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Survey Article


Courts continue to address the unique issues that arise with respect to uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, often finding that coverage exists. In a case of first impression, the Georgia Supreme Court held that an insured may recover UM benefits from a policy, despite the partial sovereign immunity of the tortfeasor. An insured may be entitled to UM benefits after settling with the tortfeasor's liability carrier for the full policy limits, even though a limited liability release allocates the majority of the settlement amount to punitive damages. Further, courts continue to strictly adhere to the "case or controversy" requirement in order for a party to have standing to bring a declaratory judgment action on a coverage issue. An insured is precluded from bringing a bad faith action against its insurer where the insured breached the policy condition that requires obtaining the insurer's consent before settling a claim. Courts found no waiver of, and therefore enforced, the policy conditions, including the requirements for the insured to file suit within one year of the date of loss and provide notice of a claim within a certain time period. In a case of first impression, paint was found not to constitute a pollutant as defined by a liability policy; therefore, the pollution exclusion did not apply to a claim arising out of the ingestion of lead paint.

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