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Duty to Defend Not Effected by Denial of Motion for Summary Judgment, by Barry Zalma, Zalma on Insurance


Defense Can’t Be Avoided by Use Of Limine Motions

The duty to defend owed by an insurer is very broad and requires an insurer to defend even if there is only a potential for coverage on the facts of the case and the policy wording. Usually, an order denying a motion for summary judgment seeking an order that there is no duty to defend will usually be sufficient to reveal the potential for coverage and a requirement for defense – at least under a reservation of rights – to those insured. In McMillin Companies, LLC v. American Safety Indemnity Company, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2015 WL 270034 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 1/22/15) the right to claim no duty to defend will still exist even after a motion for summary judgment is denied if the motion order is not dispositive of the claims made by the motion for summary judgment. It also criticized the use of a motion in limine (to limit testimony allowed at trial) when it had the effect of a motion for summary judgment without the protections of a motion for summary judgment. . . .