Insurance Litigation

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Insurance has been our core business for 60+ years. Blaney McMurtry is the Insurance Litigation leader in Canada.

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 Overview

Our lawyers live and breathe the insurance industry – we know it inside and out. We know what insurers need when it comes to claims: early attention and confident assessments, practical advice, creative and timely resolutions, and a track record of success in the Courtroom.

We have the skill and experience to handle the largest and most complicated claims.  We also have the bench strength, flexibility and file handling systems in place to handle a volume of claims.

Our unique way of doing all these things for the insurance industry lets us say: Efficiency is in our DNA.

We provide services in the following areas:

Coverage Opinions

We represent insurers in the areas of policy drafting, revisions, opinion writing and related coverage litigation over defence and indemnity obligations in liability programs as well as indemnity under first party property programs. We regularly provide coverage advice to Canadian, U.S., European and U.K.-based insurers and reinsurers with loss exposures in commercial, professional and personal lines settings including issues of priority, excess, umbrella, as well as allocation of loss both between insurers and between insurer and policyholder.

Product Liability

The potential for product liability claims is as wide as the range of products on the market. Our insurance clients have called on us to defend claims involving every imaginable type of product from motor vehicles and parts to micro pumps for helicopters; computers to copper converter furnaces; piers to pipelines; chemical coating compounds to cranes; seat belts to stone crushers; blood products to breast implants. No product is beyond a liability claim, and we are prepared to handle them all on behalf of our clients.

Our firm is a leader in defending class actions, and our familiarity with the legislation and involvement in many of the leading cases gives our clients a distinct advantage in resolving potentially significant claims.

Public Authorities Liability

We have been the primary defence counsel for large and small governmental bodies for over 30 years. As a result, we have a recognized wealth of experience in the field as we have defended thousands of general liability and road liability claims involving all the operations of public authorities from maintenance of roads and properties to security and policing to regulatory enforcement and policy development. 

Personal Injury and General Liability

Daily living brings the potential for injury. Marine and motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-falls, sports injuries and food contamination are just a few of the types of injury claims we handle for insurers on behalf of insureds as varied as corporations, property owners and individuals. We are also experienced in handling general liability claims which arise from wrongful dismissal and sexual abuse.

Property

Our experience in property cases ranges from ground settlement and faulty building construction to explosions and fire. As in all of our insurance work, we work closely with other professionals in order to develop responsive and understandable expert opinion at an early stage to assist in resolving claims before legal costs mount.

Professional Liability

Our colleagues in the legal community are only one of the many groups of professionals we have successfully defended. We also represent doctors, real estate and insurance agents, engineers, architects, accountants, surveyors, adjusters, appraisers, stock and investment brokers and computer software designers.

Directors and Officers

We are frequently retained by insurers and insureds with respect to claims against directors and officers. In addition to representing individual directors we often act as monitoring counsel on behalf of insurers, keeping a watchful eye on the way a case is being presented, and working with defence counsel to determine strategy for a successful resolution.

Boiler and Machinery

There are often disputes between boiler and machinery insurers and property insurers as to coverage afforded by their policies, as well as disputes between the boiler & machinery insurer and the insured. Our procedure with respect to these claims is the same procedure we follow with respect to property claims, that is, working closely with other professionals and attempting to resolve the problem at an early stage.

Life and Disability

We represent life and disability carriers in all aspects of this area of insurance. In addition to drafting and commenting upon policy wording we provide initial opinions on coverage as well as defending claims arising from death, dismemberment and disability.

Fidelity Insurance

Our fidelity insurance practice encompasses all aspects of coverage analysis and litigation involving fidelity bonds, commercial crime policies and financial institution bonds.  We also have significant experience in fraud subrogation work against employees, co-conspirators, auditors and financial institutions, including obtaining Mareva and other injunctive relief against employees, in order to maximize recoveries by insurers.

EPL

We have represented insurers with respect to claims made on employment practices liability policies including wrongful dismissal, and discrimination issues in civil actions and The Human Rights Commission. We have a strong labour and employment group experienced  in all workplace matters.

Environmental

Contamination of the soil, water and air is an unfortunate consequence of modern life. Even the waste disposal sites and recycling facilities that address environmental problems are themselves subject to pollution by everything from minerals and chemicals to human and animal waste, not to mention flooding and lowering of water tables. Not surprisingly, this is a widely litigated field and one in which we have extensive experience. We have represented insurers in claims arising from chemical leaks and spills, contamination from landfills as well as various types of water and air contamination.

Libel and Defamation

We have represented insurers in libel and defamation claims brought against communication companies, broadcasters, newspapers and book publishers, media personalities, as well as governmental authorities.

Aviation

We have extensive experience in claims arising out of all types of aviation and marine losses. Representative claims include the Air India bombing, the shooting down of Korean Airlines 007 by the Soviet Union, the Air Canada Cincinnati DC9 fire and the sinking of the Ocean Ranger.

We act on behalf of claimants, defendants and insurers in claims involving everything from catastrophic claims to a wide variety of general aviation losses. Many of these claims have involved multi-jurisdictional litigation and the application of international treaties and agreements.

Weather Policies

We have successfully represented insurers on weather policies involving claims for cancellation of outdoor events such as motor sport and ski races and losses resulting from damage caused by weather to property and livestock.

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