Delaware Supreme Court Choice of Law Ruling Vacates a $13.7 Million Verdict Against Travelers

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The Delaware Supreme Court held that a court’s choice of law inquiry in an insurance coverage dispute should focus on the contacts most relevant to the insurance contract rather than the location of the underlying claims.

August 7, 2018
Gregory Capps & Zachery Roth - White and Williams LLP

On July 16, 2018, the Delaware Supreme Court held in Travelers Indemnity Company v. CNH Industrial America, LLC, No. 420, 2017 (Del. Jul. 16, 2018), that a court’s choice of law inquiry in an insurance coverage dispute should focus on the contacts most relevant to the insurance contract rather than the location of the underlying claims. In Travelers, CNH Industrial America, LLC (CNH), sought coverage for asbestos liabilities associated with J.I. Case, Inc., a subsidiary it had acquired, under policies issued to J.I. Case and its former parent company, Tenneco, Inc. The issue before the Delaware Supreme Court was whether the anti-assignment clause in three Travelers policies issued to Tenneco, Inc. precluded the assignment of the policies to CNH. The validity of the assignment turned on which state’s law governed the dispute. (Under Wisconsin law, the parties agreed that the assignment was valid, while under Texas law, the parties agreed the assignment was invalid.)

Reprinted courtesy of Gregory Capps, White and Williams LLP and Zachery Roth, White and Williams LLP
Mr. Capps may be contacted at cappsg@whiteandwilliams.com
Mr. Roth may be contacted at rothz@whiteandwilliams.com



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