Verdicts and Settlements

INSURANCE CLASS ACTIONS

$3.6 Million Rental Car Class Action Settlement

Richard Ochroch, Brett Benton, and Andrew Ochroch served as lead co-class counsel in an insurance class action that resulted in $3.6 million being made available to the more than 18,000 Pennsylvania class members.  The case arose from the insurance company’s practices surrounding the premature termination of rental car benefits for those insureds whose vehicles were totaled in accidents.  This settlement was achieved after 6 years of continuing to fight for our clients and included winning a significant victory in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

$3.4 Million Proton Beam Therapy Class Action Settlement

Richard Ochroch, Brett Benton, and Andrew Ochroch served as co-class counsel in a nationwide ERISA class action filed against Aetna Life Insurance Company.  The case arose from the insurance company’s denial of proton beam therapy treatment to certain patients diagnosed with brain tumors, as well as other cancers impacting the central nervous system.  After years of negotiating, we were able to secure a $3.4 million fund to reimburse and compensate those patients whose claims for proton beam therapy were denied.

$1.5 Million Rental Car Class Action Recovery

Richard Ochroch and Brett Benton were lead co-class counsel in an insurance class action that resulted in the recovery of $1.5 million on behalf of approximately 3,500 Pennsylvania automobile policy holders.  The case arose from the insurance company’s practices surrounding the premature termination of rental car benefits for those insureds whose vehicles were totaled in accidents. 

$700,000 Rental Car Class Action Recovery

Richard Ochroch, Brett Benton, and Andrew Ochroch served as lead co-class counsel in an insurance class action that resulted in a recovery of more than $700,000 made available to the more than 1,000 Pennsylvania class members.  The case arose from the insurance company’s practices surrounding the premature termination of rental car benefits for those insureds whose vehicles were totaled in accidents. 

PROPERTY DAMAGE RECOVERIES

$12 Million Condominium Fire Insurance Claim

Forty condominium units were destroyed by fire during a cold and windy winter evening.  The insurance company initially sought to deny coverage through the use of an unqualified cause and origin expert who attempted to classify the fire as a case of arson.  The condo association retained our office very early in the claim process, allowing us to retain independent, qualified experts who correctly identified the cause of fire as an accidental electrical fire – not arson.  We ultimately were able to resolve the condo association’s property damage claim for $12 million.

$490,000 Building Collapse

Shortly after the purchase of a commercial property, the roof collapsed during a heavy rain storm.  Our client’s property insurance company denied its insurance claim.  After retaining an engineer and building estimator, our firm was able to reverse the insurance company’s faulty denial of the claim and obtain a payment in excess of $490,000 for the loss.

$350,000 FEMA Flood Claim Recovery

Our client owned several apartment buildings that suffered a flood loss.  While our client maintained flood policies with FEMA, significant portions of these flood claims were denied.  We were able to secure significant evidence disputing FEMA’s denial and secure additional claim payments totaling $350,000 for the flood loss.

$200,000 Insurance Bad Faith Verdict

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.  At trial, we secured a verdict that required the insurance company to pay the claim and found them liable for bad faith.  The Court’s verdict provided the homeowners with $11,250 in property damage for their wrongfully denied claim, more than $89,000 in counsel fees, and an additional $100,000 in punitive damages for their bad faith conduct.

$144,000 FEMA Flood Claim Recovery

Our client owned several apartment buildings that suffered a flood loss.  While our client maintained flood policies with FEMA, these flood policies did not cover flood damage to basements.  FEMA denied coverage for a significant portion of these claims based upon its contention that the claimed damage occurred in a basement, excluding the damage from coverage.  Following the depositions of surveyors hired by the National Flood Insurance Program, we were able to call into question FEMA’s determination and recover more than $144,000 from the previously denied claims.

Oil Refinery Fire Recovery

We represented the owner of a small oil refinery when multiple buildings in the 125 year-old facility were damaged by fire.  Following a dispute with the property insurance company, we successfully reached a confidential settlement of a complicated loss that involved questions concerning the valuation of multiple buildings on the company’s campus and calculating a significant loss of income claim.

