Richard Ochroch and Brett Benton were lead class co-counsel in an insurance class action that resulted in a cash recovery of $1.5 million on behalf of approximately 3,500 Pennsylvania automobile policy holders, separate and apart from counsel fees.
We represented the owners of forty units whose homes were destroyed by fire during a cold and windy December evening. The insurance company initially sought to deny coverage by the use of an unqualified cause and origin expert who attempted to call the fire incendiary. Because we were able to become promptly involved, we provided a qualified expert who correctly identified the cause of the fire as being an electrical malfunction in a heat pump. We continued our involvement until the claim settled, for approximately $12,000,000.00.
We represented two casinos located in Mississippi that were extensively damaged during Hurricane Katrina, resulting in a settlement of over $200,000,000.00.
We represented a casino who had been sued by a seriously injured woman, in a $12 million dollar claim arising out of allegations that the casino had over-served one of their patrons, who caused the accident. On the eve of trial, in another state, the casino’s insurance company sought to deny coverage. We intervened in the pending lawsuit to settle the underlying claim, and then successfully sued the insurer for payment of the award.
We represented the owner of a small oil refinery when multiple buildings in the 125 year-old facility was severely damaged by fire. It was an extremely complicated loss involving questions of coverage, damages and bad faith, resulting in federal litigation and a substantial settlement for our client at the conclusion of the case.
We represented a manufacturer whose vacant plant was severely vandalized by the security guards that they hired to protect it. After an initial denial of coverage, and seventeen depositions throughout the country, a substantial settlement was obtained for the client.
We represented the owner of a hotel who faced catastrophic losses when dozens of patrons were suddenly infected by the Legionnaires bacteria. Due to a policy exclusion, the commercial general liability policy provided no coverage. However, our prompt review of the excess policy found that it did not “follow form” and that the exclusion set forth in the underlying commercial general liability policy did not apply. Accordingly, the excess insurer provided coverage and defense costs, saving the hotel.
We represented a rural family whose 150 old farmhouse was destroyed by a fire and who were wrongfully accused of arson by their insurer, mainly relying upon the fact that the couple had had a fire two years before. After conducting an extensive investigation, we learned that the insurance company’s own builder reconstructed the property after the first fire, but declined to replace old electrical wiring despite a contractual obligation to do so. The company went to great lengths to conceal this information, but we were able to locate the electrician who had, in fact, been ordered not to do the necessary work. The insurer promptly paid the claim, and then after extensive litigation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, paid a substantial bad faith award.
We represented the purchaser of tens of millions of dollars of structured settlement contracts, which are obligations by an insurance company to make payments over a period of years. Suit was initiated by the insurer to set aside their obligations, relying upon an alleged anti-assignment clause in the annuitants’ policies. After a two week trial in Philadelphia, judgment was entered on behalf of our client against the insurer.
We represented the Redevelopment Authority of a municipality, who was sued for millions of dollars in an eminent domain dispute. The Redevelopment Authority’s insurer denied coverage which, if upheld, would have been catastrophic for the municipality. We filed suit against the insurer and obtained coverage. The case eventually settled for millions of dollars, paid by the insurer, and not our client.
We represented a law enforcement official who suffered severe injuries in a freak accident, when the landlord’s torn carpeting caused him to wrench his knee. As a result, a young man’s previously stellar law enforcement career was ended. After extensive litigation, as well as a three-day agreed-to ADR Arbitration, a substantial award was issued to the injured officer, despite the defense who vigorously contested both liability and damages.
We represented an individual whose foot was crushed due to the negligence of a truck driver who dropped a 5,000 trailer on our client’s foot, while attempting to disconnect a “goose neck lowboy.” The insurance company asserted contributory negligence and questioned the extent of the injuries, arguing among other things that since our client was diabetic, his injuries were not accident related. After a contested two-day arbitration, a substantial award was entered for our client.
A family’s basement suffered water damage after an internal 80-year-old drain line in their basement cracked. The family submitted a claim under their homeowner’s insurance policy which was wrongfully denied. We filed suit and, after trial, obtained a verdict that required the insurance company to not only pay the claim, but also pay attorneys’ fees and punitive damages. The Court’s verdict provided the homeowners with $11,250.00 in property damage, more than $89,000.00 in counsel fees, and $100,000.00 in punitive damages.