Insurance Defense

insurance defense

Insurance Defense

FMG’s attorneys often have been called upon to render insurance defense opinions relating to complex coverage issues and FMG’s broad litigation background allows us to reconcile intricate insurance terminology with the details of specific claims. We have acted on behalf of both carriers and insureds in this regard.  Our extensive practical experience, combined with our comprehensive understanding of insurance law, enables us to provide accurate and realistic evaluations regarding the coverage issues presented by a given insurance defense case. This same analytic process has proven invaluable to assist carriers in defending against or preventing bad faith claims.

Insurance Defense Specialties

The strength of FMG’s Construction Practices Group lies in the breadth and depth of the experience of our attorneys who handle this specialized area of complex litigation, often involving issues such as claims of construction defect (“CD”), contract disputes, stop notices, and all other forms of construction-related disputes. FMG has represented all types of building trades and professionals in the state courts and in the ADR and AAA forums, including a wide variety of insured and self-insured companies in CD matters as well as related transactional, surety, and licensing issues. FMG’s background has enabled us to cost effectively determine the nature of a construction dispute and the best way to resolve it. Over the years our attorneys have been involved in most of the major CD cases that have wound their way through the California and Nevada courts. The construction cases that do proceed to trial that are handled by FMG most commonly involve the defense of a subcontractor or of a construction product manufacturer with a potential for substantial monetary exposure. Our results in those trials speak for themselves because we are one of the few firms in the nation that has obtained multiple defense verdicts in trials of CD claims.

We here at FMG have extensive experience in defending against toxic mold claims, asbestos litigation, habitability claims, and general environmental and regulatory claims, including California’s problematic Proposition 65. Given our depth of experience in this practice area, we have assembled a team of competent experts to assist us in the defense of our clients. Environmental litigation is a unique practice area handled by FMG which presents many different issues that do not exist in usual personal injury claims, and FMG’s attorneys always have been able to safely maneuver our clients out of harm’s way in the many cases we have handled.

FMG’s attorneys often have been called upon to render opinions relating to complex coverage issues, and FMG’s broad litigation background allows us to reconcile intricate insurance terminology with the details of specific claims. We have acted on behalf of both carriers and insureds in this regard. Our extensive practical experience, combined with our comprehensive understanding of insurance law, enables us to provide accurate and realistic evaluations regarding the coverage issues presented by a given case. This same analytic process has proven invaluable to assist carriers in defending against or preventing bad faith claims.

FMG is able to assist its insured and self-insured clients with its ready analysis of the liability potential presented and an accurate potential damage assessment in this challenging, interdisciplinary area of practice. Our medical and insurance expertise allows us to accomplish the medico-legal analysis required in general accident litigation. That includes tendering and seeking to shift responsibility to third parties who have assumed contractual liability, as well as to their liability carriers who have agreed to Additional Insured obligations, issues that often go unnoticed until far too late in the timeline of a given accident case. We also enjoy good relations with many forensic engineers and expert physicians, on whom we may call for their evaluation and opinions. More importantly, we understand that a timely response and effective liability assessment are important when handling these accident claims, whatever the cause. In that regard, we can provide our clients the services of FMG’s Emergency Response Team in catastrophic loss situations, who are able to travel to the scene of any accident to document evidence, including our team of forensic specialists documenting the scene of the accident before it and witnesses’ memories are irreparably altered.

FMG’s attorneys have successfully defended trucking, taxicab and livery companies, and their insurers in motor vehicle accident litigation. We understand that a timely response and swift and effective liability assessment are important when handling all types of MVA claims, whatever the cause, whether large or small. In that regard, in catastrophic loss situations we can provide our clients the services of FMG’s Emergency Response Team, who are able to travel to the scene of any accident to document evidence, including our team of forensic specialists documenting the scene of the accident before it and witnesses’ memories are irreparably altered. We also are able to quickly get to the bottom line on these MVA cases, especially when liability is certain but damages are disputed, or when multiple serious injuries or fatalities are involved. Oftentimes we have been able to move such serious cases that could not be resolved at the adjuster level into the ADR arena sooner rather than later and consequently avoid astronomical defense costs and any related excess of policy limits exposures presented.

Some of FMG’s attorneys are well versed in a wide range of issues that confront public entities, allowing FMG to serve as both general counsel and litigation counsel to our municipality and Joint Powers clients. FMG’s attorneys have experience in representing public entities in both litigated and non-litigated matters, including cases involving the California Environmental Quality Act, the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, real property, inclusionary housing, contracts, leases, and personnel matters.

The defense of personal injury claims arising from business operations, pedestrian or vehicle collisions, assault & battery, liquor liability/restaurant & bar operations, and other premises liability claims for alleged latent or patent defects on real property, is a specialty of many of FMG’s attorneys. Whether it is a job site accident, a vehicular accident, a slip & fall, or other premises liability claim, FMG’s attorneys are well versed in the defense of these claims. We also have long-standing relationships with many forensic experts on the liability and damages side of the case and have a long history of success in defending business and property owners against such claims.

FMG’s attorneys are intimately familiar with the defense of tort and warranty claims related to a wide variety of manufactured goods and food service operations. We have developed a special emphasis on the defense of manufacturers of construction-related products, as well as allegedly defective vehicles, presses, mills, conveyors, and other types of machine injury claims.

FMG got its start in the medical malpractice defense field, and over the years has devoted substantial efforts and knowledge to defending doctors, specialists, nurses, hospitals, nursing homes, SNFs, RCFEs and other health care facilities against injury and wrongful death claims including those based on medical negligence, battery, and other torts. FMG also has successfully defended many other professionals against various tort and legislation based claims, including the following fields:

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Attorneys
  • Banks & Financial Institutions
  • Engineers
  • Financial Service Companies
  • Financial Planners
  • Insurance Brokers & Agents
  • Real Estate Brokers & Agents
  • Stock Brokers

When FMG’s attorneys are called upon to defend a professional client, we assist each client in developing a detailed assessment of the potential risks of litigation presented, as well as sorting through the various insurance and liability issues in play. In doing so we work closely with each client to determine the most appropriate strategy to be followed given the particular situation and the potential liability exposure.

FMG’s construction product manufacturer clients and construction trade clients often are sued by first party carriers in subrogation claims relating to damages claims that range in amount from $25,000 to $5M. Whether the given claim is for a fire loss, flooding damages, environmental damages, or some other form of casualty claim that results in repair costs, personal property replacement, and ALE type recovery by the first party carrier’s insured, FMG is called upon to defend the given product or the work that allegedly caused that casualty loss. FMG’s attorneys have enjoyed tremendous success in this area, and typically are able to economically resolve the cases on behalf of their insured and self-insured clients, oftentimes for 15% of the amount of the first party carrier’s claim. In the very few instances FMG’s attorneys have been forced to take such subrogation claims to trial they have obtained defense verdicts on behalf of their client.

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