertheless argued that the EBI provision was subject to an alternative, more reasonable interpretation.

The court was mindful that, when construing an insurance contract, if a doubtful condition written in a contract would make that condition meaningless, and it was possible to give it another construction that would give it meaning and purpose, then the latter construction must apply. Here, the Bluemile court was quick to point out that it was not being asked to interpret ambiguous language, but, rather, a typographical error—specifically whether section (a) referenced in 2(b) of Bluemile’s EBI coverage provision was really supposed to be a (1).

The court held that: “Because the issue is not one of ambiguity, the Court cannot look beyond the language of the contract. Thus, the various editions of the Special Property Coverage Form and Actual Loss Sustained endorsements provided by Hartford cannot, as a matter of law, be used as guidance on this issue.”

Hartford pointed to several cases in which courts corrected typographical errors to accurately reflect the intentions of the parties. However, the court declined to follow them: “While that may be acceptable in some instances, in none of those cases did doing so fundamentally alter the provisions in the policy. Here, the error is not one where the contract stated ‘included’ instead of ‘including.’ That is an obvious error. Here, the alleged error is (sic) refers to subsection (1) instead of subsection (a). The alleged error is not obvious because it refers to valid provision (sic) in the policy. While Hartford’s interpretation does appear to make more sense, the Court still (sic) consider whether it can rewrite the terms of the policy.” Courts that live in glass houses…

The court concluded that, “upon serious consideration,” it could not. First, because the court was not confronted with a question of ambiguity, it could not look beyond the contract to determine the intent of the parties. In addition, the court could not ignore the fact that the alleged error existed for seven years and was not discovered until after Bluemile submitted its claim for coverage.

For all of these reasons, the court held: [T]he law is clear that, when in doubt, insurance policies must be liberally construed in favor of the insured and strictly against the insurer. Because the alleged error has existed for seven years and was not discovered until after Bluemile submitted its claim for coverage, it would be inequitable to deny Bluemile the coverage it reasonably believed it had under the policy as written.”


Vol. 3, Iss. 5
March 19, 2014

7th Circuit: Insurer's Use Of “House Counsel” Need Not Be Stated In Its Policies

The practice by insurers, of using their own in-house attorneys to defend their insureds, against third-party claims, is one that has been in existence for a while. This is generally referred to as the insurers’ use of “house” or “staff” counsel. Its permissibility has been the subject of judicial and bar ethics committee reviews in various jurisdictions. The Texas Supreme Court served up a Texas-size opinion on the issue in 2008 that included a national survey. With a few exceptions, the practice is considered kosher.

The use of house counsel was the subject of the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Golden v. State Farm, No. 12-3901 (7th Cir. Mar. 11, 2014). However, at issue was not its permissibility. Rather, the court had before it the question whether State Farm was obligated to inform an insured, in its policy, that “house” counsel may be used.

Cindy Golden purchased an automobile policy from State Farm to insure her 2007 Dodge Nitro. She renewed her policy at regular six-month intervals. The mandatory liability portion of her policy provided that State Farm would pay “attorney fees for attorneys chosen by us to defend an insured who is sued.”

In 2009, Golden was sued as the result of a collision she had been in earlier that year. “She was represented in the suit by Patrick J. Murphy, who worked in the corporate law department of State Farm. At the outset, Murphy fully and accurately disclosed to Golden his status as a State Farm employee. Specifically, Golden received a letter from Murphy explaining that he was an attorney ‘working as a full time employee of State Farm,’ advising her that he had an ethical obligation to ensure that neither his ‘professional judgment’ nor the quality of his legal service would be ‘compromised by any guidelines or other directives that might be issued by State Farm.’ Murphy’s letter also contained the following disclosure regarding any possible conflict of interest: “Based on the information I have received and reviewed to date, I am not aware of any conflict of interest between your position and State Farm’s position in this case. If you are aware, or become aware, of any conflict, please notify me immediately. Should I discover facts that raise a conflict of interest, I will promptly advise you of the nature of the conflict. If you provide me this information in confidence as your lawyer, I will not disclose what you told me to State Farm. If a conflict arises that cannot be resolved, a new lawyer will be selected to represent you at State Farm's expense.”

The suit was bench tried and State Farm paid the resulting $3,608.09 judgment entered against Golden. Golden did not allege that she received deficient representation or that she ever objected to the use of house counsel in her suit. Instead, she – or, really, her attorney seeking class action status for all of the other victims of this insidious omission -- maintained that State Farm owed her a duty to disclose at the time of policy issuance the possibility that house counsel would be used in the event of a third-party lawsuit. Golden note that “historically and traditionally” State Farm and other insurers defended third-party claims against insureds by hiring private, independent attorneys. Golden alleged that the failure to provide such disclosure amounted to a breach of “special, confidential and fiduciary duties and common law duties to disclose;” a breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing; and unjust enrichment.

The Indiana District Court concluded that State Farm had no duty to disclose the possibility that house counsel might be employed to represent her in the event of a lawsuit relating to the policy. Golden went to the Seventh Circuit, which affirmed.

Golden argued that a certain prior Indiana Supreme Court case required the provision of “advance notice of an in-house counsel arrangement. Specifically, she makes much of the court’s observation that when an insurance company employs house counsel to represent insureds, ‘accurate disclosure of the arrangement is required.’” However, the Seventh Circuit noted that such earlier opinion said nothing to suggest that “accurate disclosure” required more than precisely the sort of disclosure Golden received: “notice in her policy that State Farm would provide counsel of its choosing and an explanation at the time counsel was assigned of the exact relationship between that counsel and State Farm.”

The court also rejected Golden’s unjust enrichment claim, stating: “There is nothing in the complaint to support an inference that State Farm either a) delivered a product different than that promised in the policy (which stated clearly that it would provide counsel of its choice in the event of a lawsuit), or b) was unjustly enriched by its house counsel arrangement. As the Indiana Supreme Court noted …, ‘[I]n the realm of insurance defense, the public may ultimately reap the benefits of better service at lower cost through the use of house counsel.’ This hardly sounds like the makings of a claim for unjust enrichment.”

So let’s recap. Golden was defended (seemingly) without a reservation of rights, State Farm paid the judgment and State Farm’s house counsel practically stood on his head to explain his role as house counsel, what that meant and how Golden’s interests would be protected in the relationship. But to her counsel, seeking class action status, none of that mattered. Instead, all that did was that if State Farm breached a duty to Golden, by a failure to disclose, there is no doubt that it breached the same duty to thousands more insureds. You get the picture.