Practice/Industry Group Overview
There are few areas of the insurance industry that involve such direct and personal contact with insureds in their time of need than first party claims that arise out of homeowner and commercial property policies. Unfortunately, there are few areas of insurance claims that generate more complaints and litigation. Even when an insurance company handles first party property claims faultlessly and fairly, it is an unfortunate inevitability that some litigation will result.
The direct and personal contact with the insureds, the complex nature of the policies at issue, the limitless number of claims scenarios, combined with the ever-increasing percentage of insureds represented by public adjusters, make this area of insurance claims ripe for lawsuits. When other unique areas of dispute – such as appraisal, matching and replacement cost – are considered, sometimes during catastrophe (CAT) operations, the importance of having legal counsel concentrating his or her practice in property litigation cannot be underestimated.
Our Property Litigation Practice Group is very familiar with these issues and the state of the law as it pertains to first party matters and bad faith. Marshall Dennehey's Property Litigation Practice Group maintains a synergistic relationship with our Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith and Fraud/ Special Investigative Litigation Practice Groups. These relationships allow our attorneys to coordinate their efforts and stay current relative to these overlapping areas of practice.
Our services go beyond representation after a lawsuit is filed and include:
- Coordinating counsel services;
- Pre-litigation commercial and residential claims consultation, including such issues as business interruption, extra expense, profit and overhead, “matching” and appraisal;
- Drafting reservation of rights and coverage position letters;
- Drafting property coverage opinion letters;
- Regulatory consultation and responding to insurance department complaints and inquiries;
- Examinations Under Oath to clarify facts and coverage;
- Training of management and staff;
- Selection of vendors;
- Assistance in developing claims protocols; and
- Assistance in drafting new and revising existing policy language.
Included in the Property Litigation Practice Group are attorneys who, prior to law school, worked as property claims representatives. These attorneys bring experience in property damage estimation, contents evaluation and public adjuster representation. They possess a unique perspective that enables them to advise and assist the claims professional both before and after litigation.
We welcome the opportunity to be of service to you. We are available to discuss any property claims issues, as well as give presentations or lectures at your location or at any one of our regional offices.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
Supreme Court of New Jersey Holds That Cardiovascular Death Is Not Compensable
Angela Y. DeMary, August 11, 2014
In its July 30, 2014, decision of James P. Renner v. AT&T (A-71-11) (068744), the New Jersey Supreme Court reiterated that there remains a heightened standard of proof and causation for cardiovascular claims. The Supreme Court opined in Renner that the decedent husband/petitioner failed to sustain...
The Storm After the Storm
Eric R. Brown, May 29, 2014
It has now been more than 18 months since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, but the litigation related to that storm is just getting started. With any event that brings such damage, there is always a concern that judges may look to expand the bounds of coverage in favor of insureds. The...
Punitive Damages May Be Sought in NYC Asbestos Cases
Arthur D. Bromberg,Paul C. Johnson, May 06, 2014
Judge Sherry Klein Heitler recently issued an order and opinion granting a motion filed by Weitz & Luxenberg on behalf of several plaintiffs amending the New York City Asbestos Litigation ("NYCAL") case management order to allow the plaintiffs to seek punitive damages against the...
Forum Non Conveniens: Where Your Convenience Does Not Matter
David Salazar, March 17, 2014
For years, defendants have been at the mercy of a plaintiff’s choice of venue. Other than removing to federal court or objecting to an improper venue, defendants have little control over where a matter will be litigated. Forum non conveniens has long been somewhat of a mirage: an option that,...
Occupant In a Fleeing Vehicle Is Not an Innocent Bystander...Or Is He?
Kimberly A. Boyer-Cohen, March 14, 2014
Under the law in Pennsylvania, police officers owe no duty of care to the driver of a fleeing vehicle, Lindstrom v. City of Corry, 763 A.2d 394 (Pa. 2000), but they do owe a duty of care to innocent third parties, Jones v. Chieffo, 700 A.2d 417 (Pa. 1997), who are bystanders unconnected with the...
The Rise of Legal Malpractice Lawsuits
Rocco J. Carbone,John Viggiani, March 14, 2014
Recently, there has been an alarming increase in legal malpractice lawsuits in all practice areas. This article discusses the applicable standard of proof and the statute of limitations for these actions.