J. Tyler Butts

J. Tyler Butts

J. Tyler Butts is an associate in Robinson+Cole’s Litigation Section and an active member of the firm’s Appellate and Insurance + Reinsurance Groups. He focuses his practice on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, white-collar defense, class action litigation, and antitrust litigation.

Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, Tyler worked with a national law firm on securities and probate litigation as well as on complex class action matters. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association, and Hartford County Bar Association.

Read Tyler’s rc.com bio.

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New Jersey Appellate Division Applies Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause to Bar Combined Flood/Sewer Backup Claim

Frequent readers of the blog will appreciate that disputes involving the application of anti-concurrent causation language in the context of claims for flood or water damage have appeared with some frequency in recent years. This increased level of cases is due in large part to the damage caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane … Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy, Flood, and Sewer Backup: New Jersey Federal Court Confirms Anti-Concurrent Causation Bars Insured’s Claim

As we have written about before on this blog, the water damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 gave rise to important questions concerning the applicability of so-called “anti-concurrent causation” clauses. Such was the case in the recently-decided matter of Carevel, LLC v. Aspen American Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157919 (D.N.J. Nov. … Continue Reading

A State Law Wolf in Federal Common Law Clothing: The Third Circuit Rejects Insured’s Attempt to Expand Causes of Action Under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy

Courts across the country (and particularly since Super Storm Sandy in 2012) have consistently held that, in litigation involving a dispute concerning the investigation, adjustment, or payment of a flood claim under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy, policy holders are limited to breach of contract causes of action against their Write-Your-Own insurance carriers. Those courts … Continue Reading

Missing Millions, An Armored Car Conspiracy, And A Fraudulent Connecticut Insurance Application

In determining whether or not to provide insurance to a particular applicant, one thing that insurance companies typically rely on is the insurance application submitted by the prospective insured. The application is designed to provide the insurance company with, among other things, a comprehensive overview of the risk to be insured. Given the importance of … Continue Reading

Is Anyone Home? Washington Supreme Court Interprets Two-Step Vacancy Endorsement

Disputes involving “vacancy” exclusions typically involve the appropriate definition of that word. We have previously written about such cases here and here. The recently-decided case of Lui v. Essex Ins. Co., 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692 (Wash. June 9, 2016) presents a somewhat different issue, namely, how soon after a vacancy occurs are a policy’s coverages … Continue Reading

New Jersey Federal Court Confirms Application of Anti-Concurrent Causation Language in Hurricane Sandy Lawsuit

Readers of this blog may note that we have previously discussed the topic of anti-concurrent causation clauses in various jurisdictions around the country (see here, here, and here). As a quick reminder, an anti-concurrent causation clause is that prefatory language that precedes a list of excluded perils, and that generally provides that the policy “does … Continue Reading

Recent Decision Finds No Business Income Coverage Where Flood Caused Order of Civil Authority

When Super Storm Sandy struck the Northeast on October 29, 2012, states, cities, municipalities and towns up and down the East Coast ordered hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes and businesses.  In the aftermath of those mandatory evacuations, I published an article in the April 2013 issue of DRI’s For The … Continue Reading

Contra Proferentem in New York: A Last Resort for Resolving Ambiguity in Coverage Disputes

In insurance litigation, insureds often argue that, if a provision in an insurance policy is found to be ambiguous, that ambiguity should be resolved in favor of the insured, and against the insurer that drafted the contract, under the doctrine of contra proferentem. However, as demonstrated by the recent case of Catlin Specialty Ins. Co. … Continue Reading

Another State Weighs in on Pollution Exclusions in General Liability Policies

In May 2014, Nevada became the latest state to interpret the breadth and applicability of the pollution exclusion contained within a third-party general liability policy. Although many states have considered this question, those courts have reached diametrically opposite conclusions, leading to confusion and uncertainly, particularly with respect to states that have yet to address the … Continue Reading

Interplay Between Two-Year Suit Limitation Provision And Replacement Cost Provision: New York Court of Appeals Holds That The Suit Limitation Period May be Unreasonable Under Certain Circumstances

Many property insurance policies contain suit limitation provisions limiting the time by which an insured may bring an action against the insurer under the policy.  In addition to a suit limitation provision, to recover the full replacement costs, as opposed to the actual cash value of the damage, many policies also require an insured to … Continue Reading

When It Rains It Pours: The First Circuit Tackles a Conflux of the Rain Limitation, Flood Coverage, Surface Water Exclusion, and Efficient Proximate Cause

In Fidelity Co-Operative Bank v. Nova Cas. Co., 726 F.3d 31 (1st Cir. 2013), the First Circuit addressed what can happen when a variety of inter-related perils converge to create one loss under a policy with numerous amendatory endorsements that differ substantially from the typical commercial property policy. The insured in this case suffered extensive … Continue Reading

New Jersey Appellate Court Rejects Insured’s Attempt to Circumvent the Pollution Exclusion in Asbestos-Related Loss by Using the Vandalism Exception to the Exclusion

When faced with the impending application of an exclusion that negates any coverage for a claimed loss, an insured may sometimes resort to far-fetched or implausible arguments to contend that the exclusion does not apply, or that an exception to the exclusion has the effect of reviving coverage. The insured in Woodcliff Lake Board of … Continue Reading

Enforceability of 180-Day Requirement for Recovering Replacement Cost Holdback Addressed By Southern District of New York

A federal court in New York recently cast light on the permissibility of property insurance policy provisions that require an insured to repair or replace damaged property within a certain period of time in order to be compensated for the full cost of the repair or replacement, instead of just the actual cash value of … Continue Reading

Insured Fails To Rebut Presumption Of Prejudice: Florida Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment To Insurer On Late Notice Wilma Claim

As we have indicated in prior blog posts on the Soronson, Slominski, and 1500 Coral Towers cases, late notice issues have been cropping up consistently in Florida in the context of Hurricane Wilma claims being reported years after the storm. Although the above-cases were decided by Florida appellate courts, the latest case to address Florida law … Continue Reading

Update Regarding New York’s Mediation Amendment

The New York Department of Financial Services has appointed the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) in New York as the exclusive “designated organization” to handle Storm Sandy mediations pursuant to the Mediation Amendment. The AAA contact information to be inserted into notice letters sent to insureds pursuant to the Mediation Amendment is as follows: American Arbitration … Continue Reading

Mandatory Mediation Program for Hurricane Sandy Losses: New York Department of Financial Services Adopts New Amendment to Regulation 64

On February 25, 2013, the New York Department of Financial Services promulgated a significant new Hurricane Sandy-related regulation that will impact nearly all insurers doing business in the State of New York. Specifically, the Department adopted the Fifteenth Amendment (entitled “Mediation) to New York’s Regulation 64 (“Mediation Amendment”). The Fifteenth Amendment was adopted as an … Continue Reading
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