Successful Representation for Reinsurer in Insurance Recovery Arbitration Action Against Negligent Underwriter

Represented one of the largest global reinsurers in a private arbitration action before the American Arbitration Association in claims for negligent underwriting against a Washington-based underwriter. The underwriter had underwritten and caused three successive $500,000 straight line limit commercial general liability policies to be issued to a construction company the underwriter had classified as a “handyman.” It was discovered the insured was converting three apartment complexes into condominiums, negligently installed exterior insulation finishing systems, and policy limits were paid out on all three policies. After arbitration was commenced, summary judgment was filed on behalf of the reinsurer and judgment was thereafter issued in favor of the reinsurer resulting in a seven-figure award and settlement.

Insurer’s “Unsolicited Communications” Exclusion Held Effective in Excluding Coverage for TCPA Claim

Represented a commercial lines insurer in prosecuting a declaratory judgment action in the Eastern District of Missouri to determine insurer’s duty to provide its insured a defense in an underlying lawsuit asserting violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Claimant asserted the insured had engaged in a “robo-call” advertising campaign which violated the TCPA and insured sought coverage under four consecutive commercial general liability policies. The insurer denied coverage under an “Unsolicited Communications” exclusion and, following submission of a motion for summary judgment, the Court agreed, finding no coverage existed under three of the policies as the discrete acts complained of occurred outside the effective policy periods and that coverage was otherwise excluded under the fourth policy’s “Unsolicited Communications” exclusion which, as was argued in the moving papers, was found to be broad enough to encompass and exclude coverage for the alleged TCPA violations.

Defense Verdict Returned for Client Bank in Lender Liability Lawsuit

Represented regional lending institution in a four-count lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Pulaski County, Arkansas, contending lender revoked an unqualified offer to lend a significant amount to an airplane refurbishment company. Following oral argument on the eve of trial, the Court granted the lender summary judgment on three of the four claims, leaving one count of promissory estoppel. After several days of lay and expert witness testimony, the jury returned its verdict in favor of the lender. The Supreme Court of Arizona later affirmed both summary judgment on the breach of contract, negligence and deceptive trade practices act counts, as well as the jury’s defense verdict on the promissory estoppel claim.

Successful Defense of Auto Insurer Against First-Party Bad Faith Claim

Represented insurer which issued an auto policy in Arizona to its insured/plaintiff who was involved in a significant auto accident. After conducting its claims investigation, coverage was denied under insured’s underinsured motorist coverage. Insured thereafter filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona for bad faith seeking policy benefits and punitive damages. After conducting discovery and deposing the insured, summary judgment was filed on behalf of the insurer asserting breach of the policy’s cooperation clause, providing the Court a detailed walkthrough of the insurer’s efforts to fully adjust the claim and the insured’s repeated hinderances and delays. The Court agreed and granted judgment in favor of the insurer, finding the insurer had acted reasonably in handling a pre-suit policy limits demand and in adjusting the claim.

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