I am experienced with insurance coverage and bad faith issues arising in a wide range of policy types. I have dealt with third party coverages (including comprehensive general liability, professional liability, director’s and officer’s liability, and personal injury and advertising injury coverages – defamation, copyright/trademark, and false imprisonment), first party coverages (including life, title insurance, and business or property owners – fire, earthquake, flood, employee dishonesty and theft), ERISA-covered policies (usually but not always disability claims), workers compensation, and a variety of specialty coverages (for example, antiques, specialty automobiles, environmental, banker bonds, nursing home, and ships).
These disputes raise coverage and policy interpretation questions, including whether “property damage” occurred under general liability policies; environmental coverage under different policies; duty to defend; scope and coverage for fire or earthquake damage, and other property loss claims; scope and interpretation of various exclusions; notice and statute of limitations; additional insured claims; self-insured-retention disputes; agency relationships and liability of principals for agents’ conduct, representations, etc.; misrepresentation and rescission; fraud and truth-in-lending; underinsured motorist; subrogation; allocation among insurers; and the full range of bad faith claims. I have also handled cases arising from manuscript and specially written policies.
I am comfortable handling suits between insurers and insureds, between claimants to the proceeds of policies in interpleader, between customers and brokers or agents for claims of breach of various duties in both seeking and binding coverage and handling claims, and between insurers and third parties in subrogation actions. I have also helped resolve disputes among insurers over respective duties and liabilities and how they should be apportioned, for example allocation between different coverage years and different layers of coverage (primary and excess insurers), in many contexts, from liability to title insurance. I have handled claims between an insurer and claims handler over costs, deductibles and accounting. And I have handled disputes between workers compensation insurers and customers over claims experience and accounting issues for premium adjustments.
I have assisted with disputes concerning disability insurance and other ERISA-covered policies under employer-sponsored plans, as well as similar disputes not covered by ERISA. I have grown familiar with the medical as well as legal issues common in this area, including claims arising from reports of subjective pain to emerging medical diagnoses such as fibromyalgia, and different standards for short- and long-term disability policies. There are cross-over issues between disability insurance claims and employment claims under the ADA, as well as worker’s compensation practices. I have worked with claimants in a variety of job categories and skill levels: executives, professionals, technical, clerical and sales.
Often insurance issues become a factor in other cases as well, and my experience has proven useful where an insurer’s potential coverage defenses otherwise might complicate settlement of a claim against the insured.