Representative Work

Representative Work: Successful Defense of Wrongful Death Claim and Insurance Coverage

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.

Attorneys associated with this case

Michael G. Halligan
David D. VanSpeybroeck

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