INSURANCE-MARINE INSURANCE-COVERAGE

September 14th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Insurance

Great Lakes Ins. SE v. Raiders Retreat Realty Co., LLC, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 24409 (3rd Cir. August 30, 2022) (Ambro, C.J.)  A yacht owned by Raiders Retreat Realty Co., LLC ran aground. Raiders had insured the vessel with marine insurer Great Lakes Insurance SE (“GLI”). But after Raiders submitted a claim under its policy, GLI left it high and dry. The insurer’s reason for denying coverage: the yacht’s fire-extinguishing equipment had not been timely recertified or inspected notwithstanding that the vessel’s damage was not caused by fire. GLI sued first, seeking in federal court a declaratory judgment that Raiders’ alleged failure to recertify or inspect its fire-suppression equipment rendered the policy void from its inception.  A lawsuit was brought under Pennsylvania law for breach of fiduciary duty, insurance bad faith, and Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.  The question is whether New York or Pennsylvania law applies.  After a lengthy discussion, the court determined that the district court needs to consider whether Pennsylvania has a strong public policy that would be thwarted by applying New York law.  The court thus vacated and remanded for further proceedings as to application of law in this interlocutory appeal.  The basic dispute concerns what state law should apply, or even federal law in admiralty.  The Supreme Court spoke to the framework as to which of two competing states was the proper forum for a tort action is admiralty.  That key case is Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Company, 407 U.S. 1, 15 (1972).s

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]

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