Litigation and Regulatory Compliance

Insurance

Experience

Representative Insurance Matters

Although we have a broad range of experience across many lines of insurance and reinsurance, following is a summary of the firm's capabilities in certain lines of business.

Appellate

  • Submitted amici briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, Connecticut Supreme Court, and New York State Court of Appeals on behalf of major insurance industry trade associations, on issues such as reinsurance insolvency, bad faith, punitive damages, unfair trade practices, and antitrust.
  • Represented insurer on appeals to the Ninth Circuit on federal/state jurisdictional issues.
  • Represented insurer in federal and state appeals, on challenges to statutory limitations on insurer operations and constitutional issues.
  • Represented insurer on appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court, on reinsurance coverage issues arising out of asbestos claims.

Aviation

  • Defended a helicopter manufacturer in a wrongful death action brought by a secret service agent, arising out of the crash of the President's helicopter in the Caribbean. An eight-week trial brought a defense verdict, which was upheld by the Second Circuit.
  • Defended an engine manufacturer in a wrongful death action involving the crash of an F-16 in Egypt. Settled on the eve of trial for a nominal amount.
  • Defended a manufacturer of jet fuel tanks in a wrongful death action arising out of the crash of a helicopter in Germany. Settled for a nominal amount after arguing (but before the court ruled) a motion for summary judgment (government contract defense). Case was thereafter tried and lost by the helicopter manufacturer for $24 million.
  • Defended a manufacturer of private aircraft in separate wrongful death actions over the years, all of which were settled on favorable terms.
  • Defended a French helicopter manufacturer in a wrongful death action.
  • Succeeded in having wrongful death actions arising out of aviation accidents, transferred to the foreign jurisdictions where the accidents occurred. Without exception, the cases thereafter were settled for much less than the plaintiffs had demanded when the actions were pending in the US. In one of these cases, an appeal was taken that resulted in the leading Connecticut Supreme Court decision on this subject.
  • Represented the owner and the insurer of a private jet in obtaining favorable settlement of claims (near 100%) for damage to jet and diminution in market value resulting from a collision at a regional airport. The aircraft had been damaged while being towed from the hangar. Recovered from the airport the entire amount for physical damage to the aircraft and 90% of claimed diminution in market value.
  • Represented reinsurers of the owner and the operator of a corporate jet that crashed on takeoff from a regional airport, resulting in fatalities of all passengers and crew on board. Consulted with direct insurers and their counsel on defense of claims by the estates of passengers, litigation over parties' respective rights and obligations under the aircraft interchange agreement, and the subrogated claim for loss of aircraft against municipal airport parties.
  • Worked on the defense of a manufacturer of a coupling adapter for helicopter engines, that allegedly failed during flight, resulting in the crash of aircraft and fatalities of all on board. Co-defendants included the helicopter manufacturer, engine manufacturer, and original designer of the coupling adapter. Work included assessment of GARA defense.
  • Represented a Swiss aircraft-component manufacturer and its insurers in claims for wrongful death arising from the crash of a private aircraft. Obtained dismissal for client after filing a motion for summary judgment.
  • Worked on the defense of the owner of a jet service in claims of aiding and abetting kidnapping by the charterer.

Bad Faith and Extra-contractual Damages

  • Represented insurers in a broad range of bad faith, alleged wrongful denial of coverage, and punitive damages claims.
  • Defended an insurer accused of fraud in its acquisition of insurance assets out of liquidation.

Brokers/Agents

  • Represented a broker in a complex Connecticut State court case related to pharmaceutical product liability coverage.
  • Represented a broker in a dispute regarding handling of marine cargo insurance claims.
  • Represented a broker in federal court actions related to pooling arrangements by life and health insurers for workers compensation.
  • Represented a London reinsurance broker in a Connecticut State court action seeking several million dollars in unpaid commissions from its U.S.-based client.

Claims Handling

  • Investigated an insurer's internal claims-handling procedures.
  • Developed manuals/procedures for an insurer's claims handling.
  • Managed experts on claims-handling issues and acted as an expert witness.
  • Authored articles on claims handling.
  • Generally advised insurers on claims-handling procedures.

Class Action Defense

  • Represented a property/casualty insurer in federal court securities class actions related to alleged non-disclosure of contingent compensation arrangements.
  • Represented personal lines insured in federal, state, and national proposed class-actions by health service providers seeking additional fees.
  • Obtained denial of class certification in an action by a provider of medical equipment in New York State court. Obtained dismissal for a group of insurers at trial court and on appeal.
  • Represented an insurer in federal court antitrust and RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) actions.

