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Atlanta Team Secures Appellate Win in Multimillion-Dollar Coverage Matter on Behalf of Insurer

Atlanta, Ga. (June 30, 2022) - Atlanta Partners Seth M. Friedman and Christopher Meeks recently secured a significant appellate victory on behalf of an insurer when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of Lewis Brisbois’ motion to dismiss an insurance coverage matter.

As described in the Law360 article, “11th Circ. Won't Revive Medical Co.'s Coverage Suit,” the Georgia attorney general filed the underlying multimillion-dollar suit against a medical company and its president for allegedly violating the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act by engaging in false advertising. The medical company sought coverage for the suit from the insurer. The insurer, in turn, denied coverage on the basis that the allegations in the suit were unrelated to the company's professional services as a medical clinic, and thus, not covered by the relevant policy. The medical company subsequently sued the insurer, seeking a declaration that the insurer had a duty to defend the underlying suit. In response, Lewis Brisbois filed a motion to dismiss the matter, which the district court granted. The plaintiffs then appealed.

On appeal, the circuit panel agreed with the lower court’s determination that the attorney general’s claims did not involve alleged negligence related to covered professional services, but instead focused on the medical company’s advertising. As such, the claims were not covered. The Eleventh Circuit noted, “The plain and unambiguous Policy language makes clear that the claims asserted against Plaintiffs in the underlying civil action fall outside the scope of Policy's coverage. . . . [Defendant], thus, owed no duty to defend Plaintiffs in the underlying suit."

Mr. Friedman serves as a national vice-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation Practices. Mr. Meeks is a member of these practices. Both attorneys have extensive experience claim counseling and litigating in a wide variety of insurance coverage areas including general liability, pollution, construction defect, first party property, employment, professional liability, errors & omissions, public entity liability, surplus lines, asbestos, and toxic torts. They are also members of Lewis Brisbois' Appellate Practice and routinely handle appeals in state and federal court.

You may read the full Law360 article here (subscription may be required).


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