Demand
70 percent of marital estate plus permanent alimony and attorneys’ fees

Venue
Allegheny County

Judge
Hens-Greco

Attorney
Pamela V. Collis

Date
May 2001

Equitable Distribution

Husband claimed permanent alimony and in excess of seventy percent of marital estate should be distributed to him due to the fact that he was unable to work in his field as a trained mechanic due to a shoulder injury sustained post-separation.

The court dismissed the alimony and attorneys’ fees claims and awarded fifty percent of the marital estate to each party, after an offset to Wife for sanctions due her from Husband for his failure to disclose his under the table income in the support and alimony proceedings.


Demand
Provide coverage to girlfriend of named insured

Offer
None

Result
For Plaintiff insurance company

Venue
United States District Court,
Western District of Pennsylvania

Judge
Bloch

Attorney
Adam M. Barnes

Date
May 2001

Declaratory judgment action / permissive use

A declaratory judgment action was filed by the insurance carrier seeking to disclaim coverage to the girlfriend of the insured.

It was the position of the carrier that no coverage was afforded to the girlfriend because she took the vehicle without the insured’s permission.

The jury returned a verdict finding that the girlfriend was not a permissive user of the vehicle and thus, the carrier was not obligated to provide insurance coverage.


Demand
Provide coverage and defense in companion case

Offer
None

Result
For Plaintiff insurance company

Venue
United States District Court,
Western District of Pennsylvania

Judge
Lee

Attorney
Paul J. Walsh III

Date
October 1995

Declaratory judgment action / permissive use

A friend and the named insured were drinking at a bar in West Virginia. The friend asked to borrow the named insured’s keys under the guise of retrieving his cigarettes from the locked car.

The friend and another person subsequently took the car and crashed into a tree. The guest passenger was severely injured and sued the driver.

The liability insurance carrier denied coverage on the basis that the friend was not a permissive user of the insured’s vehicle.

Following a two-day bench trial, judgment was entered in favor of the insurance company.


Demand
$200,000

Offer
None

Result
Defense verdict (tried twice)

Venue
Beaver County

Judge
Gardner (visiting)
Kunselman

Attorney
Paul J. Walsh III

Date
November 1994
May 1996

Bad Faith / coverage denial

This case arose out of a collision coverage denial.

The Plaintiff alleged that the insurance carrier acted in bad faith for denying coverage on a collision claim even though the lienholder information was not forwarded as an Additional Insured.

In sum, the Plaintiff had numerous application discrepancies through either her own fault or that of her agent.