Retained by insurance agency counsel defending alleged Agent Errors and Omissions for failure to procure Business Income coverage for Covid-19 losses under a Commercial Auto (Mobile Operations) endorsement to a Businessowners policy. Case required response to a laundry list of alleged duties owed by the agent far outside the accepted standards of care for a reasonably prudent Texas insurance agent. Case assessment included the lack of physical damage, the standard virus exclusion found in most ISO property forms, and the likelihood of the insured’s failure to read the policy. Attorneys John Nevins and Robert Bragalone, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP, (214) 231-4660. Sanbuco v. Governor Insurance Agency, et al; Civil Action No. SA-20-CV-01045-XR In United States District Court, Western District of Texas San Antonio Division.
Commercial Auto Liability Insurance Expert Witness Cases
March 26, 2021Don Hirsch
Engaged by counsel defending allegations of Agent Errors and Omissions relative to Commercial Auto underlying limits required for Umbrella coverage. Case involved policyholder allowing Commercial Auto policy to cancel for nonpayment and later placing coverage with deficient limits through a different agent. Case required analysis of policyholder’s pattern of conduct and failures to communicate relative to realistic expectations of the agency, plus Umbrella policy language relative to requirements in a construction agreement. Litigation resulted after carrier denied Umbrella coverage following a fatality auto accident. Attorney Shelley Rogers, Sheehy Ware Pappas, (713) 951-1033. ATCI v. Holmes Murphy, et al; Cause No. CC-18-02926-E, In The County Court at Law No. 5, Dallas County, Texas.
June 19, 2019Don Hirsch
Engaged by insurance agent’s defense counsel to analyze allegations of Insurance Agent Errors and Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith. Case involved multiple Commercial Auto policies, Commercial General Liability, Professional Liability and required analysis of coverage grants for loading/unloading. Dispute followed carrier claim denial due to vehicle in question not being described as a ‘Covered Auto’. Attorneys Amanda Harvey and Kayleigh Watson, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP (214) 698-8000. National Ambulance v. Hija Insurance Agency, et al. Cause No. 2016-52143 In 11th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas.
January 26, 2018Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel to opine regarding Agent Errors & Omissions relative to whether the insurance agent was ever provided a copy of an oil field Master Services Agreement. The dispute resulted from an employee injury, plaintiff’s previous failure to complete required actions to obtain Workers Compensation and carrier denial of a Commercial General Liability claim. Allegations against the agent included failure to procure Commercial Auto and Commercial General Liability to comply with MSA contractual liability insurance requirements. Emperor v. Millennium Insurance Services; Cause No. 2016CI14546 In The District Court of Bexar County, Texas 150th Judicial District. Attorney Frank McNiff, Welder Leshin Lorenz McNiff Buchanan Hawn, LLP, (361) 561-8008.
June 16, 2017Don Hirsch
Engaged by counsel defending insurance carrier against allegations of Bad Faith Claims Handling. Case involved a Motor Truck Cargo total fire loss of load being hauled, and subsequent claim denial by carrier. Two expert reports were required: carrier was initially Defendant (against policyholder allegations) and later Third Party Plaintiff (when it joined the insurance agency as a Third Party Defendant). Case required expertise with Inland Marine policy forms, Motor Truck Cargo coverage placement through a wholesale broker / Purchasing Group master policy and Agent Errors & Omissions regarding non-disclosure of terms & conditions to policyholder. Attorney John Kazen – Kazen, Meurer & Perez (956) 712-1600. Zebra Carriers v. Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association Insurance Company v. Solo Trucking Insurance Agency; Cause No. 2015-CVQ-003844-D2 In 111th Judicial District Court, Webb County, Texas.
February 24, 2017Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel to address allegations of Managing General Agent E&O / Bad Faith involving placement of surplus lines. Litigation resulted following claim denial for a vehicle accident involving a city bus being driven by a temporary staff employee. Case involved Non-owned Autos coverage under Commercial Auto and/or as an endorsement to Commercial General Liability policies. Attorneys Heather Duplantis and Kevin Welsh, Phelps Dunbar LLP (225) 346-0285. Johnson v. City of Alexandria, Number 247,208 In 9th Judicial District Court For The Parish Of Rapides, Division “G”, State of Louisiana.
January 6, 2017Don Hirsch
Retained by carrier’s defense counsel as their Insurance Bad Faith and Commercial Auto expert regarding an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist claim denial. Case required expertise with nuances of coverage afforded the “first named insured contrasted with policy language requiring other claimants to occupy a covered auto. Attorney Melissa England, Graif Barrett & Matura, P.C., (602) 792-5700. Smith v. Auto-Owners, Complaint No. S-1400-CV201500545 In Superior Court of the State of Arizona, In and For The County of Yuma.
