Insurance Law Section
ILS Events Calendar



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (Dallas)

10:00am - 2:00pm Offices of Sedgwick LLP, Dallas, TX



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (Austin)

10:00am - 2:00pm Offices of McGuire Woods LLP, Austin, TX



21st Annual Insurance Law Institute

November 10-11, 2016 at the Hotel Derek in Houston, Texas (More)



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (Austin)

10:00am - 2:00pm Offices of McGuire Woods LLP, Austin, TX



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (Houston)

10:00am - 2:00pm Location TBD, Houston, TX



Insurance Law Section Council Meeting (San Antonio)

5:00pm - 7:00pm Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, San Antonio, TX



14th Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course

June 8-9, 2017 @ Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas (More)

A Year in the Life of the Eight-Corners Rule: Recent Developments in the Duty to Defend
by Tamara Bruno

A Year in the Life of the Eight-Corners Rule: Recent Developments in the Duty to Defend

One of the most well-known, frequently cited, and seemingly fixed legal principles in Texas insurance case law is, of course, the “eight-corners” rule – also known as the “complaint allegation” rule – which for some seventy-five years has governed an insurer’s duty to defend its insured.  At its core, the eight-corners rule analysis is simple: insurers must compare the allegations in the live pleading to the insurance policy without regard to the truth, falsity, or veracity of the allegations.

Texas courts have, however, added complexities to this simple framework.  This article outlines recent opinions on the eight-corners rule demonstrating these complexities.

1.   An Exception to the Eight-Corners Rule

The Texas Supreme Court has never recognized an exception to the eight-corners rule, and has in fact passed on a few opportunities to adopt or reject an eight-corners rule exception.  But Texas federal courts, led by the Fifth Circuit, have articulated an exception “when the extrinsic evidence goes solely to a fundamental issue of coverage which does not overlap with the merits of or engage the truth or falsity of any facts alleged in the underlying case.”  Northfield Ins. Co. v. Loving Home Care, Inc., 3...(Continue)

Section News
Recent Insurance Law Hot Topic Webinars Available Online

Did you miss the recent hot topic webinars hosted by the Insurance Law Section? The April, May & June 2016 webinars are all available for purchase online here via the Texas Institute of CLE website. For a limit... (Continued)

More Section News
Recent Decisions
Fifth Circuit Applies Texas Law to Oil Well Coverage Dispute, Vacates District Court's Ruling on Duty to Indemnify  
Solstice Oil & Gas I, LLC v. Seneca Insurance Co. 5th Cir 7/21/16—
Insured's acknowledgment of duty to defend insured renders duty to indemnify non-justiciable under Griffin
District Court Grants Insurer's MSJ on the Duty to Defend a Trademark Infringement Case  
Laney Chiropractic and Sports Therapy v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. ND Tx 7/20/16—
Court finds that insured is not entitled to a defense under Coverage B of its CGL policy that excludes trademark infringement coverage
Court Adopts Magistrate's Recommendations  
Patton v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co. SD Tx 7/19/16—
Court follows Magistrate's recommendations granting judgment on pleadings in favor of insurer over objections of insured home builder in declaratory judgment action.
Court Reverses Summary Judgment For Insurer On Robbery Claim  
KLZ Diamond Tools, Inc. v. TKG General Agency, Inc. Tx 5-Dallas 7/18/16—
An insured's production of documentation to the insurer; the insurer's payment of an advance; and its promise to provide a loss calculation is sufficient to raise a fact issue on insurer's violation of the Prompt Payment Act.
Court Denies Insured's Motion to Remand  
Lopez v. United Property and Casualty Insurance Co. SD Tx 7/14/16—
Court conducts 12(b)(6) analysis before dismissing non-diverse adjuster.
Workers' Comp Carrier Did Not Waive Subrogation Rights  
The Insurance Co. of Pennsylvania v. Roberts Tx 1-Houston 7/14/16—
A Texas Appellate Court looked to the insured's underlying contract to determine whether a workers' comp insurer had waived its subrogation rights.
Court Grants Property Insurer's Motion to Remand  
Walters v. Metro Lloyds Insurance Co. ED Tx 7/14/16—
Court determines adjuster improperly joined.
Court Denies Property Insurer's Motion to Remand  
Robinson v. Allstate Texas Lloyds SD Tx 7/13/16—
Court determines insurer failed to establish improper joinder.
Court Grants Disability Insurer's Motion for Summary Judgment  
Sarmiento v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. SD Tx 7/13/16—
Court determined insured was not disabled under plan's definition.
Court Grants Insurer's Motion to Compel Appraisal  
Lopez v. United Property & Casualty Insurance Co. SD Tx 7/11/16—
Court grants appraisal and abates case concerning water damage.
More Recent Decisions