Omilian, Patrick B.

Partner

Mailing Address:

228 Park Avenue South
Suite 97572
New York, New York 10003-1502

Physical Location:

Buffalo, New York

Direct Dial/Text: (716) 249-4254
Fax: (646) 609-8841
Email: pomilian@gerberciano.com

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Indiana

Patrick focuses his practice on complex insurance coverage and reinsurance matters, providing coverage advice, coverage litigation, and coordinating counsel services for clients across the nation. Patrick’s practice encompasses insurance coverage analysis and advocacy on matters involving law enforcement and municipal liability, environmental damages, faulty construction, reinsurance, complex claims, and bad faith. He has provided coverage counsel and representation for reinsurers and insurers of law enforcement agencies and other municipal bodies facing multi-million dollar claims for false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, pay parity, and other issues. He also handles complex and long-tail claims involving asbestos, industrial pollution, and other types of environmental harms. These cases frequently involve the deposition of expert witnesses, complex apportionments of “fault” and coverage, and underlying issues that stretch back decades.

Patrick has been defense counsel on a variety of suits including defending against claims of construction and design defects, groundwater contamination involving industrial solvents, PCBs and agriculture waste, exposure to asbestos and pesticides, and copyright violations.

Patrick’s practice is truly national in scope. He has appeared on behalf of clients in New York, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, Maryland, and Kansas and has directed local counsel in litigation in over 30 states.

Patrick has handled numerous appeals in state and federal court in New York and Indiana, including arguing in the intermediate appellate courts of New York and Indiana, the New York Court of Appeals and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Seventh Circuits.

Patrick also serves as coordinating counsel for a leading national provider of service contracts and extended warranties. In this role he coordinates with local attorneys across the country litigating frequent and simultaneous small and large claims to ensure a consistent defense strategy that’s streamlined, cost-effective, and in line with the client’s business philosophy.

A frequent author and speaker on issues relating to insurance, he is an authority on bad faith, reinsurance, and law enforcement liability coverage. As such, Patrick’s relationship with his clients involves not only coordination and litigation, but every effort to keep them apprised of case decisions, new laws and regulations, emerging trends, and other developments that might affect their business. Patrick has served as an instructor for the New York judiciary and its law clerks on reinsurance issues.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Patrick built his early practice on a passion for environmental stewardship, which spurred him to earn a Master’s degree in environmental science and gain experience working in an industrial wastewater treatment facility and a fisheries research laboratory in the Adirondacks. He combined his educational and real-world training with legal experience in insurance, regulations, and litigation regimes to provide effective advocacy in complex environmental matters. Now, Patrick’s long record of state and federal courtroom successes includes defending against environmental claims, copyright infringement, defamation, and an architect design defect involving catastrophic injuries, as well as his coordinating counsel work and landmark successes defending law enforcement, municipal, homeowners, and commercial general liability insurers and reinsurers.

A dedicated and avid outdoorsman, Patrick is a SCUBA-certified diver and an avid fisherman. In his “spare” time, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, and camping especially with his wife and three children. He also volunteers with the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper as a Riverwatch captain and a site captain for biannual shore clean-ups. In recent years, Patrick has been drawn into winemaking, particularly various white wines, and traveling the world with his family.

Full Biography

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Indiana
EDUCATION
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, Maurer School of Law, J.D., 2002
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, M.S.E.S., 2002
  • Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, B.S., 1995
HONORS
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2013-2017

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Indiana
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Past Program Chair, Insurance Law Committee, Young Lawyers Insurance Coverage Boot Camp
  • Editor, Covered Events, Defense Research Institute
  • Presenter, Multiple DRI Seminars
  • Presenter, NY Bar Association Seminar, Advanced Insurance Coverage

