Today, large property loss subrogation claims can be lost within the first few hours of loss notification by the failure to select the right expert, the failure to identify and notify the proper parties and the failure to retain evidence. Sophisticated defendants are always waiting to raise spoliation defenses and Daubert challenges to experts. Ulmer & Berne’s subrogation practice prides itself on its ability to become involved in losses as soon as they happen in order to guide the investigation and to preserve and develop the subrogation potential. Once we develop a case, we then aggressively prosecute it to expedite its resolution while maximizing the recovery.

For more than 55 years, Ulmer & Berne has pursued subrogation claims in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Over the years, we have recovered millions of dollars in cases arising from fire and explosions, electrical outages, construction and roof defects, cargo losses, ammonia leaks, fire suppression system failures, and product and machinery defects.

Once notified of a loss, with our three Ohio offices we can visit almost any regional loss site within hours. Before traveling to a loss site, we work with the client to retain the proper experts and work proactively to avoid Daubert-type challenges. In that regard, we have developed a database of experts for all types of situations so that we quickly identify and retain the right expert for the loss. Once we retain the right expert and get to the scene, Ulmer & Berne’s subrogation attorneys are highly experienced in working with those experts to identify and place on notice all proper parties.

Once on site, there’s no standing around. We put on our boots, hard hats and coveralls and work side-by-side with the experts to provide advice relating to the identification and securing of relevant information and evidence to avoid the now ubiquitous spoliation defense. In our view, the best way to understand a loss is to see it and analyze it with an expert.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained a $23 million verdict involving a defective circuit breaker that destroyed a $10 million generator and caused $13 million in other related damages.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar judgment involving an explosion caused by the improper mixture of sawdust with explosive paint waste.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement following several days of trial relating to a defective inert gas fire prevention system in an auto parts manufacturing plant.
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement involving a defectively designed thermal release device on a compressed natural gas bus that exploded while refueling.
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement involving an ammonia release in a frozen food warehouse.
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement involving the failure of a transformer at an electrical generation facility.
  • Obtained a $540,000 judgment involving a fire caused by a defectively remanufactured hydraulic shear.
  • Obtained a six-figure settlement during trial involving an allegedly defectively manufactured 36″ pre-stressed concrete cylindrical pipe that was in service for more than 30 years before it failed.
  • Obtained a six figure settlement resulting from improperly cleaned restaurant exhaust system.
  • Obtained numerous six-figure settlements involving a variety of claims including:
    • Fires involving flammable metals including magnesium and titanium
    • Fires caused by welders and cutters
    • Numerous defective roof and/or defective installation of roof claims
    • Numerous claims involving defectively designed or improperly installed fire suppression systems
    • Numerous claims involving construction and/or design defects resulting in building collapses and/or structural failures
    • Claims involving storage rack collapses and damage to warehouse goods
    • Claims for water damage involving improper installations of plumbing systems
    • Fires caused by improper electrical installations
    • Damages caused by railroad car collisions
    • Fires caused by defective consumer products