Ensuring an Insurer Provides Coverage to a Public Pension Plan

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court order granting summary judgment to Travelers Insurance Company (Travelers) and ordered instead that our client, the San Joaquin County Employees’ Retirement Association (SJCERA), receive a full defense under the carrier’s policy.

[San Joaquin Cty. Emples. Ret. Ass'n v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 843 Fed. Appx. 919 (9th Cir. 2021)]

SJCERA had taken out an insurance policy with Travelers, which included fiduciary liability coverage. SJCERA later became the subject of an expensive, multi-year lawsuit. SJCERA sought financial support from Travelers as part of its insurance policy to help pay for the expensive litigation, which Travelers refused.

We argued that SJCERA’s insurance policy with Travelers should include protection against the risk of impending litigation. The court found that Travelers had been in breach of contract, and granted declaratory relief arising out of Traveler’s denial of coverage under the duty-to-defend clause in SJCERA’s fiduciary liability insurance policy.

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