Nexsen Pruet's Torts, Insurance and Products Blog: Highlights from August 2018
South Carolina Supreme Court Clarifies Successor Liability
How to successfully pierce the corporate veil has been shrouded in a degree of mystery in South Carolina, to both those in pursuit of and those defending against the action. However, our Supreme Court has recently made strides in clarifying the requirements for practitioners. Following closely on the heels of its recent decision formally adopting the single business enterprise theory, the court provided another well-reasoned opinion clarifying successor liability. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Gilliam Construction Company, Inc. v. Eagle Window & Door, Inc., 2018 WL 3999905 (August 22, 2018).
Declaratory Judgement by Insurer: The court provides a limitation on attorney's fees and a definition of "prevailing party" under Federal Rule 54
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) provides, in pertinent part, that “[u]nless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs – other than attorney’s fees –should be allowed to the prevailing party.” The rule further provides, in contrast, a prevailing party must file a motion requesting attorney’s fees. Consequently, the definition of “prevailing party” is critical.
Typed or Written; Ambiguity or Conflict - It's All About the Insurance Contract
There is no shortage of opinions offering guidance in the construction and analysis of insurance policies. For those of us who regularly read and interpret these policies the courts have provided myriad scenarios with various approaches to guide us. Throughout, however, one thing remains consistent; a policy of insurance is a contract and will be interpreted accordingly. The United States District Court for South Carolina recently provided another opportunity to address the basic principles of contract interpretation in Greenwood Communities and Resorts, Inc. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, 2018 WL 3744967 (August 7, 2018).
A Look at Coverage Under a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy
Because many recognize the prudence in securing additional coverage and because, generally speaking, personal liability umbrella policies (PLUP) are not prohibitively expensive for most, it is not unusual to encounter such a policy. Where a PLUP exists, to whom and under what circumstances is coverage provided? The United States District Court recently took a look, reminding of some basic principles. State Farm Fire & Casualty v. Sproull, et al 2018 WL 3439629 (July 17, 2018).
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Cheryl D. Shoun is a trial attorney and certified mediator whose experience includes construction law, insurance defense, personal injury defense, employment litigation and medical malpractice. As a frequent writer, she serves as editor for Nexsen Pruet's TIPS: Torts, Insurance and Products Blog.
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