Insurance Coverage

The primary question when any insurance claim is present is whether the policy provides coverage. Litchfield Cavo LLP's insurance coverage attorneys provide a valuable resource for insurance carriers in analyzing coverage questions and, when necessary, defending the insurer's coverage decision.

Since 1998, the firm has been at the forefront of hundreds of major coverage battles, litigating in court and before arbitration panels across the country. One of our coverage litigation partners is also a former chairman of the Insurance Environmental Litigation Association, an organization charged with monitoring major coverage actions nationwide and litigating those issues on behalf of insurers.

Coverage determinations

Every policy is different and is affected by various state insurance laws and case law. Insurance companies rely on the firm for advice and formal opinions on the scope and meaning of insurance policy coverage provisions and the duty to defend.

Our attorneys examine the relevant documentation to arrive at an accurate coverage assessment. Policy exclusions, assessment of fraudulent claims and interpretation of policy language are all integral to our meticulous analysis.

We have 21 offices and attorneys licensed to practice in 34 states, permitting us to provide meaningful assessment of coverage issues on a national level.

Coverage litigation

Litchfield Cavo's premier insurance coverage litigation practice provides representation to insurers in many types of complex coverage actions, including the following:

  • Advertising injury
  • Asbestos (products)
  • Asbestos (non-products)
  • Blood products
  • Breast implants
  • Construction defects
  • Defective building products
  • Directors' and officers' liability
  • Employment
  • Environmental bodily injury
  • First-party matters
  • Hearing loss
  • Hazardous waste/pollutions
  • Weather-related catastrophe claims
  • Lead
  • Mold
  • PCBs
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Professional liability (all forms)
  • Repetitive stress injuries

Litchfield Cavo also serves as coverage counsel for the healthcare liability claim unit of a major national specialty lines insurer. We address coverage issues related to primary and excess umbrella professional liability policies issued to a wide range of healthcare organizations. In this regard, the firm evaluates the coverage of hospital professional liability insurance and the corresponding coverage of insured physicians and nurses under their respective professional liability policies.

Our record

Litchfield Cavo has a demonstrated record of success in insurance coverage litigation. Following is a small sample of recent and current representations by our coverage litigators:

  • Defended an insurer in a three-month trial regarding a claim for coverage of disposal of hazardous waste.
  • Defended an insurer against a claim of coverage for contamination of a major Midwestern river.
  • Obtained a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling affirming summary judgment for our insurer client that its Commercial General Liability policy did not provide additional insured coverage to the commercial landlord of the named insured tenant because the underlying injury did not arise out of the use of the named insured’s premises.
  • Illinois Appellate Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of client defendant in Hoover v. Spann. The Court held, for the first time, that the Illinois rule that insureds are responsible for knowing the terms of their policies applies to both claims against insurers and claims against insurance agents. Therefore, the statute of limitations for a claim that a policy does not conform to what the insured requested from the agent begins to run from the time the policy is delivered to the insured, not from the date the insured learns that the insurance claim is not covered.
  • The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment obtained in an advertising injury and personal injury coverage case. The insured sought in excess of $13 million for its share of a settlement and assigned defense costs of an underlying action asserting multiple counts of copyright infringement, trade secret theft, fraud, breach of licensing agreement and various statutory violation complaints.
  • Obtained summary judgment on the pollution exclusion in an environmental coverage case involving multiple sites in which the firm defended multiple insurers.
  • Defended an insurer against an insured corporation seeking tens of millions of dollars in an arbitration involving the “Bermuda form” policy and building products.
  • Defended an insurer in an environmental property damage case involving the largest Superfund site in the country.
  • Defended multiple insurers in a declaratory judgment action involving more than 50 environmental property damage sites and tens of thousands of asbestos claimants.
  • Defended an insurer in an environmental bodily injury case involving thousands of claimants.