Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith Litigation

Insurers faced with coverage challenges by their policyholders need a team that can help them resolve the dispute while avoiding the risk posed by extra-contractual claims.

Our approach to coverage disputes is informed by a deep knowledge of our clients’ businesses. As national panel counsel for a number of carriers our experience encompasses the challenging coverage issues that can arise with virtually all lines of insurance: property and casualty, professional liability, business interruption, D&O, E&O, EPLI, aviation insurance, and cyber risks. We provide coverage advice in cases ranging from disputes with a single policyholder impacted by localized natural disaster or business interruption to national litigation under the laws of multiple jurisdictions.

Our litigators have decades of experience in defending insurers against extra-contractual tort and statutory claims arising from allegations of improper underwriting practices, fraud, and unfair claims handling. Our extensive experience with bad faith litigation (all lines), includes successful defense of first- and third-party extra-contractual claims for:

  • breach of duty of good faith
  • breach of contract
  • violation of state consumer protection laws
  • violation of state insurance codes
  • fraud/constructive fraud
  • negligence

We regularly successfully defend clients around the country in individual and class action suits seeking actual, consequential, and punitive damages, statutory penalties and attorneys’ fees.

But we don’t just assist our clients in defending extra-contractual and bad faith claims. Helping our clients avoid policyholder claims to begin with is an important part of our insurance practice. Based on our extensive experience in defending bad faith litigation and our knowledge and experience with state consumer protection laws, we assist clients in minimizing the risk that an insured will be able to assert extra-contractual claims.

We provide actionable and insightful coverage advice at every stage of a case. We counsel our clients on the duty to defend and duty to pay, where appropriate. We work collaboratively with clients to develop a strategy that achieves our clients’ business goals. For many clients, early case assessment and negotiation, whether informally or through mediation, achieves cost-effective results. In other cases, a strategy focused on key discovery combined with dispositive motions leads to efficient resolution. For cases that must be arbitrated or tried, our sophisticated and experienced trial team is a key reason our clients hire us again and again for their most challenging cases. Ground breaking decisions throughout the country bear the Jackson Walker name.

  • Served as coverage counsel for one of the aviation insurers that insured the aircraft that carried passenger Lauren Scruggs, a fashion model and blogger, who got out of and then walked into the running propeller on December 3, 2011. Ms. Scruggs lost her left eye and hand in the incident. The claims were resolved without litigation as to the insurer.
  • Lead appellate counsel for insurer regarding claims arising out of Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement providing for a dismissal with prejudice of the claim for zero dollars paid with respect to claims against Board of Governors of national reinsurance pool in a complex fraud and RICO federal court action alleging over $1 billion in damages resulting from the alleged underreporting of premiums.
  • Successfully defended national insurance company in massive real estate litigation involving claims of conspiracy and fraud. Obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims against client, which was affirmed on appeal to the Third Court of Appeals.
  • Represented life insurance company in complex coverage cases filed in state and federal courts across Texas.
  • Obtained judgement for insurer holding that Nevada’s prompt-pay statute did not grant private right of action to medical services providers under casualty insurance policies.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer that diminished value was not a covered loss for first party auto claim.
  • Served as amicus for insurer in advancing argument ultimately adopted by the Texas Supreme Court that insurance company did not have to compensate insured for decreased market value of properly repaired vehicle.
  • Persuaded Texas Supreme Court that an appraisal clause in insurance policy is not an arbitration agreement, and is enforceable.