Michigan Lawyers Weekly Reports on Insurance Coverage Case Won by Michael Schmidt and Nate Peplinski in Which Insurer Held to Have No Duty to Provide Coverage or a Defense in Underlying Class Action
Invecor, LLC was sued in a class action filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey alleging that Invecor had sent unsolicited faxes in violation of federal and state law. AMCO Insurance Company filed a declaratory complaint in Oakland Circuit Court alleging that it had no duty to provide coverage or a defense to Invecor for the claims made in the underlying class action based upon an endorsement exclusion added to the policy excluding coverage for violation of statutes governing emails, faxes, phone calls or other methods of sending materials or information. The parties filed cross-motions for summary disposition. During the pendency of the declaratory action, the plaintiffs in the underlying class action obtained a judgment against Invecor in the amount of $17.3 million in the New Jersey federal court class action. After reviewing the cross-motions for summary disposition and response and reply briefs in the declaratory action, the court held oral argument and granted summary disposition to AMCO that it had no duty to provide coverage or a defense to Invecor in the underlying class-action suit. The court held that the policy renewal packet provided notice of the endorsement exclusion added to the policy, and that the endorsement was properly filed with the Michigan Insurance Commission.
The court held that the endorsement exclusion was clear and unambiguous and excluded coverage for all of the claims made against Invecor in the underlying federal court class-action lawsuit and that notice was provided to the insured by mailing a copy of the policy renewal packet to the insured’s independent insurance agent. The court further held that Sparkle Hill, Inc. failed to provide any evidence to counter the evidence established that notice was properly provided. The class-action plaintiff, Sparkle Hill, Inc. then filed a claim of appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for AMCO. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition for AMCO. Michigan Lawyers Weekly reported on this significant victory here.