Blog Archives

7th Circuit: Nothing “Loko” About Denying Defense Based on Liquor Liability Exclusion

In Netherlands Insurance Company v. Phusion Projects, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the insurer of the makers of Four Loko has no duty to defend it in lawsuits alleging the alcoholic beverage caused serious injury and death. 

Posted in Duty to Defend, Food and Drug Administration, Food Manufacturer, Food Safety, Insurance Coverage, Liability Policy, Liquor Liability Exclusion, Policy Exclusions, Public Health

Michigan Appeals Court Rules Against Coverage for Uncontaminated but Seized Cheese

A Michigan appellate court recently ruled that a commercial property insurer properly denied coverage for the cost of cheese seized by the government that could not be returned to market.  In this unpublished opinion, the three-judge panel upheld the trial

Posted in Acts or Decisions Exclusion, Commercial Property Insurance, Contamination, Food Manufacturer, Food Recall, Food Safety, Governmental Action Exclusion, Insurance Coverage, Listeria, Loss of Market Exclusion

Seeking Contribution for Coverage Costs Associated with Historic 2011 Listeria Outbreak

Continental Western Insurance Company (“CWIC”) recently filed suit against Colony Insurance Company in Colorado federal court seeking declaratory relief and contribution for Colony’s alleged failure to share in defense and indemnity costs in connection with the deadly 2011 listeria outbreak. 

Posted in Contamination, Contribution, Duty to Defend, Duty to Idemnify, Food Recall, Food Safety, Insurance Coverage, Liability Policy, Listeria, Occurrence, Trigger of Coverage

Framing of Damages Determines Duty to Defend in Recent New York Case

A New York appellate court recently upheld a supreme court ruling that an insurer had a duty to defend a manufacturer’s faulty workmanship where it resulted in third party property damage.  I.J. White Corp. v. Columbia Cas. Co., 2013 NY

Posted in Duty to Defend, Food Manufacturer, Insurance Coverage, Liability Policy, Occurrence, Property Damage

The Horses Are Off (the Shelves)! Odds Are that the Ensuing Litigation Will Be An Endurance Race

Regulators, food distributors, and, of course, lawyers are scrambling to determine the legal and reputational consequences of the still-growing horse meat scandal that recently hit Europe.  Amid the recalls, finger-pointing, and consumer outrage at the thought of eating horse meatballs

Posted in Crisis Management, E. Coli, False Advertising, Food Manufacturer, Food Recall, Fraud, Horse Meat, Insurance Coverage, Uncategorized

Minnesota’s “Impairment of Function and Value” Test Determines Whether Recalled Food Constitutes Property Damage

We often associate food recalls with harmful and contaminated products but manufacturers actually issue recalls for a variety of reasons.  Companies sometimes issue recalls because of suspected, but not confirmed, contamination or other quality control issues.  Other times, they issue

Posted in "Impaired Property" Exclusion, "Product Recall" Exclusion, "Your Product" Exclusion, Food and Drug Administration, Food Manufacturer, Food Recall, Food Safety, Insurance Coverage, Liability Policy, Policy Exclusions, Property Damage

It’s 2013 – Time to Shape Up!

As a new year begins, the Shape Up! coverage litigation draws to an end.  On January 2, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern

Posted in Class Action, False Advertising, Insurance Coverage, Nutritional Supplements

Sunland Salmonella Saga Provides a Window to FDA Enforcement

A new year is here, and the food industry remains in a sort of regulatory limbo.  Between the FDA’s delay in releasing regulations under the implementation deadlines set forth in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and inadequate funding from

Posted in Food Safety, Food Safety Modernization Act, Insurance Coverage

E. Coli Outbreak Constitutes A Single Occurrence

Incidents of food-borne illness impact a number of parties, from sick consumers to various commercial entities in the chain of distribution.  Many general liability insurance policies cap policy limits on a per occurrence basis.  For example, a policy may provide

Posted in Insurance Coverage

Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Contaminated Infant Formula

THE SCOOP On April 20, 2012, the Virginia Supreme Court determined that a group of property insurers did not owe coverage to PBM Nutritionals, LLC (“PBM”) in connection with its multimillion dollar claim for losses related to contaminated infant formula. PBM is a

Posted in Insurance Coverage
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Cozen O’Connor has a national team of attorneys experienced in handling food contamination and product recall coverage matters related to first-party, third-party and specialty policies. The firm also developed a Food, Beverage & Nutritional Products Industry Team to provide advice and counsel to a wide range of companies connected directly and indirectly to the food and beverage industry.
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