RACHEL B. BEAUCHAMP OBTAINED SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN WISCONSIN COVERAGE CASE ADDRESSING “WAGE AND HOUR” CLAIMS

Rachel B. Beauchamp obtained a declaratory judgment of no coverage and no obligations of defense or indemnity on behalf of her client in a Wisconsin declaratory judgment action.   The case addressed an underlying class action lawsuit alleging violations of both Wisconsin and Federal laws regulating overtime, travel time, minimum wage, and computation of overtime and benefits.  Attorney Beauchamp’s insurer had policies of insurance providing CGL coverage, Employee Benefits Liability Coverage, EPLI coverage, and umbrella coverage.   The defendant argued that coverage for the class action claims was found in both the Employee Benefits Liability coverage and the EPLI coverage – and argued that if there was not coverage in the EPLI portion of the policy then the insurer had sold illusory coverage.  The Wisconsin Circuit court granted coverage finding that there was no initial grant of coverage in the Employee Benefits Liability coverage and that there was an explicit exclusion for so-called “wage and hour” type claims in the EPLI policy.   As a result, the insurer had no duty to defend the insured in the federal class action suit.