D&O, E&O, and Professional Liability

  • Represented an insurer in state and federal court actions, in professional liability coverage for a worldwide construction program.
  • Advised on current D&O issues relating to private equity and hedge fund acquisitions.
  • Advised and represented insurers in a broad range of disputes involving questions of coverage for E&O claims.
  • Defended attorneys, architects, and health care professionals and their insurers in high-exposure E&O claims.
  • Represented an insurer in resolving disputes as to coverage among the insured, surety, and professional liability insurer with respect to design and planning of a Metro-North communications system.
  • Represent major financial institutions in a broad range of litigation and investigatory matters.
  • Defense of a class action brought against an international insurer for alleged violations of ERISA in connection with investments in the company's stock, which was negatively affected by the financial crisis in the financial services and insurance industries.
  • Defended a financial services company and its officers and directors in securities class actions and derivative cases related to stock price drops in the wake of government investigations into brokers' contingent commissions.
  • Represented a life insurance company and its officers and directors in a consumer class action related to structured settlements.
  • Represented a broker in an action related to the broker's placement of transit and marine insurance for a chemical company and to the broker's claims-handling of rail car chemical shipment accidents.
  • Represented an international specialty insurance company in a bench trial, in an action concerning reinsurance brokerage, broker misfeasance, adequacy of reinsurance treaties procured, and breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a D&O excess carrier in a high-profile dispute involving excess coverage for the former directors and officers of a major financial institution.
  • Successfully defended claims in a Bermuda Form arbitration against an D&O excess carrier by its insured, seeking over $18 million in expenses and attorneys fees related to losses incurred in securities class actions arising from the insured's alleged manipulation of the California energy market.
  • Successfully led the defense of a major aviation insurance consortium against U.S. antitrust claims alleging boycott in the denial of coverage and failure to renew satellite policies for launch and orbit.

Environmental

  • Represented and advised environmental liability insurers in disputes in state and federal courts, including declaratory judgment actions and disputes with insureds and other carriers, regarding coverage and defense of environmental matters.
  • Defended large industrial companies in class actions alleging environmental pollution.
  • Defended members of a prominent P&I club in environmental class actions stemming from oil spills.

Investigations

  • Conducted internal investigation of a national insurer's regional office claims-handling procedures and policies and of a state regulatory review.
  • Represented insurers in state Attorneys General investigations and civil proceedings on contingent commissions and related issues.
  • Represented insurers in numerous state reinsurance and antitrust investigations.

Marine

  • Represented the insurers of an automated underwater vehicle, in a salvage dispute concerning extent of damage caused by collision.
  • Represented hull-and-machinery and increased-value underwriters of a general cargo vessel that caught fire, resulting in a constructive total loss. Filed a declaratory judgment action against the insured owner and mortgagee and obtained a favorable settlement following a two-week bench trial and post-trial submissions.
  • Represented the owners and insurers of a custom-built racing yacht in claims against the shipyard, the classification society, and others for defects in design and construction.
  • Represented owners and insurers of yachts in various claims involving hull and machinery damage, salvage, and personal injuries sustained by crew members, passengers, and third parties.
  • Represented the reinsurers of a shipyard, in a dispute concerning a claim for defects in construction of vessels, relating to proportion of risk ceded under the reinsurance contract.
  • Represented various hull and machinery, war risk, and kidnap and ransom underwriters in connection with seizures of various vessels by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
  • Represented the insurers of an integrated tug-barge unit, in connection with a claim for CTL due to damage to barge only.
  • Represented cargo underwriters and cargo contingent liability underwriters in numerous cargo damage claims.
  • Represented owners and insurers of container vessels in claims against a shipyard for defective repairs.
  • Represented insurers of cargo vessels in claims against shippers for damage to vessel and cargo caused by improper stowage.
  • Represented charterers' legal liability underwriters in litigation against shippers of project cargo that broke loose during an ocean voyage, causing damage to vessels and other cargo.
  • Successfully defended London market reinsurers in a Florida proceeding concerning scope and applicability of an offset provision in a marine excess-of-loss treaty with a solvent European subsidiary of a U. S. cedent in liquidation.
  • Represented London reinsurers regarding the proper application of quota share and facultative reinsurances to extra-contractual losses arising out of the settlement of a multi-million verdict concerning two teenagers who were killed when the underlying insured's boat collided with their jet ski.
  • Successfully represented London market insurance syndicates seeking to recover damages in excess of $40 million, following the alleged fraud by their insured, a broker of marine cargo based in New York.

