Twin City Fire Insurance Coverage Suit: Court Rules Against Coverage for Tzumi Innovations

Twin City Fire Insurance Coverage Suit

In a recent ruling that could have significant implications for the insurance landscape, the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision in the Twin City Fire Insurance Coverage Suit, stating that the insurer does not owe coverage to Tzumi Innovations LLC. The case revolves around accusations of false advertising concerning the efficacy of Tzumi’s sanitizing products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Twin City Fire Insurance Coverage Suit: No Basis for Coverage

The three-judge panel concluded that Twin City Fire Insurance Co. was not obligated to provide a defense to Tzumi under the personal and advertising injury provision of its commercial general liability policy. According to the court, there was no factual or legal basis supporting the idea that Twin City should extend coverage to Tzumi.

Disparagement Allegations Dismissed

The underlying class action lawsuit, brought by Kari Proskin, alleged that Tzumi falsely marketed its Wipe Out! product line as effective in disinfecting surfaces. However, the court found that these allegations did not constitute disparagement against competitor products, a key factor in determining coverage under the policy.

Twin City Fire Insurance Coverage Suit: Class Action Background

Proskin’s nationwide class action, filed in July 2022, accused Tzumi of misleading consumers by claiming its products were approved for antimicrobial use despite lacking EPA approval. Tzumi tendered the lawsuit to Twin City, which then disclaimed coverage, leading to Tzumi’s subsequent legal action.

Legal Battle Unfolds

Following Twin City’s motion to dismiss, U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams ruled in favor of the insurer, emphasizing that the allegations focused solely on Tzumi’s products and their alleged harm to consumers. Tzumi argued for coverage, contending that its marketing implicitly disparaged competitors, but the Second Circuit ultimately disagreed.

Stakes High in Marketing Positioning

During oral arguments, Tzumi asserted that its marketing positioned its products as superior to competitors, thus constituting implicit disparagement. Conversely, Twin City’s counsel countered that such implications were not evident from Tzumi’s marketing materials.

Twin City Fire Insurance Coverage Suit: Outcomes and Next Steps

With the Second Circuit’s decision against Tzumi, the case underscores the complexities of insurance coverage in the context of advertising disputes. Tzumi’s representation declined to comment, while Twin City did not immediately respond to requests for comment.