Litigation

Insurance Litigation

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Attorneys who have “been there, done that” get to the crux of an insurance coverage issue and find pragmatic, business-minded solutions.

Resolution of liability and property insurance coverage disputes is often a pivotal component in resolving loss, liability, or business claims.

For more than 25 years, attorney Bruce Palmer has provided insurers and policyholders with practical advice and effective legal action in solving the most vexing insurance coverage issues and legal disputes. Bruce and the other practical advisors in Downs Rachlin Martin’s Insurance Coverage Group have the necessary experience and resources to resolve loss and liability claims.

Extended coverage.

Our seasoned insurance attorneys effectively negotiate coverage issues and defend and prosecute declaratory judgment lawsuits, bad faith actions, contract, and extra-contractual recovery claims. Downs Rachlin can determine insurance coverage questions with reference to the laws of all states and under all coverages.

Representative matters include insurance litigation in Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont.

Recent Accomplishments

Represented policyholders and insurers in matters concerning coverage for general liability, environmental liability and toxic torts, products liability, intellectual property, business interruption, automotive liability, property damage and fire loss, professional liability, and other coverages, including the following representative matters:

  • Securing coverage through a settlement for pollution liabilities arising from historic releases of petroleum products at retail gasoline station assigned a high priority for environmental cleanup.
  • Advising an insurer on coverage issues and with respect to negotiated master settlements arising out of the Chinese wallboard products liability lawsuit in a multi-district litigation in Louisiana.
  • Providing ongoing claims handling and coverage advice under the captive professional liability insurance program of a major international financial institution.
  • Counseling a policyholder on coverage and proper claims adjustment and claims handling practices for its property losses sustained in Hurricane Katrina.
  • Retained as counsel in litigation over insurance coverage for environmental liabilities under policies containing pollution exclusions and alternative coverage under the Vermont Petroleum Cleanup Fund.
  • Securing a settlement for a policyholder after litigating and securing an appellate decision that entrustment of a car to a third party was a sufficient “use” of the car meriting coverage under policies that covered any person “while using” the owner’s car.
  • Advising carriers and policyholders regarding environmental liability claims in Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
  • Advising industry carriers with respect to professional liability claims in Florida, New York, Virginia, Montana, New York, and multiple other jurisdictions.
  • Litigated issues and settling matters concerning insurance coverage for toxic tort claims in Utah.
  • Advising industry captive insurance and risk retention groups on issues of claims handling, claims settlement, coverage, and obligations to policyholders.
Litigator Matthew Borick

Matthew S. Borick

Director

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Director Walter Judge

Walter E. Judge

Director

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Attorney Jennifer McDonald

Jennifer E. McDonald

Director

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Director Bruce Palmer

Bruce Palmer

Director

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Director Robert D. Rachlin

Robert D. Rachlin

Director

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Attorney Marc Heath

Marc B. Heath

Of Counsel

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Litigator Evan J. O’Brien

Evan J. O’Brien

Associate

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Paralegal Heather L. Rylant

Heather L. Rylant

Paralegal

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Insurance Litigation

Insurance Law: The Vermont Supreme Court Weighs in on COVID Claims

In A 3-2 Decision, The Court Held That A Property Insurance Policy May Cover COVID-Related Property Damage And Business Interruption Losses
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Jury Trials During the Pandemic: Unvaccinated Jurors May Be Excluded For Cause

Courts across the country are temporarily suspending jury trials amid the Omicron variant wave.
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The Future of Remote Litigation And Benefits Of In-Person Depositions And Proceedings For Attorneys And Clients

As we continued efficiency and flexibility of remote proceedings, but also from increasing in-person interactions that fuel better communication and results.
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Vermont Supreme Court Rules That Term ‘Date Of Loss’ In An Insurance Policy Is Not Ambiguous And Means Exactly What It Says

The Vermont Supreme Court holds that the term "date of loss" in an insurance policy is not ambiguous and that the homeowner may have filed suit against her insurance company too late.
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