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Indiana
  • Riverwatch Captain, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Indiana
  • Editor, Part I, “The Concept of Reinsurance,” Reinsurance Professional’s Deskbook, 2017-2018 ed., Thomson Reuters and DRI, 2017
  • Contributor, “Lloyd’s in the United States,” Ch. 80, New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, 2016
  • Editor, Part III, “The Claims Process,” Reinsurance Professional’s Deskbook, 2015-2016 ed., Thomson Reuters and DRI, 2015
  • “Are Junk Texts the Next Scourge for Insurers?” Covered Events, Defense Research Institute, Summer 2015
  • Co-Author, “Superstorms, Vanishing Deductibles, and Floods That Are Not Floods: How Climate Is Changing the Legal Landscape of Insurance Coverage,” USLAW Magazine, Spring/Summer 2014
  • Contributing Author, “Leading Coverage Lawyers: The Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions of 2013,” Coverage Opinions, January 8, 2014
  • Co-Author, “Claims Against Insurers Are on the Rise,” Global Reinsurance 2013 Full-Year Review, December 2013
  • Co-Author, “Climate Change: A New Era of Old Challenges for the Insurance Industry,” LexisNexis Legal Newsroom: Insurance Law, September 23, 2013
  • Author, “How Climate Change and Microinsurance are Converging in Latam,” Latam Insurance Review, September 2013
  • Author, “Bad Faith Beyond New York,” NYSBA Advanced Insurance Coverage Seminar: Hot Topics, Tough Issues, and a Look Ahead, May 2013
  • Author, “Expert Commentary: Home Owner’s Failure to Cooperate Yields Denied Claim,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, March 2013
  • Author, Expert Commentary: Thorough Investigation Key in Multiple-Dog Incidents,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, January 11, 2013
  • Co-Author, “The Duty to Notify an Excess Carrier: Considerations for Defense Counsel,” Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, March 2013
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, “DRI Excess Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium 2012,” Defense Research Institute, 2012
  • Author, “DRI Excess Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium 2012,” Tennessee Chapter, Defense Research Institute, 2012
  • Co-Author, “DRI Excess Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium 2012,” Indiana Chapter, Defense Research Institute, 2012
  • Author, Expert Commentary: “Timely Sworn Proof of Loss Essential to Flood Claim,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, April 13, 2012
  • Author, Expert Commentary: “Court Rules That Diminished Value Auto Loss Covered,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, February 10, 2012

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Indiana
  • “Good Faith, Bad Faith, and Everything in Between,” Annual Meeting of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, June 1-2, 2017
  • “Insurance 201: Effectively Navigating Allocation and Trigger Issues,” Defense Research Institute, July 2016
  • “Reinsurance 101: The Basics of Reinsurance,” New York State Judicial Institute Webinar, May 17, 2016
  • “Reinsurance 201: Beyond the Basics,” New York State Judicial Institute Webinar, May 17, 2016
  • “Emerging Trends in Bad Faith,” DRI Insurance Coverage and Practices Symposium, New York, NY, December 2014
  • “Primary and Excess Insurers – Bad Faith – Has the Playing Field Changed?” 1st Annual Bad Faith Litigation Strategies ExecuSummit, Uncasville, CT, November 4-5, 2014
  • “Hot New Cases in Bad Faith: Case Law Update,” DRI Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar, Defense Research Institute, June 2013
  • “Insurance Bad Faith,” NYSBA Seminar: Advanced Insurance Coverage: Hot Topics, Tough Issues, and a Look Ahead, May 2013
  • “Hot Buttons in Bad Faith,” Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Annual Conference, November 2012
  • “Advanced Insurance Coverage Update on Additional Insured Coverage, New York State Bar Association, May 2012

Practice Areas

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • Indiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern District of Indiana

Insurance Coverage

Bivens v. Forrest County, Mississippi

Three men who had been wrongfully imprisoned for a combined 83 years for murder sued the law enforcement agencies who arrested and imprisoned them, including Forrest County, Mississippi. In a case where liability was not in dispute and potential damages approached $100 million, issues of insurance coverage were central to the ultimate outcome. Patrick advised one of the County’s law enforcement insurers from initial notice of the lawsuit through a declaratory judgment action. Working with numerous other insurers, Patrick assisted the client in funding a complex settlement of the simultaneous liability and insurance disputes.

