Trying the Environmental Coverage Case in 2017

James R. Murray and Omid Safa

murraysafaIt can be easy for insurance trial lawyers to become complacent when fighting the ancient coverage wars over asbestos and pollution related-liabilities. But good trial lawyers know how to revisit their time-tested themes with renewed energy and vigor each time. They face each trial fresh, as if it is the first time the words have been spoken, because the trial lawyer knows that for the jury, that might as well be true. The evidence and the themes will be all new. Continue reading “Trying the Environmental Coverage Case in 2017”

What’s All This I Hear About Captives?

Ann Blair Laupheimer

Laupheimer, Ann BlairIn our experience, a lawyer specializing in insurance coverage—even a whole group of insurance coverage lawyers—can practice for decades hearing the word “captive” thrown about by brokers or risk managers in large companies without being asked to address legal issues relating to a captive and without understanding what the heck a captive is or how it works. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) and the Center for Insurance Policy Research define a captive as “an insurance company created and wholly owned by one or more non-insurance companies to insure the risks of its owner (or owners).”[1] So at its core, a “pure” captive is a quasi-insurance company set up and funded by a business to serve as a form of self-insurance. Continue reading “What’s All This I Hear About Captives?”

“Private” Claims Resolution Programs – Some Keys to Success

Fredric M. Brooks and Deborah Greenspan

Brooks, Fredric M.Greenspan, DeborahIn recent years, we have seen an increasing use of a claims resolution (non-litigation) program offered as an efficient way to resolve large numbers of claims by companies faced with potentially vast and costly lawsuits. Examples include the voluntary program set up by General Motors to resolve injury and death claims related to alleged ignition switch defects in over two million cars; the $4.85 billion program set up to resolve certain Vioxx claims against Merck & Co. in the federal multidistrict litigation (“MDL”); the multi-billion dollar fund set up by BP to address claims arising from the 2010 Gulf oil spill; and the current proposal by Volkswagen to set up a claims program to resolve claims arising out of misleading emissions measures in half a million cars sold in the United States. Continue reading ““Private” Claims Resolution Programs – Some Keys to Success”