In May 2018, the American Law Institute (ALI) gave final approval to its "Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance." Parts of the conversion continue to be controversial, and state legislators have begun to push it back.
ALI is an independent organization of lawyers aimed at clarifying and simplifying US case law to help judges in their decisions. For this purpose, ALI publishes a variety of materials that describe what case law says in different areas, including insurance. One of the materials that ALI publishes is called a " reformulation of law " which attempts to describe common law and its statutory parts. It is basically a way for judges to know where the law is now on a number of different issues.
The latest rewording is aimed at liability insurance and includes provisions that have been met with voting rights to state legislators, the insurance industry and lawyers. These include possible changes in how insurance can be interpreted. how coverage is triggered for "long-tailed" claims (claims that may last for many years, such as environmental losses); and how an insurer can be held responsible for breaking its duty of defense.
Opponents argue that some of the provisions of the rewording are fundamental and ̵
Others have called this criticism of the reformulation unfounded or have sought a more balanced response to its changes.
But regardless of who is right, state legislators have begun to act against the reformulation. The National Insurance Legislature Conference has come out against it. Arkansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas have all recently approved laws designed to limit or condemn the use of the conversion in any form to their respective insurance laws. The Kentucky and Indiana lawmakers have also reviewed resolutions stating that they are opposed to the ALI reformulation.
Here's how it all shakes: does the liability insurance law remain in the case law? Will the law governing the transition continue to spread? Only time will tell.