Multi-party Insurance Dispute About Additional Insured Coverage and Indemnity Obligations Related to Construction Lawsuit
At the request of our insurer client, we successfully analyzed the allegations of a multi-party construction-related lawsuit and the tender of defense between parties for purposes of determining coverage and defense obligations. The underlying lawsuit involved construction of a natural gas pipeline for the energy industry. The suit presented allegations of breach of contract, negligence, blasting liability, trespass, emotional distress, and fraud. The insurance issues involved additional insured coverage, property damage coverage, contractual indemnity rights, and anti-indemnity statutes. After presenting our opinion, we assisted the insurer client in obtaining payment from the insurer of another party based upon the indemnity and insurance rights between the parties.
Successful suit by minority shareholder against majority owners of family business enterprise
To assist our client, a minority shareholder who was being denied her share of the profits in a lucrative family business, we filed suit against the majority owners alleging breach of fiduciary duty. After filing suit and obtaining access to certain business and financial records, we employed forensic accountants and valuation experts to calculate the value of the client’s losses and ownership share. As discovery demonstrated the unfairness of the majority’s actions, we obtained a successful settlement of the lawsuit for our client through mediation efforts.
Foreign Plaintiff v. U.S. Corporation
I lead a team which successfully assisted a foreign plaintiff in obtaining financial information from U.S. entities for use in a foreign proceeding. To do so, our team obtained a federal court order under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 requiring certain U.S. businesses and banks to provide discovery for use in the foreign proceeding.
Suit Against Insurer Dismissed on Favorable Terms
We represented a liability insurer in complex, multi-party coverage litigation relating to a theft by a security guard. The guard stole equipment from a manufacturing facility where he was assigned to work. To recover the theft loss the manufacturer sued its own insurer, seeking coverage for property damage. The property insurer then brought a third party complaint against the security company under a theory of negligent hiring of the employee-guard. The security company then sued our client seeking coverage and a defense in the suit. We defended our client in its position that its policy, with its limited theft endorsement and in the absence of a fidelity bond, did not provide coverage or a defense for employee theft, regardless of the negligent hiring theory. After refusing to order a defense, and denying all dispositive motions, the court granted our motion to bifurcate and delay the claims against our insurer-client, indicating a potential for denying all coverage. Achieving this position of leverage allowed us to obtain an agreed dismissal of our client on confidential, favorable terms.
Multi-party subrogation dispute as to liability for large fire losses
At the request of a large insurer, we defended an insured, commercial policyholder-tenant against subrogation claims from a landlord’s insurer who claimed our policyholder shared liability for a vehicle fire on the landlord’s premises. The fire resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fire/smoke damage to the leased premises. There were actually two defendants, the second being the mechanic that our client, the policyholder-tenant, had hired to address electrical issues in the vehicle. Those electrical issues caused the fire, though the co-defendant tried to deny any fault. Accordingly, at the start of the case, we hired a fire causation expert who pinpointed the cause as faulty electrical repairs by the co-defendant. When the co-defendant still denied liability, we hired an auto mechanic expert to address the repairs that were made and the additional steps that should have been taken to prevent the fire. I then took the deposition of the co-defendant’s mechanic, using our expert input to discredit the position of the co-defendant. I also analyzed the level of damages claimed by plaintiff with the help of an adjuster-expert. Our efforts and analysis led to a favorable settlement at mediation in which we were able to effectively exonerate our client and avoid any substantial liability.
Sexual Assault Coverage Opinions and Defense Analysis
We assisted a large insurer in evaluating coverage issues, and then related liability and damages issues, pertinent to sexual assault claims against a commercial entity in multiple cases. One case related to a developmentally disabled victim. Another related to a physically handicapped victim. Our work allowed us to provide settlement recommendations in light of our detailed coverage opinions, apportionment of liability amid intentional acts and potentially non-delegable duties, and then compilation of relevant jury verdicts.
Acquisition of Interest in Laser Technology Company
Dinsmore was lead counsel representing a private equity firm in its acquisition of an ownership interest in a laser technology company.
Successful defense of client in TRO hearing regarding allegations of fraud and embezzlement
Represented a Brazilian distributor in international dispute resolution proceedings
Rick Porotsky represented a Brazilian importer and distributor in a dispute with a large U.S. manufacturer, which was arbitrated in Sao Paulo Brazil through the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Working with Brazilian co-counsel in a bi-lingual proceeding, Mr. Porotsky took the lead role in pre- and post-hearing briefings, opening statements at the arbitral hearing, presentation of economic experts, and cross examination of key English-speaking witnesses.
Manufacturer of Asbestos Products v. Insurance Company
Served on our trial team as counsel to insurer in multi-million dollar dispute over coverage for asbestos bodily injury. The dispute involved issues of policy limits for product liability versus non-product liability. After years of discovery, briefing, and a trial of issues relating to the types of asbestos exposure experienced by underlying plaintiffs, we succeeded in obtaining an arbitration ruling in our client's favor on the issue exhaustion of policy limits.
Litigated dispute involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty
American Automobile Industry Supplier v. German Automobile Industry Supplier
I served as lead litigation counsel, successfully assisted our client, a European manufacturer and supplier of tooling for the automobile industry, in avoiding suit in the United States. This particular German manufacturer has always tried to keep its operations and management within Germany. It has also sought to avoid the hassle and expense of legal proceedings in foreign venues. In 2007, however, this manufacturer was sued in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Some of its tooling was being used there by an American automobile industry supplier. The American company alleged that the tooling was defective, claiming damages in excess of $5 million. With the benefit of the briefing which I authored, the German manufacturer obtained a victory in February 2008 on its initial motion to dismiss. The Court found that the German manufacturer's practices and forms prevent jurisdiction in Ohio. It found "no indication that [the German manufacturer] sought to exploit Ohio markets." The plaintiff failed to establish that [the German manufacturer] purposely availed itself of the benefits and protections of Ohio’s laws.” The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) provided additional support for the Court's decision. The Court thus dismissed all claims for lack of personal jurisdiction.
We represented a scrap steel company in International arbitration before the American Arbitration Association concerning alleged breach of several sale contracts by an Indian company.
Dinsmore attorneys prepared the case for its final hearing but were able to negotiate a favorable settlement before the client incurred the fees associated with a final hearing, and one that resulted in payment to the client quickly without protracted litigation in India. Because we were cognizant of legal costs and processes throughout the case, the result was a quick recovery for the client, but reached in a cost-effective manner.
Represent an Indian family business in international forum selection dispute
Rick Porotsky played a leading role in representing an Indian family business entity in U.S. federal court proceedings brought by a U.S. manufacturer who sought to invoke arbitration to avoid parallel Indian court proceedings. Mr. Porotsky participated in video conference court proceedings, conducting examination of the firm’s client online in Mumbai while also conducting cross examination of opposing witnesses. He also played a leading role in briefing to the federal court to address forum selection, jurisdiction, and Indian law.
Defended insurance company against allegations of bad faith
Consultant v. Intellectual Property Owner / Inventor
Breach of Stock Purchase Agreement with Alleged Fraud-Related Counterclaims
Title Insurance Company v. Title Agency
Local Manufacturer v. Foreign Supplier
I served as lead litigation counsel in 2009 in successfully assisting local equipment manufacturer in establishing personal jurisdiction over a German engine supplier in $15 million dollar dispute over defective engines.