Parish v. City of Elkhart, Indiana

Two men were arrested and convicted of robbery and attempted murder, crimes it was later determined they did not commit. Patrick represented one of the City of Elkhart’s law enforcement liability insurers in assessing and navigating its coverage obligations and represented the insurer in multiple coverage actions relating to these claims.

National Casualty Company v. Fulton County, GA

When Fulton County, Georgia was sued for systematically underpaying hundreds of employees in a series of related “pay parity” lawsuits, the County sought indemnity from its employment practices liability insurer. The claims for which the County sought insurance coverage exceeded the County’s $18 million policy limits. Patrick assessed the claims, advised the insurer on coverage, and represented the client in a federal declaratory judgment action.

O’Donnell v. Financial American Life Insurance Company

A credit life insurer customarily assessed life insurance claims within the policies’ 2-year contestability period. It denied hundreds of claims upon discovery of material misrepresentations on the insurance applications regarding eligibility for coverage. The insurer was sued in a class action lawsuit alleging breach of contract and bad faith. Potential damages exceeded $10 million. Patrick represented the insurer and focused on defeating the class action bad faith claims. As a result of Patrick’s efforts, the plaintiffs withdrew their punitive damages and bad faith claims.

Addison Insurance Company v. Companion Property Casualty Company

Following Hurricane Katrina, numerous parties were hired for debris removal. A driver of one contractor was involved in a catastrophic accident away from the project, resulting in a suit against all contractors and entangling their insurers in a coverage dispute. Patrick represented one of the insurers in a dispute over additional insured coverage and alleged bad faith for failure to defend a putative additional insured.

Bennett v. StarNet Insurance Company, etal.

When a landscaping company was hired to install a sprinkler system at a Long Island residence, it accidentally pierced the home’s heating oil supply line, resulting in a 1200 gallon oil spill. The homeowners sued the landscaper and its insurer in a direct action under New York’s Navigation Law. Patrick advised the insurer with respect to its coverage obligations and assisted in defending a separate coverage action relating to the oil spill.

Selective Insurance Company v. Seabolt, et al.

A tragic accident involving a school bus and two insured dump trucks resulted in four fatalities. The school bus was hit by both dump trucks within a matter of a few seconds. Patrick represented the dump truck owners’ commercial auto liability insurer in an insurance coverage dispute involving the number of occurrences arising from the fatal circumstances.

Ellison v. Allstate

Insured homeowners suffered severe water damage, allegedly from frozen pipes. The homeowners and their insurer disputed the cause and longevity of the damages, resulting in a stalled claim. Patrick defended the insurer in a lawsuit that included claims for breach of contract and bad faith.

Johnson v. Atlantic Casualty Company

A roofing subcontractor’s employee who was injured on a construction project sued the general contractor (GC). The GC tendered its defense to the injured worker’s employer and its insurer, who denied coverage. Patrick advised the insurer and successfully defended it in a federal court. A favorable result was obtained on the basis that the GC was not an additional insured, as well as an exclusion for injuries to employees precluded coverage.

Harris v. Sentinel Insurance Company

A fire determined to be arson destroyed a tattoo parlor. Patrick represented the insurer in investigating the claim., Patrick defended the insurer in the ensuing litigation with the policyholder after the claim was denied due to arson.

Scottsdale Insurance Company v. Walsh Construction Company

A bridge over the Indiana Harbor Canal in East Chicago was demolished with the use of explosives. The blast did not go as planned, causing extensive damage to piering along the Canal below. Patrick advised the CGL insurer of one of the demolition contractors and represented it in a coverage action in which the policy’s “demolition exclusion” was at issue.

 

Reinsurance

Cedent v. Reinsurer

Patrick was recently victorious in an arbitration dispute involving an attempt by a cedent to impose an indemnity obligation on its reinsurer that exceeded the reinsurance contract’s absolute limit of liability. Patrick represented a reinsurer in the arbitration proceedings, which saw the petitioner assert that the reinsurer owed it an indemnity obligation in excess of the treaty liability limit of liability. The reinsurer previously paid its full limit, and the cedent conceded that this was indeed the case. The cedent, however, billed the reinsurer for a share of prejudgment interest in excess of the treaty’s liability limit. Patrick successfully argued that the language of the contract was susceptible to only one reasonable interpretation. The limit of liability was a single “all-inclusive limit.” A three-person arbitration panel agreed, denying the request for an award.

