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New York High Court Issues Much-Anticipated Viking Pump Ruling

May 5, 2016, Covington Alert

In re Viking Pump, Inc. & Warren Pumps, LLC, Insurance Appeals, No. 59 (N.Y. May 3, 2016) (“Viking Pump”), heralds a major development in New York insurance law to the benefit of policyholders facing claims that trigger multiple years of liability coverage as a result of continuous and progressive damage. In addressing the proper allocation method to apply to such claims, New York’s highest court applied the “all sums” rule and held that each excess carrier whose coverage was triggered could be required to pay the policyholder’s entire liability, subject only to a policy’s monetary limits. Although the opinion relies on the particular policy language at issue in the case, the decision gives policyholders ample firepower to argue that similar provisions in their own policies mandate the all sums rule, potentially allowing policyholders substantially greater recoveries for claims that stretch over multiple policy periods.

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