Practice/Industry Group Overview
In any transportation coverage analysis, it is imperative to understand the relationship of the parties involved (i.e. vehicle/truck owner, lessor, lessee, trailer owner), as well as the contractual relationship and additional insured status of various parties. Often there are issues regarding property damage, underinsured motorist coverage, excess/primary insurance obligations, worker's compensation, permissive use and scope of employment. All of this must be examined in conjunction with the extensive statutory and regulatory scheme governing commercial and personal transportation. If one thing is key -- it is an understanding that a few key facts, technical knowledge, or statutory twist may mean the difference between success and failure when is comes to transportation insurance coverage issues.
Between its insurance policies and other business relationships, most companies involved in transportation are looking to achieve a seamless blanket of risk protection regarding operations. While no risk management plan can truly be seamless, we counsel clients in accomplishing this goal through coverage analysis and recommendations tailored to the industry. We have experience in assisting policyholders and self-insured entities in analyzing risks and exposures and assisting with the procurement and placement of insurance coverage. We have advised policyholders on a wide range of complex risk management issues and have provided them with guidance in selecting and implementing proactive risk management programs.
Our Global Insurance Services Group is comprised of over 30 attorneys -- all seamlessly connected through technology. The group includes a number of key partners who are national leaders in the practice area. We ensure a cohesive and singular coverage position for clients in transportation matters. Often these matters involve components and parties from several different jurisdictions. As such, early conflict of law analysis is essential. Every two weeks, we publish CaseWatch Insurance, a survey on every appellate level insurance coverage decision in the United States. We also maintain a daily blog on recent national insurance decisions entitled the Insurance and Reinsurance Report, and send daily case and industry news updates on Twitter at InsureReReport. Our blog was named by Lexis Nexis as one of the top 50 Insurance blogs in the world. CaseWatch Insurance, our blog, and Twitter feed give us a unique national perspective on insurance law and aid in conflict of law questions. These publications succeed because we have divided the United States into geographic areas and charged different members of our team with staying current on these areas.
Our attorneys are accomplished speakers and presenters in air, rail and highway insurance insurance issues. Our group also includes the editor of the renowned Couch on Insurance treatise and authors of the Appleman on Insurance treatise. Our attorneys have spoken all over the world on transportation insurance topics and are sought after as experts in the field of insurance. Goldberg Segalla's Global Insurance Services practice consists of attorneys who hold key leadership positions in state and national insurance organizations, including the Defense Research Institute, the International Association of Defense Counsel, International Claim Association, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and the Council on Litigation Management. It is upon this broad base that we consider ourselves uniquely qualified to represent our clients on all types of transportation coverage matters.
Some of our recent engagements include:
- A multi-party multi-state rail loss where a rail broke free in one state and collided with a trail car in another. Several deaths occurred in one state, and several other injuries and property damage occurred in another. Some claimants were employees of certain insureds. There were several layers of indemnity agreements and additional insurance. Assessments were required regarding priority of coverage, scope of work, and indemnity. The matter was successfully litigated through a proactive declaratory judgment action.
- Coverage under a truck owner's underinsured motorist coverage was avoided by commencing a declaratory judgment action seeking to show other available coverage. Several issues existed, included party and insurer insolvency, and policy drop-down provisions.
- A plane crash occurred due to concurrent causes (pilot error and tower error). Separate liability actions have different outcomes on whether the pilots conduct was grossly negligent. A proactive coverage strategy was devised to deal utilize the outcome most favorable to the coverage resolution.
- Developing proactive internal protocols to monitor insurance compliance and implement risk transfer mechanisms.
- Assessing whether current insurance and contracts adequately protect a company for all foreseeable risks in its specific industry.
- Assessing insurance issues related to strategic business sales and acquisitions.
- Assisting in structuring captive insurance programs and reinsurance placement issues.
- Partnering with brokers for proactive solutions to risk management.
- Working collaboratively with insurers in drafting policy language