Superstorm Sandy MTA Claims

When Hurricane Sandy — a.k.a. “Superstorm Sandy” — made landfall in New York City, it brought record storm surges that flooded the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subway tunnels extensively, causing catastrophic damage. Patrick handled complex reinsurance issues related to these claims.

Cedent v. Reinsurer

Patrick’s client was a credit life insurer that was sued in a class action lawsuit alleging the insurer improperly denied hundreds of life claims due to material misrepresentations on policy applications. The insurer sought indemnity from its reinsurer who denied any responsibility for the class claims. Patrick represented the insurer in presenting its claim to a three-member arbitration panel.

Cedent v. Reinsurer

A reinsurance administrator assisted in forming and managing a producer-owned reinsurance company. Several years into the relationship, the reinsurer challenged the administrator’s fee structure back to day one. Patrick represented the administrator before an arbitration panel, defending the administrator’s fee structure, conduct, and ongoing reports as being appropriate and consistent with the parties’ contracts.

Cedent v. Reinsurer

Patrick represented a cedent in a dispute regarding a reinsurer’s obligations to indemnify the cedent for extra-contractual obligations paid by the cedent. The parties’ reinsurance treaty included excess of loss and ECO coverage. Patrick assisted the cedent in presenting the claim and arbitrating the dispute.

 

Defense

Pardue v. Purdue Farms

Patrick defended a national turkey producer in a lawsuit by a neighboring property owner who alleged that its horses were being poisoned by manure contamination from the turkey facility. The claims involved issues of causation, groundwater flow dynamics, and epidemiology. Patrick successfully defended the action at trial and through appeal.

Gresser v. Dow, et al.

The Gresser family purchased a home in Lafayette, Indiana. After occupants of the home allegedly became sick, they sued a chemical company and a termite treatment company alleging that termiticide applied to the home prior to sale caused the injuries. Patrick defended the pesticide applicator in the lawsuit. The case involved extensive expert testimony and assessment of issues involving epidemiology and causation.

Murdock v. Goheen Construction

Construction of a maximum security federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana experienced massive construction delays. Patrick defended a prime contractor, Goheen Construction, in ensuing litigation regarding delay damages. Patrick successfully defended the lawsuit against Goheen as well as prosecuting Goheen’s counterclaim against a masonry subcontractor. The favorable decision was upheld on appeal to the Seventh Circuit in which Patrick handled the bulk of the appellate briefing.

Asbestos injuries

Patrick has defended various manufacturers of railroad brake shoes, commercial boilers and pumps in lawsuits involving exposure to asbestos fibers.

Vehicle Service Contracts

Patrick has defended a national vehicle service contract administrator in numerous lawsuits by contract-holders alleging breach of contract, unfair trade practices violations, and related claims across the country. These lawsuits range in size from small claims to tens of thousands of dollars. Patrick worked with the client to develop and implement a litigation strategy that provides consistency across the country, efficient, and fits squarely within the client’s overall business model.

Trinity Homes v. Booher Masonry, et al.

A large-scale home builder in Indiana was sued for defective construction that resulted in water intrusion in hundreds of newly-constructed houses in Indiana. Trinity Homes and its construction subcontractors were sued in multiple lawsuits. Patrick defended a masonry subcontractor in the lawsuits. The key issues in dispute involved causation, construction expert analysis, and apportionment of fault.

Shelton v. Walmart Stores, Inc., et al.

During the construction of a new Walmart store in Bloomington, Indiana, an electrical contractor was killed and others injured in an arc blast explosion. Patrick defended the architect of the store in the ensuing personal injury lawsuit. The litigation involved numerous defendants and extensive expert testimony involving assessments of construction best practices and worksite safety.

Wells v. Bernitt

When two local Indiana politicians engaged in an ongoing dispute, one sued the other for his vitriolic comments, alleging defamation. Patrick successfully defended the challenged speech as being protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

MIE v. TriPractix

During the early days when medical records were becoming computerized, Patrick defended an electronic medical record development company in a suit by a competitor alleging a variety of claims including copyright infringement and related intellectual property violations.

Patrick focuses his practice on complex insurance coverage and reinsurance matters, providing coverage advice, coverage litigation, and coordinating counsel services for clients across the nation. Patrick’s practice encompasses insurance coverage analysis and advocacy on matters involving law enforcement and municipal liability, environmental damages, faulty construction, reinsurance, complex claims, and bad faith. He has provided coverage counsel and representation for reinsurers and insurers of law enforcement agencies and other municipal bodies facing multi-million dollar claims for false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, pay parity, and other issues. He also handles complex and long-tail claims involving asbestos, industrial pollution, and other types of environmental harms. These cases frequently involve the deposition of expert witnesses, complex apportionments of “fault” and coverage, and underlying issues that stretch back decades.

Patrick has been defense counsel on a variety of suits including defending against claims of construction and design defects, groundwater contamination involving industrial solvents, PCBs and agriculture waste, exposure to asbestos and pesticides, and copyright violations.

Patrick’s practice is truly national in scope. He has appeared on behalf of clients in New York, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, Maryland, and Kansas and has directed local counsel in litigation in over 30 states.

Patrick has handled numerous appeals in state and federal court in New York and Indiana, including arguing in the intermediate appellate courts of New York and Indiana, the New York Court of Appeals and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Seventh Circuits.

Patrick also serves as coordinating counsel for a leading national provider of service contracts and extended warranties. In this role he coordinates with local attorneys across the country litigating frequent and simultaneous small and large claims to ensure a consistent defense strategy that’s streamlined, cost-effective, and in line with the client’s business philosophy.

A frequent author and speaker on issues relating to insurance, he is an authority on bad faith, reinsurance, and law enforcement liability coverage. As such, Patrick’s relationship with his clients involves not only coordination and litigation, but every effort to keep them apprised of case decisions, new laws and regulations, emerging trends, and other developments that might affect their business. Patrick has served as an instructor for the New York judiciary and its law clerks on reinsurance issues.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Patrick built his early practice on a passion for environmental stewardship, which spurred him to earn a Master’s degree in environmental science and gain experience working in an industrial wastewater treatment facility and a fisheries research laboratory in the Adirondacks. He combined his educational and real-world training with legal experience in insurance, regulations, and litigation regimes to provide effective advocacy in complex environmental matters. Now, Patrick’s long record of state and federal courtroom successes includes defending against environmental claims, copyright infringement, defamation, and an architect design defect involving catastrophic injuries, as well as his coordinating counsel work and landmark successes defending law enforcement, municipal, homeowners, and commercial general liability insurers and reinsurers.

A dedicated and avid outdoorsman, Patrick is a SCUBA-certified diver and an avid fisherman. In his “spare” time, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, and camping especially with his wife and three children. He also volunteers with the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper as a Riverwatch captain and a site captain for biannual shore clean-ups. In recent years, Patrick has been drawn into winemaking, particularly various white wines, and traveling the world with his family.