July 6, 2016Don Hirsch
Engaged by counsel defending a trucking company against allegations of improper insurance premium allocations charged to owner-operators. Case required market research relative to insurance coverages and premiums available to individual owner-operators vs. premiums allocated to owner-operators under a master truckers program. Engagement included analysis of owner-operator leases and customer Master Service Agreements insurance requirements for Commercial Auto, Commercial General Liability, Pollution Liability, Commercial Umbrella and Motor Truck Cargo. Attorneys Ed Chociey and Ron Leibman, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP (973) 538-0800. Gassoway v. Benchmark; Case No.4: 15-cv-00488 In United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
April 12, 2016Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel for managing general agent as their Workers Compensation and Insurance Bad Faith expert. Case involved allegations by a long haul trucker of Insurance Bad Faith and Agent Errors & Omissions resulting from a Workers Compensation carrier insolvency. Case required analysis of interplay between Commercial Auto and Workers Compensation insurance markets for truckers. Attorneys George Carr, Janik LLP (440) 740-3016 and Joe Nicholas, Mazanec, Raskin & Ryder (440) 287-8320. AIM v. Safe Fleet, et al; Case No. 4:14-cv-02161 United States District Court Northeastern District of Ohio, Eastern Division
March 12, 2016Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel as their Commercial Auto, Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith expert. Case involved a large deductible Garage Liability policy and renewal changes to “Who is an Insured”. Dispute resulted from higher limits of liability being extended to customers than those provided under prior policies. Group 1 Automotive v. Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc.; Civil Action No. 1:14cv334HSO-JCG In The United States District Court Southern District of Mississippi Southern Division. Attorneys Fred Feeney and Nathan Burrow, Franke & Salloum, PLLC (228) 868-7070
August 22, 2015burld
Engaged by plaintiff counsel pursuing allegations of Bad Faith claims handling under Commercial Auto (Garage Liability) coverage. Case resulted from disputed valuation of physical damage to a heavy truck. Attorney Graham Martin, Martin Law Offices (606) 349-6171. Little v. Martin’s Peterbilt and United Financial Insurance Co.; Case No. 12-CI-262, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Laurel Circuit Court, Division II.
August 23, 2014burld
Engaged by plaintiff counsel to evaluate coverage under Farm & Ranch, Personal Auto, Commercial Auto (Garage Liability) and Commercial Umbrella policies. Dispute resulted from an off-road vehicle fatality with issues of “Who is an Insured” under Personal Auto and Farm & Ranch policies, and whether garage repairs contributed to the accident. Chambers v. Harris, et al; Case No. C201400035 In The District Court Johnson County, Texas, 413th Judicial District. Attorney Dwain Dent, The Dent Law Firm (817) 332-2889.
May 23, 2014burld
Engaged by plaintiff counsel as their Commercial Auto, Insurance Bad Faith and Workers Compensation expert. Case involved a truck driver fatality and required analysis of Commercial Auto and Workers Compensation coverage and claim denial issues. Dispute resulted from differing positions as to whether trucker was an employee or independent contract driver. Attorney Chris Pinedo, Hilliard Munoz Gonzales, LLP (361) 882-1612. Arca Trucking vs. Hallmark County Mutual Insurance Co.; Cause No. 2014-DCV2416 In The District Court of El Paso County, Texas, County Court at Law 6.
May 2, 2014Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to evaluate the contrast between Personal Auto and Commercial Auto policy language. Case required analysis of “who is an insured” wording and coverage for Hired and Nonowned Autos under a Business-owners Policy. Attorney Don Murphy, Murphy & Pressentin LLC, (866) 230-2282. Stone v. Supertino; Case No. S-1500-CV-278310 LHB, Superior Court of the State of California, For the County of Kern
August 1, 2013burld
Engaged by plaintiff counsel to evaluate Non-owned Autos coverage under Commercial Auto and Commercial Umbrella policies written as Surplus Lines. Case required analysis of Additional Insured status for subcontractors under contractual liability clauses in multi-layered oilfield services agreements. Rossi v. Pogue, et al; Cause No. 49524 In The District Court Hill County, Texas, 66TH Judicial District. Attorney Dwain Dent, The Dent Law Firm (817) 332-2889.
July 23, 2013burld
Engaged by policyholder’s outside counsel seeking Commercial General Liability coverage for a fatality claim caused by a tank explosion. Case required evaluation of Insurance Bad Faith and Agents Errors & Omissions “failure to procure” issues. Belken Oil, LLC v. Woodworth Insurance Agency; Attorney Scott Helmholz, Bailey & Glasser, LLP , (217) 528-1177.
January 1, 2013burld
Engaged by counsel defending allegations of Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith. Case involved a Named Driver Exclusion and claim denial under a Commercial Auto policy and a Commercial Umbrella policy written as Surplus Lines. Diamond Pump & Transport, LLC v. Allied North American, et al; Cause No. A-126,966-A in the 70th District Court of Ector County, Texas. Defense counsel Kent Krabill, Lynn Tillotson Pinker and Cox, LLP (214) 981-3800.
July 1, 2012burld
Engaged by policyholder counsel to provide analysis and testimony regarding Commercial Auto and Agent Standard of Care in structuring Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. Case also included technical coverage issues involving Personal Auto. Creative Young Minds, et al v. Hibbs Hallmark; Cause No. 048-23087-09 in 48th Judicial District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. Attorney Greg Clift, Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP (214) 220-3888.
February 1, 2010burld
Engaged by defense counsel to opine on issues regarding Commercial Auto, Agent Errors & Omissions, Insurance Bad Faith. Case involved insurance for Mexican truckers operating in the United States and/or Mexico. Defense counsel Elizabeth Christ, (210) 227-3243, Denton, Navarro, Rocha & Bernal, P.C.; Salazar v. Medina; Cause No. 09-02-24170-MCV, 293rd Judicial District Court of Maverick County, Texas.
October 1, 2009burld
Designated by counsel for insured as Commercial Auto, Commercial Umbrella , and Agent Errors & Omissions expert. Case required analysis regarding failure to procure, non-owned autos, contractor’s liability, and additional insured endorsements. Allegations included Insurance Bad Faith. Attorney Charles Fairchild (816) 500-0280. MWR Contractors v. Becker Lassen Insurance Agency, Case No. 07BA-CV 01477 In Circuit Court of Boone County Missouri at Columbia.
June 1, 2009burld
Designated as Commercial Auto Insurance expert by counsel for policyholder. Case required expertise in Hired and Nonowned auto coverage, contractual liability, additional insureds and Commercial Umbrella policies. Pleadings involved issues of Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith. Mick White Renovations v. Affordable Insurance Services, et al; Case No. K.S.A. Chapter 60, In District Court of Johnson County, Kansas. Attorney Charles Fairchild (816) 500-0280.
June 1, 2009burld
Insurance expert witness designation pertaining to Business Auto claim denial for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. Case required analysis of interplay between Commercial Auto, Agent Errors & Omissions, Insurance Bad Faith and Workers Compensation. Elizondo v. American International Group, et al; Cause No. 07-62262-1, County Court at Law No. 1, Nueces County, Texas. Plaintiff counsel Doug Allison (361) 215-7802.
April 1, 2009burld
Retained by hospital’s in house general counsel to provide analysis of CCIP for a large hospital addition. Engagement included assessment of how and what coverage would be extended to the owner under a CCIP (Contractor Controlled Insurance Program) in contrast to an OCIP (Owner Controlled Insurance Program). Client requested evaluation of issues involving Commercial General Liability, Completed Operations, Commercial Umbrella, Inland Marine Builders Risk (including “soft costs”) and Workers Compensation. Attorney John McNey, General Counsel, Cook Children’s Medical Center , (682)-885-1330.
March 1, 2009burld
Engaged by plaintiff counsel to analyze coverage issues under Commercial Auto and Inland Marine Motor Truck Cargo when an oilfield drilling rig being transported fell off a truck resulting in a total loss. Jackson & Simmen Drilling v. Old American, et al; Cause 070088 in the 271st Judicial District, Jack County, TX, Attorney Allen Williamson, (940) 627-8308, Simpson, Boyd & Powers.
January 1, 2008burld
Engaged to assist defense attorneys answering alleged Agent Errors & Omissions. A fireworks explosion and fire resulted in multiple fatalities and widespread property losses. Allegations involved coverage placement disputes for numerous lines of insurance: Commercial Auto, Workers Compensation, General Liability Insurance, Commercial Umbrella, and Property Insurance. Attorneys Brent Cooper and Joyce Ondich – Cooper & Scully, PC, (214) 712-9500. Joseph M. Lamb, Jr. d/b/a Pyrotechnics by Lamb v. Britton-Gallagher, et al; Civil Action No. 2-04CV-400, US District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.
September 1, 2005burld