ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Harvey Weinstein's insurance policies

Yet another contract aspect has emerged to the Harvey Weinstein situation, beyond the NDAs with the accusers, the contracts between lawyers and private investigators, and the complicated situation with the National Enquirer. Now insurance policies have stepped into the fray. According to this article, Weinstein's insurance companies are denying coverage based on alleged exclusions of "blatantly egregious and intentionally harmful acts." Weinstein, as his defense has stated, denies the accusations against him and counters that the insurance companies are siding with the accusers in order to get out of paying their obligations. 

According to the insurers, Weinstein is facing eighteen lawsuits and other claims that have been filed in the past year. Naturally, Weinstein's defense is costing a great deal of money. Whether the insurance companies need to pay out under the policies (and which insurance companies need to pay out) probably depends on the exact wording of the policies, which seem to all be slightly different. For instance, one carrier was providing "crisis assistance" in the event of "significant adverse regional or national media coverage." Another was apparently a policy for legal defense that according to Weinstein explicitly included criminal investigations. 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2018/08/harvey-weinsteins-insurance-policies.html

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Comments

It is quite common for professional liability insurance policies to exclude coverage for personal conduct, intentional or willful conduct. Some will nevertheless cover defense expenses. These exclusions are supported by strong public policy that one cannot insure (avoid personal liability for) intentional misconduct. If colleagues really wanted to bring this point home, they might get language from legal malpractice policy.

Posted by: Judith Maute | Aug 1, 2018 8:38:50 PM

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