No Duty to Defend Pharma Company on Deceptive Marketing Claims
A commercial general liability insurer sued for a declaration it had no obligation to defend an insured drug manufacturer from underlying lawsuits alleging it engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign to expand sales of opioid products. The defendants allegedly engaged in a highly sophisticated deceptive marketing campaign that fueled the opioid addiction epidemic plaguing the nation. Tackling the overriding issue of policy construction as to whether the claims involved an “event” or “occurrence” defined as “an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions,” the California Court of Appeals held the claim did not result from an “accident” within the meaning of insurance policies. The alleged bodily injuries fell within the policies' products exclusions. Finally, the court construed the terms “arising out of” and “arising from” as not regulating the standard of causation.