Steven Plitt, Expert Witness Steven Plitt, Expert Witness
Insurance Bad Faith Claim Handling Expert Serving Clients Nationwide

Allocating Defense Costs in Long Latency Cases in Louisiana

Louisiana has recognized a pro rata allocation method for determining indemnification in long latency exposures. However, the Louisiana courts have not resolved the issue of whether defense costs should also be allocated in those type of cases. The Louisiana Supreme Court recently resolved that issue in Arceneaux, et al. v. Amstar Corp., et al., 2016 WL 4699163 (La. September 7, 2016). In Arceneaux the court applied a pro rata method of allocation of defense costs. In doing so, the court found that a pro rata allocative method did not violate the reasonable expectations of the insurers or the insured because neither party could reasonably expect the insurer was liable for losses that occurred outside the policy coverage periods. The court noted that a pro rata allocation scheme was an equitable system for resolving long latency disease cases. Under the court's ruling, insureds are required to pay for its defense costs during years in which it did not acquire any insurance coverage, i.e., the orphan period.

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