Just Decided – New Jersey Supreme Court: Insurers Can Look To Extrinsic Evidence To Deny a Defense

Gavel illustration

The real story in Norman is the court’s rejection of the manner in which the Appellate Division made its erroneous duty to defend decision.

September 5, 2022
Randy J. Maniloff - White and Williams LLP

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court decided Norman International, Inc. v. Admiral Insurance Company, No. 086155 (N.J. Aug. 11, 2022). At issue was coverage for a work-site injury and the interpretation of a policy exclusion for operations or activities performed by an insured in certain counties in New York. The case is significant in terms of addressing causation for purposes of the application of exclusions. But the more wide-reaching issue has nothing to do with the scope of the exclusion.

The real story from Norman is the New Jersey high court’s pronouncement that an insurer, in certain circumstances, can use extrinsic evidence to deny a defense to its insured. New Jersey duty to defend law has been a jungle land and in need of more supreme court guidance.

Mr. Maniloff may be contacted at maniloffr@whiteandwilliams.com


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