Chubb Ltd. was not required to defend a satellite television company during a media exclusion in its policy, a federal appellate court said Wednesday when it upheld a lower court ruling.
Englewood, Colorado-based Dish Network Corp., which provides television products and services, received a commercial general liability policy from the Chubb Ltd. unit Ace American Insurance Co. which included a media exclusion, according to the judgment of the Second U.S. Court of Appeals in New York in Dish Network Corp. ., Dish Network LLC v. Ace American Insurance Co.
Dish sought coverage from Ace under his insurance after being sued by four television networks in separate lawsuits for alleged copyright infringement, the judgment said.
Ace denied surveillance and refused to defend the company, based on its media exclusion, which excluded surveillance of policyholders whose business was broadcasting.
brought an action against Ace in the U.S. District Court in New York, alleging that the insurer had violated its defense obligation by failing to defend it or reimbursing its defense costs.
The district court ruled in Dish's favor and was unanimously upheld by a three-judge appellate court panel.
Ace has no obligation to defend Dish under his policy, the ruling said. "First, the 'broadcast' used in its media exclusion is not ambiguous and applies to Dish's business. Second, Dish's argument that the simple and ordinary meaning of 'broadcast' does not apply here fails," the judgment said.
The definitions of the policy "make it clear that the term" transmission "simply means to send a signal, in particular a radio or television signal, to a certain number of receivers ̵1; which is precisely the nature of Dish's business", it said.
line that Dish tries to draw – between free shipping and shipping to paid subscribers – is not reflected in the common use of the term "shipping", it said, to confirm the verdict in lower court.
Actors in the case did not respond to requests for comment