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CAA co-founder and former Walt Disney Co. president Michael Ovitz has resolved a dispute with his insurance company over its refusal to pay a larger share of his nearly $13 million settlement with journalist Anita Busch.
Busch had claimed Ovitz hired infamous private investigator Anthony Pellicano to intimidate her into killing a story and, after more than a decade of litigation, the parties settled in January 2018 — just days before trial was set to begin.
Then, in March 2018, Ovitz sued Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company alleging it made a payment toward the settlement that was “well below its policy limits.” The insurer filed a motion for summary judgment in August arguing Ovitz’s claim should be tossed because it paid $2 million and “an excess insurer has no duty to accept even a reasonable settlement offer with respect to non-covered claims.” This, it argued, wasn’t a covered claim because only “accidents” trigger a coverage obligation.
L.A. County Superior Court judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis in October partially granted the motion, finding triable issues of fact remained but punitive damages weren’t an appropriate remedy.
The parties notified the court earlier this month that they had reached a settlement, the terms of which haven’t been publicly closed. Trial had been scheduled to begin on Monday.
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