On November 5, 2014 Don will be presenting a seminar for the Chicago Bar Association on the mediation of insurance coverage cases. Having represented both policyholders and insurance companies in numerous coverage cases, Don provides a neutral, objective perspective and brings to mediations a deep understanding of insurance coverage.
On October 15, 2014 the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in favor of Don’s client in the case he argued in May, upholding the client’s right to pursue its bad faith claim: Auto Flat Car Crushers v. Hanover Insurance Company. After Don had obtained summary judgment on the insurer’s breach of its duty to defend, Hanover tendered payments, without any settlement agreement, to Auto Flat for the costs and expenses incurred in the underlying case. Hanover then attempted to block the bad faith claim under Mass. Ch. 93A on the basis that no judgment for damages had been obtained. The Supreme Court held that Auto Flat had incurred actual damages and those could be used to pursue its 93A claim. The case is significant precedent for the rights of parties who have been subjected to wrongful conduct and have initiated claims for multiple damages under 93A in Massachusetts.
On June 19 Don successfully mediated a fire loss claim involving the coverage issue of whether the innocent co-insured clause would apply when one named insured allegedly had intentionally started the fire while highly intoxicated. Don was selected because the insurance company wanted a mediator who really understood coverage and the policyholder’s attorney wanted an attorney who had represented insureds in coverage disputes.
On May 5th, Don argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Court on behalf of a policyholder seeking to pursue a claim under the Massachusetts bad faith statute against its insurance company based on a denial of coverage. After Don obtained summary judgment for the policyholder on the duty to defend, the complaint was amended to include a bad faith claim. The insurance company then unilaterally tendered, without any settlement agreement or release, the amounts the policyholder had expended in responding to a state environmental claim. The issue of whether the unilateral payments blocked the right of the policyholder to pursue the bad faith claim was certified to the appellate court and the Supreme Court used its discretion to take the certified issue directly. The decision will be a critical case on Massachusetts bad faith law.
On February 24th Don recorded a legal education presentation for APEXCLE on the subject of cyber liability and insurance.
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Don recently successfully represented his client before the Seventh Circuit, which vacated an $812,000 judgment against the client. Following the successful appeal, the bank voluntarily dismissed its claim without any payment from the client. Wells Fargo Business Credit v. Donald J. Hindman, decided October 30, 2013, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
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In July, 2013 Don spoke before the Chicago Bar Association on “Bad Faith in Connection with Insurers’ Duty to Defend.”
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In November, 2013 Don again spoke before the Chicago Bar Association, this time on “Ethical Issues and Considerations in Insurance Defense.”