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Vitamin Energy, LLC v. Evanston Ins. Co.

3rd Circuit

January 5, 2022

The Third Circuit vacated the District Court’s order, which ruled that the insurance company did not have to defend the company it insured. Vitamin Energy, LLC, obtained a policy from Evanston Insurance and was subsequently sued by a competitor for publishing certain comparative claims and infringing the 5-hour Energy mark in advertising and packaging. The District Court ruled that Evanston had no duty to defend. The Third Circuit thought otherwise. The Court held that Vitamin Energy carried its burden to establish the insurer’s duty to defend. Read liberally in favor of coverage, as is required, the 5-hour Energy complaint and the insurance policy imposed on Evanston a duty to defend Vitamin Energy in the underlying suit, at least until there was no possibility that 5-hour Energy could prevail on a claim covered by the policy.

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