EDUCATION
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, Maurer School of Law, J.D., 2002
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, M.S.E.S., 2002
  • Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, B.S., 1995
HONORS
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2013-2017
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Past Program Chair, Insurance Law Committee, Young Lawyers Insurance Coverage Boot Camp
  • Editor, Covered Events, Defense Research Institute
  • Presenter, Multiple DRI Seminars
  • Presenter, NY Bar Association Seminar, Advanced Insurance Coverage
  • Riverwatch Captain, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
  • Editor, Part I, “The Concept of Reinsurance,” Reinsurance Professional’s Deskbook, 2017-2018 ed., Thomson Reuters and DRI, 2017
  • Contributor, “Lloyd’s in the United States,” Ch. 80, New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, 2016
  • Editor, Part III, “The Claims Process,” Reinsurance Professional’s Deskbook, 2015-2016 ed., Thomson Reuters and DRI, 2015
  • “Are Junk Texts the Next Scourge for Insurers?” Covered Events, Defense Research Institute, Summer 2015
  • Co-Author, “Superstorms, Vanishing Deductibles, and Floods That Are Not Floods: How Climate Is Changing the Legal Landscape of Insurance Coverage,” USLAW Magazine, Spring/Summer 2014
  • Contributing Author, “Leading Coverage Lawyers: The Most Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions of 2013,” Coverage Opinions, January 8, 2014
  • Co-Author, “Claims Against Insurers Are on the Rise,” Global Reinsurance 2013 Full-Year Review, December 2013
  • Co-Author, “Climate Change: A New Era of Old Challenges for the Insurance Industry,” LexisNexis Legal Newsroom: Insurance Law, September 23, 2013
  • Author, “How Climate Change and Microinsurance are Converging in Latam,” Latam Insurance Review, September 2013
  • Author, “Bad Faith Beyond New York,” NYSBA Advanced Insurance Coverage Seminar: Hot Topics, Tough Issues, and a Look Ahead, May 2013
  • Author, “Expert Commentary: Home Owner’s Failure to Cooperate Yields Denied Claim,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, March 2013
  • Author, Expert Commentary: Thorough Investigation Key in Multiple-Dog Incidents,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, January 11, 2013
  • Co-Author, “The Duty to Notify an Excess Carrier: Considerations for Defense Counsel,” Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, March 2013
  • Co-Editor-in-Chief, “DRI Excess Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium 2012,” Defense Research Institute, 2012
  • Author, “DRI Excess Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium 2012,” Tennessee Chapter, Defense Research Institute, 2012
  • Co-Author, “DRI Excess Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium 2012,” Indiana Chapter, Defense Research Institute, 2012
  • Author, Expert Commentary: “Timely Sworn Proof of Loss Essential to Flood Claim,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, April 13, 2012
  • Author, Expert Commentary: “Court Rules That Diminished Value Auto Loss Covered,” IRMI Personal Lines Pilot, February 10, 2012
  • “Good Faith, Bad Faith, and Everything in Between,” Annual Meeting of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, June 1-2, 2017
  • “Insurance 201: Effectively Navigating Allocation and Trigger Issues,” Defense Research Institute, July 2016
  • “Reinsurance 101: The Basics of Reinsurance,” New York State Judicial Institute Webinar, May 17, 2016
  • “Reinsurance 201: Beyond the Basics,” New York State Judicial Institute Webinar, May 17, 2016
  • “Emerging Trends in Bad Faith,” DRI Insurance Coverage and Practices Symposium, New York, NY, December 2014
  • “Primary and Excess Insurers – Bad Faith – Has the Playing Field Changed?” 1st Annual Bad Faith Litigation Strategies ExecuSummit, Uncasville, CT, November 4-5, 2014
  • “Hot New Cases in Bad Faith: Case Law Update,” DRI Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar, Defense Research Institute, June 2013
  • “Insurance Bad Faith,” NYSBA Seminar: Advanced Insurance Coverage: Hot Topics, Tough Issues, and a Look Ahead, May 2013
  • “Hot Buttons in Bad Faith,” Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana Annual Conference, November 2012
  • “Advanced Insurance Coverage Update on Additional Insured Coverage, New York State Bar Association, May 2012

Insurance Coverage

Bivens v. Forrest County, Mississippi

Three men who had been wrongfully imprisoned for a combined 83 years for murder sued the law enforcement agencies who arrested and imprisoned them, including Forrest County, Mississippi. In a case where liability was not in dispute and potential damages approached $100 million, issues of insurance coverage were central to the ultimate outcome. Patrick advised one of the County’s law enforcement insurers from initial notice of the lawsuit through a declaratory judgment action. Working with numerous other insurers, Patrick assisted the client in funding a complex settlement of the simultaneous liability and insurance disputes.

Parish v. City of Elkhart, Indiana

Two men were arrested and convicted of robbery and attempted murder, crimes it was later determined they did not commit. Patrick represented one of the City of Elkhart’s law enforcement liability insurers in assessing and navigating its coverage obligations and represented the insurer in multiple coverage actions relating to these claims.

National Casualty Company v. Fulton County, GA

When Fulton County, Georgia was sued for systematically underpaying hundreds of employees in a series of related “pay parity” lawsuits, the County sought indemnity from its employment practices liability insurer. The claims for which the County sought insurance coverage exceeded the County’s $18 million policy limits. Patrick assessed the claims, advised the insurer on coverage, and represented the client in a federal declaratory judgment action.

O’Donnell v. Financial American Life Insurance Company

A credit life insurer customarily assessed life insurance claims within the policies’ 2-year contestability period. It denied hundreds of claims upon discovery of material misrepresentations on the insurance applications regarding eligibility for coverage. The insurer was sued in a class action lawsuit alleging breach of contract and bad faith. Potential damages exceeded $10 million. Patrick represented the insurer and focused on defeating the class action bad faith claims. As a result of Patrick’s efforts, the plaintiffs withdrew their punitive damages and bad faith claims.

Addison Insurance Company v. Companion Property Casualty Company

Following Hurricane Katrina, numerous parties were hired for debris removal. A driver of one contractor was involved in a catastrophic accident away from the project, resulting in a suit against all contractors and entangling their insurers in a coverage dispute. Patrick represented one of the insurers in a dispute over additional insured coverage and alleged bad faith for failure to defend a putative additional insured.

Bennett v. StarNet Insurance Company, etal.

When a landscaping company was hired to install a sprinkler system at a Long Island residence, it accidentally pierced the home’s heating oil supply line, resulting in a 1200 gallon oil spill. The homeowners sued the landscaper and its insurer in a direct action under New York’s Navigation Law. Patrick advised the insurer with respect to its coverage obligations and assisted in defending a separate coverage action relating to the oil spill.

Selective Insurance Company v. Seabolt, et al.

A tragic accident involving a school bus and two insured dump trucks resulted in four fatalities. The school bus was hit by both dump trucks within a matter of a few seconds. Patrick represented the dump truck owners’ commercial auto liability insurer in an insurance coverage dispute involving the number of occurrences arising from the fatal circumstances.

Ellison v. Allstate

Insured homeowners suffered severe water damage, allegedly from frozen pipes. The homeowners and their insurer disputed the cause and longevity of the damages, resulting in a stalled claim. Patrick defended the insurer in a lawsuit that included claims for breach of contract and bad faith.

Johnson v. Atlantic Casualty Company

A roofing subcontractor’s employee who was injured on a construction project sued the general contractor (GC). The GC tendered its defense to the injured worker’s employer and its insurer, who denied coverage. Patrick advised the insurer and successfully defended it in a federal court. A favorable result was obtained on the basis that the GC was not an additional insured, as well as an exclusion for injuries to employees precluded coverage.

Harris v. Sentinel Insurance Company

A fire determined to be arson destroyed a tattoo parlor. Patrick represented the insurer in investigating the claim., Patrick defended the insurer in the ensuing litigation with the policyholder after the claim was denied due to arson.

Scottsdale Insurance Company v. Walsh Construction Company

A bridge over the Indiana Harbor Canal in East Chicago was demolished with the use of explosives. The blast did not go as planned, causing extensive damage to piering along the Canal below. Patrick advised the CGL insurer of one of the demolition contractors and represented it in a coverage action in which the policy’s “demolition exclusion” was at issue.

 

Reinsurance

Cedent v. Reinsurer

Patrick was recently victorious in an arbitration dispute involving an attempt by a cedent to impose an indemnity obligation on its reinsurer that exceeded the reinsurance contract’s absolute limit of liability. Patrick represented a reinsurer in the arbitration proceedings, which saw the petitioner assert that the reinsurer owed it an indemnity obligation in excess of the treaty liability limit of liability. The reinsurer previously paid its full limit, and the cedent conceded that this was indeed the case. The cedent, however, billed the reinsurer for a share of prejudgment interest in excess of the treaty’s liability limit. Patrick successfully argued that the language of the contract was susceptible to only one reasonable interpretation. The limit of liability was a single “all-inclusive limit.” A three-person arbitration panel agreed, denying the request for an award.

