Claims of Unintentional and Intentional Conduct – Deny Coverage or Defend Upon Reservation of Rights?


What options are available to an insurer faced with overlapping allegations of intentional and negligent conduct?  Certainly it is not a new issue as attorneys representing injured parties have long attempted to plead in such fashion as to trigger coverage.  But, notwithstanding existing precedents, insurer responses to such cases are frequently not consistent with their obligations under the insurance contract and open insurers to claims of bad faith and attorneys’ fees. More than thirty (30) years ago the New Jersey Supreme Court decided the case of Voorhees v. Preferred Mut. Ins. Co., 128 N.J. 165 (1992).  There, the Court addressed an...

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