Paul Rose Provides Commentary to Law360's Insurance Authority
June 16, 2023
Brouse McDowell Partner and Insurance Recovery Practice Chair Paul Rose recently provided insight to Law360 on a 6th Circuit ruling, and its impact for policyholders.
Law360’s article 6th Circ.’s PFAS Ruling Shows Novelty A Matter of State Law discusses the ruling affirming the dismissal of Admiral Insurance Co.’s suit against personal protective equipment maker Fire-Dex LLC in a case in which the insurer denied coverage for injuries that firefighters sustained from exposure to chemicals. In an unpublished June 13th ruling, the 6th Circuit stated an Ohio trial court would be better suited to decide whether liability coverage for cancer developed by non-employees from exposure to personal protective equipment containing “forever chemicals” would be barred by an occupational disease exclusion.
Paul explained that this decision is a good sign for policyholders, while providing relief to the federal judicial system, saying “federal district court judges may have limited experience with insurance cases, and the cases can be significant burdens on federal judicial resources.”
He went on to say “Perhaps this decision will encourage federal trial court judges to look harder at whether they want to exercise their discretion to retain jurisdiction over declaratory judgement actions in coverage cases. Perhaps they’ll be less inclined to do so and more inclined to defer to the jurisdiction of the state courts, which policyholders, consistent with this decision, generally believe are better suited to resolve insurance coverage cases.”
While other policyholder attorneys agreed with Paul and called the ruling “refreshing,” carrier-side attorneys noted that the opinion was unpublished and questioned its precedential value.
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