“High School Laptop Privacy Controversy Triggers Coverage Debate”

My friend Tom Hagy, of HB Litigation Conferences, was thinking about the potential insurance implications for a hypothetical situation where a school gives a student a laptop, and then the school allegedly uses the laptop’s camera to take pictures of the student.  What insurance might apply, Tom wondered, to a claim brought against the school by the student?  He asked me for some comments.

You can find the full exchange at Tom’s blog post:  “High School Laptop Privacy Controversy Triggers Coverage Debate.”  Here is a snippet of the exchange on the issue, including thoughts from me and my former colleague, John Gibbons:

A Quick Policyholder View (Replies Encouraged)

So a high school student takes home a school laptop.   The school allegedly used the laptop’s video security system to monitor and snap photos of the sophomore.  His family sued.   The school filed an insurance claim.  The carrier sued for a declaration of no coverage.  I think that’s where we are so far.

Naturally we at HB are curious about any disputes over insurance coverage, so I asked Scott Godes of Dickstein Shapiro, one of the speakers at HB’s upcomingNetDiligence Cyber Risk & Privacy Liability Forum, for some quick thoughts on the matter.  Below is what Scott had to say.  We’re looking for other points of view.  Please send them to me at tom.hagy@litigationconferences.

Text of  Comments from Scott Godes at Dickstein Shapiro . . . .

Without addressing specifically a set of facts or particular insurance policies, I am happy to give the following thoughts about what a policyholder would want to know. I was talking about this type of issue with my colleague John Gibbons, and we had the following thoughts.

First, a denial of coverage is not the end of the line for a policyholder; rather, it is a new beginning for the policyholder. If the policyholder has not already done so, it will need to engage counsel that is experienced in insurance coverage disputes. As you know from your work at HB Litigation Conferences, insurance coverage is a complicated area of the law, with sophisticated counsel representing insurance companies. . . .

Want to read the rest of the post, including the full set of comments from John and me?  Click over to High School Laptop Privacy Controversy Triggers Coverage Debate to read more.

Disclaimer:

This blog is for informational purposes only. This may be considered attorney advertising in some states. The opinions on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s law firm and/or the author’s past and/or present clients. By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed. If you want legal advice, please retain an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed here belong only the individual contributor(s). © All rights reserved. 2010.

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2 comments

  • Incredibly awesome read. Really.

  • The subject matter of this story turns my stomach. I can’t think of any legitimate reason for the action other than voyeurism.

    I will be interested to see the outcome of this story.

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