insurance litigation

BLF regularly represents insurers as well as policy holders in disputes relating to insurance policies and insurance-related agreements. For example, BLF has represented several insurers in a litigation brought by regulators and by commercial and individual policyholders, BLF has represented insurers in class action litigation, and it has represented a major insurer as a creditor in bankruptcy matters. BLF also has represented both insurers and policy holders in coverage disputes and other types of insurance-related matters.

Our representative cases in this area include:

  • Representing a major insurer in several cases involving disputes with insureds about the parties’ respective obligations under high-deductible insurance policies and the related collateral agreements. Some of these disputes were resolved through arbitration, which resulted in decisions that were favorable to BLF’s client. In other cases, BLF negotiated favorable settlements of the disputes.
  • Successfully representing the same national insurance company in an appeal before the Connecticut Supreme Court on the issue of the scope of immunity conferred on certain employers and insurers by the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation statute. After briefing and an oral argument, the Connecticut Supreme Court dismissed the opponent’s appeal as improvidently granted, thus handing a victory to BLF’s client.
  • Winning summary judgment for BLF’s client, an insurance broker, in a multi-million dollar dispute with another broker about the allocation of commissions. The trial court’s ruling was affirmed on appeal.

The firm has other significant insurance carrier experience. Since Bazelon Less & Feldman, P.C. was founded in 1983, it has served as General Counsel to the Pennsylvania Assigned Claims Plan (“PACP”) and the Pennsylvania Financial Responsibility Assigned Claims Plan (“PFRACP”).

These two organizations were established by the Pennsylvania No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act (PACP) and the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (PFRACP). Those statutes required motor vehicle insurers to band together to pay for medical, work loss, survivor’s loss and uninsured motorist benefits for uninsured persons who are injured in motor vehicle accidents either as pedestrians or as vehicle occupants. Both fall under the purview of the Insurance Department for purposes of oversight.

In this role, the Firm has long counseled the Plans on a variety of issues. In addition, the Firm represents the Plans in lawsuits brought by individual claimants seeking statutory benefits:

  • The Firm has handled thousands of such cases for the Plan in the Common Pleas Courts, as well as in the Superior Court, the Commonwealth Court, and the Supreme Court.
  • Just since 2000, the Firm has handled 2,433 cases for the PFRACP. The vast majority of the matters are currently handled by Dianne A. Dichter.
  • Over the years, the Firm succeeded in winning numerous appellate cases that built a sound legal basis for protecting the Plans against unreasonable demands on their funds.
  • The Firm has also represented the Plans in several insurance company liquidation proceedings. Recently, in 2016, in the Shelby Casualty Insurance Company Receivership in Texas, the Firm successfully represented PACP in connection with its proof of claim totaling $17.8 million in benefits already paid or to be paid in the future to catastrophically injured accident victims. The Firm’s submission of expert testimony establishing its projected future losses was approved in full by the Receiver and confirmed as well by the Texas Liquidation Court. BLF has long had significant experience in representing statutory insurance funds created to provide statutory benefits to eligible claimants, and in molding the interpretation of the underlying statutes by trial and appellate courts so as to protect those funds from excessive and irresponsible claims.

Representative cases:

D'Amico v. ACE Financial Solutions, et al. (Conn. Supreme Ct. 2013). BLF successfully obtained dismissal of all claims against our clients, a workmen's compensation insurer and its third party claims administrator, in an appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court. ... Read More

Kaymak v. AAA Mid-Atlantic Inc. (3d Cir. 2013). In this class action alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims against an insurance company, BLF's motion to dismiss for lack of standing was granted and affirmed on appeal. ... Read More

Miller v. Erie Insurance Exchange (Bucks Cty. Common Pleas 2012). BLF defended this homeowners' insurance class action alleging breach of contract due to the withholding of depreciation pending completion of repairs. ... Read More

Freedom Medical Supply, Inc. v. Erie Indemnity Company (Phila. Cty. Common Pleas 2008). BLF defended this class action which alleged that the insurer failed to pay interest required on workers compensation claims.... Read More

In re Olympus Healthcare Grp., Inc. (Bankr. D. Del. 2006). Christina M. Reger successfully defended an action brought by liquidating agent in Chapter 11 bankruptcy against insurance company seeking to compel insurer to turn over excess funds paid ... Read More

Hensley v. Computer Sciences Corp. (Ark. Cir. Ct. 2005). BLF attorneys defended this Arkansas class action against hundreds of insurers, alleging improper insurance industry settlement practices based on the use of software that allegedly depressed the range of permissible settlements. ... Read More

O'Brien v. Progressive Northern Ins. Co. (Del. Supreme Ct. 2001). BLF attorneys successfully defended one of three insurers in these consolidated diminished value class actions. ... Read More

Miller v. Keystone Insurance Company (Pa. Supreme Ct. 1994). The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held as a matter of first impression that the insurer's duty of good faith and fair dealing did not include a duty to advise its insured of the potential claims she had against it. ... Read More

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