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Insurance Coverage Litigation

headshot of calvin fowler, williams mullen partner
Harold E. Johnson  Williams Mullen Headshot

In an increasingly litigious society, the importance of insurance in protecting businesses and individuals from potential liability is widely recognized. Simply put, appropriate insurance is a “must have” for businesses, property owners and affluent individuals in today’s environment. Not only is the number of insurance claims on the rise, but the dollar value of those claims continues to climb. There is an increasing amount at stake, therefore, when disputes arise between insurance companies and the parties they insure.

Solving Questions of Insurance Coverage 
No matter how hard insurers try to draft clear and concise policies, situations always develop which do not fall neatly into the categories of “Covered Losses” or “Exclusions.” Changing laws, regulations, and contradictory court opinions only add to the confusion, despite insurance companies’ best efforts to adapt to changes through new policy language. Questions about the existence of coverage and whether an insurer should bear responsibility for a given loss often lead to litigation. And in today’s environment, the answers to these questions are of significant value.

A Team of Experienced Insurance Coverage Attorneys 
When disputes arise, Williams Mullen’s Insurance Coverage Team can tackle the complex legal issues presented by insurance coverage claims and help you navigate the unique judicial process for such claims. Our attorneys have experience handling insurance disputes involving policies for personal, commercial, and/or excess/surplus liability lines of coverage. We’ve represented clients in disputes over corporate policies covering directors and officers, professional policies involving errors and omissions coverage, employment policies guarding against discrimination and other employment claims and claims for life and/or disability benefits, just to name a few.

The Experience to Guide Clients Through Insurance Disputes 
We routinely advise clients concerning potential risks and coverages afforded by given policies. If a loss does happen, we have the experience and skills necessary to determine whether coverage should be provided by an insurer. If the matter proceeds to litigation, our insurance coverage attorneys can help you in all phases of the dispute process. We have years of experience researching policies, analyzing current case law and presenting arguments in civil trials, arbitrations and other adversarial proceedings.

Whether it’s a claim for breach of contract, declaratory judgment, allegations of bad faith by an insurer, insurance fraud or an action between insurers regarding the priority of coverage between various applicable policies, Williams Mullen has the skills and the resources to provide the legal assistance our clients need.

Representative Experience

  • Represented domestic distributor of products containing asbestos in coverage dispute with domestic and foreign underwriters, ensuring payment on current and future claims.
  • Represent national insurance companies in coverage disputes with various insureds involving personal and commercial lines of insurance.
  • Defended one of world's largest insurance carriers in $23 million bad faith litigation (excess carrier v. primary carrier) in federal district court.
  • Represented national shopping center developer in various insurance coverage disputes.
  • Recovered over $100,000 for warehouse for losses in roof collapse due to snow load. 
  • Represent multiple municipalities on insurance coverage issues relating to pollution and environmental claims.
  • Represent various entities in ERISA benefit claims for disability and/or life benefits.
  • Represent various residential and commercial landlords regarding casualty losses to property and coverage for claims by tenants.
  • Represent large car dealership in numerous issues arising out of insurance for inventory held for sale.
  • Represent large insurance company in coverage dispute arising out of insurance fraud under individual homeowner’s policy.
  • Represent retailer in dispute with specialized industry insurer in dispute over losses arising under employee dishonesty policy.
  • Represent large insurance company in various disputes arising out of disability and death benefits purchased in connection with purchase of automobiles.
  • Advise Fortune 500 company regarding appropriate insurance coverage and impact of policy language and terms.
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  • Defended Insurance Agent Against Malpractice Claims

Defended insurance agent claims alleging that our client did not properly advise its client of potential liability claims against the client, which resulted in the carrier's denial of an eventual claim on grounds of late notice.

  • Defended Commercial Construction Company from Premises Liability Claim

Defended commercial construction company against a $1M premises liability claim resulting from when the Plaintiff entered a construction site at night, fell, and impaled his face on a pieced of uncapped rebar.

  • Defended National Concrete Manufacturer Against Personal Injury Claim

Defended concrete manufacturer against personal injury action for severe burns and permanent scarring to plaintiff's legs.

  • Defended Construction Company Against Personal Injury Claim

Defended construction company against multi-million dollar personal injury claim.

  • Defended University Against FERPA claim

Defended university against FERPA claim brought by the parent of a student arising from the student's performance at the university.

  • Defended Medical Laboratory Against Traumatic Brain Injury Claim

Defended national medical laboratory against traumatic brain injury claim Plaintiff alleged to have suffered due to seizures brought on by severe lithium toxicity.

  • Represented Reinsurer Against Claim for Coverage

Filed declaratory judgment action on behalf of reinsurer for declaration of noncoverage based on nondisclosure.

  • Represented Reinsurer on Appeal to the 4th Circuit in Coverage Dispute

Represented reinsurer on appeal to the 4th Circuit in coverage dispute.

  • Defended Insurance Carrier in Coverage Suit Arising Out of Multiple Pharmaceutical Claims

Defended excess insurer in coverage dispute with insured over hundreds of claims involving injury resulting from use of the insured's medical products.

  • Advised Consortium of Insurers Regarding Insurance Coverage for Oil Spill in Panama

Drafted detailed coverage opinion for various excess insurers regarding coverage obligations arising out of oil spill in Panama.

  • Represented Internationally-known Entertainer to Secure Insurance Coverage for Multiple Personal Injury Claims

Represented internationally known entertainer to secure insurance coverage following a dispute over coverage arising out of an incident with a tour bus that resulted in multiple personal injury claims.

  • Defended Insurance Carrier Against Suit Arising Out of Disability Claim of Medical Professional

Defended insurance company against coverage and bad faith claims made by doctor who claimed disabilities under a policy.