Insurance Coverage Disputes and Insurance Bad Faith

Mark Anchor Albert and Associates has extensive experience handling complex insurance coverage and related bad faith claims in a variety of complex litigation contexts. These cases have included, for example, construction defect actions, director and officer liability cases, partnership and LLC disputes, securities actions, bankruptcy cases, employment cases, patent action and other intellectual property disputes, and property litigation. We have achieved repeated successes for our clients in connection with complex insurance coverage disputes and bad faith litigation involving:

Insurance Coverage DisputesThe lawyers of Mark Anchor Albert and Associates have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients from insurance companies in insurance coverage and insurance bad faith actions, including, on occasion, from insurance companies which have attempted to skirt their insurance obligations unreasonably and without proper cause.

We have been instrumental, for example, in achieving over $400 million in recoveries from insurance companies—for defense payments, indemnity contributions, and compensatory damages—as a result of declaratory relief actions, arbitrations, administrative proceedings, mediations, and settlement negotiations. These recoveries often have resulted from skillful legal analysis of the applicable policy language and the threat of a substantial adverse judgment against the insurance carrier.

Other multi-million dollar recoveries by Mark Anchor Albert and Associates have resulted from our skillful use of theories of insurance bad faith, which can impose substantial liability on an insurance company which unreasonably refuses to pay a claim, delays payment of a claim, pays too little, imposes unreasonable conditions or restrictions on payment, fails to give at least equal consideration to the interests of the insureds as to its own corporate interests, and other conduct designed, unreasonably and in bad faith, to deny the insureds the insurance benefits they are entitled to receive in exchange for the payment of premiums.

Examples of just some of these successful recoveries and resolutions involving major national and international insurance companies—represented by the most aggressive, well-funded, and skillful defense attorneys—include the following:

In re MDC Holdings Insurance Coverage Litigation

Represented commercial and residential real estate developers in negotiating indemnity and defense payments from their insurance carriers in connection with construction defect and related class action litigation totaling over $50 million.

In re Richmond American Homes Construction Defect Litigation

Represented one of the largest publicly-traded residential real estate development corporations in the United States and its senior officers and directors, using, among other skills, a well-supported analysis of the potential for liability above the coverage limits in the applicable insurance policies, both primary and excess, and the absence of credible coverage defenses. Obtained more than $30 million from the primary and excess insurance carriers, in addition to several millions of dollars in defense fees and cost reimbursements. These efforts allowed the funding of a comprehensive settlement of multiple consolidated construction defect lawsuits across multiple jurisdictions, through the creation of a captive warranty and insurance subsidiary to evaluate and pay homeowner claims.

In re Archdiocese of Los Angeles Coverage Litigation

Played a key role in the team of coverage counsel negotiating and litigating the defense and indemnity obligations of the insurance carriers which issued policies of insurance to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in connection with the Clergy sex abuse cases, succeeding in obtaining over $300 million in indemnity and defense payments from the Archdiocese’s insurance carriers. The Clergy sex abuse cases could not have been resolved in the absence of significant insurance funding, which resulted from hard-fought coverage litigation and protracted, adversarial negotiations turning on theories of insurance bad faith and insurance coverage analysis of complicated contractual issues between primary and excess insurance carriers.

In re Bergen Brunswig Corp. Insurance Coverage Matters

Negotiated over $50 million in defense and indemnity payments from the D&O insurance carrier and reinsurers of AmeriSourceBergen (formerly known as Bergen Brunswig Corporation) in connection with various consolidated state and federal class action proceedings alleging claims for securities law violations under state and federal law.

In re Vestron/Carolcol Pictures D&O Insurance Matters

Represented the senior officers and directors of a film subsidiary of a major NYSE-traded holding company. Succeeded in having the directors’ and officers’ liability insurance carrier reverse its coverage denial decision, obtaining significant defense funding leading to a complete dismissal of the shareholders’ claims against the insureds on a motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute the litigation in a timely manner.

In re MetLife and New England Life Insurance Indemnity Litigation

Represented a career life insurance agent and financial services and insurance brokerage in several coordinated and consolidated lawsuits arising from the sale of investment contracts linked to life insurance contracts alleging contribution and indemnity claims against MetLife and New England Life Insurance Company.

In re Hartford Financial Services Group D&O Insurance Litigation

Represented the senior officers and directors of a mid-sized privately held corporation in assertion of insurance bad faith litigation in federal court against the company’s directors’ and officers’ liability insurance carrier, resulting in both the payment of defense fees and costs, and the funding of a comprehensive settlement of all claims against the insureds, and a confidential, significant settlement payment, including a complete disclaimer of any wrongdoing on the part of the insureds.

In re Peerless Insurance Co. CGL Property Damage Litigation

Represented a hotel, self-storage, and commercial development company in negotiating property repair, lost rental, and ordinance-upgrade payments and a “stand-still” agreement pending the outcome of construction to repair a damaged commercial building.

In re Northwestern Mutual Life. Ins. Dividend Class Action Litigation

In a national class action seeking to recover damages for deceptive advertising, breach of contract, and consumer fraud regarding the non-payment and insufficient payment of policyholder dividends, had primary responsibility for the successful briefing of critical motions to remand the case to state court under ERISA, for class certification, for approval of class notice, opposing class objectors, requiring class objectors to post bonds, for final approval of a national class settlement, and related relief. The settlement resulted in more than $93 million in settlement funds for victimized consumers.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. Dividend Litigation

Team leader in a 50 million person class action against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. alleging bad faith hoarding of surplus capital and withholding of policyholder dividends. Briefed and second-chaired all aspects of motion practice and related appellate practice leading to several significant appellate decisions, including State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Superior Court, 114 Cal.App.4th 434 (2003) (California courts properly can try nationwide class against Illinois insurer for bad faith refusal to pay dividends, subject to the Illinois business judgment rule), and State Farm Mut. Ins. Co. v. Superior Court, 121 Cal. App. 4th 490 (2004) (defendant who prevailed on a choice of law question in a writ proceeding is not entitled to peremptorily challenge trial judge on remittitur). Retained, briefed, and assisted in development of expert testimony of actuaries, accountants, corporate governance experts, and conflict-of-laws experts. Prepared for and defended depositions of representative plaintiffs.

In re First Community Bancorp Ponzi Scheme Litigation

Represented First Community Bancorp in defense of a class action by investors in an elaborate Ponzi scheme, who alleged that the bank aided and abetted the perpetrators of the scheme by allegedly turning a blind eye to obvious “red flags” and badges of fraud, including fraudulent transfers and conveyances. Succeeded in having the case dismissed after extensive motion practice. Obtained in mediated negotiations favorable “blended” defense and indemnity coverage from the Bank’s insurance carrier.

In re Insurance Coverage Declaratory Relief Matters

Successfully opposed declaratory relief actions brought by various insurance carriers under comprehensive general liability policies in an effort to delay defense and indemnity funding obligations, and succeeded in obtaining extremely favorable “blended” defense rates in arbitration against national insurance defense counsel.

Disability Insurance Coverage Matter

Successfully represented a chiropractor under an “own occupation” disability policy where the disability insurer, UNUM, alleged lack of coverage under the policy. After a one week trial in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the court concluded full coverage for the chiropractor lied under the policy’s terms and provisions.

The insurance coverage and bad faith litigators at Mark Anchor Albert and Associates have helped their clients collectively recover over $400 million in insurance proceeds for their clients. They can win for you too.