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Mitigating the Incidence & Severity of Injuries & Other Harms

Ace American Insurance Co., et al., v. Rite Aid Co., et al.

Overview

Ace American Insurance Co., et al., v. Rite Aid Co., et al. (Del. Sup. Ct., Jan. 10, 2022): The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that an insurer is not required to provide coverage and defend Rite Aid in lawsuits brought by governmental entities alleging the pharmacy fueled the opioid epidemic. The court examined whether insurance policies that cover lawsuits for personal injury require insurers to defend policyholders against claims seeking only economic damages, not damages for personal injury. The court concluded that when insurance policies only cover personal injury claims, the insurer is not required to defend policyholders against lawsuits seeking only economic damages. For Rite Aid to have received coverage here, the lawsuit(s) against it had to have been brought by or on behalf of people injured by opioids. The court noted that “this claim is not directed to an individual injury but to a public health crisis[.]” Justice Vaughn dissented, arguing the policy language should be interpreted broadly to cover all damages brought against Rite Aid for the care, loss of services, or death of an individual due to opioid addiction. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – February 15, 2022.

View all cases under “Mitigating The Incidence & Severity of Injuries & Other Harms.”