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Case Law Update: Duty to Defend In Regards To Insurance

American Economy Ins. Co. v. DePaul University, No. 106517 & 106831, presented the question as to whether the trial court properly found that plaintiff-insurance company had a duty to defend defendants (as additional insureds named in insurance policy) in underlying action alleging that defendants selected and installed certain fluorescent light fixtures without also installing protective filters? Appellate Court rejected plaintiff’s claim that it had no duty to defend defendant where underlying complaint did not specifically name original insured named in policy. It also held that duty to defend arose where additional insured endorsement in policy provided coverage for liability arising out of original insured’s work and where third-party complaint in underlying action accused original insured of failing to properly install subject fluorescent lights. This first district decision will have an impact on premises liability cases in regards to insurance.