Our firm regularly represents insureds and insurance companies in disputes involving insurance coverage, insurance fraud, and underwriting issues.
We successfully settled two lawsuits filed against our client, an industrial machine manufacturing service company.
An industrial accident in which an employee was killed on the job led to a lawsuit against our client in which the employee's widow sought $1.9 million in damages. Our client's workers' compensation insurance carrier denied coverage, claiming the lawsuit was barred by the Exclusive Remedy Statute, or, in the alternative, that the loss was not covered under the Intentional Loss Exclusion in the insurance policy. This denial of coverage left our client facing a lawsuit in which the damages sought would have put it out of business.
A vigorous defense of the suit by our team of attorneys led to a settlement with the widow for $400,000, a fraction of the damages originally sued for.
Sussman then turned around and sued the workers' compensation insurance company, claiming a breach of duty in their denial of coverage. Complex and aggressive litigation ensued, with both sides exchanging discovery requests and filing Motions for Summary Judgment. In the end, the judge ruled that the insurance company had breached its duty.
The judge ordered the insurance company to pay 100% of Sussman's fees and 85% of the settlement Sussman reached with the widow.
Almost a year and a half of litigation ended with our client getting back nearly all of what it paid to settle the original suit, including the fees incurred by our team in negotiating that settlement and then getting the insurance company to pay up. As a result, our client is quite pleased with the level of legal expertise offered by Sussman Shank.
We successfully represented an insurance company in obtaining a summary judgment ruling where the insured submitted fraudulent documents to the insurance company. The insured was pursuing large claims in a valuation dispute when we discovered forged signatures on documents and asserted counterclaims based on the concealment and fraud provision in the insurance policy.
- We successfully represented a landlord that received a wrongful cancellation notice from its insurer when the landlord could not obtain insurance from other sources. We successfully petitioned the insurance commissioner and convinced the insurance company to reinstate coverage, thereby helping our client avoid breaches of multiple lease agreements and a possible shutdown of its property.
- We successfully defended an insurance company of a landlord that was sued by tenants after a fire and convinced plaintiffs to drop the suit. Subsequently we sued the tenant's insurers for wrongfully bringing the original suit and recovered most of the defense costs incurred.
- Obtained defense verdict in arson case after cross examination of opposing fire cause expert showed improper methodology in fire cause analysis that led opposing expert to opinions which lacked validity.
- Convinced client's insurance company to provide a defense and indemnity in a lawsuit where insurance company had already denied coverage and exposure to client was greater than value of the business. As a result, insurance company ultimately settled underlying suit at no cost to client and with no adverse affect on client's business.