Caroline Spangenberg has thirty years of experience representing policyholders in insurance coverage matters and related indemnity disputes. She has helped her clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance proceeds through negotiation, mediation and other forms of ADR, arbitration (including international arbitrations) and litigation throughout the United States and overseas. She has handled a broad range of insurance coverage matters, including hurricane and other casualty losses, professional liability claims, asbestos, silica and other "toxic tort" claims, single- and multiple-site environmental claims, intellectual property, privacy, and technology (including Internet) claims under a variety of policies, including "advertising injury" and internet-specific policies, so-called "construction defect" claims, including major course-of-construction and completed operations claims, mold claims, product liability claims, directors and officers liability claims, errors and omissions claims, property damage and business interruption losses, as well as claims arising under a variety of specialized or manuscripted policies. Ms. Spangenberg has also had extensive experience dealing with allocation, additional insured, "other insurance" and "priority of payments" issues and in crafting effective risk management/insurance programs in a variety of contexts.
In addition to her coverage work, Ms. Spangenberg has dealt with insurance and indemnification issues in the corporate transactions and contractual contexts. In many instances, Ms. Spangenberg, in addition to pursuing potential insurance, has also helped her clients in minimizing or mitigating the underlying losses or liabilities that give rise to the insurance claim and in achieving a resolution of the underlying dispute in a way that maximizes the potential for insurance or indemnification from a third party. Ms. Spangenberg has also assisted clients in establishing protocols for early identification and pursuit of potential insurance.
Ms. Spangenberg was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Insurance Law in 2013 and the five years immediately preceding. In 2004, 2011, 2012 and 2013, she was recognized as a Georgia "Super Lawyer" in Insurance Coverage by SuperLawyers magazine. Ms. Spangenberg has also been named a 2011 Top Attorney in Georgia by Atlanta magazine, a Top Lawyer in 2009, 2010 and 2011 by Corporate Counsel magazine, and one of America's Most Honored Professionals in 2011 and a Georgia Top Attorney in 2012 by American Registry. She is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Professional & Community Activities
American Bar Association, Member of Tort and Insurance Practice Section and Litigation Section Insurance Coverage Subcommittee
Federal Bar Association, Member
Georgia Bar Association, Member
Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
International Risk Management Institute, Member
Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc., Member
Insurance litigation, Represented the policyholder in two related declaratory judgment actions filed by the carrier concerning its duty to indemnify for the costs of defense of a multimillion dollar case involving the California lottery under an errors and omissions professional liability policy.
Banker's professional liability policy recovery for ABS Liquidating Trustee of Commercial Financial Services, Represented ABS Liquidating Trustee of Commercial Financial Services ("CFS") and successfully recovered the limits of the banker's professional liability policy from the insurance carrier in a bankruptcy suit where the debtor sought to obtain insurance coverage for claims asserted against it in bankruptcy. CFS had securitized pools of bad debt, including unsecured credit card consumer debt, for which it then served as servicing and collection agent.
Insurance litigation for a construction joint venture, Represented a construction joint venture that served as the construction manager for a convention center, in a series of claims arising out of an all-risk builders risk policy issued as part of an owner-controlled insurance program.
Environmental litigation for natural gas distributor, Served as amicus counsel to a natural gas distributor in successfully persuading the Georgia Court of Appeals to reverse a trial court's decision that had barred coverage for a natural gas accident on the basis of a standard pollution exclusion. The Court of Appeals held, to the contrary, that natural gas was not a "pollutant," the worker's injuries did not "arise out of" the discharge of a pollutant where the pollutant was not the "but for" cause of the injuries, and it would violate public policy to sell a liability policy to a natural gas company that excluded coverage for natural gas accidents.
International arbitration counsel for multinational consumer products corporation in major insurance recovery actions, The firm served as lead counsel in representing a major multinational corporation headquartered in Switzerland in two related international arbitration proceedings against a consortium of Swiss and German insurance companies for coverage in connection with several nationwide consumer class-actions and lawsuits brought by the client's competitors alleging false designation of origin, false advertising and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Our client sought coverage under the "advertising injury" provisions of worldwide excess/umbrella policies issued by the consortium. Both arbitrations were ad hoc proceedings before well-known international arbitrators. The first proceeding settled favorably before the hearings. In the second proceeding, hearings were conducted in Zurich, Switzerland, after which the Panel issued a substantial monetary award to our client.
Insurance coverage lawsuit for a manufacturer of packaged building materials and pavement maintenance products, The firm served as lead counsel to manufacturer of packaged building materials and pavement maintenance products in an insurance coverage lawsuit against several insurance companies arising from various building product claims against our client. We resolved all claims against (and counterclaims by) one former defendant in a confidential settlement. Two other defendants have been dismissed from the lawsuit, with the claims against other insurance companies remaining. Case is pending.
Contractual indemnity claim arising out of toxic exposure to mercury, The firm served as lead counsel on behalf of Raytheon Company in litigation brought by a plant owner to recover indemnity for millions of dollars paid to settle toxic tort claims brought by our client's employees, who had been injured when exposed to mercury during maintenance work at the plant. Applying Tennessee law comparative fault principles and interpreting the "to the extent" language of the indemnity clause at issue to bar indemnity for the partial fault of the plant owner, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the trial court's ruling granting summary judgment to our client rejecting the owner's contractual indemnity claims. Following remand, we settled the owner's claims for contribution to its costs in cleaning up the mercury spill.
