Insurance Coverage and Risk Management
Through litigation and negotiation, Riddell Williams’ lawyers have secured recoveries totaling well over $200 million for policyholders on contested insurance claims. While our insurance lawyers pride themselves on zealous representation of clients' interests, we also seek to build bridges with opposing coverage counsel that will permit successful and efficient negotiation of claims without the need for litigation. We also help clients evaluate their insurance coverage and work with risk managers to identify and mitigate risk in a wide range of sectors relating to corporate governance, technology, documentation, and prospective litigation. Our clients range from some of the largest and best known corporations in the nation and region to small family owned businesses. On the insurer side, we represent numerous title insurance companies.
Chair: Jayson W. Sowers
Our insurance attorneys routinely assist clients on a wide range of insurance claims and risks including:
- Property Loss Claims: We have handled claims and litigation arising out of such varied causes as natural disasters, terrorism, fire, defective construction, disease, theft, employee dishonesty and pollution
- Liability Claims: We have negotiated and litigated coverage and other issues relating to comprehensive general liability policies, errors and omissions policies, directors and officers policies, and such specialty coverages as employment practices, environmental impairment and Internet and intellectual property policies. Liability claims have most frequently arisen with regard to environmental liability, other forms of property damage, antitrust and anticompetition disputes, intellectual property issues, product liability and employment disputes
- Advice: We regularly advise clients regarding the legal merits of insurance policies and products. We also bring a litigator's perspective to bear on legal reviews and audits of client practices to prevent losses from happening in the first place. We have particularly focused on technology risks, including most recently best practices for document retention and managing risks in advance of threatened litigation pursuant to newly adopted Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to electronic evidence
Representative work of our insurance attorneys includes:
- The first policyholder’s jury verdict in the country on environmental claims for former manufactured gas plant sites for a major Northwest utility, and subsequent litigation and successful settlement of six additional sites
- Successful litigation and settlement of an eight-figure insurance claim arising out of the destruction of salmon fisheries by Northwest hydroelectric dams
- Advised captive insurer of major maritime company regarding litigation and settlement of fifty years of environmental claims
- Prosecution and settlement of California-based Superfund insurance claim for one of the nation's largest defense contractors
- Pursuit of coverage for dozens of liability claims for a major software company
- Development of protocols for effective document retention and planning for pre-litigation document "holds"
- Drafting proposed environmental claims handling regulations that were subsequently adopted by the Washington Insurance Commissioner as the first such regulations in the nation