Sean A. Smith


The dispute between H & R Block and its excess policy insurers presented the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit with an issue of national first impression: does the existence of a series of class action lawsuits prior to the enactment of a claims made insurance policy make it reasonably foreseeable that similar future claims will be filed? 14 The Eighth Circuit's ultimate decision in H & R Block, Inc. v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co. will impact insurance coverage of major corporations nationally, in both the narrow context of the upcoming wave of lawsuits against financial service companies and the broader context of any class action lawsuit that invokes liability insurance, such as consumer, securities employment, environmental, and products liability class action lawsuits. This Note argues that the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit correctly concluded that knowledge of prior class action lawsuits bars coverage under a claims made insurance policy.

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