Engaged by counsel for carrier as plaintiff seeking Declaratory Judgment confirming its coverage denial. Case involved analyzing underwriting data provided by a group of pharmaceutical entities. The application(s) failed to disclose the true nature of the non-pharmaceutical inventories it was seeking to insure. Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the insured’s locations in Puerto Rico and Florida resulting in losses under the Property and Inland Marine coverage forms. Carrier denied the claims based on policyholder’s misrepresentations. Attorney Rob Reeb, Marwedel, Minichello & Reeb, P.C. (312) 445-5314. U.S. Specialty Insurance Company v. Atlantic Biologicals, Case No. 18-23276-Civ-Cooke/Goodman, United States District Court For The Southern District of Florida.
Inland Marine Insurance Expert Witness Cases
May 12, 2019Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel for Surplus Lines agency to address allegations of Insurance Agent E&O and Bad Faith including failure to procure proper insurance coverage. Case required analysis of the placement process to provide Property and Builders Risk insurance for an existing hotel plus renovations and additions. Dispute resulted from carrier’s partial denial of a windstorm claim while the hotel was still under construction. Attorneys Sarah Wariner and Scott Shanes, Clark Hill | Strasburger (469) 287-3900. Robertson v. Chubb, CRC, et al, Cause No. A160450C In The 51st Judicial District Court, Tom Green County, Texas.
October 26, 2018Don Hirsch
Engaged by counsel defending insurance carrier against allegations of Bad Faith claims handling following denial of an uncovered Flood claim. Case required analysis of NFIP Flood Zone definitions relative to an Inland Marine policy flood exclusion. Attorneys Mike Cawley and Alex Brown, Gordon & Rees | Scully Mansukhani, LLP (215) 561-2300. Vanguard v. Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co. Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, January Term 2017, No. 02023.
March 27, 2018Don 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 counsel defending insurance carrier against allegations of Bad Faith Claims Handling. Case involved a trucker covered under a specified commodities Motor Truck Cargo policy. Litigation resulted from claim denial for a total fire loss of load based on commodities being hauled had not been declared on the application. Case required scrutiny of Agent Errors & Omissions issues relative to coverage placement under a Purchasing Group master policy, non-disclosure of terms & conditions to policyholder/applicant and expertise with Inland Marine / Motor Truck Cargo policy forms. Attorney Andy Kehagiaras, Roberts & Kehagiaras LLP (310) 642-9800. US Cheeta Trucking v. Valleys Best Insurance, et al, Case No. 34-2015-00184655-U-IC-GDS, Superior Court Of The State of California For The County of Sacramento.
February 23, 2017Don Hirsch
Engaged by counsel for policyholder as their Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith expert. Case involved analysis of Property and Inland Marine insurance placement issues relative to Livestock mortality for dairy cattle. Dispute arose after claim denial for widespread smothering loss of cattle during a blizzard event. Attorney Brent Hamilton, Brady & Hamilton, LLP (806) 771-1850. CBJ v. Davis; Case 2:16-cv-00109-J In The United States District Court For The Northern District Of Texas, Amarillo Division.
July 13, 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 policyholder counsel to analyze and opine on claims handling practices for cattle theft claims under a Farm & Ranch policy. Case required analysis of cattle buy/sell inventory records and inconsistencies in adjuster’s claims log entries. Attorneys Paul Bezney and Marlene Thomson (214) 740-2500, Adkerson, Hauder & Bezney, P.C. Linn v. Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Case No. CJ2014-38 In The District Court of Grady County Oklahoma.
August 2, 2015Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze primary and excess carriers’ claims handling practices relative to denial of a multi-million dollar claim for theft of bitumen being stored in China. Both Inland Marine and Ocean Marine coverage was afforded under a single Marine Open Cargo policy form. Engagement required analysis of manuscript Marine Insurance policy forms relative to Bulk Oil Clauses, bills of lading and bailee interests. Great American v. Castleton; Civil Action No. 15-cv-03976-JSR In United States District Court For The Southern District of New York. Attorneys John Shugrue and Caroline Upton, Reed Smith, LLP (312) 207-1000.
