Justice Alito’s Insurance Coverage Decisions

January 17, 2011
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito will participate in the University of Hawaii law school’s Jurists-in-Residence Program the week of January 24, 2011. In honor Justice Alito’s visit, we offer a sampling of insurance coverage decisions he has authored. We did not locate any insurance coverage opinions Justice Alito has written while serving on the Supreme Court. He did write, however, several insurance coverage decisions will sitting on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The cases frequently tackled complex insurance coverage issues involving a variety of commercial and business transactions. From this sampling, Justice Alito’s pro-policy holder and pro-insurer decisions are fairly evenly divided. Special thanks to fellow Damon Key blogger, Mark Murakami (www.hawaiioceanlaw.com), for his help in locating these cases. Cases Favorable to Insureds: 1) MBIA Ins. Corp. v. Royal Indemn. Co., 426 F.3d 204 (3d Cir. 2005) The Student Finance Corporation ("SFC") made loans to vocational students. Wilmington Trust and Wells Fargo loaned money to SFC, and took a pool of student loans as security. To encourage these loans, SFC obtained policies with Royal to insure the repayment of interest and principal on the student loans. The policies stated Royal’s liability would be unaffected by fraud and expressly waived any defense it could otherwise raise to avoid payment. When it turned out SFC was running a ponzi scheme and unable to repay the loans, Wilmington and Wells Fargo sought indemnity from Royal. Read Full Story...


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