California Court of Appeal

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Mt. Hawley Insurance Company v. Lopez, B234082

Insurance Code section 533.5(b) does not preclude an insurer from agreeing to provide a defense for criminal actions against its insured brought by federal prosecutors, and therefore, the insurer in this case, which had agreed to provide its insureds with a defense in "a criminal proceeding . . . commenced by the return of an indictment" "even if the allegations are groundless, false or fraudulent," cannot avoid its contractual duty to defend an insured against federal criminal charges by relying on section 533.5(b).

Appellate Information

  • Decided 05/01/2013
  • Published 05/01/2013




  • California Court of Appeal


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