Home Explosion and Fire Recovery

A propane gas leaked caused an explosion and fire that completely destroyed our clients’ newly re-constructed home.  Following the loss, we were able to secure a significant confidential recovery from the negligent contractor who caused the explosion and fire, while simultaneously protecting our clients’ interest in a subrogation action commenced by their homeowners’ insurance company – ensuring our clients were made whole before the insurance company was able to recoup any funds. 

Restaurant Fire Business Interruption Recovery

A restaurant kitchen fire caused extensive property damage when the fire suppression system failed to activate.  As a result of the damage, the restaurant was forced to cease operations.  Upon completing our investigation, we were able to determine that the company that serviced the fire suppression system installed non-functioning equipment and issued certifications of operation without performing the required inspections.  As a result, we were able to reach a confidential settlement that recovered all of the restaurant’s lost income as a result of the fire, as well as additional damages for the egregious conduct of the company hired to service the fire suppression equipment.

Hurricane Katrina Casino Insurance Claims

We represented two casinos located in Mississippi that were extensively damaged during Hurricane Katrina, resulting in a settlement of over $200,000,000.

Homeowners’ Insurance Claims

Our firm has helped clients recover millions of dollars against their homeowners’ insurance companies for damage to their homes.

 

LIABILITY INSURANCE RECOVERIES

Dram Shop Denials of Coverage

  • 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, the casino’s liability insurance company sought to deny coverage.  We intervened in the pending lawsuit to help settle the underlying claim, and then successfully sued the insurer for payment of the award.

 

  • A hotel and bar who had been sued following an accident that caused several fatalities and catastrophic injuries. It was alleged that the driver who caused the accident had been over-served at the hotel.  The hotel’s liability insurance company sought to not just deny coverage, but retroactively void the insurance policy.  Through our actions we were able to secure a sufficient contribution from this carrier to resolve all claims asserted against the hotel, without our client having to make a personal contribution to the settlement.

 

  • A deli allegedly over-served a driver, who then caused an accident seriously injuring his passenger. The deli’s insurance company wrongfully denied coverage.  After we filed suit on behalf of the deli, the insurance company reversed its denial of coverage and paid the deli’s counsel fees.

 

Legionnaires Disease Hotel Liability Insurance Denial

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 hotel’s liability insurance carrier denied coverage.  Upon our detailed review of the client’s complete insurance program we were able to secure liability coverage through an excess carrier, saving the hotel from bankruptcy.

Denial of General Contractor’s Liability Claim

A general contractor was sued by the employee of a sub-contractor injured on the job site.  The general contractor’s insurance company denied coverage asserting that the contractor did not qualify as an insured.  We promptly filed suit, and the insurance company not only reversed its denial and provided the general contractor with coverage, it reimbursed him all counsel fees incurred to date.

 

PERSONAL INJURY RECOVERIES

$1 Million Car Accident Recovery

A car accident, caused by another driver running a red light, resulted in our client suffering significant injuries to her spine, requiring multiple surgeries, in addition to head trauma.  Following extensive litigation, we reached a $1 million settlement just days prior to trial.

Wrongful Death Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

We represented the wife and two minor children of a young man tragically killed in a camping accident due to the malfunction of camping equipment.  After conducting depositions throughout the county, we were able to secure a substantial confidential settlement for his widow and two children.

Trucking Accident and Crush Injury

We represented an individual whose foot was crushed due to the negligence of a truck driver who dropped a 5,000 lb trailer on our client’s foot.  The trucking company alleged our client was contributorily negligent 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 contentious two-day private arbitration, we secured a substantial confidential award for our client.

Motor Vehicle Accident

We represented a passenger in a vehicle struck by a driver making an illegal left turn.  Our client suffered a fractured ankle that required several surgeries and years of treatment, for which we were able to secure a substantial confidential settlement.

Physical Therapy Malpractice

Our client suffered a fall following a bilateral knee replacement, while under the care and supervision of her physical therapist.  As a result of our client’s fall while performing exercises at the direction of her therapist, she ruptured both of her quadriceps and required emergency surgery.  We were able to recover a significant confidential settlement on her behalf shortly before trial.

Work Related Injury of Warrant Officer

Our client served as a Warrant Officer and wrenched his knee during the course of his employment.  The injuries to his knee resulted in significant pain and physical limitations, ultimately forcing him to leave his job.  We filed an action against the owner and landlord of the building where his injury occurred.  Overcoming significant liability challenges, we secured a significant confidential award at arbitration.