Experience

Counsel to Insured Property Owner Defending Adverse Possession Claim

Served as counsel to insured under owner’s policy in successfully affirming trial judgment denying adverse possession as to a permissive use easement.

Summary Judgment Granted for Insurer on Definition of “Occupying”

Plaintiffs filed suit against client insurer for vexatious refusal to pay uninsured motorist benefits under a commercial auto policy. At issue was whether the insured was “occupying” his vehicle, as the term was defined in the policy, when he was hit by an unknown driver. Client insurer filed a motion for summary judgment. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted the client’s motion for summary judgment and plaintiffs did not appeal.

Summary Judgment Granted for Insurer on Specified Premises Endorsement

Suit was filed against an insured following an automobile accident involving a fatality. Client insurer filed a declaratory judgment action in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas concerning interpretation of the Specified Premises Endorsement in a commercial general liability insurance policy. Competing cross motions for summary judgment were filed. The court granted the client’s motion for summary judgment and denied the competing motion for summary judgment.

Judgment Affirmed on Appeal in Insurance Case

The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District affirmed a judgment dismissing a case against an insurance company client with prejudice as sanctions for failure to appear. The Eastern District stated the trial court did not abuse its discretion in issuing sanctions and dismissing the case.

$2.3 Million Judgment for Insurance Client

Secured judgment for insurance client and its insured in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri for more than $2.3 million in a case concerning which of two insurers would pay for the settlement of an underlying civil action. Following jury and bench trials in favor of the client, the court awarded nearly all damages sought as well as more than $646,000 in prejudgment interest.

Represented Insurance Company in Suit Involving Alleged Violation of Reinsurance Agreement

Represented an insurance company in connection with a lawsuit alleging violation of a reinsurance agreement.

Represented Insurance Company in Suit Involving State-Assigned Risk Program

Represented an insurance company in connection with a lawsuit against a state-assigned risk program alleging violation of a contractual indemnification provision.

Secured Unconditional Defense Coverage from Insurer for Client

Client company and its executives were sued by a former employee for various claims arising from allegations of sexual harassment. The client’s insurer denied coverage. After prevailing upon the insurer to withdraw its disclaimer, the insurer agreed to provide an unconditional defense and indemnity for the claims against the client.

Defeat of Preliminary Injunction Action Against Insurance Broker, Employees

Represented a specialty insurance broker and several employees in a federal court lawsuit brought by the employees’ former employer. Defeated a preliminary injunction action brought by the former employer after a four-day evidentiary hearing.

Counsel to Insured Homeowner Defeating Claim to Strip Ownership

Served as counsel to insured under owner’s policy to successfully protect property title, in state court and on appeal, from adverse claims by neighbor and lender.

Counsel to Insured Mortgagee Defeating Bankruptcy Trustee Avoidance Action

Served as counsel to insured under lender’s policy successfully defeating bankruptcy trustee’s lien avoidance adversary complaint.

Summary Judgment on $21+ Million Vexatious Refusal Claim

Secured summary judgment for insurer regarding in a high-stakes insurance coverage/vexatious refusal action arising from a class action. The plaintiff had sought more than $21 million from the insurer client ostensibly for damages incurred litigating and settling an $80+ million consumer class action suit alleging violations of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Successful Intervention Under Amended 537.065 and Then Win on the Merits

Successfully intervened in underlying tort suit on behalf of insurance company following insured’s entry into R.S.Mo. 537.065 agreement. We later obtained summary judgment on claims against insured and then secured affirmance of that judgment on appeal.

Summary Judgment on Key Policy Language

Secured summary judgment for insurer in a lawsuit challenging key language in the policy issued by the client. The plaintiff had filed suit arguing key language in the policy, which had been issued to thousands of policyholders, was ambiguous.

Successful Intervention Under Amended 537.065 and Then $8 Million Award in Arbitration Action

Successfully intervened in arbitration approval action on behalf of insurance company months after alleged insured entered into R.S.Mo. 537.065 agreement. Following intervention, the court vacated its judgment approving an $8 million arbitration award against the alleged insured.     

Defense Verdict for Insurance Client

Obtained a defense verdict for our insurance client following a three-week trial. The plaintiff sought $3.1 million related to a consent decree where it agreed to clean up soil and groundwater contamination from a manufacturing site. The insurers asserted that the plaintiff knew about the contamination for decades and did not properly notify its insurers, and that prior claims had been made associated with the contamination without proper notice. The jury found in favor of the insurers on all claims.

Summary Judgment for Insurance Client

Secured a summary judgment for insurance company in a case before the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The matter involved a traffic accident in which the plaintiffs recovered the full policy limits under the insured's business auto policy, but their claim was denied under the insured's general liability policy. The Court found that the general liability policy's auto and mobile equipment exclusions applied in this case.

Summary Judgment in a $25+ Million Suit for Insurance Client

Secured a summary judgment for insurance client in a Missouri state court case where the insureds had entered agreements under R. S. Mo. 537.065 with the tort plaintiff, who had been wrongfully imprisoned nearly 20 years, leading to a $25 million judgment against the insureds. The matter involved trigger issues and number of occurrences, and the Court accepted the insurer’s argument that under applicable law there was only one trigger and that preceded the insurer’s earliest policy period.

Win On Significant Coverage Appeal

Obtained win in the appellate court after tort plaintiff was unsuccessful in his trial court coverage challenges, centered on the concurrent proximate cause doctrine. The insurance client had Armstrong Teasdale take over the matter on appeal involving artful pleading by the plaintiff and close questions of Missouri law.

Win at Trial and Then Appeal in Putative Class Coverage Suit

Successfully fended off class certification in the trial court, forcing a de minimis judgment on the individual claim, and then secured an appellate win in the appeal from the same. The suit involved policy construction and ambiguity claims, with the appellate court ruling against application of the contra proferentem doctrine in light of our policy construction arguments.

Secure Reversal in Favor of Insurance Client on $10 Million Appeal

Part of the team that secured reversal in the Court of Appeals of a $10 million coverage ruling involving complex indemnity relationships and competing towers of insurance coverage. The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of our insurance client based on applications of the anti-subrogation rule and the rule against circuitous actions.

Representation in Various Insurance Coverage Issues

Represented homeowners associations, developers and real estate property managers on various insurance coverage issues, including D&O policies, property damage, construction disputes, and commercial liability.

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