Wiley Rein regularly works with and advises the major insurer trade associations, including the American Insurance Association (AIA), the Complex Insurance Claims Litigation Association (CICLA), the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), on a wide variety of issues affecting the business of insurance. These include questions such as insurance fraud, privacy regulation, terrorism risk, and reinsurance. We are closely monitoring proposals for more comprehensive federal involvement in the regulation of insurance. On the state level, we provide assistance in responding to legislative and regulatory initiatives and address the myriad requirements of state regulation for individual insurers and producers.
Wiley Rein's Insurance attorneys also regularly prepare amicus curiae briefs on behalf of industry trade associations addressing important legal issues and policy considerations. We have submitted amicus curiae briefs in many of the prominent insurance matters that have reached the Supreme Court of the United States, and have appeared on behalf of industry groups in precedential cases in almost every state. By invitation, Wiley Rein attorneys also frequently have participated in oral argument of particularly significant cases.
Examples of key cases where we have represented insurance trade groups as amici include:
- Midwest Family Mutual Insurance Co., et al. v. Wolters, et al., No. A11-0181 (Minn. May 31, 2013). Wiley Rein represented the CICLA as an amicus curiae in this appeal, where the Minnesota high court held that a claim arising out of carbon monoxide release was subject to the absolute pollution exclusion, which plainly applied to the indoor release of carbon monoxide; further, the reasonable expectations doctrine did not apply.
- Mountain States Mutual Casualty Co. v. Roinestad, No. 09CA2179 (Colo. Feb. 25, 2013). Wiley Rein represented the CICLA as an amicus curiae in this appeal. Concluding that cooking grease is a “pollutant,” the Colorado high court found that the pollution exclusion barred coverage for a restaurant which routinely poured grease and cooking oil into the sewer on its property, prompting a sewer clean-up project in which the plaintiffs were injured as a result of hydrogen sulfide fumes emanating from the sewer.
- Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Roberts, et al., Nos. 10-1987, 10-1988, 2012 WL 336150 (4th Cir. Feb. 3, 2012). Wiley Rein represented the CICLA as an amicus curiae in this appeal. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion forcefully adopting a pro rata time on the risk allocation method, holding that an insurer could be held liable only for periods of risk that it had contracted to cover, even if its policyholder was jointly and severally liable for harm sustained over a longer period.
- Harleysville Mutual Ins. Co. v. South Carolina, 736 S.E. 2d 651 (S.C. 2012). Wiley Rein represented the AIA and CICLA as amici curiae in a constitutional challenge to retroactive and extraterritorial reach of South Carolina law compelling insurance contracts to afford certain coverage for construction claims.
- The AES Corporation v. Steadfast Insurance Co., No. 100764 (Va. Sept. 16, 2011). Wiley Rein represented the AIA and CICLA as amici curiae in this appeal. The Virginia Supreme Court found that a lawsuit alleging property damage caused by emission of greenhouse gases did not allege an “occurrence” within the meaning of general liability coverage.
- Boston Gas Co. v. Century Indem. Co., 454 Mass 337, 910 N.E.2d 290 (2009). Supporting the insurers in a favorable ruling on allocation from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Wiley Rein's amici curiae brief addressed allocation under general liability policies where loss is found to have taken place over multiple years, including uninsured periods.
- St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co. v. Onvia, Inc., 165 Wash. 2d 122, 196 P.3d 664 (Wash. 2008) (en banc). In an important case for insurers, Wiley Rein's amici curiae brief addressed both whether a policyholder may pursue common law bad faith and Consumer Protection Act claims in absence of coverage and, if so, how such claims must be proven.
- ACMAT Corp. v. Greater New York Mut. Ins. Co., 282 Conn. 576 , 593 n.14, 923 A.2d 697, 708 n.14 (2007). The Connecticut Supreme Court refused to depart from the American Rule governing payment of attorneys fees and found "more persuasive the arguments of the amicus curiae [in a brief prepared by Wiley Rein] that…'as with contracts generally, there are insurance policies written between large insurers and relatively small scale policyholders, but there are also many insurance policies written between [midsized] or large insurers and major corporate or business entities...'"
- Federated Mut. Ins. Co. v. Abston Petroleum, Inc., 967 So.2d 705 (Ala. 2007). The Alabama Supreme Court relied extensively on Wiley Rein's amicus curiae brief and its "well-reasoned approach" in enforcing the pollution exclusion in a general liability policy.
- St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. A.P.I., Inc., 738 N.W.2d 401, 411 (Minn. Ct. App. 2007). Endorsing Wiley Rein's arguments related to allocation, and recognizing that the amicus curiae brief submitted for our trade association client "sheds additional light on the important issues and considerations of the insurance industry, which pervasively affects the public;" and "provides citations to relevant precedent, arguments, and policy considerations not included in the primary briefs."
- Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau, No. 03-A486 (U.S. 2004). In support of the insurer parties, Wiley Rein submitted an amicus curiae brief which argued that a sua sponte decision of the Wisconsin Supreme Court violated the due process requirements of notice and opportunity to be heard on the interpretation of the key term "suit" in general liability insurance contracts.
- Spaulding Composites Co. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., No. 03-638 (U.S. 2003). Supporting a challenge to a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling, Wiley Rein prepared an amicus curiae brief that outlined constitutional due process issues that must be considered in the proper enforcement of contact terms.
- Travelers Ins. Co. v. Eljer Mfg Co., 197 Ill. 2d 278, 757 N.E.2d 481 (2001). In a key victory for insurers, the Illinois court quoted with approval the arguments in Wiley Rein's amicus curiae brief related to allocation and the importance of the policy period limitation.
- Foster-Gardner Inc. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co., 18 Cal. 4th 857, 959 P.2d 265, 77 Cal. Rptr. 2d 107 (1998). The California court quoted with approval the arguments made by Wiley Rein for its insurance trade association client limiting an insurer's duty to defend to lawsuits filed in court.
- Reliance Ins. Co. v. Moessner, 121 F.3d 895 (3d Cir. 1997). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit adopted the arguments made in the insurance trade association's amicus curiae brief prepared by Wiley Rein concerning enforcement of an "absolute" pollution exclusion.
- American Motorists Ins. Co. v. ARTRA Group Inc., 338 Md. 560, 659 A.2d 1295 (1995). The Maryland court agreed with the arguments made in support of the insurer in Wiley Rein's amicus curiae brief related to a 1970 pollution exclusion.
- Seven Falls Co. v. Wilton, No. CA-H-93-0531 (U.S. 1995). An amicus curiae brief prepared by Wiley Rein explained the need for the exercise of federal court jurisdiction to protect out-of-state insurers from the risk of local bias in state courts.
- Morton Int'l, Inc. v. Gen. Accident Ins. Co., (petition for cert. filed) (U.S. 1994). Wiley Rein's amicus curiae brief articulated a due process challenge to the New Jersey Supreme Court's disregard of the contractual limitation of the widely used "sudden and accidental" pollution exclusion in general liability insurance policies.
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