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Supreme Court overturns decision in favor of Hastings Mutual's denial of coverage

Citing long-standing Michigan law, the Michigan Supreme Court this week overturned a Court of Appeals decision that had granted restitution to Hastings Mutual for defending a engineering firm's liability claim.  The high court pointed out that the "duty to defend" under a liability insurance policy os broader than the duty to indemnify the insured for damages.  Since there was a fungi exclusion in the liability policy under consideration, Hastings didn't have to pay indemnification for related damagdes, but it still owed a defense because the firm had also been sued for damages to personal property that would have been covered.  Not too surprisingly, the Court of Appeals opinion that went too far in protecting insurers was written by Kirsten F. Kelly, one of the handful of Court of Appeals judges who can be counted upon to ALWAYS rule in favor of insurance companies.

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