Wrong War, Wrong Time, Wrong Enemy: Insurance Company Claims Of Late Notice Should Not Sustain Refusals To Defend

Corporate Counsel

PUBLISHED ON: December 18, 2007

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[T]his strategy would involve us in the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy. - Omar Bradley, testifying before the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. Senate, May 15, 1951.

Those of us with long memories may recall that, during the 2004 presidential campaign, considerable attention was paid by the presidential candidates to the expression “wrong
war, wrong time.” They debated about which one coined the phrase and whether it applied to the war in Iraq.

As shown above, the answer is that none of them coined the phrase; it originated with U.S. Gen. Omar Bradley in the context of the Korean War. But — putting aside its various uses in the 2004 campaign — the phrase applies equally as well to insurance company denials of coverage on grounds of late notice, when underlying actions are pending.