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Class action lawsuits--perhaps the most time consuming and expensive of all litigation--are on the rise. Legal budgets rarely include money to handle these matters, so insurance coverage is a necessity. Carriers are not inclined to fund defenses, settlements, or judgment without at least a reservation of rights. Thus, litigation counsel must be prepared to take the necessary steps to lock in and protect coverage.
This area is particularly challenging because each different class action subject matter presents different issues. Securities class action coverage, for example, would seem straightforward, yet, there always seems to be a coverage dispute.
More daunting is the task of applying a CGL policy, which neither mentions nor excludes class actions, to provide coverage. The attorneys "in the trenches" must be conversant in all of these matters. Substantive positions (taken or not taken) could trigger policy exclusions. Even the decision to treat a class dispute as one claim, or many claims, can influence how much coverage exists.
Listen as this panel from the front lines of disputes concerning coverage of class action claims addresses both the legal considerations and the practicalities of being litigation counsel embroiled not only with the opponent but with the insurer as well.
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