Insurance Coverage & Recovery

Our attorneys primarily represent policyholders in connection with insurance coverage and recovery matters.

We assist clients in securing insurance coverage for liability claims that have been asserted against them. The principal forms of insurance that we address include Director’s and Officer’s Liability Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Title Insurance and Errors and Omissions Insurance. Within these and other areas, we assist clients in evaluating coverage issues, and we also provide guidance concerning the particular coverage options that may be best suited to a client’s needs.

We also represent clients in both negotiations and litigation with insurance carriers concerning coverage and recovery issues. Thus, where an insurance carrier fails to provide a defense to its insured, or where it otherwise fails to meet its obligations under an insurance policy, the firm’s attorneys seek to secure coverage from the carrier and, when necessary, will pursue litigation to obtain a coverage determination from the Court and to recover policy proceeds.

Representative matters we have handled include the following:

First-party cases

  • Representation of National Union Fire Ins. Co. in declaratory relief and bad faith action involving imposition of multi-million dollar penalties assessed against insured-employer under California worker’s compensation laws.
  • Representation of Zenith Insurance Company in first-party suit on surety bonds issued by Hartford Insurance Company.
  • Representation of Chicago Title in coverage dispute arising from insured’s breach of duty of cooperation.

Third-party coverage and bad faith

  • Representation of The Salvation Army in declaratory relief and bad faith action against Continental Casualty Company and other insurance carriers for recovery of defense and indemnity payments made in connection with underlying sexual molestation claims.
  • Representation of media personality Tony Robbins in declaratory relief and bad faith action against media liability insurer obligated to provide defense in connection with third-party fraud and RICO action.
  • Representation of Old Republic National Title Company in damages phase of bad faith litigation.
  • Representation of specialty chemical company against its liability carrier in coverage dispute arising from product liability claim.
  • Representation of publicly held company against D & 0 carrier for recovery of expenses incurred in connection with SEC investigation.

Title insurance

  • Tried to judgment claim on behalf of subrogee of Fidelity National Title Insurance Company resulting in $1 million non-dischargeable judgment arising out of forgeries of promissory note and trust deed.
  • Representation of national title insurance company’s insured in action involving fraudulent transfers and recordation of lis pendens; published appellate decision in client’s favor.

Brokers and agents

  • Tried to judgment writ of mandate proceeding on behalf of insurance broker Willis which confirmed client’s award of insurance and risk management contract in connection with the Alameda Corridor redevelopment project.
  • Representation of insurance broker Willis in negligence suit brought by National Football League arising out of alleged “gap” in coverage.
  • Representation of the Salvation Army in suit against AON Corp. for broker malpractice involving placement of CGL policy.
  • Representation of Marsh Risk & Insurance, Inc. in action involving alleged claims of broker misconduct.

Insurance related commercial litigation

  • Representation of Sun Life Assurance of Canada in $50 million recovery action arising out of client’s reinsurance arrangements with Golden Eagle Insurance Company and Mesa Re Insurance Company.
  • Representation of National Union Fire Ins. Co. in connection with purported multi-billion dollar “private attorney general” action arising out of alleged violations of California’s Worker’s Compensation laws by defendant class of insurance carriers.
  • Representation of Travelers Insurance Company in connection with federal court litigation arising out of defaulted $30.5 million construction loan. Litigation included lender liability action brought by borrower against Travelers and fraud action brought by Travelers against Sumitomo Construction. Achieved summary judgment on borrower’s lender liability claim and highly successful resolution of fraud claim against Sumitomo.
  • Tried to judgment case for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America resulting in approximately $1.2 million judgment representing damages against prospective borrower in action for breach of loan agreements.
  • Representation of Standard Insurance Company in defeating “lender liability” claim brought by former borrower; achieved summary judgment on borrower’s claims and an award of attorneys’ fees to client.