Commercial Property Coverage
Complex commercial property losses call for representation from counsel with a first-responder mindset. Our commercial property attorneys tackle complex, high-exposure insurance coverage and recovery matters. We have earned client trust both for our immediate post-incident response and our innovative litigation strategies. As a result, we have become longstanding, trusted counsel for several of the world’s largest commercial property insurers.
Our commercial property coverage lawyers handle all types of property losses, including fires, explosions, earthquakes, wild fires, floods, wind storms, building and tunnel collapses, equipment breakdowns, and catastrophic storm losses --most notably disputes involving Hurricane Katrina and Super Storm Sandy. Working in multiple offices across the country, we serve the needs of numerous global insurance companies, including Allianz Global Risks, Liberty Mutual, FM Global, Swiss Re, Lloyd’s, and others across a wide range of diverse coverage issues. Our experience with commercial property coverage litigation gives us decades of insight into the critical issues insurers face. We share that insight through our industry publication, DecPage, and as frequent lecturers and authors on insurance topics.
Selected Case Results*
- ACE American Insurance Co. v. Riley Brothers: Won jury verdict and post-trial assessment of additional damages, affirmed on appeal in July 2016, resulting in judgment and settlements for client in excess of $4.6 million to date.
- Cammeby’s Management Company, LLC v. Affiliated FM Insurance Company: Obtained trial victory for insurance company against allegation of failure to pay $30 million coverage limit for losses caused by Superstorm Sandy. Court reformed contract by finding there was a mutual mistake and that the actual coverage limit was $10 million, not $30 million.
- Cortina Realty Trust v. Pacific Insurance Co. Ltd., 27 Mass.L.Rep. 461 (2010): Granting summary judgment in favor of Pacific Insurance on application of flood exclusion to flooding exacerbated by a municipality’s decision to open a flood valve.
- Asael Farr & Sons Co. v. Truck Ins. Exch., 193 P.3d 650 (Utah Ct. App. 2008): Affirming summary judgment granted to Hartford Steam Boiler on insured’s claims of breach of contract, negligence and bad faith.
- Seminis, Inc. v. Factory Mut. Ins. Co., No. CV 07-1979 GAF (C.D. Cal., Aug. 7, 2008): Granting summary judgment in favor of FM Global on the applicability of the growing crops exclusion.
- Retail Brand Alliance, Inc. v. Factory Mutual Insurance Co., 489 F. Supp. 2d 326 (S.D.N.Y. 2007): Granting summary judgment in favor of FM Global holding that the period of liability for time element coverage for tenant of World Trade Center was the hypothetical period of time in which the insured would be able to replace its WTC stores with reasonably equivalent stores in a reasonably equivalent location and not the time period to replace at a location with a sales environment comparable to the one that existed at the WTC or, if none, the hypothetical period of time to rebuilt the WTC.
- Miletich v. Travelers Property & Cas. Ins. Co., 2007 WL 4395702 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2007): Affirming summary judgment granted to Travelers in bad faith claim on grounds that jury’s subsequent determination that there was no coverage for insured’s claim meant that Travelers could not have acted in bad faith as a matter of law.
- Granite Ridge Energy, LLC v. Allianz Global Risk et al. No. 10-cv-02430-PAC (S.D.N.Y. 2012): Granting summary judgment to insurers of $20 million claim for replacement of transformer and business interruption, on basis that insured had not provided physical loss or damage.
- Mudlin v. Hills Materials Co., 742 N.W.2d 49 (S.D. 2007): Affirming summary judgment granted to Liberty Mutual in bad faith claim, holding that an insurer has a right to challenge fairly debatable insurance claims without being liable for the tort of ‘bad faith’.
- Penton Media, Inc. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 245 Fed. Appx. 495, 2007 WL 2332323 (6th Cir., Aug. 15, 2007): Affirming summary judgment granted to Affiliated in 9/11 claim based on FEMA takeover of Jacob Javits Center finding that claim was not covered by policy’s civil authority coverage.
- Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. v. Gulf Ins. Co., No. 03 Civ. 000561 (Mass. Norfolk Super. Ct., Jan. 3, 2007): Granting summary judgment to client, Gulf, in an “other insurance” dispute, with court finding that Gulf had no duty to share in the defense costs and indemnity in a personal injury action brought by the insured.
- SR Int’l Bus. Co. Ltd. v. World Trade Center Props. LLC, No. 01-9291, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79326 Successfully obtained ruling that replacement cost coverage should be measured by the cost to replace the WTC on an “as was” basis and does not include the cost to make the rebuilt structure safe, modern, and politically palatable.
