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.
Surplus Lines Expert Witness Cases
October 26, 2018Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze and opine on Agents Errors & Omissions relative to the procurement of a Hole-In-One Special Events policy. The case required analysis of agent’s failure to inform policyholder regarding minimum yardage warranties in the binder. The dispute resulted after two Hole-In-Ones were not covered, requiring the policyholder to pay the prize indemnity award. Old White Charities v. Bankers Insurance; Civil Action No. 5:l7-cv-01375 in the United States District Court for the (Southern) District of West Virginia. Attorneys Lorie Masters and Michael Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth (202) 955-1500.
March 21, 2018Don 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
Retained by defense counsel to provide analysis and opinions regarding Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith relative to a Professional Liability policy renewal. Case included allegations of failure to procure alongside issues of questionable policyholder Medical Malpractice claims reporting. Surplus Lines carrier renewed a Claims Made policy with a material reduction of coverage; subsequent claim denial resulted in litigation involving multiple parties. Attorneys Paul Gerding and Echo Reynolds, Kutak Rock LLP (480) 429-5000. Infini v. Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc., et al; Case No. 2:16-cv-03874-PHX-GMS In The United States District Court, District Of Arizona
January 24, 2018Don Hirsch
Engaged by policyholder counsel to analyze and opine on issues relative to Agents Errors & Omissions relative to Business Income coverage. Dispute resulted from Insurance agency’s failure to follow up with policyholder on carrier request for Business Income underwriting information at a new location. This failure resulted in partial denial of a Business Income claim when a building collapsed. Attorneys Mike Abrams and Kim Winter, Lathrop Gage, LLC (816) 460-5530. Axiom v. Marrs & Davolt, Case No. 16CY-CV00586 Division No. 5, In the Circuit Court of Clay County Missouri.
September 20, 2017Don Hirsch
Engaged by defense counsel to analyze Agent Errors & Omissions issues relative to whether the agent was provided a copy of an oil field services Master Services Agreement. Plaintiff had failed to provide the agent with accurate information to obtain Jones Act / USL&H Maritime Workers Compensation and/or Other States coverage. The dispute resulted from the Commercial General Liability carrier denial of a contractual liability indemnity claim (under the customer’s MSA) for an employee injury which occurred over water. Zadok v. Bell Insurance, Cause No. 2016-44757 In 80th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas. Attorneys Ryan Brown and Nathan Shackelford, Hermes Law, PC (214) 749-6800.
July 21, 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
Engaged by defense counsel to analyze allegations of Agent Errors & Omissions andInsurance Bad Faith involving placement of Surplus Lines Commercial General Liability. Case involved policy conditions that a general contractor be named as additional insured under subcontractors’ Commercial General Liability policies and maintain Certificates of Liability Insurance. General contractor was sued based on a subcontractors faulty work allegedly resulting in a fatality. Litigation ensued after carrier’s claim denial for failure to comply with policy terms and conditions. Attorney John Scott, Hardin, Kundla, McKeon & Poletto (973) 912-5222. Repoli v. LA Design and Construction, Lynoxx Group, et al / Coughlin v. Repoli, et al; Docket Nos. ESX-L-8325-14 and ESX-L-I011-15, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division: Essex County.
November 24, 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, 2015admin
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 agent’s defense counsel as their designated expert for Agents Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith. Case involved Property and Business Income Insurance written on a Surplus Lines basis. Dispute resulted from hailstorm claims adjusted on a Per Location/Per Occurrence Wind and Hail deductibles basis. Hipoint v. Pathfinder, et al, Case No. Case No.5: 13-cv-687-D In The United States District Court For The Western District of Oklahoma. Attorney Jim Secrest, Secrest Hill Butler & Secrest, PC (918) 494-5905
May 8, 2015admin
Engaged by defense counsel to opine regarding Agent Errors & Omissions relative to placement of a Broker-Dealer/Registered Investment Advisor(s) Professional Liability policy. Case involved evaluation of coverage afforded a named insured vs. additional insured, Surplus Lines, and Claims Made issues. Claims stemming from a Registered Investment Advisor’s fraudulent investment activities and subsequent conviction were denied by carrier which resulted in an Insurance Bad Faith claim against the agent. Onyx v. Indian Harbor, CalSurance, et al; Civil Action No. 3:13-CV-03426-P In The United States District Court For The Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. Attorney Blake Bailey, Phelps Dunbar LLP, (817) 488-3134.
May 6, 2015admin
Engaged by CFO of oil and gas exploration company to analyze renewal issues for Directors & Officers and Employment Practices Liability insurance. Engagement focused on comparing coverage structure and scope of coverage grants found within policy forms of both Admitted and Surplus Lines carriers quoting renewal. Mike Herman, CFO, Newark E&P Operating, LLC, (817) 529-4510.
April 2, 2015admin
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, 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 for Surplus Lines broker as their Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith expert. Case required analysis of Property, Flood Insurance and Business Income claims issues relative to Statements of Value, Margin Clauses and Scheduled vs. Blanket policies. Litigation resulted from disputed values during flood claim settlement. Attorneys David Clark and Jack Urquhart, Beirne, Maynard, & Parsons, LLP (713) 623-0887. Menard v. Wells Fargo and Swett & Crawford; Civil Action No. 10-cv-7592, State of Wisconsin Circuit Court Milwaukee County.
October 1, 2013admin
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, 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
Retained by counsel defending agent against allegations of Agent Errors & Omissions and Insurance Bad Faith. Litigation resulted following claim denial of a grain bin explosion loss. Engagement required Property Insurance and Surplus Lines expertise. Martinek v. Hertel, et al; Cause No. CV-12-0103 In The District Court of Grayson County, Texas, 59th Judicial District. Attorneys Tom Culpepper and Angela Caffey, Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons (214) 871-8200.
