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Insurance Coverage for Collapse of a Building Is Narrowly Defined in California

October 18, 2017

Property damage policies insuring buildings often provide coverage for collapse of the building. Litigation has arisen regarding whether collapse coverage requires an actual collapse, or whether the policy also provides coverage for imminent collapse or substantial impairment of the structure’s integrity. A recent case answers this question adversely to insureds and narrowly construes collapse coverage …

The Limits of California Governmental Immunity for Dangerous Conditions Near a Walking Trail  

September 29, 2017

According to the California Court of Appeal’s recent ruling in Toeppe v. City of San Diego, (2017) 13 Cal. App. 5th 921, government immunity for a dangerous condition on a walking trail does not extend to conditions extrinsic to the condition of the trail. Lorin Toeppe was injured while walking through Mission Bay Park in …

A New Study Re: Assessing Brain Injury Recovery Times in Children

September 22, 2017

A recent medical study has made a significant step toward identifying a biomarker in the brain that detects how long it may take a child (and possibly adults) to recover from a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The study not only impacts TBI treatment but also potentially affects provable damages in legal claims involving a TBI. …

Ninth Circuit Rules ERISA Preempts California’s de Novo Standard of Review for Self-Funded Insurance Plans

August 29, 2017

Bringing a disability claim in California for improperly denied policy benefits under an insurance plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) can provide unique advantages to insureds. The potential advantages include application of California Insurance Code §10110.6, which states that if an insurance plan contains a “provision that reserves discretionary authority to …

California Insurers May Not Rescind a Policy Based on an Ambiguous Question in the Application

August 7, 2017

In California, under certain circumstances, an insurer is entitled to rescind a policy—even after the insured has suffered a loss and made a claim for policy benefits—if there was a material misrepresentation in the application. A rescission, if successful, “renders the policy totally unenforceable from the outset,” so that no benefits are payable. (Imperial Casualty …