Bernie Bell has decades of experience as a trial lawyer in civil litigation, and he has concentrated his practice for the last 20 years on recovering disputed insurance claims for corporate policyholders and their individual directors and officers. His practice covers the full range of claims, from property damage and business interruption losses to claims arising from alleged directors' and officers' liabilities, as well as employment, environmental, fiduciary (ERISA), product, professional, reps and warranties (R&W), and toxic tort liabilities. He uses his experience with disputed claims to assist clients in the placement of coverage.
His recent representations include several engagements to recover property damage and business interruption losses caused by catastrophic failures at industrial facilities, including refineries, petrochemical plants, and oil and gas pipelines. These representations have included litigation in U.S. state and federal courts, as well as international arbitration.
Bernie currently is pursuing recovery under pollution legal liability policies for various environmental contamination claims and under management liability policies (D&O, fiduciary liability) for various breach of duty claims.
Bernie also is an experienced environmental litigator. He spent five years as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the U.S. in environmental enforcement lawsuits under Superfund (CERCLA), the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act. He has handled complex environmental matters in private practice, including Clean Air Act and Superfund litigation and FIFRA pesticide data compensation arbitrations.
Bernie is a frequent author and speaker on insurance coverage issues.
Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Environmental Enforcement Section (1989-1994)
Large privately-held industrial group negotiates resolution of disputes regarding coverage for claims by bankruptcy trustee arising from merger, and costs incurred to defend governmental investigations
Tesoro pursues insurance recovery for losses arising from pollution conditions at refinery
Fortune 150 independent petroleum company seeks recovery for property damage and business interruption losses
Honors & Distinctions
fellow, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel