Insurance Litigation & Coverage

With one of the largest national insurance litigation and coverage practices in the country, Thompson Coe defends insurers nationwide in a broad range of insurance-related controversies, including coverage disputes and bad faith and other extra-contractual litigation. Our more than 50 insurance trial lawyers represent an exceptional combination of trial and appellate experience with the deepest understanding of the insurance industry and its regulations.

True 50-state litigation capability and high-level involvement in major legal and professional organizations combine to explain our national reputation for excellence in insurance litigation.

Not only do we handle insurance coverage evaluations and disputes – our lawyers also advise insurers on drafting policy language for various types of commercial and personal lines policies. Among the many types of coverages we have experience in drafting, interpreting and litigating, include:

  • Primary and umbrella/excess liability
  • Environmental risk
  • Builders risk and construction
  • Professional Errors and omissions
  • Directors and Officers
  • Commercial and homeowners property
  • Inland marine
  • Workers compensation/employers liability
  • Life, health, and disability
  • Accidental death
  • Reinsurance.

Our lawyers are nationally recognized for their expertise in providing insurance clients with timely, efficient advice and assistance with urgent or developing situations that require the depth of knowledge and experience we have regarding the industry and the governmental entities that regulate it. For more than 60 years, our lawyers have successfully argued and obtained favorable decisions in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the nation on significant coverage issues benefiting the insurance industry on all types of first-party and third-party policies.

Practice Highlights: Insurance Litigation & Coverage Attorneys
  • Chair of the State Bar of Texas Insurance Section
  • Certified in both Civil Trial Law and Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Recognized by the profession for inclusion in Chambers USA and The Best Lawyers in America
  • Extensive national visibility through speaking and writing on the latest insurance coverage and litigation issues for the benefit of clients and peers.

National Insurance Representation

Our firm is national coordinating counsel for a number of insurance carriers, and regularly directs litigation ranging from employment defense claims in Massachusetts to toxic tort claims in California. We are respected by insurance professionals around the country for our 50-state trial capability, and our lawyers also regularly appear in appellate courts around the country. Often our trial and appellate accomplishments involve precedent-setting cases, and Thompson Coe insurance litigators have made case law in states from Texas to Tennessee.

First-Party Claims

Thompson Coe’s insurance coverage litigators defend insurers in claims involving virtually every area of insurance law. Our practice includes representation of insurers in state and federal trial courts, and we have advised carriers on international claims implicating both master and local coverages.

Our insurance lawyers represent insurers in first-party litigation throughout the country. We have defended insurers against lawsuits alleging:

  • Bad faith
  • Breach of contract
  • Violations of state insurance codes and consumer protection statutes
  • Negligence
  • Fraud.

We also defend insurers in coverage matters related to general premises liability, vehicular accidents, and construction and real estate claims, as well as those involving business disputes over:

  • Professional liability
  • Deceptive trade practices
  • Trade secret disclosure
  • Director and officer liability
  • Products liability
  • Environmental liability.

Although common law and statutory bad faith cases arising from the denial of or delay in payment of policy benefits can potentially expose insurers to significant damages, our lawyers have substantial experience in evaluating such exposure, and, if necessary, trying such cases to verdict. These types of cases include, but are not limited to, personal and commercial property claim disputes, workers’ compensation benefits and claims for life, health and disability benefits.

One of our primary strengths is the ability to advise primary and excess insurers faced with Stowers claims in the settlement context. The Stowers doctrine creates excess liability for insurers, based upon rejection of the settlement demand within policy limits.

For decades it has been a major extra-contractual concern for insurers in Texas, where Stowers cases are difficult to win, but Thompson Coe has proven capabilities to handle Stowers litigation.

We also represent insurers in civil lawsuits brought by other insurers, corporate policyholders and class action claimants. Although we excel at trial representation, Thompson Coe is effective at filing declaratory judgment actions on behalf of insurers to minimize claims liability.

Class Action

Thompson Coe has been at the forefront of defending insurers in state and federal courts in class actions in Texas and across the country. Thompson Coe’s attorneys broad experience in insurance law and regulation give them a unique ability to defend class allegations against insurers. Among the areas Thompson Coe attorneys have defended in class actions are:

  • Policy interpretation
  • Diminished value
  • Workers’ compensation rating and premiums
  • Personal lines rating and premiums
  • Discrimination in underwriting and pricing
  • Financial stability rating and credit scoring
  • Bill review systems
  • Manual Rule compliance.

Life, Health and Disability Claims

With our aging population and increased claims under life, health and disability policies, insurers providing such products will need experienced and efficient counsel to assist in the evaluation and litigation of such claims. Our attorneys have substantial experience in advising insurers on coverage issues relating to such policies and on timely responding to such claims. Thompson Coe attorneys also have substantial experience in litigating coverage disputes under these types of policies under state law or, in the case of group employer policies, in federal courts under ERISA.

Environmental Coverage

Thompson Coe insurance coverage litigators have experience handling environmental claims brought under comprehensive general liability policies, issued from the 1950s through today. We fully understand the legal nuances inherent in environmental coverage disputes, including the evolution of the exclusion clauses contained in many policies. As a result, we can assist insurers with coverage investigation and analysis, and play an active role in declaratory judgment actions brought by insurers against their insured.

We also represent insurers in toxic tort or environmental contamination claims, brought directly by the insured or third-party claimants.

Appeals

Thompson Coe has one of the most sophisticated appellate practices, and is active in some of the most important appellate cases involving insurance issues that come before higher courts in both the state and federal appellate systems. Our lawyers regularly handle matters before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court, and the Texas appellate courts.

Summary

Thompson Coe offers an unusually effective combination of national coverage and claims defense litigation capabilities. Most insurance law firms focus on one of these two areas – our ability to assist insurers with both enables us to provide comprehensive and cost-effective counsel. With detailed knowledge of case law and policy terms, exceptional discovery capabilities, and a practical understanding of the best approach to resolving bad faith claims, our firm offers comprehensive litigation and coverage capabilities nationwide.