Seventh Circuit affirms dismissal of coverage suit based on clearly excluded statutory claims

In a recent decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a coverage suit after the insurer filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. In the case of Mesa Laboratories, Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., (Appeal No. 20-1983), the insured argued that even though the applicable policy clearly excluded coverage for the defense of claims arising under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 37 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(C), the common law claims asserted in the underlying action should not be excluded and Federal should have been required to provide defense and indemnity.

The Seventh Circuit affirmed judgment on the pleadings in favor of Federal. The policy’s “Information Laws Exclusion” provided that the policy “does not apply to any damages, loss, cost or expense arising out of any actual or alleged or threatened violation of “ TCPA “or any similar regulatory or statutory law in any other jurisdiction.” The court held that this exclusion barred all of the claims because the common-law claims arose out of the same conduct underlying the statutory claims.

A full copy of the opinion is available here. For questions regarding the exclusions in your business policy, contact the policyholder attorneys at Parr Richey.