Expertise & Experience

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  • Coverage 
  • Bad Faith
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • General Liability
  • Homeowner Liability
  • Mold Liability

 

Insurance

Insurance plays a pivotal role in litigation, making it essential to determine whether coverage exists for a particular claim or loss. The availability of insurance can also affect whether compensation is collected at all, especially if a defendant’s assets are limited. At the same time, the insurer’s implied duty to handle a claim fairly and in good faith may give rise both to contract liability and tort liability. Mark understands the complex principles necessary to resolving first party and third party insurance disputes.

Successful Outcomes

Coverage 

Claim: An insurer under an Employment Practices Liability policy rescinded coverage for a discrimination claim on the grounds that the insured/employer omitted material facts on its insurance application.

Result: The parties negotiated an allocation between them of the settlement paid to the plaintiff/employee, averting a risky bad faith action.

Bad Faith

Claim: A homeowner’s carrier accepted the tender of a claim without a reservation of rights and appointed counsel to defend its insureds. Shortly before trial, however, the carrier discovered facts which caused it to deny coverage and withdraw the defense. Plaintiffs contend they were forced to settle the underlying action because the carrier unreasonably refused to pay policy benefits.

Result: The parties agreed to a monetary settlement that concluded the litigation.

Coverage 

Claim: An insurer under an Employment Practices Liability policy agreed to defend, but not indemnify, insured/employer for certain wage and bonus claims excluded by the policy. The insurer, however, also sought an allocation of defense expenses based on its interpretation of the policy.

Result: Rather than litigate with its carrier, the insured/employer agreed to make a contribution toward the settlement with the plaintiff/employee.

Breach of Insurance Contract and Bad Faith

Claim: Insurer denied coverage for collapse of a garage structure that caused damage to several “classic” cars, asserting an exclusion in the policy for defective construction and that a “genuine issue” of liability precluded a bad faith finding.

Result: A settlement was negotiated that partially reimbursed the loss.

Coverage and Bad Faith

Claim: Insurer partially reimbursed a loss arising from flooding of a garment manufacturing facility, asserting that there were “genuine issues” regarding its liability.  In particular, the carrier denied coverage for plaintiff’s alleged “loss of business income” and argued that plaintiff had not cooperated in the investigation of the claim, as required by the insurance policy.

Result: The parties reached an agreement shortly before a summary judgment hearing.

Breach of Insurance Contract and Bad Faith

Claim: Insurer under a homeowner’s policy paid only a fraction of the repairs necessitated by a broken water pipe, relying on a policy endorsement limiting its liability for mold-related damage to deny coverage for the bulk of the loss and additional living expenses.

Result: The carrier agreed to pay a sum nearly equivalent to the full repair estimate.