Insurance

Becker has a sophisticated and experienced healthcare litigation practice and the firm represents a variety of commercial insurance companies in coverage related litigation for several product lines

The firm represents a variety of commercial insurance companies in coverage related litigation for several product lines, including commercial general liability coverage, directors and officers coverage, professional liability coverage, and public entity coverage.

The attorneys in the Becker Insurance Coverage Litigation Group partner with our in-house counterparts to develop the most practical and cost effective strategy to handle each coverage litigation. In this regard, Group members strive to minimize the fees and the expenses that clients incur, as well as provide maximum value to our clients, by, among other things:

  • refusing to “train” inexperienced attorneys at our clients’ expense;

  • using a firm management model by which we do not pass big firm overhead on to our clients;

  • providing our clients with budgets and fee estimates that reflect cost effective litigation strategies;

  • undertaking each client engagement with a commitment to render legal services in compliance with client billing guidelines, and

  • distributing to our clients a semi-annual newsletter, providing an overview of some of the most important judicial decisions impacting our insurance clients issued over the preceding several months.     

Above all, our attorneys have extensive insurance coverage law experience, gathered over decades of collective practice. And all of our Group’s partners come from (and were schooled in the traditions of) some of the largest law firms. As such, all bring with them to Becker a commitment to the highest quality work product typically associated with national or regional firms. However, the size of our Firm and our concomitant belief in efficiency and economy in overhead allows us to charge hourly rates for our work below those typically charged for similar quality legal services. The result is a text-book "win-win" for our clients as they receive the highest quality work product and personal attention at rates that allow them to stay within budgetary constraints.

 

As illustrated below, our Group members’ experience covers a broad range of issues, such as  representing primary insurance companies, excess insurance companies, and third-party claim management administrators and organizations in cases involving first-party and third-party insurance coverage and bad faith claims in federal, state, and bankruptcy courts and in large multi-party declaratory relief and contract-related disputes.

 

Recent representations:
 

  • Insurance company and agent in an action involving causes of action for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and bad faith refusal to pay an insurance claim for alleged losses incurred by a policyholder in connection with a flood at a commercial property.  This coverage action involved issues relating to a vacancy clause set forth in the commercial general liability insurance policy at issue and whether plaintiff had an insurable interest in the subject property at the time that the loss took place.  

  • Insurance company in an action involving leaking underground fuel tanks which caused contamination to the Delaware River. This action involved issues relating to whether coverage for such contamination was afforded under certain primary and umbrella commercial general liability policies or was the subject of certain pollution related exclusions set forth in the policies.

  • Insurance company in an action involving a determination of whether an insured had made false representations on an application for a workers compensation insurance policy and whether premiums due and owing under that policy had been paid on a timely basis. 

  • Insurance company in several actions involving a determination of the nature and scope of coverage afforded under homeowner’s policies for leaking underground fuel oil tanks.

  • Insurance company in an action involving a determination of whether an insured’s commercial general liability policy affords coverage for the insured’s purchase of a multi-million dollar odor abatement system which the insured contends it was required to install at its chemical factory as the result of governmental cleanup and abatement orders.

  • Insurance company in an action involving a determination whether the insurance company owes a defense obligation to a policyholder for a patent infringement and unfair competition action brought against the policyholder in a sister court by two foreign food additive manufacturers.  The case involves the interpretation of the nature and scope of coverage afforded under the personal injury and advertising injury provisions of various commercial general liability policies issued by the insurance company to the policyholder.    

  • The Firm currently is providing coverage advice to an insurance company relating to the nature and scope of coverage afforded under a professional liability insurance policy to an insured who has been sued for legal malpractice.       

Beyond litigating insurance coverage claims in state and federal courts and arbitration forums, Becker attorneys are called upon to counsel their insurance clients, before the initiation of litigation, including reviewing policy terms and conditions and providing guidance on interpretation, as well as drafting reservation of rights letters and similar correspondence to insured.

Becker also has a sophisticated and experienced healthcare litigation practice.  For more than 15 years, employers, insurers, and employee benefit plans have engaged the firm to handle employee benefits and provider compensation disputes arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and state law.

 

Our litigators have handled healthcare litigation cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Becker’s unique knowledge of the healthcare industry allows our professionals to communicate directly with our clients and their in-house counsel to quickly and efficiently mount a zealous benefits litigation defense.  Our clients include insurers, plans, and administrators located not just in the Mid-Atlantic corridor, but across the country, from Massachusetts to Hawaii, and from Oregon to South Carolina.

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