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28 December 2020 Joe Fulton This month, the N.C. Supreme Court gave insurance coverage lawyers a real holiday treat: a published policy interpretation decision. Not only that, we got a dissent from Justice Earls. The decision, N.C. Farm Bureau v. Martin (available from the Court here and to Lexis subscribers here), dealt with one of Read More

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South Carolina Cap on Punitive Damages: Statutory Right or Affirmative Defense?

On January 15, 2020, the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Garrison v. Target Corporation, and sent civil defense attorneys into a frenzy.  The landmark decision rocked the civil litigation world, as the three-judge panel held that the cap on punitive damages found in S.C. Code Ann. § 15-32-530 was an affirmative Read More

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The Collateral Source Rule in North Carolina: Hairston v. Harward

The collateral source rule is a substantive rule concerning damages.  It prohibits a plaintiff’s recovery from being reduced by some source “collateral” to the defendant.  What this means is that a defendant is generally not permitted to introduce evidence that the plaintiff has received compensation for his or her injuries from some source independent from Read More

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Multiple UIM Policies for One Claimant: Who Gets the Credit?

In underinsured motorists (“UIM”) cases in which more than one UIM insurer provides coverage, the insurers may dispute how the liability insurance credit should be apportioned among them. This situation comes up with some regularity when a UIM beneficiary is an insured under their own policy and is also an insured under a second policy Read More

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Liability Always, Usually, Often, Sometimes Rolls Downhill: Indemnity Problems in Construction Litigation

A sleek, mixed-use development in Raleigh offers its tenants a concierge service, private Juliet balconies, and common-area foosball tables.  Feet on the desk, the developer calls investor after investor with the same pitch on millennials’ taste for toys and luxury.  Fast-forward three year and five missed project deadlines, a general contractor looks up from the Read More

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Coverage Update: NC Court Of Appeals Upholds Application of Borrowed Servant Doctrine to Employee Exclusion

7 October 2019 Joe Fulton The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in State Farm v. Don’s Trash Company, Inc. (opinion available to Lexis subscribers here and from here).  Although unreported, the case is worthy of note for a couple of different reasons.  The first and most significant is the Court’s Read More

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Petition for Discretionary Review Filed in N.C. Farm Bureau v. Dana

4 October 2019 Joe Fulton Recently, I wrote about the North Carolina Court of Appeals’ decision in N.C. Farm Bureau v. Dana. You can find that article here. Dana held, in essence, that where you have an underlying liability policy exhausted on a per accident basis,  UIM coverage must also be determined on a per accident basis Read More

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North Carolina Court of Appeals Limits Resident Relative Coverage. Judge Inman Dissents.

26 September 2019 Joe Fulton Various policy forms use slightly different language to bring resident-relatives within the definition of insureds.  The standard form personal auto policy issued in North Carolina does it by including the defined term “family member” within the definition of the term “insured.” In turn, the policy defines “family member” as follows: Read More

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Offers of Judgment: A Tool for Early Resolution

18 September 2019 Lee M. Thomas Claim professionals and defense attorneys often review cases in which liability of the insured/client is beyond dispute.  What is less clear, however, is the methodology (or lack thereof) utilized by plaintiff attorneys in calculating wildly exorbitant pre-suit or post-litigation demands.  Plaintiff attorneys may argue the case is a “limits Read More

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4 September 2019 Joe Fulton HAVE A CLAIM INVOLVING MULTIPLE UIM CLAIMANTS? THE LIMITS MIGHT NOT BE WHAT YOU THINK THEY ARE: ASSESSING N.C. FARM BUREAU V. DANA   The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued its decision in N.C. Farm Bureau v. Dana, a UIM case with multiple claimants.  No. COA18-1056, 2019 N.C. Read More

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