Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Mead Johnson & Co., LLC, No. 12-3478 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Mead Johnson, purchased a primary Commercial General Liability policy from National Union, with a limit of $2 million for liability for “personal and advertising injury” and an excess liability policy from Lexington, with a limit of $25 million. Mead’s main product, Enfamil infant formula, is sold worldwide. Mead’s competitor, PBM, sued Mead for false advertising and consumer fraud and Mead sued PBM for trade dress infringement. PBM claimed that Mead had falsely asserted that PBM’s generic formula lacked key fats that promote brain and eye development. The suit sought $500 million in damages for product disparagement, a tort that the policies cover as a form of “advertising injury.” Mead did not notify the insurers of the suit until December 2009, after the suit ended in the $13.5 million verdict against Mead. Mead wanted its insurers to pay that judgment, plus a $15 million settlement that it made to resolve the class action suit. The insurers obtained declaratory judgments that they were not required to pay. The Seventh Circuit reversed the summary judgment in favor of the insurers in the suit relating to the PBM litigation, but affirmed the judgment in favor of National Union in the suit arising from the class action against Mead.