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Coverage Decision Affirmed By Third Circuit after a Year-Long Wait

July 12, 2019
Katherine Tammaro (Partner-New Jersey) and David Simantob (Partner-Los Angeles) received the long-awaited affirmation from the Third Circuit of the district court’s order granting our insurer client’s motion for summary judgment finding no duty to defend under "personal and advertising injury" coverage. The decision affirmed that no false statements about the competitor or its products were made, and that New Jersey does not recognize the theory that the competitor’s statements about its own products "implicitly" defamed the competitor because disparagement requires affirmative false statements under New Jersey law. The underlying lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff falsely advertised that its own products were "Made in America" when they were in fact made in Taiwan. The court found that falsely claiming that one's own product was made in America when it was not did not set forth the elements of either trade libel or defamation under New Jersey law, as both require publications of false statements about a third party or their products.

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