Property Insurance Coverage
Melissa D'Alelio counsels clients in cases involving a wide variety of insurance lines, including commercial property and liability policies, and represents them in litigation and trial. Melissa has substantial experience defending litigation over collapse, design defect, earth movement, environmental exposure, and catastrophe claims such as tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fires, and windstorms. She has also represented insurer clients in assessing their duty to defend and indemnify their insureds based on the terms of their liability policies. In addition, she represents clients facing ordinance and law coverage exposure, claims involving lost insurance policies, and complex business interruption claims involving a broad array of industries and professions.
Melissa participates in insurance investigations, prosecuting declaratory judgment and rescission actions based on policyholder misrepresentation and fraud. She was recently successful in voiding a policy based on the policyholder’s material misrepresentations.
Melissa regularly counsels her clients regarding compliance with regulations, state and federal statutes, and common law, and recommends policy and procedure changes to business protocol.
Liability Insurance Coverage
Melissa’s insurance practice includes the resolution and litigation of liability coverage issues under commercial, and other standard form and manuscript policies. She advises insurers in complex coverage disputes involving advertising injury coverage, additional and other insured questions, the application of misrepresentation defenses, and exclusions under claims made and occurrence based policies.
Bad Faith Actions
Melissa counsels insurers concerning claims handling obligations and effective ways to minimize exposure to extra-contractual liability claims. She trains insurance professionals on claims handling best practices and insurance coverage obligations and defenses, assisting her clients comply with the law, and avoid exposure to extra-contractual liability. Melissa also defends clients facing lawsuits involving punitive damages and other extra-contractual remedies.
Melissa provides counsel and advice to cedants and reinsurers including review of claims and analysis of reinsurance treaties and faculty agreements. She has been involved in reinsurance disputes involving claims arising under property and liability insurance policies.
Melissa handles matters involving sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, roofing systems, domestic and commercial plumbing systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, and municipal water/sewer mains. She also handles cases involving construction defect and claims against architects, engineers, builders, and subcontractors. In addition, she has been involved in products liability claims involving household appliances and industrial equipment.
Appraisals and References
Melissa has experience with appraisal and reference, helping insurers quickly and efficiently resolve measurement disputes. She works with her clients to avoid the escalation of conflict, and achieves reasonable and cost-effective determinations of the amount of loss.
In her employment law practice, Melissa counsels and defends employers in a variety of labor and employment matters. She teaches clients how to effectively minimize exposure under the growing array of state and federal law governing employee/employer relations. Melissa consults with clients regarding their employment handbooks and covenants not to compete. In addition to representing employers facing harassment and discrimination claims in court and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, she negotiates and prepares agreements to resolve disputes, including separation, nondisclosure, and settlement agreements.
Business Litigation and Personal Injury
Melissa also represents non-insurer clients both in and outside the courtroom in all phases of personal injury, product liability, business tort and breach of contract and service agreement disputes. Melissa was recently successful at trial, securing a verdict for her client who initiated a claim for breach of a laundry service and uniform/linen rental agreement.
Melissa worked her way through college and law school, becoming the first in her family to earn degrees in higher education. She previously served as legislative intern to Massachusetts’ first woman majority leader, Senator Linda J. Melconian, and as a judicial intern to the nation’s first African American Chief United States Magistrate Judge and the country’s first African American woman magistrate, Judge Joyce London Alexander. Melissa was also a legal intern with the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and the Domestic Violence Clinic at Dorchester District Court. She was also an associate in the Global Risk Management sector of the Financial Aid Assurance Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers.