Lynda A. Bennett, chair of the firm’s Insurance Recovery group, comments for Law360 on one of “4 Key Insurance Rulings You May Have Missed This Summer.” In Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Arnold, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that Nationwide Mutual Insurance had to defend a whistleblower in a suit alleging that he falsely accused a contractor of overcharging the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; the appellate court panel refused to interpret a 'business pursuits' exclusion so broadly that any coverage at all would be denied if there was any connection whatsoever to the work of the insured.
Bennett remarks that the noteworthy decision not only provided rare guidance on the business pursuits exclusion but could also be applied to disputes over a number of other policy exclusions. "A lot of the court's decision centers around this 'arising out of' language, which you see in a lot of exclusions,” she says. "There is a potential for this case to have broader reach because the court narrowly interpreted what this language means."
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