Article re Keodalah v. Allstate by Soha & Lang, P.S. Shareholder published in Coverage Opinion’s List of the “Ten Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions Of 2018”

For the past 18 years, Randy Maniloff of White and Williams, LLP in Philadelphia has published a special edition of his Coverage Opinions Newsletter on the year’s ten most significant liability insurance coverage decisions.  The Keodalah v. Allstate decision by the Washington Court of Appeals, which held that adjusters can be personally sued for bad [...]


Washington Supreme Court Holds that School Districts Owe an Ordinary Duty of Care to Students

On November 1, 2018, the Washington Supreme Court held in Hendrickson v. Moses Lake School District, No. 94898-4, that school districts are subject to an ordinary duty of care, not a heightened duty of care, in an unanimous opinion. In this case, a student injured herself in a woodshop class when she did not properly [...]


Washington Federal Court Upholds Sexual Abuse Exclusion; Rejects Proximate Cause Argument

In Safeco Ins. Co. of America v. Wolk, Cause No. C18-5368 RBL, 2018 WL 5295250, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 25, 2018) the federal district court analyzed the duty to defend a suit against Safeco’s insureds, Ben and Michelle Wolk. The underlying suit alleged sexual abuse by Ben and negligent supervision by Michelle. Safeco denied coverage for [...]


Risk Pool Had Authority to Assess Former Member for Capitalization Assessment

On October 17, 2018, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that a risk pool had the authority for its assessment of a former member.  In Capital Credit & Collection Serv., Inc. v. Kerr Contractors, Inc., 294 Or App 486 (2018), a workers’ compensation risk pool assessed current and former members in response to the state [...]

Washington Court of Appeals Affirms $1.2 Million Attorney Fee Award

In Baker v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, et al., Case No. 76218-4-I (October 15, 2018), the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington held that the trial court acted well within its discretion in determining the insureds’ reasonable attorney fees in the amount of $1,209,757.25, through the use of the lodestar method and a [...]


Ongoing Operations Exclusion j.(5) Bars Coverage

In two related cases, Unigard Ins. Co. v. Metro Metals Nw., Inc., 17-CV-05743-RBL (W.D. Wash. Oct. 11, 2018) and Alaska Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Metro Metals Nw., Inc., 1:17-CV-05765-RBL (W.D. Wash. Oct. 11, 2018), the federal district court held that the insurance companies’ policies did not provide coverage for the underlying claims against their mutual [...]


United States District Court for the Western District Washington Imputes Material Misrepresentations of “Public Adjuster” to Insured, Declares Policy Void

In Reverse Now VII, LLC v. Oregon Mutual Insurance Company, Case No. C16-209-MJP, 2018 WL 4510071 (W.D Wash. Sep. 18, 2018), the federal district court found that the insurance policy at issue was void as a matter of law due to material misrepresentation and concealment by the insured and its purported public adjuster. The insurance [...]


Sufficient Evidence Existed of Requisite Antecedent Agreement for Purpose of Insured’s Reformation Claim

In Emrys v. Farmers Ins. Co., 294 Or App 107, __ P3d ___ (Sept. 12, 2018), the insured owned two adjacent properties, with addresses at 106 Cofey Crossing Lane (“106 Property”) and 108 Cofey Crossing Lane (“108 Property”), insured under two separate policies.  The insured let the policy for the 106 Property lapse.  After the [...]


Washington Supreme Court Rules Joint And Several Liability Is Preserved When A Defendant Is Vicariously Liable

In a 5-4 split decision, the Washington Supreme Court held in Afoa v. Port of Seattle, No. 94525-0 (July 19, 2018) that RCW 4.22.070.(1)(a) preserves joint and several liability when a defendant is vicariously liable for another’s fault, but whether vicarious liability exists is a factual question. The Plaintiff, Brandon Apela Afoa, commenced this action [...]


Washington Court Rules that Insurers Cannot Use “Maximum Medical Improvement” to Limit PIP Coverage

In an unanimous decision, the Washington Supreme Court held in Durant v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, No. 94771-6 (June 7, 2018), that Washington regulations require automobile policies containing personal injury protection (“PIP”) coverage to pay for all medical and hospital services related to an accident that are reasonable, necessary, and incurred within three [...]