Goodell DeVries Obtains Fourth Circuit Reversal in a Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Case

By: GDLD | 12.26.11 | Case Results

Kamil Ismail and Joseph B. Wolf obtained reversal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit of the lower court’s entry of summary judgment against their accounting firm client in a professional liability insurance declaratory judgment action. In its December 22, 2011 opinion, the Fourth Circuit held that the district court erred in granting CAMICO Mutual Insurance Company summary judgment regarding a duty to defend the accountants in three state court professional liability actions. The court rejected CAMICO’s argument that coverage was excluded because there were also allegations of insurance agent or broker liability in the underlying actions. The Fourth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to CAMICO and directed the district court to enter judgment in favor of the accounting firm. The appellate court also agreed with the accounting firm that the district court’s decision that there was no duty to indemnify was premature under Maryland law because the coverage issues were intertwined with the underlying liability issues, and the latter were still being litigated in the professional liability cases.