Insurance companies with policies covering Phusion Projects, Inc., which makes the caffeinated alcohol beverage Four Loko®, have filed a summary judgment motion in their declaratory judgment action against the company, claiming that a policy exclusion unambiguously frees them from defending or indemnifying the beverage maker. The Netherlands Ins. Co. v. Phusion Projects, Inc., No. 11-1253 (N.D. Ill., filed June 22, 2011). The companies contend that their commercial general liability and commercial umbrella policies have liquor liability exclusions that apply to actions pending in Florida, Illinois and New Jersey alleging that “Four Loko caused a particularly dangerous kind of intoxication” and seeking monetary damages for deaths and injuries. Details about a similar insurance coverage lawsuit involving other insurers appear in Issue 396 of this Update.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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