Long Tail Liability Claims

Michigan Bar Journal, August 2017

4 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2017

Date Written: August 14, 2017


The purpose of this article is to provide guidance in handling long-tail liability claims. Long tail liability claims are claims that involve a continuous, progressive or repeated injury over long periods of time that implicate multiple policy years. A few common examples of long tail claims include (1) environmental claims involving pollution events that occur over many years (2) occupational disease such as asbestos claims and (3) construction defect claims.

There are 4 common trigger events that are the operative event that gives rise to the insurer's duty to cover a loss under a specified policy. They are the Manifestation Trigger, Exposure Trigger, Continuous Trigger and Injury in-fact Trigger. Other key issues are allocation, notice, tender, exhaustion, settlement credits and antisettlement clauses.

It is absolutely necessary for counsel to read and understand the case law of the jurisdiction that will be applied by the court in deciding the insurance coverage dispute.

Keywords: Long Tail Claims, CGL Policy, Environmental Law, Abestos Claims, Trigger Theories, Anti-Assignment Clauses

Suggested Citation

Johnson, James A., Long Tail Liability Claims (August 14, 2017). Michigan Bar Journal, August 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3064125

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