New York’s Approach to Apportioning Defense Costs Among Multiple Insurers

Columbus, Ohio, May 7, 2012:  Claims Journal will be featuring a monthly column analyzing recent court decisions affecting the insurance industry.  The articles provide timely legal analysis on some of the most important state and federal cases impacting insurers and policyholders.  Claims Journal’s website will feature these articles on the first Wednesday of every month.

Mr. Coleman’s first article, New York’s Approach to Apportioning Defense Costs Among Multiple Insurers, reviewed the recent New York state court decision in Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Alfa Laval, No. 650667/2009 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Nov. 28, 2011), in which the court found a primary insurer jointly and severally liable for the entire cost of defense in an asbestos-related claim.  The court’s decision appears to be consistent with the duty of an insurer to provide a “complete defense” but strays from New York precedent, which calls for pro rata allocation of defense costs in cases involving multiple insurers.  The entire article can be read at

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