July 9, 2015Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel as their Homeowners Insurance Expert to review allegations of bad faith claims handling resulting from total denial of a theft loss. Case involved contrasting coverage and valuation issues for contents insured as personal property or under inland marine fine arts coverage. Attorney Ned Pillersdorf (606) 886-6090, Pillersdorf, DeRossett and Lane. Dye vs. Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Company; Floyd Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 13-CI-529
September 10, 2014admin
Engaged as consulting expert by counsel defending against allegations of Agent Errors & Omissions. Case involved client expectations of coverage for “business risk tax liability”. Claim was denied under Commercial General Liability, Property and Inland Marine policies. Boat Town v. Belter Insurance Agency; Cause No. D-1-GN-10-003327 In The District Court of Travis County, Texas, 53rd Judicial District. Attorney Darrell Cockcroft, Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons, LLP (512) 703-5094.
July 24, 2014admin
Engaged by counsel defending allegations of bad faith for both Managing General Agent E&O and carrier claims handling practices. Dispute resulted from denial of ‘Well Out of Control’ and pollution claims from a ‘plugged & abandoned well’ fluids release. Case required analysis of an Energy Exploration & Development policy relative to first party property and third party pollution liability coverage. Denbury Resources v. Lloyds of London, et al; Cause No. 2012-10397 In The District Court of Harris County, Texas, 270th Judicial District. Attorneys Bart Hall and Jonathan Womack, Phelps Dunbar LLP (504) 566-1311.
June 19, 2014admin
Engaged by defense counsel as their Flood Insurance and Agent’s Errors & Omissions expert. Case required analysis of Insurance Bad Faith allegations resulting from claim denial for Flood Zone A locations. Claim included loss of Property and Business Income under an Inland Marine policy form. Attorney Tom Cooper, Pignato, Cooper, Kolker, & Roberson, P.C. (405) 606-3333. Coast to Coast Power Sports v. Robert Bates Agency, et al; Case No. CJ-2012-03555 In The District Court In And For Tulsa County, Oklahoma.
July 1, 2013admin
Retained by carrier counsel as their Insurance Bad Faith and Property Insurance Expert relative to claims handling Customs and Practices. Case required underwriting expertise when moving coverage from an admitted market Inland Marine builders risk to a Surplus Lines vacant dwelling policy. Litigation resulted when large water loss claim was denied due to vacancy disclosures on the insurance application. Pennink, et al v. Lloyds, et al; Case 1:11-cv-00673-TDS-WWD, North Carolina Durham County In The General Court of Justice Superior Court Division File No. 11-CVS-5555. Attorney Jeremy Stephenson, McNair Law Firm, P.A. (704) 347-6456; Attorney Jon Dryer, Wilson Elser Attorneys (215) 606-3908.
May 1, 2013admin
Engaged by mortgagee’s counsel as their Insurance Agent Error & Omission and Property Insurance Expert. Case required evaluation of agent’s conduct regarding placements, renewals and endorsements of three Inland Marine Builders Risk policies. Allegations by mortgagee of Insurance Bad Faith arose from agent’s misrepresentations on ACORD. Evidence of Property Insurance forms. Attorney David Clement – Clement, Gates & May (504) 598-2220; Baronne v. Assurance Co. of America, et al; Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, Number: 09-4893 Division “I-14”.
April 1, 2012admin
Retained by carrier’s counsel to provide expert opinions regarding Insurance Bad Faith, reporting form Inland Marine Builder’s Risk and Property Insurance. Dispute involved Agent Errors & Omissions based on agent’s failure to include a mortgagee’s interest when reporting a total fire loss. Seven months after the total fire loss, the agent issued an ACORD Evidence of Property Insurance to the mortgagee, continuing a pattern of misrepresentations. Attorney Larry Fields, Kutak Rock, LLP (816) 960-0090. Assurance Company of America v. O’Connor Insurance Agency; Case No. 4:10CV2204 FRB, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern Division
July 8, 2011Don Hirsch
Engaged as a Property Insurance Expert by counsel defending allegations of Agents Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith. Litigation resulted from construction agreement insurance requirements, Inland Marine Builders Risk claim denial, and eventual Homeowners subrogation. Attorney Desmond Cooks, (214) 736-9433 The Willis Law Group; Stevens v. Trujillo Insurance Agency; Cause No. 048-248921-10 In the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, 48th Judicial District.