Reinsurance

  • Represented a property/casualty insurer (as a member of a reinsurance pool) in a New York State court reinsurance dispute related to a $1 billion asbestos settlement.
  • Represented a party to a reinsurance arbitration related to flooding at an industrial facility.
  • Represented a cedant in recovery of claims against reinsurers in Europe and South America, in a global reinsurance program.
  • Defended a reinsurer against a suit brought by the ceding insurance company, on the basis of the cedant's faulty underwriting practices.
  • Represented a reinsurer in U.S. and UK litigation with a reinsurance broker over payment of fees, claims of bad faith, and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represented reinsurers in finite-reinsurance state and federal inquiries.
  • Prevailed on two summary judgments in federal court on behalf of a reinsurer, concerning the scope of a pollution exclusion in a facultative reinsurance contract and the underlying allocation under the follow-the-fortunes doctrine.
  • Successfully represented a reinsurer in an arbitration concerning its denial of a multimillion-dollar medical malpractice loss ceded to it in a matter involving late notice and bad faith claims-handling.
  • Represented London reinsurers regarding the proper application of quota share and facultative reinsurances to extra-contractual losses arising out of the settlement of a multimillion-dollar verdict concerning two teenagers who were killed when the underlying insured's boat collided with their jet ski.
  • Advised London reinsurers on whether damages to an insured's oil refinery facilities in Nigeria during the run-up to national elections were ceded properly as "one event" and whether Political Risk, Terrorism, and Financial Guarantee and Credit Exclusions barred coverage.
  • After a three-week hearing, won a multimillion-dollar award for the cedent in a highly contested reinsurance dispute concerning the denial of a boiler-machinery claim.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment in defense of claims against a reinsurer by its cedent seeking losses beyond the terms of multiple workers' compensation excess-of-loss treaties.
  • Successfully defended London market reinsurers in a Florida proceeding concerning scope and applicability of an offset provision in a marine excess-of-loss treaty with a solvent European subsidiary of a U. S. cedent in liquidation.
  • Represented a major life insurance carrier in a dispute with its reinsurer, regarding indemnification for losses incurred as a result of its agent's fraudulent conduct in application and renewal.
  • Advised London-market reinsurers regarding a dispute pending simultaneously in the UK and Puerto Rico, stemming from damage to a racetrack in Puerto Rico, caused by Hurricane Georges.
  • Successfully arbitrated a rescission claim on behalf of a Bermudian life reinsurer, due to the cedent's failure to disclose material facts during treaty negotiations.
  • Defended London reinsurers in dispute with a cedent, regarding whether a reinsurer was entitled to a substantial management fee rebate as a condition precedent to the restructuring and continued reinsurance of a specialized workers' compensation program.
  • Successfully prosecuted multiple claims on behalf of a cedent seeking indemnification from various reinsurers, related to a multimillion-dollar settlement of an insured's asbestos exposure.

Fine Art, Specie

  • Represented a university in a dispute with a Latin American government over archeological artifacts.
  • Advised insurers in connection with a university's claims for coverage for damage to "fine arts."
  • Represented a collector in disputes with dealers over provenance of artwork and furniture.
  • Represented a Manhattan gallery owner in a dispute with an investor over joint ventures in various works of art.
  • Counseled an art owner in analysis of a claim by a foreign citizen to previously nationalized European art.
  • Represented art dealers in a dispute with the estate of a major artist over ownership and possession of commissioned art works.
  • Represented a major private art collector in a dispute with a gallery over commissioned art works.

Liability

  • Represented underwriters of a construction wrap liability policy, in the litigation/mediation of personal injury claim in New York, resulting from a construction accident.
  • Represented liability insurers of a municipal agency in monitoring a claim for a brain injury to a construction worker, and coordinated successful mediation.
  • Represented excess liability insurers of an U.S. oil major in connection with multiple death claims due to fire.
  • Represented liability insurers of a fuel supplier, in connection with claims by a vessel owner for total loss of vessel following an explosion and fire.
  • Represented liability underwriters (of a construction wrap policy) of a racing commission in connection with a serious personal injury claim by an employee of a contractor.
  • Represented liability insurers of a European petrochemical company in connection with a coverage dispute following an explosion at a refining facility.