April 1, 2013admin
Retained by policyholder counsel as their Property Insurance Expert to analyze Insurance Bad Faith claims handling issues. Case required expertise with water damage loss and vacancy permits on a Surplus Lines policy. Quackenbush v. Scottsdale; Case No. 2:12-cv-190-J In United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division. Attorney Dusty Stockard, Stockard, Johnston & Brown, PC (806) 372-2202.
March 1, 2013admin
Engaged by agent’s defense counsel as their Agents Errors & Omissions, Insurance Bad Faith, Business Income and Property Insurance Expert for multiple Hurricane Ike apartment complexes claims. Case involved Surplus Lines, standard of care, and disclosure of material facts relative to coastal windstorm deductibles. Landco v. Consolidated American Services; Cause No. 2010-23329 In The District Court Harris County, Texas, 281st Judicial District. Attorney Kevin Madden, Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC, (713) 425-7452.
January 1, 2013admin
Engaged by policyholder counsel as a consulting expert to analyze Agents Errors & Omissions issues. Engagement required knowledge of customary insurance agent compensation relative to Surplus Lines placement of Builders Risk coverage under Ocean Marine policies. Trinity Yachts v. Thomas Rutherfoord and Marsh McLennan; Case 1:11-cv-00507-LG-JMR In The United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division. Attorney Joseph Briggett, Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard, (504) 568-1990.
August 1, 2012admin
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, 2012admin
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, 2012admin
Consulting expert engaged by counsel for carrier and surplus lines agent pursuing recovery from retail agent. Case involved placement issues for a Food Borne Illness policy covering Trade Name Restoration, Loss of Business Income and Incident Response. Following claim denial for an E-coli outbreak, litigation resulted from retail agent’s “failure to disclose material terms” to restaurant franchisees enrolled under a Master policy. Lloyds and Professional Liability Insurance Services v. IMA of Kansas; Cause no. D-1-GN-10-004172 In District Court of Travis County, Texas, 353rd Judicial District. Attorney Christopher White, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP (214) 722-7100.
February 3, 2012admin
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, 2012admin
Engaged by agent’s defense counsel as an Ocean Marine Insurance and Agent Errors and Omissions Expert. Case required review of Ocean Marine placement procedures, assignment of loss payee/mortgagee interests and coverage territory issues. Dispute resulted from a hull damage claim denial for a dredge barge which ran aground near Cancun, Mexico. Deep Sea Financing, LLC v. Brennan & Co., Civil Action No. STCV1100702 In The State Court of Chatham County, State of Georgia. Attorney Pat O’Connor, Oliver Maner LLP, (912) 236-3311
December 22, 2011admin
Designated as a Property Insurance Expert by policyholder counsel to evaluate claims handling custom & practice. The litigation resulted from Hurricane Rita windstorm damage to a hotel and subsequent claim investigation by carrier. Engagement included review of Insurance Bad Faith issues on the part of a Surplus Lines carrier. Cause No. 12,426; S.A. Hospitality v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, In the 1st Judicial District Court, Sabine County, Texas. Attorney Chris Leavitt, The Buzbee Law Firm, (713) 223-5393.
December 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
Engaged by contractor’s attorney to analyze contractual liability claim denial under Products Liability Insurance. Case involves Agents Errors & Omissions, Surplus Lines, Commercial General Liability, and aspects of Insurance Bad Faith resulting from questionable Certificates of Insurance. Cause No. 2009-65915; High Tech Plumbing v. Colony Insurance Company, et al. In the 127th Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas. Attorney Kelly Prather, Greenwood Prather Law Firm, (713) 333-3200.
August 1, 2010admin
Retained by counsel for policyholder seeking coverage under a 1973 ISO Comprehensive General Liability form. Expert affidavit addressed issues involving Commercial General Liability and Products Liability Insurance coverage under Surplus Lines policies. Case also involved Pollution Liability coverage and Reliance Insurance Company liquidation proceedings (No. 269 MD 2001 In The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania). Reliance Insurance Co. v. Raybestos Products, United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, Cause No. IP 97-0027-C-Y/G. Attorney Brett Nelson, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, (317) 637-0700.
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
Designated by plaintiff counsel as their Property Insurance Expert regarding a total loss due to Hurricane Wilma. Provided analysis pertaining to Agent Error & Omission. Case issues involved Florida Windstorm insurance, Business Income and Surplus Lines Insurance placement. Scott Katz & Beth Berry, Butler Pappas Attorneys , (813) 281-1900. TCB Farms v. Oswald Trippe, et al; Case No. 07-1389-CA, Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court, Collier County, FL.
December 1, 2008admin
Designated by plaintiff counsel as a Flood Insurance and Property Insurance Expert. Flood claim was denied after Tropical Storm Allison flooded a large apartment complex in Houston, TX. Provided coverage analysis for Agent Error & Omission, Business Income and Surplus Lines Insurance coverage issues. Meg Las Villas v. United States Fire; Cause No. 2007-54444, Harris County, TX. Attorney Paul Allred, (214) 528-9560, Sullivan & Holston.
August 1, 2008admin
Engaged by defense counsel as their Agent Errors and Omissions, Property Insurance and Insurance Bad Faith Expert. Case required expertise with Business Income, Flood Insurance, Surplus Lines & Ocean Marine Insurance. Litigation resulted from partial claim denials for losses during Hurricanes Jeanne and Francis. Attorneys Larry Montgomery & Lee Chase, Glankler Brown, PLLC ( 901) 525-1322 . Dyer Investment Company, LLC, et al v. Marsh & McLennan and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s; Case No. 05CV2812-D/P in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee Western Division.
April 1, 2007admin