July 1, 2011admin
Engaged by policyholder counsel as their Inland Marine and Property Insurance Expert. Litigation resulted from partial claim denial following the armed robbery of a jewelry store. Claim denial hinged on effective date of an endorsement to increase a Jewelers Block policy limits. Case required evaluation of Agent Errors & Omissions, Surplus Lines procedures and Insurance Bad Faith claims handling. Eagle Jewelry v. United National Insurance Company, et al; No. 2009-50936 In The District Court of Harris County, Texas, 334th Judicial District. Attorney Bob Tarics, The Tarics Law Firm, PC, (713) 461-9490.
December 1, 2010admin
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, 2010admin
Engaged as consulting expert by policy holder counsel. Case involved review of Agent Errors & Omissions, valuation and limits for an Inland Marine claim under a manuscript Warehouse Legal Liability policy. Attorney Tom Carlyon, (570) 455-6308.
October 1, 2010admin
Engaged as a Property Insurance Expert by policyholder seeking coverage for Hurricane Ike Builders Risk claims. Case included allegations of Insurance Agent Error & Omission and carrier Insurance Bad Faith. Case required expertise with construction agreements relative to ordinance and law coverage, large Wind and Hail deductibles, and Business Income soft costs under Inland Marine builders risk policies. Attorney Windell Snow (316) 263-5959; Construction Services Bryant v. Cincinnati Insurance Company, Case No. 09 CV 3137 in the Eighteenth Judicial District Court, Sedgwick County, Kansas, Civil Department.
May 1, 2010admin
Designated by policyholder counsel as their Agents Errors & Omissions, Insurance Bad Faith and Property Insurance Expert. Engagement required expertise with blanket insurance, coinsurance vs. Agreed Value, Business Income, Wet Marine Insurance, and Surplus Lines custom & practice. Claim dispute followed after multi-million dollar flood damage to the largest marina on Lake Texoma. Lake Texoma Highport, LLC v. Lloyd’s of London, et al; Civil Action No. 4:08cv285; In The United States District Court For The Eastern District Of Texas, Sherman Division. Attorney Bart Higgins – Shields, Britton, Frazier (972) 788-2040.
February 1, 2010admin
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, 2009admin
Retained by policy holder counsel as their Property Insurance Expert for a total fire loss to a dwelling. Case required analysis of Insurance Agent (Broker) Errors & Omissions issues and distinguishing Homeowners and Builders Risk coverage forms. Attorneys Bill Klain & Kevin Estevez (480) 947-1911, Lang & Baker, PLC. Cantor v. Farmers Insurance, et al Case No. CV2008-053871 & CV2008-052618 in Superior Court of the State of Arizona, County of Maricopa.
December 1, 2008admin
Consulted as Property Insurance Expert for claims under Inland Marine, Boiler & Machinery and Business Income coverage. Case involved damage to a printing press during transport and upon arrival at a new location. Northeast Impressions, Inc., et al v. Camden Fire, et al; Superior Court of New Jersey, Passaic County Docket No. PAS-L-390-07. Tom Lloyd (973) 863-7612 Morgan Melhuish Abrutyn, Attorneys.
June 1, 2008admin
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, 2008admin
Retained by plaintiff as consulting Property Insurance Expert to analyze issues surrounding claim denial under an Inland Marine Builders Risk policy. Case issues included Additional Insured endorsements, policy exclusions, Agent Errors & Omissions, and carrier Insurance Bad Faith. Attorney Michael Kennedy – Casey Ciklin Lubitz Martens & O’Connell West Palm Beach, FL (561) 832-5900. Suffolk Construction v. Royal Indemnity Co., Brown & Brown, Inc., et al; Cause No. 502002CA012543, 15th Judicial District, Palm Beach County, Florida.
November 1, 2006admin
Engaged by plaintiff counsel to research coverage availability regarding both Inland Marine Insurance and Ocean Marine Insurance after extensive damage to machinery in transit. Parties included the machinery manufacturer as well as multiple cargo transfer agents and common carriers. Attorney Hugh Connor – Kelly Hart & Hallman, LLP, (817) 332-2500. Anchor Fabrication L.L.P. vs. Southwest Freight, Inc., et al; Cause No. 236-204366-04; 236th Judicial District, Tarrant County, Texas.
March 1, 2005admin