- NCF Fin., Inc. v. Cybersafe Corp., No. 56933-3-I, 2006 WL 3617030 (Wash. Ct. App., July 21, 2006): Affirming summary judgment in favor of Federal Insurance Company in claim for damage to computers while on lease on grounds that insured did not have an insurable interest in the damaged property and on grounds that claim was barred by suit limitation provision.
- FBS Mortgage Corp. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., No. CV 05-8009 PA (C.D. Cal. May 9, 2006): Obtained summary judgment for client based on lack of standing by assignee to prosecute claim.
- Planet China, Inc. v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Ins. Co., No. 02:03-CV-01509 (D. Nev. March 16, 2006): Granting summary judgment in favor of HSB in claim losses arising out of damage to ice sculpture exhibit which occurred when air conditioning unit failed on ground that claimant was not an insured under the policy and the insured did not have any insurable interest in the damaged equipment.
- Pentair, Inc. v. Am. Guarantee & Liab. Ins. Co., 400 F.3d 613 (8th Cir. 2005): Affirming summary judgment in favor of American Guarantee on a contingent business interruption claim.
- Lockheed Martin Corp. v. RFI Supply, Inc., 367 F. Supp. 2d 118 (D. Mass. 2005), aff’d, 440 F.3d 549 (1st Cir. 2006): Granting summary judgment in favor of Factory Mutual Research Corporation on third-party claim based on alleged negligent approval.
- Clark County v. Factory Mut. Ins. Co., No. CV-s-02-1258-KJD (D. Nev., March 28, 2005): Granting summary judgment in favor of FM Global in claim by owners of McCarran International Airport for losses arising out of FAA shutdown of airports after 9/11 attack.
- N. Dakota State Univ. v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Ins. Co., 694 N.W.2d 225 (N.D. 2005): Affirming summary judgment in favor of HSB on flood coverage claim.
- Factory Mut. Ins. Co. v. Bobst Group USA, Inc., 392 F.3d 922 (7th Cir. 2004): Affirming summary judgment in favor of FM Global on negligent inspection claim.
- GTE Corp. v. Allendale Mut. Ins. Co., 372 F.3d 598 (3d Cir. 2004): Affirming summary judgment in favor of insurers in claim for losses related to Year 2000 date recognition problem on grounds that defective design and inherent vice exclusions precluded coverage.
- Lockheed Martin Corp. v. RFI Supply, Inc., 118 Fed. App’x. 122 (9th Cir. 2004): Affirming summary judgment in favor of Factory Mutual Research Corporation on third-party claim based on alleged negligent approval. Ultimately recovered $250,000 in attorneys’ fees against Rantec in 2006 settlement.
- Todd Shipyards v. Westport Ins. Corp., 111 Fed. App’x. 534 (9th Cir. 2004): Affirming summary judgment in Nisqually earthquake case based on suit limitation defense.
- Cook County v. Factory Mut. Ins. Co., No. 02 C 7023, 2004 WL 549447 (N.D. Ill., March 18, 2004): Granting summary judgment in favor of FM Global in claim by owners of O’Hare International Airport for losses arising out of FAA shutdown of airports after 9/11 attack.
- Factory Mut. Ins. Co. v. Estate of James Campbell, 81 Fed. App’x 918 (9th Cir. 2003): Affirming summary judgment in favor of FM Global in mold damage case on grounds that mold growth was a loss-in-progress when our client came on the risk.
- Fagelbaum v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Ins. Co., 56 Fed. Approx 841 (9th Cir. 2003): Affirming summary judgment in favor of Travelers in jewelry theft claim on grounds that policy unambiguously limited coverage for unscheduled jewelry to $1,500.
- John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. v. Factory Mut. Ins. Co., No. 01-3654 CV S SOW, 2003 WL 24216814 (W.D. Mo., Aug. 13, 2003): Granting summary judgment to FM Global in claim for water intrusion damage to several hotels on grounds that the claimed damage manifested before FM Global’s policy period and on grounds that claim was barred by suit limitation provision.
- J. L. French Auto. Castings, Inc. v. Factory Mut. Ins. Co., No. 02 C 9479, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13060 (N.D. Ill., July 23, 2002): Granting summary judgment in favor of FM Global in claim for losses caused by shut down of casting machine to clean as a result of fatal accident of worker on grounds that the contamination exclusion Precluded coverage.