Olin Corp. v. Yeargin, Inc., 146 F.3d 398 (6th Cir. 1998).
Interface, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company, The firm served as lead counsel in representing Interface Flooring Systems, Inc. and affiliated entities (Interface), the world's leading producer of soft-surfaced modular floor coverings (carpet tiles), against Hartford Fire Insurance Company (Hartford) with an important and complex insurance coverage case. Interface filed suit against Hartford in August 2005, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, seeking millions in damages for Hartford's refusal to defend or indemnify Interface under commercial general liability policies with respect to several lawsuits across the country that were filed against Interface alleging that Interface's carpet tiles and the manner of their installation were defective, leading to damage to concrete slabs and an unpleasant odor in buildings. Following the successful resolution of the underlying cases, Interface received favorable rulings in the Hartford insurance litigation with respect to a motion to disqualify counsel, and on important discovery issues, including orders compelling Hartford to produce certain underwriting and claims documents. The case then settled on a confidential basis shortly thereafter in June 2008.
Interface, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., No. 1:05-CV-02079TCB (N.D. Ga. filed Aug. 10, 2005).
Construction litigation for residential construction company, The firm serves as lead counsel for a large residential construction company in several so-called "construction defect" coverage cases arising out of class action litigation pending in California. Cases are pending.
Insurance claims counsel for manufacturer of packaged building materials and pavement maintenance products, Served as lead counsel for insurance claims arising from miscellaneous pending and threatened building material claims against a manufacturer of packaged building materials and pavement maintenance products in various jurisdictions.
Recovery of defense costs and indemnity for former owners/ operators of a chemical manufacturing National Priority List site, The firm served as lead counsel representing the former limited partners of a now-dissolved limited partnership that formerly owned and operated a chemical site, in lawsuits against four insurance companies to secure defense and indemnity of a series of toxic tort and CERCLA contribution claims that had been brought against the former limited partners. The Eleventh Circuit ruled favorably construing an anti-assignment clause in the insurance policies, which resulted in a favorable settlement of the dispute. This was, and is, an issue of great importance across the country, given the prevalence of such anti-assignment clauses in insurance policies, and the decision is cited frequently by policyholders in that context.
Run-off insurance advice for a major media network, Served as counsel in representing a leading U.S. media conglomerate with respect to insurance coverage issues arising out of the sale of its television channel and website businesses to a consortium of media and entertainment companies, as well as a related program for divestiture of the company's other media businesses.
Insurance coverage for asbestos abatement equipment supplier, Served as lead counsel representing a major supplier to the asbestos abatement industry in its effort to secure insurance coverage for an explosion and fire allegedly attributed to a "negative air machine" that seriously injured two individuals in Southern California and for which a multimillion dollar lawsuit was filed in San Diego County Superior Court. We successfully secured full coverage for the client and its affiliates from numerous local and foreign carriers, thereby avoiding a trial in the underlying matter.
Dickies Industrial Services Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., Represented Dickies Manufacturing Co., at the time the largest privately-owned apparel company in the United States, in an environmental coverage case arising out of Dickies' former dry-cleaning operations at facilities in College Park, Georgia; Odessa, Texas and other locations. Dickies brought an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in which the Court issued a decision finding a duty to indemnify and rejecting the carrier's "voluntary payments" and "late notice" defense. The case was then tried on the issue of damages, and settled favorably during the pendency of the carrier's appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. The trial court decisions are reported at 14-1 Mealey's Poll. Liab. Rep. 24 (2000) and 13-23 Mealey's Litig. Rep. Ins. 3 (1999).
Dickies Indus. Services Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., Case No. 1:97-CV-1391-WBH (N.D. Ga.); 14-1 Mealey's Poll. Liab. Rep. 24 (2000) and 13-23 Mealey's Litig. Rep. Ins. 3 (1999).
Insurance coverage litigation for large pharmaceutical outsourcing company, Represented the largest outsourcing company for the pharmaceutical industry, in connection with a claim against its carrier arising out of a suit by a large number of participants in a phase IV trial of a pharmaceutical drug, where two of the investigators had been convicted of fraud and scientific misconduct in connection with the clinical trials. Federal and Chubb brought a declaratory judgment action against client regarding a manuscripted healthcare policy in the Northern District of Georgia and our client counterclaimed against Federal and Chubb for breach of contract, declaratory relief and bad faith. Related litigation was filed in the United States District Court for Middle District of North Carolina. The case eventually settled on a confidential basis.
Settlement of a major title insurance claim for a 54 acre development project, Served as lead counsel representing the developer of a high profile, 54 acre project in a major title insurance claim arising out of an easement problem that had halted further construction. We also represented the company in negotiating the release of an easement by a major rail system, the purchase of a landlocked piece of property, a crossing agreement, a new easement, and other agreements with multiple owners of surrounding properties in connection with the consummation of the title insurance claim.
*Experience gained by attorney prior to joining Kilpatrick Townsend