CAT Loss/Single Event Loss Task Force:
Large catastrophic events such as wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and freeze losses may represent significant subrogation and recovery opportunities. These recovery opportunities should not be overlooked and treated simply as an act of nature. Cozen O’Connor’s Catastrophic Loss Task Force is ready to assist insurers and self-insured property owners in the evaluation of potential third-party responsibility of losses resulting from catastrophic events. In-depth investigation may uncover a concurrent cause, such as the negligence of a contractor, a product defect or other culpable conduct which brought about or contributed to the damage. Our Catastrophic Loss Task Force attorneys practice throughout our national and international offices and have developed technical expertise in handling specific types of catastrophic claims:
Cozen O’Connor attorneys are handling wildfire losses in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico. In some instances, power distribution lines that have not been properly maintained, were too close to vegetation, had too much slack, were not properly connected, or were not properly supported, have led to liability on the part of the responsible utilities or contractors. With swift deployment of experts investigating in tandem with public sector investigators, subrogation claims have been successfully pursued with recoveries in excess of $150,000,000.
Our flood task force attorneys are handling floods arising out of the 2010 Nashville floods, the 2011 Thailand floods, the 2011 Susquehanna River floods, and the floods in the Midwest involving the Missouri, Mississippi and Souris Rivers. These floods involve dam management issues and waterway maintenance problems. Aggregate claims exceed one hundred million dollars. We are working with industry leading hydrologists and meteorologists to analyze third party liability.
Cozen O’Connor’s attorneys handle subrogation claims arising from property damage caused by windstorm losses, including major hurricanes. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients after Hurricanes Wilma, Dennis, Jeanne, and Ivan based on sub-standard work by architects, builders, and product manufacturers who have failed to comply with applicable building codes and standards. We work with experienced teams of structural engineers and code experts to efficiently identify these subrogation opportunities.
Freeze failures can be an insidious and costly occurrence for which prompt action is needed. A freeze event can cause damage to neighborhoods, cities, states or entire regions. Recent events such as gas outages in 2011 in New Mexico demonstrate the devastation that can occur with freeze failures. Thousands of property owners were deprived of the gas needed to supply heat to homes and businesses. This outage caused domestic water lines, fire suppression and hydronic water systems to fail, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. Cozen O’Connor has been retained to investigate and seek reimbursement for the resulting property damage. Cozen O’Connor is uniquely positioned based on its longstanding experience with these types of residential and commercial building systems to investigate and prosecute these types of losses.
Our task forces have litigated many claims against contractors, utilities, manufacturers and other responsible parties for these catastrophic failures. By compiling extensive materials obtained during the investigative process and discovery proceedings, we are able to jumpstart the claims process and accelerate our clients’ recoveries. In addition, our longstanding pre-eminent position in the subrogation profession enables us to establish close and effective working relationships with representatives of many adverse insurers and parties, to the benefit of our clients since this allows for early mediation and bundling of claims for prompt resolution.