Your Company May Have Insurance Coverage: Government Lawsuits Target Manufacturers and Distributors

Policyholder Advisor & Alert

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PUBLISHED ON: April 1, 1999

The enormous recoveries
obtained by state attorneys
general from cigarette
makers have emboldened
states, municipalities
and unions to pursue lawsuits
against manufacturers and distributors of other
potentially hazardous products. A number of cities
have gun manufacturers in their sights in lawsuits
seeking to recover millions of dollars spent treating
victims of gunfire and investigating gun-related
crimes. It is just a matter of time before other products
become the focus of similar lawsuits. These
suits are of such great concern that companies are
lobbying Congress and state legislatures to bar
Do manufacturers and distributors of these
products have liability insurance coverage for these
new types of claims? The answer depends on the
liability coverage and exclusions found in their
policies and the specific nature of each claim.
Policyholders who simply assume that coverage is
barred under product exclusions, or that these suits
present a type of liability that general liability
insurance policies were not intended to cover, may
be making a big mistake