Chubb off hook as a result of coverage's media exclusion – Enterprise Insurance
Chubb Ltd. is under no obligation to defend a satellite television company due to media exclusion in its policies, a federal appeals court said Wednesday as it upheld a lower court ruling.
The Dish Network Corp. based in Englewood, Colorado, which provides television products and services, has received general liability insurance from Ace American Insurance Co., Chubb Ltd., which included a media bans, according to the judgment of the 2nd US Court of Appeals in New York in Dish Network Corp., Dish Network LLC v Ace American Insurance Co.
Dish asked Ace for coverage under its insurance policy after it was sued by four television networks in separate lawsuits for alleged copyright infringement, the ruling said.
Ace declined to report and refused to defend the company because it relied on its media bans, which excluded coverage for policyholders whose business was broadcasting.
The lawsuits were settled without Dish assuming any financial liability, but Dish, who incurred legal fees and other costs, filed a lawsuit against Ace in the U.S. District Court in New York, accusing the insurer of violating its legal obligations by submitting them did not defend or reimburse its defense expenses.
The district court ruled in Dish's favor and was unanimously upheld by a three-person appeals court.
According to the ruling, Ace is not required to defend Dish under its policy. “First, 'broadcasting' is not ambiguous in the sense of media exclusion and relates to Dish's business. Second, Dish's argument that the simple and common meaning of "broadcast" does not apply here failed, "the judgment reads.
The directive's definitions "make it clear that the term 'broadcast' simplifies the transmission of a signal, particularly a radio or television signal, to a number of receivers – which is exactly the nature of Dish's business," it said.
"The line that Dish is trying to draw – between free transmission and transmission to paying subscribers – is not reflected in the usual use of the term 'broadcasting", "it confirmed the judgment of the lower court.
The lawyers on the case did not respond to requests for comment.