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Ohio Ruling Continues Pro-insurer Shift in Opioid Wars

Law360 Insurance Authority

The Ohio Supreme Court's recent reversal of a ruling that insurers have a duty to defend against government public nuisance suits over the increased costs of responding to the opioid epidemic has legal experts saying the tide is now turning in favor of carriers.


Seth Lamden of Blank Rome LLP, who represents policyholders, said companies may seek coverage beyond general liability insurance. For instance, the Ohio and Delaware high courts' reasoning may not preclude coverage under a directors and officers policy, he said.

"While most D&O policies have exclusions for certain types of losses arising out of bodily injury, those exclusions may not apply where a court has found that opioid lawsuits are seeking economic losses rather than damages because of bodily injury," he said.

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"Ohio Ruling Continues Pro-insurer Shift in Opioid Wars," by Shane Dilworth was published in Law360 Insurance Authority on September 12, 2022.