Law360 Features Two O’Melveny Wins Among its Biggest Decisions of 2018

January 02, 2019

Law360 recently featured two O’Melveny wins in its review of the biggest insurance and securities law decisions of 2018.

In naming O’Melveny’s victory for client Century Indemnity Co. in KeySpan v. Munich Re to their December 14 feature, “The Biggest Property & Casualty Insurance Decisions Of 2018,” the editors wrote: “New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals, turned heads when it held that a National Grid PLC unit must pick up the tab for its own costs to clean up contamination at manufactured gas plants attributed to years when no pollution liability insurance was available in the marketplace.” 

The case provided the first opportunity for the court to consider the “unavailability exception” in a pro rata allocation regime arising in disputes involving coverage for environmental contamination, asbestos injury, and other claims stretching across many policy periods (“long-tail” claims). The decision has wide-ranging implications for insurers, reinsurers, and policyholders.

Law360’s “Biggest Securities Decisions Of 2018,” published on December 13, revisited the unanimous US Supreme Court ruling in favor of O’Melveny client China Agritech. The case, China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, tackled “stacked” class actions, addressing whether the statute of limitations should be tolled to permit a previously absent class member to bring a subsequent class action. In a 9-0 opinion, authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court answered no. The decision narrowed the tolling provisions the high court had established decades ago with its landmark American Pipe decision.

“While the China Agritech decision maintains American Pipe’s protections for individual plaintiff claims, it prevents plaintiffs in class actions defeated by a class certification denial or some other procedural defect from taking another shot simply by forming another class, compelling plaintiffs to form ‘the most plausible, most efficient class’ they can from the start,” the editors wrote.