Navigating complex coverage issues while fulfilling contractual obligations to the insured often presents difficult challenges for carriers. Insurance agents and brokers also find themselves in the middle of coverage disputes between their insured and the carrier. The LGWM Insurance Coverage Practice Group has a team of seasoned coverage attorneys to assist clients in resolving these problems.
We represent insurers and agents and brokers in various capacities. Our team routinely is called upon to render coverage opinions, prosecute declaratory judgment actions, defend bad faith claims, and assist carriers in preserving coverage issues by intervening in liability litigation. Because of our extensive agent and broker practice, we also are routinely engaged to assist agents and brokers in resolving coverage issues between their clients and carriers in order to prevent potential litigation involving coverage issues and professional liability claims. Our coverage group has extensive experience in coverage matters involving professional liability, directors and officers, commercial general liability, employment practices, environmental/pollution, and personal lines. We also provide monitoring counsel and outside claims assistance to carriers.
The LGWM coverage team represents insurers in litigation, arbitration and mediation when coverage disputes arise. LGWM has attorneys admitted to federal and state courts in Alabama, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, and Tennessee. LGWM attorneys have tried and/or brought to successful resolution numerous coverage disputes involving a variety of policy forms.
Cases of Note:
- Represented excess insurer in response to the reporting of potential claims against an insured investment management firm arising out of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Analyzed coverage for claims subsequently made against the insured for alleged wrongful acts in failing to notify investors of the risks of investing in Madoff and various feeder funds.
- Advised insurer on coverage available for DOJ investigation of insured contractor for violation of the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act at multiple properties in the southeast U.S. over the course of 25 years. Analyzed multiple coverage issues including claim reporting and notice obligations, application of retroactive dates, insured status issues, and the impact of defense and settlement without insurer consent.
- Represented commercial general liability insurer in connection with a multimillion dollar construction defect claim asserted against insured product manufacturer, additional insured distributor and installer, and multiple other non-insured parties. Representation included analysis of trigger issues under Alabama, North Carolina, and Missouri law, evaluation of batch endorsements and resulting impact on self-insured retention obligations, and analysis of complex additional insured issues. Negotiated on behalf of client with insured and other carriers to ensure proper allocation of any defense or indemnity contribution ultimately made to resolve the claim.
- Advised insurer on coverage for insurance claims reported by insured international manufacturing company in response to SEC investigation of financial reporting practices and subsequent class actions filed against the insured in the U.S. and Canada. Representation involved analysis of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act and its Canadian counterpart, the Ontario Securities Act.
- Advised insurer on coverage implications for lawsuit against insured investment fund based on insured’s alleged involvement in a Ponzi scheme, which defrauded $50 million in real estate assets from a single client. Negotiated favorable resolution of claim for insurer with insured contributing 30% of settlement payment to client from its own funds.
- Represented insurer in connection with an underlying lawsuit involving acquisition of a West Virginia coal mining operation. The insured was sued for various securities violations. Our coverage investigation revealed misrepresentations by the insured to the insurer, ultimately resulting in a successful disclaimer of coverage.
- Represented D&O insurer in connection with claims resulting from the collapse of a failed casino project. Provided coverage advice to insurer under directors and officers liability and run off insurance policies following insured’s bankruptcy. Successfully negotiated a global settlement with the bankruptcy trustee.
- Advised insurer on complex insurance claim by insured financial services company after multiple claims were asserted against the insured by national banking institutions following the U.S. mortgage crisis. Identified and analyzed significant coverage issues including late reporting, trigger of prior policy years, interrelation, misrepresentation on insurance applications, and prior knowledge defenses. Represented insurer in subsequent coverage litigation and assisted insurer in negotiating favorable settlement.
- Counseled various insurers on commercial property coverage issues associated with hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.