Complex Insurance Coverage Litigation
Kunz, Plitt, Hyland & Demlong
In a court of law the voice of reason is never alone.
COMPLEX COVERAGE CASES
On the high end of the spectrum, the firm manages large claims involving coverage issues and losses and class actions through the use of a team approach. The largest exposure to a firm client in a coverage related matter involved alleged coverage for intentional misappropriation regarding the licensing of patented cancer drugs and the failure to pay royalties in excess of $240 million. Other examples of complex coverage analysis and litigation performed by the practice group include:
- fire explosion at waste reclamation plant resulting in $12 million property loss and catastrophic multi-million dollar bodily injury claims;
- international product liability claims arising from chemical induced delamination of computer circuit boards resulting from Taiwanese manufacturing operation;
- listeria infestation of national meat processing facility resulting in disputed total coverage claim alleged in excess of $30 million and ensuing bad faith litigation;
- first and third-party coverage claims arising from major warehouse fire to FDA certified pharmaceutical warehouse involving toxic chemicals resulting in a toxic tort class action litigation and property loss claims with a disputed value ranging between $60 million to $100 million dollars;
- a claim brought by a major national airline for business interruption coverage resulting from an electrical data glitch causing an electrical shut-out of the airline’s ability to perform reservations for flights for seven days resulting in a business interruption claim in the $10-$15 million range;
- coverage litigation where the underlying claims involved one of the nation’s largest international hotel chains and claims asserted in four class action lawsuits, each seeking in excess of $100 million alleging that the hotel chain systematically designated and charged its patrons fees improperly designated as taxes;
- coverage claim in excess of $7 million and alleged bad faith as part of $32 million overall loss asserted by international mining company under an environmental impairment liability policy regarding a catastrophic tailings impoundment failure and resulting environmental damage;
- $240 million intellectual property/drug licensing coverage claims and alleged bad faith brought by major medical research and drug companies;
- Arizona counsel for priest/clergy malpractice coverage regarding claims of sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic priests.
- potential coverage claim alleging damages in excess of $30 million arising from manuscripted environmental remediation policy for reclamation project being remediated under the Brownfield’s Revitalization Act.
- coverage dispute arising from class action litigation brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act where a $40+ million judgment was entered against the policyholder.
- coverage litigation arising from sale of tainted/infected meat products which resulted in a $9 million judgment against the wholesaler/distributor policyholder.
- provided coverage advice and defended a major disability income provider where it was alleged that the insurance company engaged in a pattern and practice of targeting of insureds who appeared on a company “hit list.” The client suffered several verdicts nationally with one verdict reaching $57 million. Following these verdicts, the insurance company sought advice from Kunz, Plitt, Hyland & Demlong because of the large potential risk associated with the emerging claims.
- potential 30,000 member class action for performing unconstitutional policy of performing strip searches in New Mexico with potential excess coverage exposure in excess of $50 million.
- class action construction defect litigation involving 2700 high-end residential homes and large excess coverage for a major soils subcontractor. Potential coverage exposure in excess of $40 million.
- construction defect coverage litigation and bad faith claim defense in action brought by developer to recapture remediation on 70 homes alleged to have been damaged by faulty workmanship.