Superstorm Sandy MTA Claims

When Hurricane Sandy — a.k.a. “Superstorm Sandy” — made landfall in New York City, it brought record storm surges that flooded the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subway tunnels extensively, causing catastrophic damage. Patrick handled complex reinsurance issues related to these claims.

Cedent v. Reinsurer

Patrick’s client was a credit life insurer that was sued in a class action lawsuit alleging the insurer improperly denied hundreds of life claims due to material misrepresentations on policy applications. The insurer sought indemnity from its reinsurer who denied any responsibility for the class claims. Patrick represented the insurer in presenting its claim to a three-member arbitration panel.

Cedent v. Reinsurer

A reinsurance administrator assisted in forming and managing a producer-owned reinsurance company. Several years into the relationship, the reinsurer challenged the administrator’s fee structure back to day one. Patrick represented the administrator before an arbitration panel, defending the administrator’s fee structure, conduct, and ongoing reports as being appropriate and consistent with the parties’ contracts.

Cedent v. Reinsurer

Patrick represented a cedent in a dispute regarding a reinsurer’s obligations to indemnify the cedent for extra-contractual obligations paid by the cedent. The parties’ reinsurance treaty included excess of loss and ECO coverage. Patrick assisted the cedent in presenting the claim and arbitrating the dispute.

 

Defense

Pardue v. Purdue Farms

Patrick defended a national turkey producer in a lawsuit by a neighboring property owner who alleged that its horses were being poisoned by manure contamination from the turkey facility. The claims involved issues of causation, groundwater flow dynamics, and epidemiology. Patrick successfully defended the action at trial and through appeal.

Gresser v. Dow, et al.

The Gresser family purchased a home in Lafayette, Indiana. After occupants of the home allegedly became sick, they sued a chemical company and a termite treatment company alleging that termiticide applied to the home prior to sale caused the injuries. Patrick defended the pesticide applicator in the lawsuit. The case involved extensive expert testimony and assessment of issues involving epidemiology and causation.

Murdock v. Goheen Construction

Construction of a maximum security federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana experienced massive construction delays. Patrick defended a prime contractor, Goheen Construction, in ensuing litigation regarding delay damages. Patrick successfully defended the lawsuit against Goheen as well as prosecuting Goheen’s counterclaim against a masonry subcontractor. The favorable decision was upheld on appeal to the Seventh Circuit in which Patrick handled the bulk of the appellate briefing.

Asbestos injuries

Patrick has defended various manufacturers of railroad brake shoes, commercial boilers and pumps in lawsuits involving exposure to asbestos fibers.

Vehicle Service Contracts

Patrick has defended a national vehicle service contract administrator in numerous lawsuits by contract-holders alleging breach of contract, unfair trade practices violations, and related claims across the country. These lawsuits range in size from small claims to tens of thousands of dollars. Patrick worked with the client to develop and implement a litigation strategy that provides consistency across the country, efficient, and fits squarely within the client’s overall business model.

Trinity Homes v. Booher Masonry, et al.

A large-scale home builder in Indiana was sued for defective construction that resulted in water intrusion in hundreds of newly-constructed houses in Indiana. Trinity Homes and its construction subcontractors were sued in multiple lawsuits. Patrick defended a masonry subcontractor in the lawsuits. The key issues in dispute involved causation, construction expert analysis, and apportionment of fault.

Shelton v. Walmart Stores, Inc., et al.

During the construction of a new Walmart store in Bloomington, Indiana, an electrical contractor was killed and others injured in an arc blast explosion. Patrick defended the architect of the store in the ensuing personal injury lawsuit. The litigation involved numerous defendants and extensive expert testimony involving assessments of construction best practices and worksite safety.

Wells v. Bernitt

When two local Indiana politicians engaged in an ongoing dispute, one sued the other for his vitriolic comments, alleging defamation. Patrick successfully defended the challenged speech as being protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

MIE v. TriPractix

During the early days when medical records were becoming computerized, Patrick defended an electronic medical record development company in a suit by a competitor alleging a variety of claims including copyright infringement and related intellectual property violations.