We have substantial trial and appellate experience in cases involving all aspects of property insurance claims, including class actions and other complex litigation. In our work, we also routinely counsel insurers regarding coverage and claims issues, supervise fraud investigations, coordinate outside experts and consultants, take examinations under oath, provide coverage opinions, and counsel insurers participating in appraisals. Because many lawsuits involving property insurance claims also include allegations of bad faith and unfair insurance claims practices, we have developed considerable knowledge and experience in defending extra-contractual claims asserted against property insurers.
For updates on recent developments in property insurance law from around the nation, read our blog Property Insurance Coverage Insights at www.propertyinsurancecoverageinsights.com.
Representation of insurer in defense of litigation from construction defects from the "Big Dig" project in Boston. Specifically, the matter involved the failed installation of an underwater tunnel segment, resulting in flooding and movement of a large concrete tunnel segment. The issues included both design and workmanship concerns.
Represented insurer in claim brought by a seller of Christian-based inspirational gift items, such as T-shirts and Bible covers, to recover business interruption losses and expenses in excess of $10 million and bad faith damages following a fire that damaged the insured's warehouse and inventory. Robinson & Cole prepared the insurer's motion for partial summary judgment on several significant issues to the litigation and in opposition to plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment. The firm also assisted local counsel in preparing the joint pretrial order and provided guidance regarding settlement negotiations and drafting the settlement agreement. The case settled shortly before trial with a settlement favorable to insurer.
Representation of insurer against claimant for extensive property loss. Claim involved separating water versus flood damage, damages versus betterment, and pricing issues.
Defense of insurer against claimant for demolition and hazardous materials remediation costs. Claim involved extensive overcharging.
Defense of insurer concerning $80 million coverage issue related to a deep rock tunnel built 100 meters underground through difficult geological conditions. The case involved issues relating to design defects, workmanship, and remedial costs as well as experts in tunnel boring, grouting, hazardous chemicals, and construction engineering/management.
Representation of an insurance company and its insured to liquidate $100 million in claims from approximately 70 claims against insured. Through mediation, the $100 million in claims was reduced to approximately $20 million and 100 percent of cases settled out of court.
Travco v. Ward 468 Fed. Appx. 195 (4th Cir. 2012) and 284 Va. 547 (Va., 2012) – This was the nation's leading case on the question of whether coverage existed under property insurance policies for losses caused by the presence of Chinese Drywall. We brought this declaratory judgment action on behalf of the insurer, which was a Travelers subsidiary. We successfully obtained summary judgment from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. On appeal, after briefing and argument, the US Fourth Circuit certified most of the coverage issues to the Virginia Supreme Court. The Virginia Supreme Court then affirmed the rulings of the federal district court, and the US Fourth Circuit subsequently affirmed the judgment in its entirety. Steve Goldman argued the motion for summary judgment before the district court and the appeals in both the US Fourth Circuit and the Virginia Supreme Court.
Representation of insurers in complex insurance dispute in federal court, Eastern District of Louisiana, involving Hurricane Katrina property damage and business interruption claim for over $27 million and bad faith claims of over $100 million, where bad faith claims were dismissed based on summary judgment briefing and expert was precluded from testifying as to damages included in initial report based on motion in limine. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case for the purpose of taking an appeal, and the district court's rulings were affirmed on appeal.
Knowles v. Standard Fire Insurance Company 133 S. Ct. 1345 (Supreme Court of the United States, 2013)— This appeal was heard by the Supreme Court of the United States and resulted in a 9-0 opinion in favor of our client. Our petition for certiorari was granted by the Supreme Court after the Eighth Circuit had declined to hear a discretionary appeal and after the Supreme Court had denied a petition for certiorari on the same issue the year before. This is the first case in which the Supreme Court granted review under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. The issue on appeal was whether a named plaintiff in a putative class action can defeat federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 by stipulating to limit damages to $5 million or less even if the amount potentially recoverable by the putative class would exceed the federal jurisdictional amount in the absence of the stipulation. The Supreme Court accepted our argument that the federal court jurisdiction could not be defeated by such a stipulation. The underlying case involved the alleged failure to pay the general contractor overhead and profit as part of the settlement of property insurance claims and was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff after the case was remanded to the federal district court.