BMHJ Blog: Legal Information, Resources, & News

Intentional Acts Do Not Trigger Duty to Provide Coverage Even when Bare Allegations of Negligence Are Pled

Stephen A. Horvath, Esquire
February 2nd, 2010
By: Stephen A. Horvath, Esquire

Intentional Acts Do Not Trigger Insurance Coverage Even when There Is a Bare Allegation of Negligence

Insurance companies are frequently confronted with the question as to whether or not they have a duty to defend a lawsuit when there are allegations of intentional acts by their insured and an insertion of a bare negligence claim. Recently, this firm was successful in obtaining a ruling from Judge Henry Hudson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in such a case. Judge Hudson held that by merely inserting the word ”negligently” prior to a description of intentional acts, insurance coverage is not triggered.

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Photographs Can Prove a Case

January 27th, 2010
By: Amy A. Lombardo, Esquire

In a Fairfax General District Court case where the plaintiff was alleging injury as a result of being sideswiped in a grocery store parking lot while in a loading zone, Judge Cassidy found, based upon photographs presented at trial, that the plaintiff did not meet her burden of proof. The defendant had taken pictures of the position of the vehicles before they were moved and additional photographs of the accident scene were taken by defense counsel.

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Sovereign Immunity for Governmental Authorities

January 27th, 2010
By: Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins

In an article published by the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys in its Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. XXI, No. 4, Winter 2009-2010, Julia Judkins and Dawn Boyce outline successful sovereign immunity challenges to tort claims against governmental authorities, such as local water authorities. There are now a significant number of lower court decisions, many litigated by Ms. Judkins, that have found that authorities created by statute are entitled to sovereign immunity from tort claims because the particular entity was created by an immune entity or because of the language of the enabling statute. To obtain a copy of the article, please contact Dawn Boyce, Esquire or Julia Judkins, Esquire, 703 385-1000.

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Directed Verdict in D.C. Construction Litigation Case

January 23rd, 2010
By: Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins

Judgment for the Defense in Construction Litigation

In a case between two subcontractors, D.C. Superior Court Judge Odessa Vincent granted judgment for the defense in a breach of contract case. The plaintiff, a waterproofing subcontractor, sued a concrete subcontractor to recover for payments made to its employee for injuries sustained as a result of an alleged breach in safety protocols.

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Motion to Dismiss when Amount Sued for is Increased

Melissa H. Katz, Esquire
January 15th, 2010
By: Melissa H. Katz, Esquire

Viability of Motion to Dismiss when new case filed with increase in amount sued for

There is now a conflict in circuit court opinions regarding whether a plaintiff brings a new action as a result of increasing the amount sued for after a nonsuit. Last summer, Judge James H. Chamblin of the Circuit Court of Loudoun County dismissed plaintiff’s action after she increased her ad damnum to $500,000.00 after the nonsuit of her original action in which she sought only $325,000.00. Judge Chamblin agreed with the defendant’s position that raising the amount sought makes it a new case which is subject to dismissal if the statute of limitation period has expired. The plaintiff appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Virginia and filed her Petition for Appeal in December 2009. See Spear v. MWATA, Record No. 092451. Oral argument for a writ should occur sometime this Spring.

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This blog and the information provided has been prepared by Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C. (“BMHJ”) for information purposes only and is not intended nor to be construed as legal advice. This blog may contain the opinions of the members and associates of this firm on various legal issues and is not legal advice. Read More