Insurance Coverage Litigation


Insurance claims are complex, and the law governing claims is evolving constantly to address new issues and arguments. Construction defects, environmental contamination, mold, concurrent causation, intentional conduct, fraud, bad faith, and allocation of losses are just a few examples of the complex claims and issues that insurers regularly must address. And potential extra-contractual exposure is an ever-present threat, should a claim be handled improperly.

Ulmer & Berne understands these claims and issues. We work as partners with insurers to resolve all manner of first-party and third-party claims fairly and equitably – to pay claims that are owed and to resist claims that are inflated or not owed at all.

Ulmer & Berne has been representing insurers for more than 50 years. We have extensive experience counseling insurers on their rights and obligations that applies to all types of policies. We regularly assist insurers in handling claims from their inception through successful conclusion. This may entail supervising claim investigations, providing coverage opinions, drafting reservations of rights or denial letters, and prosecuting and defending coverage litigation. From defending coverage litigation involving a $300,000,000 judgment in South America, to the latest coverage issues surrounding the Opioid Litigation across the United States, we understand what is important to insurers and how to prevail in the most complex of cases.

Ulmer & Berne is a full-service law firm and takes a multidisciplinary approach involving attorneys from all our practices (including tax, environmental, real estate, products liability, healthcare, construction, and corporate) to assist when claims present issues that require their special expertise.

We take particular pride in our long history of shaping Ohio law concerning insurance. Over several decades Ulmer & Berne has obtained scores of published court decisions from state and federal courts. We have a strong history and heritage of being among the leading insurance coverage attorneys in Ohio, and are committed to maintaining that tradition of excellence.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment in action seeking reformation of 11 commercial general liability policies totaling $160 million in coverage, involving an underlying $350 million pollution liability judgment in South America.
  • Recovered more than $80,000 in sanctions/attorneys’ fees related to discovery dispute regarding depositions of foreign witnesses in coverage action.
  • Defended bad faith claim regarding coverage for $300 million environmental contamination judgment in South America.
  • Successfully resolved declaratory judgment action involving coverage for fatal trucking accident.
  • Represented insurance carrier in dispute regarding alleged premises liability involving residential apartment complex.
  • Defended insurance carrier in direct action filed by state attorney general regarding alleged theft by local government officials.
  • Counseled clients regarding insurance coverage terms in transaction negotiations and agreements.
  • Represented insurance carrier in dispute regarding alleged environmental liability, including governmental demand for clean-up and remediation, involving a retail establishment.
  • Provided coverage analysis to TPA regarding alleged employer liability for employee’s auto accident.
  • Handled third party action against insurance carrier.
  • Provided numerous coverage opinions to policyholders and insurers regarding claims related to environmental contamination, public nuisance, securities, personal injury, bodily injury, and property damage.
  • Analyzed enforceability of various pollution exclusions in all 50 states.
  • Analyzed enforceability of various mold, asbestos, and silica exclusions in all 50 states.