- The Healthcare Co. v. Am. Protection Ins. Co., No. 01-1773-III (Tenn. Chancery Ct., Davidson County, June 5, 2003): Granting summary judgment in favor of American Protection in $12 million claim for lost or stolen hospital linens on grounds that the loss manifested after expiration of policy.
- City of Burlington v. Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Ins. Co., 190 F. Supp. 2d 663 (D. Vt. 2002): Granting summary judgment to client, FM Global, on grounds that damage to boiler was excluded by the policy’s faulty workmanship exclusion.
- Port of Seattle v. Lexington Ins. Co., 48 P.2d 334 (Wash. Ct. App. 2002): Affirming summary judgment in favor of insurers in claim for losses related to Year 2000 date recognition problem on grounds that Y2K problem did not trigger coverage, Y2K was an inherent vice excluded under the policies, and not sue and labor expenses.
- Lodge Corp. v. Assurance Co. of Am., 775 N.E.2d 1250 (Mass. App. Ct. 2002): Affirming summary judgment in favor of Assurance in claim for builders risk coverage on grounds that damaged location was not an insured location covered under the policy.
- Altru Health Systems, Inc. v. Am. Protection Ins. Co., 238 F.3d 961 (8th Cir. 2001): Reversing summary judgment in favor of insured in flood loss claim finding that the policy clearly and unambiguously limited coverage for all flood claims to sublimit provided for flood losses.
- Hartford Steam Boiler Insp. & Ins. Co. v. Sentinel Productions Corp., C.A. 97-12100-GAO (2000): Obtained defense judgment after bench trial of a $17 million equipment breakdown and business interruption dispute.
- Arkwright Mut. Ins. Co. v. Lexington Ins. Co., No. C-990347, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 4468 (Ohio Ct. App., Sept. 29, 2000): Affirming trial court’s order holding that Arkwright was entitled to contribution for its payment to building tenant for fire damage from two insurers which separately insured building owner.
- Pirie v. Fed. Ins. Co., 696 N.E.2d 553 (Mass. App. Ct. 1998): Affirming summary judgment in favor of Federal in claim for cost to remove lead paint and lead materials from home on grounds that there was no physical loss or damage to insured property.
- Fed. Ins. Co. v. Irvine Co., No. 95-56785, 1997 WL 367825 (9th Cir. July 2, 1997): Affirming summary judgment in favor of Federal in claim for cost to remove asbestos-containing materials from seven commercial buildings on grounds that claim was barred by statute of limitations.
- Univ. of Cincinnati v. Arkwright Mut. Ins. Co., 51 F.3d 1277 (6th Cir. 1995): Affirming summary judgment in favor of Arkwright finding no coverage for the cost of removing asbestos-containing materials from building prior to demolition on grounds that the removal was not fortuitous.
- Imperial Resource Recovery Associates, L.P. v. Allendale Mut. Ins. Co., 878 F. Supp. 434 (N.D.N.Y. 1995): Granting summary judgment in favor of Allendale in claim for fire damage on grounds that claim was barred by policy’s suit limitation provision.
- Adron, Inc. v. Home Ins. Co., No. ESX-L-13870-89 (N.J. Super. Ct., County of Essex,, June 29, 1992): Granting summary judgment in favor of IRI in claim for costs associated with complying with administrative consent order to clean up contaminated waste materials on grounds that claim was barred by policy’s suit limitation provision and on grounds that policy did not cover land).
- Ames Privilege Assoc. Ltd. P’ship v. Allendale Mut. Ins. Co., 742 F. Supp. 700 (D. Mass. 1990): Granting summary judgment in favor of Allendale in claim for long term property damage on grounds that claim was barred by policy’s suit limitation provision.
- Tocci Bldg. Corp. v. Commonwealth Ins. Co., 22 Mass.L.Rep. 522 (Mass. Supr. Ct., May 10, 2007) aff'd 71 Mass. App. Ct. 1120 (April 22, 2008): Summary judgment applying faulty workmanship exclusion against a claim for construction defects and business interruption loss at a hotel property.
- CFS Logistics, Inc. v. American Motorists Insurance Company, et. al., No. C.A. 12-217 (R.I. Sup. Ct., Kent Cty., August 15, 2012): Claim for loss during transit of multi-million dollar pieces of military equipment. Obtained dismissal from the bench under Rule 12(b)(6).
- Espedito Realty, LLC v. Nat'l Fire Ins. Co., No. 10-CV-20039, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47158 (D. Mass., Mar. 29, 2013): Summary judgment for insurer establishing fraud during the presentment of a business income claim.
* Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.
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