Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze Property and Business Income/Extra Expense coverage issues under Property, Docks & Piers and Excess Ocean Marine policies for two fire losses originating from a tenant’s dockside storage of wood pellets. Case included review of coinsurance issues, tenant’s status as a Dependent Property for Business Income loss plus carrier subrogation against tenant’s Commercial General Liability policy. Travelers (as subrogee of Port of Port Arthur) v. Texas Pellets, et al, Cause No. B-203,222 In 60th Judicial District Court, Jefferson County, Texas. Attorney Clint Brasher, Brasher Law Firm, PLLC. (409) 832-3737
Commercial Umbrella / Excess Liability Expert Witness Cases
September 3, 2019Don 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 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 policyholder counsel to evaluate claims handling practices of excess layers carrier(s). Case involved Energy Exploration and Development/Operators Extra Expense offshore “removal of wreck and debris” claims resulting from Hurricane Ike. Engagement required analysis of Surplus Lines Umbrella policies coverage trigger(s) relative to exhaustion of underlying insurance limits. W&T Offshore v. National Liability & Fire Insurance Co., et al; C.A. NO. 4:14-CV-02740, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division. Attorney Matthew Parrish, Taunton, Snyder & Slade (713) 993-2342.
July 21, 2015burld
Engaged by insurance agent’s defense counsel and designated as their Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith expert. Case involved Certificates of Liability Insurance issued after a policyholder declined renewal of a Commercial Umbrella. Litigation resulted from an injury to a bounce house patron, and whether the successor policyholder had Commercial General Liability with/without Commercial Umbrella coverage. Attorney George Carr, Janik LLP (440) 740-3016. KMAG v. Chubb, Case No. 1:15CV66 in United States District Court Northeastern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
June 6, 2015Don Hirsch
Engaged by plaintiff counsel to evaluate Insurance Bad Faith issues stemming from “failure to disclose material terms” of Commercial General Liability and Commercial Umbrella Liability over several years’ renewal policies. Case required assessment of Agents Errors & Omissions relative to Surplus Lines renewal procedures for Equine Liability coverage. Attorney Doug Patrick, Covington, Patrick, Hagins, Stern & Lewis, P.A., (864) 242-9000. Lanzone v. BB&T Insurance Services, In The Court of Common Pleas No.: 2013-CP-23-2758, State of South Carolina, County of Greenville.
October 2, 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 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 counsel for third party seeking to compel vicarious liability coverage for a non-owned watercraft accident. Case included issues of Insurance Bad Faith stemming from carrier’s denial of a Commercial Umbrella claim. The Umbrella was placed as Surplus Lines using an ISO-based policy form with a manuscript Marine Liability endorsement. Case required knowledge of the nuances between Commercial General Liability and Excess Marine Liabilities. Antill Pipeline v. Chartis; Civil Action No. 09-3646, c/w 10-2633, and c/w 11-2131 in United States District Court Section C-2 for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Attorneys Bob Reich and Larry Plunkett – Reich, Album & Plunkett, LLC (504) 830-3999.
July 1, 2012burld
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 carrier as Claims Made and Reported Professional Liability Insurance expert. Case involved late notice of claim and required expertise with Agents Errors & Omissions, Commercial General Liability (including Pollution Liability) and Commercial Umbrella. Environmental Analytics, Inc. v. Chartis Claims, Inc., et al. Cause No. 2010-42050; In The 234th J.D. Court Harris County, Texas. Attorneys Tim Kilgore and Dan Lynn, Jackson & Campbell, PC (202) 457-1632.
February 1, 2012burld
Retained as consultant to evaluate ongoing projects coverage continuity issues relative to termination of a rolling OCIP (Owner Controlled Insurance Program). Consultation included forensic review of premium audit procedures for Commercial General Liability, Completed Operations, Commercial Umbrella, Inland Marine Builders Risk and Workers Compensation. Policyholder Tarrant County College District; Attorney Burch Waldron, Law, Snakard & Gambill, P.C. (817) 878-6319.
November 1, 2010burld
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
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
Retained by plaintiff counsel to provide analysis regarding Agent Errors & Omissions & Risk Manager Standard of Care. Litigation resulted after denial of a large “Construction Defect (Contractors Rework/Rip & Tear)” claim under an OCIP (Owner Controlled Insurance Program). Claim was denied under Commercial General Liability and Commercial Umbrella Insurance. Roy Anderson Corporation v. Sawyer-Foster Insurance, et al; Circuit Court Harrison County Mississippi, First Judicial District, Case No. A2401-07-215. Attorneys Paul T. Benton & Tricia Beale (228) 432-0305.
September 1, 2007burld
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
Retained by plaintiff to provide forensic insurance analysis of coverage and premiums. Case involved issues of agent negligence over multiple policy years in placing Workers Compensation, Products Liability Insurance, Commercial Umbrella, and Property Insurance. Attorney – Craig Albert of Godwin Gruber Attorneys (214) 207-6901. Aurora Equipment v. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.; Cause No. 04-07955-E; 101st Judicial District Court of Dallas County, TX.
March 1, 2005burld