Opioid Crisis Complicity Not Covered By Insurance

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McKesson Corp. recently faced a setback in its legal battle related to the opioid crisis as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a district court’s ruling that insurers AIG’s Nation Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh and Chubb’s ACE Property and Casualty Insurance Co. were not obligated to cover defense costs. The case asked whether McKesson’s role in the opioid crisis was accidental and thus covered by general liability policies or deliberate, which would exclude it from such coverage.

AIG and Chubb had argued that McKesson’s actions were intentional, thereby absolving them of the obligation to cover defense costs under general liability policies. This ruling upheld the stance taken by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, affirming that McKesson’s actions were intentional and thus not covered by insurance.

This legal development reflects the complexities and challenges insurers face in navigating claims related to the opioid epidemic as they grapple with the distinction between accidental and deliberate actions in determining coverage obligations.

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